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ICANN Releases Roadmap, Timeline for Future Management of Internet

The Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms has released key recommendations on how to evolve the Internet governance (IG) ecosystem to accommodate global needs for collaboration, interconnectivity and Internet growth.

The report follows a third and final meeting by the global Panel of prominent stakeholders from diverse organizations and governments hosted by the World Economic Forum in Dubai earlier this month and adopts the IG principles established at NETmundial, the recent Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance in São Paulo, Brazil.

The Panel believes the principles including human rights, culture and linguistic diversity, security and stability, and open unfragmented space, among others are fundamental to implementing a 21st century model of Internet governance.

“We intend for the Panel’s work to contribute to the global discussion on how to preserve freedom of expression of the Internet,” said Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia and chairman of the Panel.

The Panel has worked to effectively meet the burgeoning needs and interests of Internet users globally while ensuring networks’ security and stability.

The Panel says it identified needed Enablers including forums and dialogues, expert communities and toolkits to foster communication, legitimacy and effectiveness throughout the IG process, which the Panel defined in four elements: issue identification, solution mapping, solution formulation and solution implementation.

“The Internet is an indispensable resource for its 3 billion users all around the world. Ensuring that it remains open and interoperable and that decision-making processes are carried out with the involvement of all stakeholders is critical to the future of the Internet and its continued success,” said Vint Cerf, vice-chair of the Panel.

“To achieve a collaborative, decentralized IG ecosystem, the Panel recommends next steps mapped against a three-year timeline that include coalescing and supporting broad multistakeholder alliances; developing new and strengthening existing IG mechanisms; and progressing collaborative decision-making. Recognizing the evolving IG dialogue and process, the Panel also identified specific additional questions that will need answers moving forward, and encouraged the global community to weigh in with its responses.

There is broad interest in how the Internet will be governed and by whom,” said ICANN’s President and CEO Fadi Chehadé. “The discussions at NETmundial reaffirmed the support and desire for a multistakeholder model of governance and served as an inspiration for the Panel’s recommendations.”