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Multistakeholderism - a conduit for the corporate takeover of the Internet

In underscoring the fact that the whole basis of the multistakeholder model is that there should be no regulation of the Internet economy, Prabir Purkayastha and Rishab Bailey point out that the unregulated market has led to the formation of powerful monopolies which stifle competition.


THE Edward Snowden revelations, published in leading newspapers around the world since June 2013, have proved a watershed moment in how the Internet is viewed and governed. The Internet, largely looked upon as a beneficial tool, is now being treated with an entirely new level of suspicion by states and individuals alike.1

The files leaked by Snowden demonstrated the overwhelming and illegal nature of the programmes used by the US and its allies to capture, store and analyse virtually all telecommunication flows across the globe - in various instances by coopting multinational corporations (MNCs) which have established monopolies in the online space. In addition, Snowden revealed the startling cyber-attack capabilities these countries have already put in place.

While the popular media has, by and large, focused on issues surrounding the invasions of privacy by the US National Security Agency (NSA)'s mass surveillance programmes, there is a far more important issue at stake - control. The Snowden revelations have highlighted something rarely spoken about in the popular press or in political circles: the reality that the Internet is a centralised tool used to sustain economic and political dominance in a globalised world.2

The initial response from the American government to these revelations was that surveillance was carried out only against terrorists and for national security purposes. However, the duplicity in these statements3 was soon revealed as one expose after another showed how the US and its allies were systematically spying on hundreds of political figures (such as the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel) as well as important political negotiations such as climate change talks in Bali in 2007 and Copenhagen in 2009. This was on top of spying on various economic targets such as Brazil's state oil company Petrobras.4 In other words, Snowden demonstrated instances of surveillance which have no security concerns whatsoever but do have clear economic and political significance.

Snowden demonstrated quite simply that the United States and its allies will spy on anything and anyone - using any means possible - if they perceive that this will enhance their political and economic interests. Quite clearly for the United States, international economic affairs comprise an intelligence issue. The NSA is an instrument intended to serve the interests of centralised political and economic power in Washington. The corporate interests colluding with the state are its special beneficiaries.

This level of control over the medium is enabled by the existence of a complex and insidious relationship which some have termed the 'Digital Industrial Security Complex' (to indicate the proximity of the military industries, massive technology companies and political processes). With powerful political processes bent on ensuring unregulated (or minimally regulated) access to global consumers, the unprecedented monopolies and concentration of media and telecommunication industries, and the threat of terrorism (used as a red herring to weaken civil liberties), it seems as if there is almost no way in which online space can be reclaimed.

So while the Snowden revelations did draw international opprobrium and have prompted many countries to revisit their use of technology (and the need for global regulation of the Internet itself), what quickly became apparent was also the lack of international institutions and mechanisms that could adequately deal with these and other equally pressing issues in the context of the Internet ecosystem (such as demilitarisation of the Internet, unilateral control of the Internet's addressing system and so on). Given that the Internet was created in and by the US, this historical accident has enabled the American government to, generally speaking, control and suborn all existing governance systems.

Snowden has revealed that if left unchanged, current practices of governance, business and online activity pose risks not only to the privacy of citizens but also to the capacity of governments to protect what remains of their sovereignty, and to the ability of the global economic system to function fairly and effectively.

This is what Brazilian President Rousseff had pointed out in her speech in September 2013 at the United Nations General Assembly, placing before the world body the urgent need for a new model of Internet governance. It is this call that subsequently led to the NETmundial conference in Sao Paulo in April 2014 (see below).

A failure to make drastic changes to the status quo could quite easily lead to increased exercise of domestic sovereign authority over what should be a global commons - and therefore a very real threat of 'balkanisation' of the Internet. Without a globally agreed set of framing or guiding principles to govern the Internet, the Internet as we presently know it - a global tool of communication - could soon be a thing of the past as each country will attempt to propose its own governance models which it will try and enforce through domestic law.

The multistakeholder model

In light of the Snowden revelations and the perceived need to 'internationalise' or 'globalise' Internet governance practices, what has become a crucial battleground in the governance of the Internet is what is commonly portrayed as a choice between a relatively undefined 'multistakeholder' model of governance (which, broadly speaking, aims to place 'all stakeholders' on an equal footing) and a comparatively well-defined multilateral model recognised in international law, in which a nation state is recognised as the representative of its citizens.

