Internet Governance Is The Development Media Essay

Few Internet users will deal with how an e-mail around the world is sent or how clicking on a hyperlink a WWW page arrives. Nevertheless, history knowledge of the Internet and underlying technology is of significant value to those who want to intervene in regulating the Internet. This is because the Internet is strong as a result of the rapid development and it differs from other existing forms of media. The explosive growth of the Internet, however, with its many technical innovations and international reach was hardly a parallel adaptation of the different state rules. The development of the Internet was associated with a previously unparalleled standardization process.

“Internet governance is the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.”

The internet has allowed the world population to express themselves as well as their thoughts and ideas and communication has never been so accessible. With the ability to run an international firm 24/7 due to information passed through emails, wikis, etc. Additionally, the accessibility of current affairs updates as and when they happen enables the majority of the world to engage more than ever before.

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Taking this into account, a study has shown that there is a large amount of younger users within the UK that use the internet daily. In addition to this, for every age bracket that it increases, the daily usage decreases. This shows that as time goes on the users will continue to grow as well as the skills and knowledge related to the internet. In order to govern the internet on a global scale, there needs to be constant change and alterations to the governing bodies in order to adapt to the increasing liberal views of the younger generations.

Governance of the internet, as with the network itself, is something that will never stop being of importance. For the governing of it to keep at a similar rate of change to the system, the governing bodies need to decide among the areas of issues which are most important. This would be best determined by considering what areas are developing the quickest within the internet platform.

This essay will compare and contrast the difference between East and West ideas and whether there will ever be a governing body that has complete control of the internet and if there will ever be a global understanding in relation to the accessibility of everything.


Freedom of speech

The internet is an open door to express opinions, thoughts, ideas and beliefs. The issue with governing this is that everyone has different views on what should and shouldn’t be allowed.

Social networking is a main way that online users can freely voice themselves and with the number of users using this platform as a way to communicate, talking the situation of what is and isn’t accepted worldwide. As mentioned previously, this is hard to monitor due to people connecting with each other globally and updating others on their life. Social networking and other ways of cross border inflows make it hard to govern this.

Until now, the management of the Internet is largely dependent of the U.S. company ‘Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN), which determines, for example, the endings of such addresses “Com” and organized linking memorable web addresses with readable computer numerical codes. The U.S. wants to continue to manage Internet addresses, while others prefer this task the United Nations or any other body shortly before the start of a UN conference on the information society is not a solution to the simmering conflict for years over control of the Internet in sight.

The European Union would like to find the middle ground at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). But in the face of growing resistance to the U.S. observers see little chance of this happening.

Founded in 1998, ICANN is based in California and is under the control of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Contrary to previous expectations, the U.S. government has recently announced its intention to retain this control in the future. It is a non-governmental organisation in the company, engineers, scientists and simple Internet users are represented and which will help to clarify the organisational and technical issues. ICANN will decide in the near future including the introduction of new address spaces as a supplement. Before ICANN, the U.S. government regulated practically alone along with contracted companies or volunteers to organise the global computer network. The U.S. dominance was in line with the origins of the Internet as a research and education network in particular in U.S. universities, but not enough in the age of global expansion of the network and has been regarded as critical in many countries.

The European Union supports itself a UN proposal providing a multinational management of the Internet, so that the World Wide Web will be democratic and transparent organisation. The United States considers the control threatened by an international body and thus an agreement appears unlikely. It was mentioned by the U.S. delegation head at the recent World Summit that it would be better not to come to an agreement than to end with a bad one.


Unfortunately, ICANN is often seen as an agent of the US government of which the functions would easily be able to be achieved by a UN body. The issue of variations in internet usage worldwide aren’t addressed by the body nor does it design technical standards for the internet. ICANN certainly has its limitations. The year 2012 has proven one thing with regard to cybercrime; not only weak passwords can be cracked easily, even well-secured accounts are not safe from hackers. New security measures are urgently required in order to try and make the data placed online safe. To criticise the governing body furthermore, ICANN doesn’t regulate any internet content; whether that may be pornography, spam or cybercrime.

For the fact that there aren’t any governing bodies for a global security for cybercrime, there should be no reliance on web pages and passwords keeping secret. It is currently recommended to use multiple passwords in order to minimise such risks that if a hacker was able to access something, then there wouldn’t be a way of accessing something else.

The year 2012 renounced largely on massive data bank robberies just like the Playstation Network-collapse of 2011. There were 6.5 million stolen passwords from LinkedIn, followed closely by 1.5 million stolen passwords from eHarmony, 450,000 stolen information for logins from Yahoo Voice, and loads of data taken from other sources too.

Dropbox had problems in 2012 regarding spam. Dropbox users were suddenly sent a large sum of spam messages and it was only when the issue was looked into that they found out that it was due to hacking into an account. The hackers had managed to access one of the employee’s accounts and consequently gained access to a document containing many email addresses of the users. Although there was minimal damage, if there was governance in place, this sort of problem wouldn’t have occurred.


