Deutsche Telekom's contribution for to the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance

Abstract

Deutsche Telekom's contribution for to the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance provides input on both topics of the conference 1) Internet Governance Principles and 2) Roadmap for the Further Evolution of the Internet Governance Ecosystem.

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Deutsche Telekom’s Contribution to the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance

 

Deutsche Telekom welcomes the initiative from the Brazilian Government to organize the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance, which also finds broad Governmental support from various regions of the World. This broad commitment shows that the initiative is timely and the topics at stake are highly relevant. We understand and support the objectives of the Global Multistakeholder Meeting to define concrete and actionable steps to shape the future of Internet Governance.

 

Due to its global nature and its increasing political, societal and economic relevance it is important to establish a sustainable global Internet Governance model able to address today’s and future challenges. The latest preparatory meeting for this year’s European Internet Governance Forum EuroDIG (European Dialogue on Internet Governance) in Berlin has revealed two major concerns: How to re-establish trust and how to enforce the rule of law in the Internet.

 

Security, data protection, privacy and the rule of law in the online world are crucial to ensure the sustainability of the whole ecosystem. Deutsche Telekom believes that the deliberation on basic principles should include issues such as rules for privacy, data protection and the effective protection of fundamental rights in the online world. Reaching a consensus on these important aspects by agreeing on such basic principles would represent an important step towards enhanced trust in the digital world.

 

The Internet would not exist without the constant efforts of network operators throughout the world to built and modernise infrastructures. Mobile networks are an important example. Without the large scale deployment of mobile networks in developing countries internet connectivity would be there on very low levels. Nevertheless, this seems to be taken for granted, without honouring the efforts and significant investments by network operators or even ignoring the underlying economics. But the ability of network operators to serve the general public with universally available access to, and state of the art delivery of data within the Internet is closely linked to the economic viability of future business models. The current state of the Internet Economy is characterized by significant asymmetries between those building the infrastructure and those making extensive commercial use of it without an appropriate and proportionate financial contribution.

 

Where global issues are at stake, we welcome moves to internationalise the Internet Governance ecosystem. The globalization of the Internet needs to be reflected in appropriate governance mechanisms and institutional settings that represent in an appropriate, transparent and balanced way the interests of all who share this global resource.

Basic principles for the Internet may include

·         preserving the high value of the Internet for the democratization of our societies in providing protection of basic human rights also in the online world

·         ensuring the freedom of global communication and global access to information

·         reinforcing the well established principle of secrecy of communication in the Internet

·         establishing a high and effective level of protection of personal data

·         decrease the unnecessary and burdensome centralisation by introducing the principle of subsidiarity, favouring for example an “Internet of short distances” to improve the protection of the privacy, to prevent illegal collection of data and to restore trust in the digital world

·         ensuring a high level protection against cyber attacks or cyber crime

·         ensuring the sustainability of continued investments and innovation in the underlying infrastructures

Roadmap for the further evolution of the Internet Governance ecosystem

·         The meeting in Brazil could foster the ongoing process of the internationalisation of ICANN and the IANA functions, e.g.

Ø      in identifying how to best globalise the IANA functions, whilst safeguarding the continued stability and security of the domain-name system;

Ø      in establishing a clear timeline for the globalisation of ICANN.

·         We very much support an open multi-stakeholder model. However, there is still room for improvement of the existing multi-stakeholder approach, in particular regarding transparency, legitimacy and balanced and representative participation.

·         When it comes to concrete and actionable outcomes of any process, we need some basic rules to deliver sufficient legitimacy.

·         Such basic rules can be developed in the future into a sustainable governance model based upon International public law principles. The evolution of international trade law under the GATT regime might serve as a role model for this.



 

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