As more and more countries become wary of the US-centric model of governance in vogue since the inception of the Internet, there appears to be a strategy by currently powerful players of ensuring that Internet governance is never truly democratised. This is sought to be achieved by farming out control to the private sector (which, in the context of the Internet, is overwhelmingly Global North-based and therefore susceptible to partnership with their host governments).

This method of governance through private means is sold to the public as an attempt to ensure that there is no censorship or other repressive government control over the Internet. In reality, however, it is nothing more than a way to ensure that the Internet can continue to remain largely unregulated at a global level (or, more accurately, regulated as per the domestic norms of Global North countries, which have the ability to control the relevant corporations).

The US government had originally argued for a private sector-led Internet governance model as far back as the 1990s.5 At some point this appears to have morphed into the current 'multistakeholder' model.6 The form of the multistakeholder model that developed in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is different from the well-known and accepted consultative process in which all stakeholders participate but elected representatives still make the decisions. In ICANN, the governments have only an advisory role through the Government Advisory Committee. The exception of course is the US government, which has oversight of ICANN through the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) contract and other agreements. To be accurate, it is a one-government-plus-private-sector-led Internet governance model that has existed until now. And this is what is now referred to as the multistakeholder model of Internet governance by the ICANN community.

The view of a non-government multistakeholder model has now given way even among some sections of the US government to a stakeholder model that includes governments as stakeholders - but only as one among equals. A Wall Street Journal commentator, for instance, talks about the two US government views of the multistakeholder model: 'The Obama administration proposal [on IANA transition] would have treated other governments as equal stakeholders, turning the concept of private-sector self-governance on its head. Robert McDowell, a former commissioner at the Federal Communication Commission, pointed out ... that "multi-stakeholder" historically has meant no government, not many governments.'7

Thus the private sector-led Internet governance initially in vogue in US documents is now postulated as a form of multistakeholder model sans one stakeholder - the governments. Obviously, as long as the US government was in control, keeping other governments out was a US strategy. That is why the current IANA transition that the United States has proposed has the precondition of 'no government control' of Internet governance (see below).8

The multistakeholder model embedded in the IANA transition offered by the Obama administration is, in our view, a neoliberal multistakeholder model.9 It demands that governments play little role in Internet governance, that any role they actually play be placed on an equal footing with other stakeholders, and that decisions on all aspects of Internet governance be made through consensus. Any criticism of such a model, or discussions on the different roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders, are then labelled a multilateral or a statist model paving the way for repressive governments to capture the Internet. Such a binary formulation - multistakeholder versus multilateral - misses the fact that while some issues such as technical protocols can be worked out between various stakeholders through a consensual process (global standards are created in this way), the issues change when public policy is involved. Essentially, policy issues demand that a concept of public interest be introduced to override the sectoral interest of certain stakeholders.

The neoliberal multistakeholder model of decision-making - with all stakeholders on an equal footing, and through consensus - does not take into account that stakeholders have differing interests. For example, corporations and consumers have obvious differences in objectives. This model, in effect, gives veto power to private corporations and denies public good or public interest. Such a model would allow the corporate stakeholder section to block any consumer interest regulation simply by not allowing consensus to form on the issue.

The key difference between governments and corporations is that governments are accountable to their people (at least in political theory) while corporations are answerable to their shareholders. The primary driver of corporations is profit; for governments, avowedly, it is the good of their citizens (even if governments do not necessarily fulfil this responsibility). If governments fail in their duties to the citizens, it is possible for the people to change their governments, either through elections in electoral democracies or through other means, in response to the state's failure to maintain the social contract. By extension, if the need of corporations for profit is in conflict with larger social interests, the state has the right as well as the obligation to regulate prices and the profits of corporations. (It is worth noting in this context that ICANN does regulate prices.) Similarly, policy issues such as the safety of consumers or the protection of the environment demand that the needs of the citizens override the interests of capital. This is the basis of regulating corporations and monopolies. For this reason, putting governments and corporations on an equal footing on all matters and privileging decision-making through consensus means effectively giving up the state's right to regulate private monopolies.

Net neutrality has been widely discussed in the context of Internet governance. It is an extension to the Internet of the well-known common carrier principle, which is to provide services to the public without discrimination. The underlying principle in net neutrality is that the carrier cannot discriminate between different sets of data packets 'by user content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication'.10 Again, net neutrality is a regulatory issue and cannot be expected to be achieved by consensus among various stakeholders.

