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The Economist Asks: Who Should Run The Internet?

Who should run the Internet? Should it continue in the "multi-stakeholder" way it has operated so far? Or should governments have more of a say in how it is run?

The Economist captures that argument in a piece out today entitled "A plaything of powerful nations" that reports on the meeting this week in Nairobi of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The article rather succinctly covers some of the tension and challenges around public policy issues I briefly mentioned in my recent post about joining the Internet Society.

A key point for me is this (my emphasis added):

The multi-stakeholder approach dates from the beginnings of the internet. Its founding fathers believed that more openness would be both more secure and better for innovation. What is more, since the internet is a network of independent networks, it is hard to construct a form of governance that allows anyone to dictate things from the top.

Yet as the article notes, many governments would like to try - and the power struggle is really only beginning.

There are definitely going to be some interesting times ahead...

NOTE: While I am now employed by the Internet Society, I am NOT involved with the public policy activities of the organization and all comments and viewpoints expressed here are entirely mine alone as an individual.

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