Video of Jovan's speech. Text below.

Today, trust is diminishing in Internet governance. The risks for the Internet are higher. Hopes for solutions are needed more now than ever before. NETmundial comes at a pivotal time. We need concrete solutions which will reduce the risks of the Internet and rebuild trust.

The IG road may be long and complicated, yet there are three concrete steps I would like to suggest be taken:  

First: Grant global inviolability to the root zone file.

Like, for example,  embassies or UNESCO heritage sites, the Root Zone File should enjoy immunity wherever it is located.  No national courts should interfere with its content. This inviolability will simply recognise existing practice.  US courts have never requested changes to the root zone file even in situations when there was a legal basis for such action, such as international sanctions. By parking this controversial issue of jurisdictional immunity, we can start rebuilding trust, and focus on the more complex issue of how legitimate changes to the Root Zone File should be made (operational aspect of IANA).

Second: Build a codex of practices for a genuine multistakeholder process based on the procedural responsibility of all involved.

Most of the building blocks for this codex already exist:  transparency, openness, inclusiveness, to name a few. We should keep in mind that genuine engagement is not only about values, human rights, and democracy, but is also a practical issue. Without representation, there is no implementation. This matters a lot, because the Internet shapes the reality of millions worldwide. They have to have a say in how the Internet is governed.  When it comes to policies, implementation or non-implementation is just a click away.  Today, with the Marco Civil Act, Brazil has provided a lesson for the world in how genuine engagement of society works.

Third: 360 –degree Capacity development – my third concrete proposal – and one that is close to my heart

Internet governance will remain a possibility, and not a reality, if people do not have the ways and means to participate. We need to move from occasional training, to 360-degree capacity development where we help institutions and individuals to engage. We need to focus on all those who are missing today, such as digital grassroots movements worldwide, and the involvement of more governments from developing countries. For example, only 56 governments have spoken at the IGF over the last 8 years. In addition, we need to ensure timely access to relevant information about IG, a need which has already been recognised worldwide, in initiatives to establish Internet observatories and platforms. For example, the Swiss government initiated the Geneva Internet Platform in order to help the growing number of Geneva-based actors to follow IG processes.

These three first steps – inviolability of the root zone file, a genuine multistakeholder process, and 360-degree capacity development – could help us rebuild trust quickly, and set us on our journey towards more inclusive, reliable, and effective Internet governance.

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The Geneva Internet Platform is an initiative of the Swiss authorities

 

Members of the Steering Committee are FDFA, OFCOM, Canton of Geneva, ETH-Zürich, and the University of Geneva

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