The combination of intelligence agencies and large global corporations has helped concentrate economic power and create large global monopolies on an unprecedented scale. The US stewardship of the key Internet organisations has enabled the United States to ensure that there is no international regulation of the Internet, while allowing extraterritorial application of many of its own laws and regulations (or lack of laws and regulations, such as lack of general protection of data privacy). This has led to the emergence of global monopolies in this space.11

The Internet economy tends towards monopolisation due to economies of scale and network effects. This means that global Internet companies can build Internet platforms that will allow bundling services - a case of horizontal monopoly (Google, Microsoft). If you are already on a Gmail platform, this can be used to connect you to Google Docs, Google+ and a host of other services. Others try and bundle access and services together - a case of vertical monopoly - such as telecommunications companies offering Internet services and then implementing various tiered pricing models for different kinds of services. This is, of course, what the net neutrality battle is all about.

It is not surprising that an unregulated Internet has generated extremely powerful monopolies in a very short span of time. Today, the top three Internet companies control more than 40% of the global digital advertising revenue.12 In the triple-digit mobile advertising revenue, the concentration is even sharper, with Google alone taking more than 50% of the revenue. The digital ad revenues overtook broadcast television in 2013, having earlier overtaken satellite/cable television, indicating that digital advertising is rapidly replacing other media forms.13 Again, a handful of companies control the global e-commerce market. An unregulated market therefore leads to the formation of powerful monopolies, which in turn stifle competition and generate very high (or super) profits.

The issue is not the dichotomy between multilateralism and multistakeholderism as posed by proponents of a certain kind of multistakeholder model. The issue relates to the functions or issues that can legitimately be dealt with through each of the processes to serve the interests of society as a whole. For example, how do you deal with something like cyber-warfare and surveillance, which fall squarely within the province of the states? How do you protect the right of a country against unilateral disconnection? Similarly, how do you address regulatory issues such as determining costs of access or regulating monopolies (both global telecom and Internet monopolies) so as to protect the consumers? In all of these issues, the roles of the states and global corporations are different.

Under the neoliberal paradigm, the role of the state has changed 'from being an entity apparently standing above society and intervening in its economic functioning in the interests of society as a whole, even at the expense of the unbridled interests of finance capital (such as for instance the State in the era of Keynesian demand management), to being an entity acting exclusively to promote the interests of finance capital'.14 Here, we would like to expand the concept of the neoliberal state working in the interests of finance capital to other forms of rentier capital, including intellectual property holders. So when a proposed model of Internet governance formally takes away the role of the state in regulating corporations, its relationship to the neoliberal paradigm is obvious.

It is now clear that dragnet global surveillance has been carried out by the United States and other Five Eyes governments in alliance with the most powerful global corporations. These are also the forces that have been the loudest voices in favour of a multistakeholder model that wants global corporations to have a veto over Internet governance. Internet governance is at present carried out by the US government and global corporations through existing Internet organisations. After the Snowden revelations, the US 'stewardship' is no longer feasible. The US response has been to offer to shift what it calls its 'oversight' (in reality its control) to a multistakeholder process that meets with its approval. In March 2014, it was stated that, 'To support and enhance the multistakeholder model of Internet policymaking and governance, the US Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announces its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community.'

There are, however, serious doubts about whether such a transition would ever take place. The US Congress has already raised the question of why the Internet, a US property, should be transferred to any other body where other governments can grab it. In a letter to NTIA, 35 US Senators have talked about '[strong] support [of] the existing bottom-up, multistakeholder approach to Internet governance'.15 Interestingly, the US Congress does not believe that such a discussion on transition should be of a multistakeholder nature in the United States but purely the prerogative of Congress, showing US hypocrisy in discussions on the multistakeholder model.

The congruence between such a multistakeholder model, in which global corporations are treated on par with governments, and the neoliberal paradigm is obvious. Underlying this model is that there should be no global regulations or laws. That is why ICANN, a private non-profit corporation registered in California, today runs the DNS system through private contracts with domain registrars.

The neoliberal paradigm's central premise is that the state should not interfere with the market. But this cannot work where there are 'natural monopolies' such as in the telecom, electricity and water distribution sectors. In such cases, the state's task could be to (1) be the supplier of such services, or (2) regulate such services either directly or indirectly by creating a regulatory market. A complete withdrawal of the state from providing services or regulating private service providers would lead to obvious adverse consequences.

