Internet Governance is a cooperative undertaking says business

  • 4 May 2010

When Internet policy is implemented the effects are far-reaching, transcending national and regional boundaries, and affecting all. That is why no one group can or should address Internet governance alone.

Representatives of ICC and its initiative Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) delivered this message on behalf of business at the 3rd European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) which took place in Madrid last week.

BASIS member Cornelia Kutterer, Senior Policy Manager at Microsoft, Brussels, underscored the importance of dialogue among all stakeholders to shape informed policy approaches in her opening remarks to participants at the event: “Microsoft shares the view that multi-stakeholder dialogue is essential to the development of Internet policy and the management of Internet resources,” she said. “By participating in open dialogue, we can develop more informed policy, speed the sharing of best practices such as the Global Network Initiative and create an online environment that enables innovation, protects the rights of users, and builds human and institutional capacity. “

Entitled DIGging into the Internet Future, this year’s EuroDIG tackled several critical issues for business and other Internet users including cloud computing, cybercrime, the role of sovereign states in Internet governance issues, global privacy challenges and new generic top-level domain names.

Hosted by Telefónica in its new headquarters, EuroDIG drew over 400 participants from governments, business, civil society and the technical community as well as over 50 remote participants.

“It has been an honour for Telefónica to host this year’s EuroDIG conference and we will continue to support and be engaged with EuroDIG and the IGF as we believe that these debates have a strong influence in shaping the policies and rules for the Internet” said Christoph Steck, Director of Public Policy at Telefonica and member of BASIS. “The open and constructive atmosphere makes it possible to find common ground between diverging stakeholder´s views and helps define what kind of Internet we want to have in the future.”

EuroDIG is the pan-European regional Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a UN-linked, unique platform – open to all stakeholders – that facilitates frank discussion on Internet governance issues.

BASIS strongly supports the continuation of the IGF, whose original five-year mandate expires at the end of the year, and will actively participate in the next forum set to take place on 14-17 September in Vilnius, Lithuania.

“Information is the raw material of the digital age, and the entire modern economy depends on its availability and its security”, said Technology Evangelist Mirco Rohr of Kaspersky Labs. “The exchanges at the EuroDIG and the global level IGF are essential to building a ‘safer planet’ which is a continuing journey.

Inspired by the global IGF, more and more national and regional initiatives have emerged over the last two years. Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine and the UK were among several national IGF initiatives attending EuroDIG to convey how they are building dialogue and exchanging on pertinent issues in their communities.

The overriding message from these groups pointed to a need to build communication across stakeholder groups at the national level in order to address policy issues that affect all citizens.

ICC/BASIS representatives will participate in many of the national and regional IGF initiatives. Several of these events are scheduled to take place in the next few months and include the 3rd East African IGF in Uganda from 26-28 July and the Asia Pacific Regional IGF in Hong Kong from 14-16 June 2010.

The next EuroDIG will take place in Belgrade, Serbia in June 2011.