Look East

Freedom of speech


Although freedom of speech is accessible through the internet ‘portal’, China and other communist countries enforce rules within the countries that only allow the population to view certain websites.

China built the Great Wall of China to keep the place secure, but also to keep influences away. China now uses censorship and internet filtering as a way to do the same through information. This is known as the Great Firewall of China.

Normally, a firewall will protect your computer from malicious websites or programs, whereas in China it works vice versa. A whole country is cut off by the Great Firewall of important information, as well as of free reporting of social communities, where a free exchange of ideas is possible.

The country is connected by a single node in Shanghai with the World Wide Web, and there are data centres set in place by the Communist government to monitor all traffic. What does not fit with the standards in place is filtered out.

The Chinese government requires its 500 million Internet users to register with their real names. A new law states that they must identify themselves to the Internet service providers and this new regulation serves the greater protection of private information and the safeguarding of public interests.

As well as this protection against outsiders, the Chinese government even create their own platforms of social networking, such as ‘Weibo’ (Chinese version of Twitter), in order to allow the Chinese population to express themselves but simultaneously be monitored. By keeping these forms of platforms to a smaller scale it means that it can be easily controlled, but there are certain topics that are not allowed to be voiced even when they are restricted to the country.


In Russia, there is a law that came into force, which ensures that the Internet service provider blocks future websites and content that is currently available. Before it was put into action there had been much criticism, the Russian Wikipedia protested with a 24-hour strike before the adoption of the law, but without success.

But the law gives another, more profound change with it, which is the implementation of using a technology that makes it possible to monitor the entire Internet traffic, residents of Russia users, permanent and automated E-mails, website views, chats. This allows all of the authorities to continue to record with minimal effort or even manipulate.

The principle of Internet censorship for Russian authorities is nothing new like with many of the Eastern part of the world. This allows the government to still dictate what is viewed by the people in these places and, in doing so, keeping control of what goes on within the reality and the virtual.

Mission Impossible?

The dispute over the access to the Internet takes place between the United States and Europe on the one hand and countries such as Russia and China on the other. While Western states used for maintaining the open, decentralised and non-state structure of the network, other countries require a stronger influence of the ITU, which operates under the umbrella of the United Nations.

The focus of the eleven-day conference is a revision of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs), “This is an attempt to transfer the telecommunications model to the Internet,” said the vice president of the Internet Society (ISOC), Markus Kummer, before his departure to Dubai. “Since we overlook seemingly unaware that the internet works very differently.”

During the conference, there was an effort to counteract the criticism of it. The ITU-General Hamadoun Touré mentioned that the WCIT was not about to take over the internet, but to connect more people to the internet that are currently offline.

The ITU-General called for an approach in which the involvement of all parties is sought, among them the Internet users. The ITU had no intention to play a central role in Internet functions such as the regulation of Internet addresses which the ICANN non-governmental organisation already governs.

The Russian delegation stated that its proposed ITR additions were based on an understanding of the Internet as a new global information infrastructure, and also as part of the national communication infrastructure of each individual Member State.

Internet activists are also concerned with a proposal from the Association of European Airlines (AEA), a restriction of the freedom of information. The association is also to ensure that in future companies such as Skype or Google to pay fees for the use of the data network.

The 193 countries represented have filed more than 900 amendments pertaining to the internet, mobile and fixed networks. Results of the conference must be reached by consensus. The federal government has argued against regulation of the Internet as part of the conference and that unrestricted access to the Internet is essential to society. For the Federal Government, the objectives of openness, transparency and freedom of the Internet conditions, ensure that the Internet keeps its prominent role as the engine of social and economic development. Basic human rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of assembly must be protected on the internet just like in the offline world.

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The internet is something that has only been around for…. Years and for this reason there will still be further development with regards to the platform itself and the bodies that govern it. Developing countries are only starting to have more access and with it there will be other aspects to consider that wouldn’t have perhaps been an issue before. Like with the development of phones, the internet could be viewed in a way that would have previously never been imagined. With this in mind, as the internet develops to adapt for new users and to provide a better platform for communicating as an example, the governance will also need to change and adapt itself rather than be stuck in its ways.

Due to the different styles of governance within countries, there is unlikely to be a global agreement to what is acceptable to be shown on the internet. Especially with the countries that follow a communist regime, the governments would like to limit the information that is able to be seen. Cultural differences also play a part to this, but users don’t necessarily view the content that they find offensive.

If the institutions become outdated and there is no such adaptation, as the network sees continuation in growth, new institutions will be created and take on the rules and regulations from the older institutions and use them in respect to the current situation. Likewise with the collection that ICANN took on.

There will never be an ultimate body that controls everything due to the contrasting views. Another reason is because of national sovereignty because it means that until every country is open to every point of view, the government within a country can stop the information and people will be punished for going against this. Cross-border information flows are clearly making it hard to prevent everything being controlled, but for every piece of information that is against the regulations of a place, the government soon blocks the access. Perhaps in the future there will be a shift in the governments within the Eastern part of the world and as a result will mean that the internet will be a platform that is open for all to use.



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