Norway welcomes this opportunity to provide our input in this discussion on the future of internet governance. The internet is a driving force for global economic growth, innovation, efficient communication and open dialogue. Internet has opened up for new ways to interact between governments and its citizens, for new ways to run businesses and for new ways to develop democracy and for individuals to exercise their universal rights. Herein lie the core values – and the challenges – of the internet.
Internet Governance principles
1. Many important principles for Internet Governance have been developed within different organizations, with different perspectives. The Council of Europe Declaration by the Committee of Ministers on Internet Governance principles has a human rights perspective, the OECD Council Recommendation on Principles for Internet Policy Making has an economic perspective, the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee CGI.br has also developed principles for the Governance and use of the Internet. All the mentioned principles, other Internet Governance principles not mentioned and previous discussions on principles, including the newly published Communication from the European Commission and the UN Human Rights council are among the organizations that have provided principles that can contribute to guidance and perspectives in the development of global Internet Governance principles.
2. Global Internet Governance principles should take into account universal principles that will apply regardless of conditions and events. Further, Global Internet Governance principles should be applicable regardless of the technological, social and cultural developments that lie ahead of us. For the Internet Governance principles to be truly global, they must be supported by all relevant stakeholders. Flexibility and good will from all stakeholders will be required in order to achieve such a global consensus.
3. Against this background, Norway proposes that the global Internet Governance principles should be directed at the following:
a. Promoting an open, free, global, robust, secure and resilient Internet.
b. Respecting universal human rights and fundamental freedoms.
c. Complying with international law and legislation as implemented in the off-line world, including the right to privacy.
d. Sustaining the flexibility inherent in the multi-stakeholder model for developing policy, with a view to ensuring that all relevant stakeholders are included and can participate and contribute.
e. Enhancing democratic values such as accountability, non-discrimination, transparency, representativeness and openness.
f. Respecting and addressing public interests for the benefit of all internet users.
A roadmap for the further evolution of the Internet Governance Ecosystem
1. The Internet Governance Ecosystem consists of many different organizations and stakeholders. Internet Governance is addressed at several international arenas and at various levels. One important arena for dialogue is the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Regional initiatives such as the Latin America and Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (LACIGF), the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDig) and other regional and national initiatives listed on the IGF website are also useful arenas, among others.
2. For the further evolution of the Internet Governance ecosystem the implementation of agreed global principles will be essential. These global principles should form the basis of the practical implementation for processes, rules and procedures in the existing multi-stakeholder organizations and other organization that have a role in the Internet Governance ecosystem.
3. The multi-stakeholder model can continue to be developed. This could include more accountability, respect and sensitivity for the different public policies in multi-stakeholder organizations. Participation of all stakeholders should also be ensured and greater transparency should be introduced.
4. In certain areas there is an information overflow and a remedy for this to enable stakeholders to be properly informed, should be promoted. The recommendations from CSTD WG on improvements to the IGF should be utilized to strengthen IGF as an arena for further dialogue, sharing of best practices and better cooperation. We are also looking forward to the outcome of the CSTD WG on enhanced cooperation. The initiative from the European Commission, the Global Internet Policy Observatory (GIPO), can be useful to help all stakeholders keeping track of Internet Governance activities and help stakeholders to identify the important issues.
5. Capacity building in order to enable everybody to utilize the full potential the internet has for economic growth and development, will be crucial and should be promoted in a Roadmap. Capacity building should not be an issue for states alone. We should find the best ways and the best mechanisms for efficient capacity building by drawing on the resources and the competence from a number of stakeholders.
6. The recommendations proposed in the report from Affirmation of Commitment review teams should be addressed to improve the accountability and transparency of ICANN and to improve further processes and stakeholder participation in ICANN.
7. Further globalization of ICANN and the IANA-function has been called for and steps have already been taken in this regard. Norway welcomes and supports such a process whilst acknowledging that due consideration must be given to the security and stability of the DNS.
8. ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) provides an important channel in which governments can raise their public policy concerns to the attention of ICANN. We believe that an efficient GAC benefits us all. ICANN’s role is a technical one and not a political one. It should remain that way also in the future regardless of how the IANA function will be managed. Thus, ICANN should not be used as an arena for political debates, nor should the IANA function be politicized in any way.