Byron Holland is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). View bio
In light of recent events, the Internet Society (ISOC) has posted a petition to maintain the multi-stakeholder model for Internet governance. This included a meeting of the United Nation’s Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), where a decision was made to create a Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The membership of this Working Group is made up entirely of governments.
Also, let’s call a spade a spade here. This was a hastily called, special, meeting for a Monday night in Geneva. Why does that matter? Because it means that only UN Mission staff, not the deep subject matter experts, would even have a chance of attending. And even many of the Mission staff would not likely make it given the odd timing and short notice. But remarkably the Chair was able to rustle up enough staffers from the countries that tend to be anti-multistakeholder (the usual suspects) to have a vote – and lo and behold, its governments only! I hate to sound like a tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorist, but it sure is a remarkable number of coincidences.
If you read this blog regularly, you know why I believe this multi-lateral approach to Internet governance is a mistake. If you don’t know my position, please read this, this, this, and especially this.
I will be signing the petition on behalf of CIRA. Are you going to sign ISOC’s petition?