Crucially, the strategy to ensure lack of democratic governance over vital global sectors is not restricted to the Internet alone. The involvement of the private sector in international governance is now being championed at the World Economic Forum,16 once again under the guise of a multistakeholder model of governance that would permit private interests to gain unhindered access to fora where regulatory practices are determined and public policy decisions made.

NETmundial and WSIS+10

As mentioned previously, in the context of the Internet, due to its historical development as a US-based system, present models of governance are US-centric. These have however been contested in the past and the Snowden revelations have highlighted once again the importance of international instruments such as the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Tunis Agenda in challenging the US-centric foundations of the Internet.17 

At WSIS a number of countries challenged the US control over the DNS system.18 How can vital infrastructure, needed by every country for communications and commerce, operate under the jurisdiction of one particular government? WSIS raised this issue and underlined the need to enhance the role of other governments in Internet governance. Articles 68 and 69 of the Tunis Agenda addressed the need for such 'enhanced cooperation'.

WSIS identified the need for a more participatory structure for other governments. But the Internet Governance Forum set up after Tunis was a body that could only discuss issues; it could take no binding measures. The 'enhanced cooperation' agenda - essentially a code for addressing US control over the Internet - got nowhere with endless discussions; the United States and its allies, including the key Internet organisations such as ICANN, stonewalled the issue.

Brazil initiated a process within the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) dialogue forum for a different form of Internet governance. It developed into a Declaration in Tshwane, South Africa, in October 2011, for a multilateral, democratic and transparent Internet. It focused on the 'urgent need to operationalise the process of "Enhanced Cooperation" mandated by the Tunis Agenda' of WSIS, and to set up a multilateral body under the United Nations for Internet governance.19 At the 66th meeting of the UN General Assembly, on 26 October 2011, India proposed the setting up of a new UN-based body to act as a nodal governance agency of the Internet.20 However, none of these efforts was pursued seriously by either the IBSA or the three countries individually.

Internet governance also came up at the 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai, with particular reference to revising the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs). Without getting into details, there was an attempt to paint the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as the villain trying to gain control over the Internet. Such a narrative was fashioned by the United States and a set of US corporations, though a section of 'civil society' also lent their voice to the chorus. The consequence was that though 89 countries signed the new ITRs, the United States and the European Union refused to sign, citing grounds that were highly controversial.21

Things changed radically after the Snowden revelations. In her September 2013 speech in the UN General Assembly, Brazil's President Rousseff raised the issue of surveillance and called for a global meet on multilateral Internet governance.22 The NETmundial conference, organised on 23-24 April in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was a consequence of this call.

From the beginning, there were two currents to NETmundial. On the one hand were the issues identified by Rousseff regarding surveillance, the violation of sovereignty of countries and the call for an increased multilateral oversight of the Internet. On the other hand, there was the call of Internet organisations such as ICANN for a multistakeholder model in which governments would participate, but along with other stakeholders - essentially the equal-footing multistake-holder model.

While NETmundial did make certain gains, the outcome text was by and large anodyne, once again demonstrating why the multistake-holder model is also practically unworkable. The most pressing issues leading up to the conference, such as surveillance, were ignored in the outcome text. In the need to forge consensus between sections whose interests are diametrically opposed, no progress can be made - and this is clear in particular in areas such as corporate regulation, regulation of surveillance and cyber-warfare and other issues where Global North-based companies and political interests meet (and are opposed to those who favour a more democratic and globalised form of governance and greater regulation of corporate power in the public interest). NETmundial further demonstrated how, through controlling key committees, those favouring the interests of big corporates and Global North-based countries could sufficiently derail the agenda and instead attempt to push their own narrow interests.23

Democracy can be ensured only if public policy decisions are made by or can be overridden through democratic processes and actions which derive their legitimacy from citizens directly exercising their will, or from representatives or institutions which are democratically accountable to the citizens they represent. However, NETmundial represented the opposite, with, for instance, media MNCs given the freedom to write text pertaining to copyright.

Nevertheless, while there was an attempt to ensure that NETmundial consecrates the multistakeholder model inter alia by replacing the traditional WSIS formulation that all stakeholders have certain roles and responsibilities which must be recognised in any governance process (i.e., that states have a public policy function that private organisations do not), the  outcome  text  instead  referred  to a 'democratic multistakeholder' form of governance and reiterated the 'different roles and responsibilities' formulation used in the WSIS Tunis Agenda.

