Amid Global Effort To Fill Internet Policy Gaps, India Proposes New UN Body 02/11/2011 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)India has stirred some discussion with its recent proposal to create a new United Nations body for global internet-related policies. The proposal comes within the context of efforts by developed countries to build support for an open internet and by the UN to address gaps in global internet governance and increased unilateral moves to block content online. The Indian proposal, made on 26 October to the UN General Assembly in New York, is to create a 50-member UN Committee for Internet-Related Policies (CIRP). “The intent behind proposing a multilateral and multi-stakeholder mechanism,” India said in its statement, “is not to ‘control the Internet’ or allow Governments to have the last word in regulating the Internet, but to make sure that the Internet is governed not unilaterally, but in an open, democratic, inclusive and participatory manner, with the participation of all stakeholders, so as to evolve universally acceptable, and globally harmonized policies in important areas and pave the way for a credible, constantly evolving, stable and well-functioning Internet that plays its due role in improving the quality of peoples’ lives everywhere.” A copy of the proposal, as posted to the .nxt news website is here [doc]. The annex, containing details of the proposal, is here [doc]. India’s proposal comes in a somewhat confusing context of broader UN and regional efforts to address ongoing concerns of shortcomings in global internet governance. India and Brazil last month made a proposal for a new body, but put it before an existing body, the Internet Governance Forum, which perhaps not surprisingly reacted with caution (IPW, Information and Communications Technology, 3 October 2011). The Internet Governance Forum, which by mandate is not a policy-making body, was created by the 2003-2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and was just approved by UN members to keep meeting and discussing for another 5 years. The “Third meeting of the Working Group on improvements to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)” was held from 31 October to 2 November at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). India said its proposal follows the UN Secretary General’s report A766/77 on “Enhanced cooperation on public policy issues pertaining to the Internet” [pdf]. Enhanced cooperation derives from the agreed agenda of the second WSIS meeting in Tunis in 2005. Calls for transparent, inclusive, multilateral policymaking also come as the United States – which retains the greatest national-level control over the internet – is increasingly moving toward unilateral actions to block activity on the internet that it deems to be in violation of its laws, including intellectual property rights laws. Google reports on increased government requests for takedowns here. The US government, meanwhile, continues to pronounce the importance of internet freedom, such as at the 1-2 November London Conference on Cyberspace. The transcript on a 31 October background briefing on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s participation in the London conference is here. Developed countries, led by the United States, say they are trying to build support for freedom and openness on the internet. The issue was also raised at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Group of Eight industrialised nations. The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which organised the WSIS meetings, did not appear to take a strong position on the internet governance issue at its recent annual ITU Telecom World conference. Issues often cited as needing oversight and coordination are cybersecurity, cybercrime, protection of children, and economic issues. [From the annex of India’s proposal:] “The mandate of the Committee, as stated in India’s proposal, would be to: i) Develop and establish international public policies with a view to ensuring coordination and coherence in cross-cutting Internet-related global issues; ii) Coordinate and oversee the bodies responsible for technical and operational functioning of the Internet, including global standards setting; iii) Facilitate negotiation of treaties, conventions and agreements on Internet-related public policies; iv) Address developmental issues related to the Internet; v) Promote the promotion and protection of all human rights, namely, civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights, including the Right to Development; vi) Undertake arbitration and dispute resolution, where necessary; and, vii) Crisis management in relation to the Internet.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at email@example.com."Amid Global Effort To Fill Internet Policy Gaps, India Proposes New UN Body" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.