Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

High-Level Panel Organizes to Address Future of Internet Governance

17 November 2013

LOS ANGELES – A diverse global group of stakeholders from government, civil society, the private sector, the technical community and international organizations has formed a Panel on the Future of Global Internet Cooperation. The Panel's first meeting is scheduled for December 12 – 13 in London.

Focusing on the pressing issue of Internet governance, and committed to a multistakeholder approach, the Panel plans to release a high-level report in early 2014 for public comment. The report will include principles for global Internet cooperation, proposed frameworks for such cooperation and a roadmap for future Internet governance challenges.

Recognizing the importance of the initiative, Estonian President Toomas Ilves has agreed to serve as the group's Chairman. "Our future approach to Internet governance should be thoughtfully designed and implemented," said President Ilves. "Without a cohesive global approach, emerging issues will not be properly addressed. Individual governments or intergovernmental organizations could begin to develop their own solutions without understanding the global context."

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, was an early catalyst for the Panel and recognized the need for a globally diverse group to independently address broad, complex issues. It will organize the secretariat and provide logistical support for the Panel. ICANN cited growing pressures to address issues outside its sphere of responsibility as a motivating factor in forming a high-level panel.

"So many of today's headline issues stem from national policies that aren't enforceable across the borderless network we call the Internet," said Fadi Chehadé, president of ICANN and a member of the Panel. "For organizations like ICANN, most of these issues fall outside our area of responsibility. The Panel should focus on evolving and globalizing the current Internet governance framework and exploring mechanisms to address these complex issues."

Vint Cerf, often cited as one of the founders of the Internet, will serve as a vice-chair of the Panel. "The Internet was designed for openness and rapid expansion, and its existing distributed and collaborative model of governance has worked remarkably well for thirty years of its operation," said Cerf. "However, as the Internet and its applications have spread across the globe and become ever more vital to daily lives, attention to transnational public policy issues and their resolution calls for further adaptation and evolution of the present model."

In the coming year, several key events will address Internet governance topics, including the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, and a recently announced conference to be hosted by Brazil in Spring 2014. The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands will also be a substantive partner in the work of the Panel and host a meeting at the historic Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, California in early 2014.

ICANN consulted with a number of organizations to develop the Panel. Members were chosen to ensure that a regionally diverse cross-section of stakeholders would be represented. Panel members' activities will be independent of their organizations. Panel members include:

  • Mohamed al Ghanem, Founder and Director General of the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority; former Vice-Chair, UAE Information and Communications Technology Fund
  • Virgilio Fernandes Almeida, Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences; Chair of Internet Steering Committee; National Secretary for Information Technology Policies
  • Dorothy Attwood, Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy, Walt Disney Company
  • Mitchell Baker, Chair, Mozilla Foundation; Chair and former CEO, Mozilla Corporation
  • Francesco Caio, CEO of Avio; former CEO, Cable and Wireless and Vodafone Italia; Founder of Netscalibur; broadband advisor in UK and Italy
  • Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google; former Chairman, ICANN; Co-Founder of the Internet Society
  • Fadi Chehade, CEO and President of ICANN; Founder of Rosetta Net; technology executive
  • Nitin Desai, Indian economist and diplomat; former UN Undersecretary General; convener of Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG)
  • Toomas Ilves, President of Estonia; former diplomat and journalist; former Minister of Foreign Affairs; former Member of the European Parliament
  • Ivo Ivanovski, Minister of Information Society and Administration, Macedonia; Commissioner to the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development
  • Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe; former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Norway; Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee
  • Olaf Kolkman, Director of NLnet Labs; "Evangineer" of the Open Internet; former Chair of the Internet Architecture Board
  • Frank La Rue, labor and human rights lawyer; UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression; Founder, Center for Legal Action for Human Rights (CALDH)
  • Robert M. McDowell, former U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner; Visiting Fellow, Hudson Institute's Center for Economics of the Internet
  • Andile Ngcaba, Chairman, Convergence Partners; Executive Chairman, Dimension Data Middle East and Africa; former South African Government Director General of Communications
  • Liu Qingfeng, CEO and President of iFLYTEK; Director of National Speech & Language Engineering Laboratory of China; Member of Interactive Technology Standards working group
  • Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO of the Internet Society; telecoms and IT executive
  • Jimmy Wales, Founder and Promoter of Wikipedia; Member of the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation
  • Won-Pyo Hong, President, Media Solution Center, Samsung Electronics

Additional members to be confirmed.

For more information on the Panel, please contact: David Almacy at David.Almacy@edelman.com or (202) 591-9486.

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