The battle, however, is far from over, as shown by the recently concluded WSIS+10 High-Level Event in Geneva in June 2014, which was convened to review progress of the WSIS agenda 10 years after it was adopted. Once again there was an attempt to tone down the roles and responsibilities formulation adopted in the Tunis Agenda, though the event concluded with an endorsement of the development of a democratic multistakeholder model as a 'priority area' to be addressed in the implementation of the Geneva Plan of Action Beyond 2015,24 leaving open the question of what constitutes a democratic multistakeholder model.

Another interesting aspect to note in the establishment of governance processes and norms is how the norm-making process itself has now become 'non-democratic' in that traditional notions of states making public policy decisions (on behalf of their people) have been abandoned. Both NETmundial and the WSIS+10 High-Level Event placed states virtually on the same footing as private organisations.

IANA transition

The fact that the US government is quite clearly pushing the multistakeholder model as a means for it to retain control over governance institutions while maintaining the illusion of internationalisation is made clear from the recent furore surrounding the IANA transition.

As mentioned previously, given the increasing trust deficit in the US due to the Snowden revelations, there were immediate calls for the US to give up its role as the 'steward' of the Internet. The US response has been an offer to shift what it calls its 'oversight' (in reality its control) of the Internet's IANA functions to a multistakeholder process that meets with its approval.

The March 2014 NTIA announcement by the US Department of Commerce is an attempt to steer the discussion into a narrow framework. The US government has defined the limits of any transition and has therefore ensured it will not really relinquish control. The precondition to any internationalisation of IANA functions is the adoption of a multistakeholder model in which governments either play no role or, at best, play a role equal to that of other stakeholders, including business. The United States can then retain de facto control over the Internet via its juridical control over the Internet organisations and the US corporations, while giving up its de jure control of direct oversight.

ICANN has already released a draft of the scope of the transition.25 In effect, this means that all IANA functions will be transferred to ICANN, and anything outside such a transfer falls beyond the scope.26 The ICANN community broadly supports the private sector-led, multistake-holder model of Internet governance, in line with the US precondition for giving up control over the IANA function.27

It is clear, however, that the current approach to the IANA transition was unilaterally established by the US government, with no prior open stakeholder consultations, and that it sets preconditions which were not subject to any open discussions and ensures that the US can continue to control the Internet's critical resources.28

The struggle for democratic Internet governance, where people's interests prevail, calls for a much wider battle. It entails a battle not only over issues of the IANA transition and ICANN's control over the domain name and IP address system, but also against the surveillance state. It is a struggle against digital colonialism and the rentier economy of the Internet. It is a struggle for enlarging the global knowledge commons which is made possible by the Internet. It is a battle for freeing our computer  hardware  and  software from proprietary systems and moving on to free and open source platforms. It is also a part of the larger struggle of the Global South against imperialism. Unless we can bring all these strands together, it would be difficult to beat back this offensive of global capital.

The Internet today is broken; people are under surveillance; and our data are being monetised and sold. If we want to change this, we need a different form of Internet governance. Cosmetic changes to existing institutions will not do. Deep-rooted changes are required, of the kind that will expand democracy and social and economic justice, preserve the rights of people as well as the sovereign rights of countries, and ensure that the Internet is used for peace, not war.

Prabir Purkayastha and Rishab Bailey are with the Society for Knowledge Commons, India, and also a part of the Just Net Coalition. The above draws extensively from their paper 'US Control of the Internet: Problems Facing the Movement to International Governance', Monthly Review, Volume 66, Issue 03 (July-August 2014).

Endnotes

1     Prabir Purkayastha and Rishab Bailey, 'Evolving a New Internet Governance Paradigm', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLIX, No. 2, 11 January 2014.

2     See Shawn Powers and Michael Jablonski, The Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom, University of Illinois Press (forthcoming); and Dan Schiller, Digital Depression: Information Technology and Economic Crisis, University of Illinois Press (forthcoming).

3     http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/senators-say-nsa-phone-records-played-little-role-in-stopping-terror-plots/2013/06/19/9faec3ea-d940-11e2-a9f2-42ee3912ae0e_story.html

4 See, for example, http://g1.globo.com/politica/noticia/2013/09/documentos-da-nsa-apontam-dilma-rousseff-como-alvo-de-espionagem.html, http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/nsa-hacked-email-account-of-mexican-president-a-928817.html, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/24/nsa-surveillance-world-leaders-calls, http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/cover-story-how-nsa-spied-on-merkel-cell-phone-from-berlin-embassy-a-930205.html, http://g1.globo.com/fantastico/noticia/2013/09/nsa-documents-show-united-states-spied-brazilian-oil-giant.html, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/09/nsa-spying-brazil-oil-petrobras

5     The actual wording in the US Department of Commerce 1997 White Paper and the 1998 Green Paper was 'privatize the domain name system (DNS)'. Interestingly, it was issued as a part of the Clinton administration's Framework for Global Electronic Commerce. See US Department of Commerce, 'Management of Internet Names and Addresses, Docket Number: 980212036-8146-02,' 22 July 2000, http://icann.org/en.

