Government of India’s initial submission to Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance, Sau Paulo, Brazil, April 23-24, 2014.
1. Internet is a shared resource and a global commons available to public. An open, stable and secure Internet, and unhindered access to information and knowledge, is crucial to global connectivity, innovation and economic development.
2. Internet with its immense transformational potential can provide the means for sustainable and inclusive development in a country in areas such as education, healthcare, financial inclusion and service delivery. The medium of Internet provides voice to the voiceless as never before in the history of mankind. This potential can be realized only by providing universal access and affordable devices. The Digital divide must be relegated to the past – instead, the communities must reap the benefits of the digital dividend. Therefore, we recommend to make a transformational shift from the Internet of today to the “Equinet” of tomorrow.
3. The exponential growth of the Internet and its all encompassing impact on our lives necessitates putting in place an effective and international mechanism todevelop, make and implement international public policies in the technical, economic and social, and strategic domains of the Cyber space.
Internet Governance and Management System:
4. Governance of the Internet is quite complex and involves range of issues ofvaried nature such as technical, legal, public policy, equitable access, privacy andsecurity of the infrastructure and information. Given that the core infrastructureof the Internet is not protected by any international legal regime, it is importantto shape a globally acceptable legal regime to maintain the openness, securityand international trust in the Internet.
5. The management of Internet encompasses both technical and public policyissues and should involve all stakeholders and relevant intergovernmental andinternational organisations. Policy authority for Internet-related public policyissues is the sovereign right of states.
6. The Internet Governance should be multilateral, transparent, democratic,and representative, with the participation of governments, private sector, civilsociety, and international organizations, in their respective roles. This should beone of the foundational principles of Internet Governance.
7. The structures that manage and regulate the core internet resources needto be internationalized, and made representative and democratic.The governance of the Internet should also be sensitive to the cultures and nationalinterests of all nations. The mechanism for Governance of the Internet shouldtherefore be transparent and should address all related issues. The Internet mustbe owned by the global community for mutual benefit and be renderedimpervious to possible manipulation or misuse by any particular stake holderwhether State or non-State.
8. The upcoming WSIS+10 review in 2015 provides a significant opportunity tobuild confidence in the international community on Cyber space by rectifying thegaps in the implementation of Tunis Agenda and by establishing mechanisms todevise a roadmap and to implement it for effectively addressing emergingchallenges and opportunities by the World Information Society.
9. Recognizing that the Tunis Agenda of 2005 endorsed by the UN GeneralAssembly created Internet Governance Forum (IGF) as a platform for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue, the IGF should continue to enrich such dialogueamong relevant stakeholders.
Internet and Security
10. International law, and in particular the Charter of United Nations, isapplicable and is essential in maintaining security and stability and promoting anopen, secure, peaceful and accessible ICT environment. All governments shouldhave an equal role and responsibility for ensuring stability, security, andcontinuity of the Internet.
11. The application of norms derived from existing international law relevant tothe use of ICTs by States is an essential measure to reduce risks to internationalpeace, security and stability. Common understandings on how such norms shallapply to State behavior and the use of ICTs by State requires further study. Giventhe unique attributes of ICTs, additional norms could be developed overtime.
12. Voluntary confidence building measures can promote trust and assuranceamong States and help reduce the risk of conflict by increasing predictability andreducing misperception. States need to consider ways of cooperation inimplementing acceptable norms and principles of responsible behaviour,including the role that may be played by private sector and civil societyorganizations.
13. Given the pace of ICT development and the scope of the threat, States needto enhance common understandings and intensify practical cooperation throughregular institutional dialogue with broad participation under auspices of theUnited Nations, as well as regular dialogue through bilateral, regional andmultilateral fora, and other international organizations.Cyber security and Cyber crime:
14. Governments, business, organization and individual owner and users ofinformation technologies must assume responsibility for and take steps toenhance the security of the information technologies.
15. Law enforcement cooperation in the investigation and prosecution ofinternational cases of criminal misuse of ICTs in cyberspace should be coordinatedamong all concerned states. States should intensify cooperation against criminaluse of ICTs, harmonize legal approaches as appropriate and strengthen practicalcollaboration between respective law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies.
16. The global nature of cyber crime requires strengthening of existing andconsideration of new national and international legal or other responses to cybercrime.
17. A mechanism for accountability should be put in place in respect of crimescommitted in cyberspace, such that the Internet is a free and secure space foruniversal benefaction. A ‘new cyber jurisprudence’ needs to be evolved to dealwith cyber crime, without being limited by political boundaries and cyber-justicecan be delivered in near real time.
18. Capacity building is of vital importance to an effective cooperative globaleffort on securing ICTs and their use.
19. All stakeholders need to facilitate the transfer of information technologyand capacity-building to developing countries, in order to help them to takemeasures to improve cyber-security develop technical skill and appropriatelegislation, strategies and regulatory frameworks to fulfil their responsibilities;and bridge the divide in the security of ICTs and their use.
20. International cooperation should be extended for capacity building in areasrelevant to the Internet Governance. This includes, in particular, building centresof expertise and other institutions to facilitate knowhow transfer and exchangebest practices, in order to enhance the participation of developing countries inInternet governance mechanisms.
Social and Cultural aspects:
21. The same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, inparticular freedom of expression which is applicable regardless of frontiers andthrough any media of one’s choice in accordance with article 19 of the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and PoliticalRights.
22. All stakeholders commit to work earnestly towards multi lingualization ofthe Internet. In this context, States also support advances in the process of multi-lingualism in areas including Domain Names, E-mail Addresses and key work look-up.
23. All Stakeholders commit to encourage the development of locally relevantinformation, applications and services that will benefit developing countries andcountries with economies in transition.