Internet Governance Affects Us All
Guest blog post by John Sweeting, ARIN Advisory Council Chair & Sr. Director of Network Architecture & Engineering, Time Warner Cable
We recently attended the IGF-USA in Washington, DC and it got us thinking about why it is important for the ARIN community members to be involved with what is happening with the Internet as a whole.
Here are three things that are important to us as users of the Internet and part of ARIN and the global Internet community. All Internet users should probably put these issues on their radar too.
Evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem is occurring
With the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) preparing to turn over oversight of the IANA stewardship functions to the multistakeholder community, there is a huge effort underway to determine a replacement that meets the requirements of the US government and more importantly the global Internet community’s needs for a healthy Internet. Currently a coordination group representing 13 communities (including the Number Resource Organization (NRO) which represents ARIN and the other Regional Internet Registries) has been formed to define and guide the transition process. The important thing to note is that discussions occurring now could impact Internet operators and users alike for generations to come.
Conversations regarding increasing accountability are also occurring
One of the sessions at IGF-USA touched on increasing accountability, particularly the accountability of ICANN . One of the key points we took away from this session was that the more transparency that the key organizations can provide in managing the Internet infrastructure, the better. Since ARIN is part of that infrastructure, transparency and accountability are important issues for our community as well.
Working together to find solutions to problems is key
The essence of a multistakeholder dialogue is that all parties are present in key forums to make their voices heard – everyone from civil society, government, technologists, research scientists, industry, and academia. From the ARIN community especially, we have an interest in making sure the technical realities of how the Internet works are understood and unimpeded. It is important that we involve ourselves where discussions about Internet governance are happening.
Some of the sessions from IGF-USA are available to watch online if you’re interested. We think it is very important to make yourself aware of what is going on now with Internet governance and always be looking for opportunities to contribute.