Advantages, limits, evolution of the decision-making model

Topic factors (explanation)

Importance: High
Interest: High
Agreement: Medium
Resolution: Medium

There is general agreement that the multistakeholder model of decision-making that has been developed by the Internet community in both ICANN and the IGF needs to be strengthened.

The model has been pushed at international conferences on Internet governance, dating back to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). And it has been defended and promoted by some governments - most notably the United States - in recent years, particularly at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in 2012. However, there is a sense that many governments have not fully embraced or understood the multistakeholder model.

Revelations by former NSA employee Edward Snowden are widely believed to have lead to a loss of trust in existing governance structures.

As such, many on the list feel that without an active review and defense of the multistakeholder model, governments may increasingly pull decision-making powers over the Internet into their sole domain.

The appearance of the term "multilateral" in a key speech to the United Nations by Brazil's president, the compound term "multi-stakeholder/international" in draft documents1 produced by the European Commission , and a note questioning the validity of the multistakeholder model in a paper produced for India's National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) have all raised concerns that the model itself is under question.

There is a general feeling on /1net that the multistakeholder model needs to be reviewed and improved. At the same time, its advantages should be relayed clearly and concisely, particularly to governments.

As a neutral forum focused on Internet governance issues, /1net may be the best vehicle for such a process.