6     'However, it is worth mentioning that in the discussions on Internet governance during the first phase of WSIS, the term usually used to describe the existing arrangements was "private sector leadership", in line with the language used in the setting up of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).' Markus Kummer, 'Multistakeholder Cooperation: Reflections on the Emergence of a New Phraseology in International Cooperation', 14 May 2013, http://internetsociety.org.

7     L. Gordon Crovitz, 'Keep the Internet Free - for Now,' Wall Street Journal, 13 April 2014, http://online.wsj.com.

8     'In May 2012, the US Congress resolved that US authorities "should continue working to implement the position of the United States on Internet governance that clearly articulates the consistent and unequivocal policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control and preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet today". Presumably this resolution refers only to keeping the Internet free from the control of governments other than that of the United States, because the United States continued to maintain its control over the Internet Assigned Names and Addresses (IANA) function.' Richard Hill, 'The Internet's Multi-stakeholder Model,' World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum, 14-16 May 2013 (dated 26 April 2013).

9     Slavka Antonova, 'Power and Multistakeholderism: The ICANN Experiment,' 2007, http://lawlibraryarchive.contentdm.oclc.org; Michael Gurstein, 'The Multistakeholder Model, Neo- liberalism and Global (Internet) Governance,' 26 March 2014, http://gurstein.wordpress.com.

10   'Net Neutrality' http://savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality.

11   Tim Wu, 'In the Grip of the Internet Monopolists', Wall Street Journal, 13 November 2010, http://online.wsj.com.

12  'Google Takes Home Half of Worldwide Mobile Internet Ad Revenues,' 13 July 2013, http://emarketer.com.

13   IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report: 2013 Full Year Results, April 2014, http://iab.net.

14   Prabhat Patnaik, 'The State Under Neo-liberalism,' MRZine, 8 October 2010, http://mrzine.month

       lyreview.org.

15   Cited in Camille Stewart, '35 Senators Ask Tough Questions Re: Internet Transition,' 2 April 2014, http://thedigitalcounselor.com.

16   See the 'NETmundial Initiative for Internet Governance Cooperation and Development', World Economic Forum.

17   'Tunis Agenda for the Information Society,' World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva 2003-Tunis 2005 (dated 18 November 2005), https://www.itu.int.

18   Milton Mueller, Networks and States: The Global Politics of Internet Governance, MIT Press, 2010; Richard Hill, 'WSIS+10: The Search for Consensus,' Latin America in Movement, No. 494, April 2014, http://alainet.org.

19  'Tshwane Declaration - India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum,' 18 October 2011, http://vascopresscom.blogspot.in.

20  'India's Proposal for a United Nations Committee for Internet-Related Policies (CIRP),' 2011, http://itforchange.net.

21   Prabir Purkayastha, 'WCIT - Why the US and Its Allies Walked Out,' 27 December 2012, http://newsclick.in; Richard Hill, The New International Telecommunication Regulations and the Internet: A Commentary and Legislative History, Schulthess/Springer, 2013; Richard Hill, 'WCIT: Failure or Success, Impasse or Way Forward?,' International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Vol. 21, No. 3 (2013).

22   Dilma Rousseff, statement to the UN General Assembly, 68th session, 24 September 2013, http://gadebate.un.org/68/brazil.

23   Just Net Coalition, 'Response to the Outcome Document', http://justnetcoalition.org/jnc-response-netmundial-outcome-document

24   Just Net Coalition, 'JNC Comments on the June 2014 WSIS+10 High Level Event', http://justnetcoalition.org/sites/default/files/WSIS10_statement_5.pdf

25   'Scoping Document,' http://www. icann.org/en/about/agreements/iana/iana-transition-scoping-08apr14-en.pdf.

26   Milton Mueller, 'ICANN: Anything That Doesn't Give IANA to Me Is Out of Scope,' 16 April 2014, http://internetgovernance.org.

27   Steve DelBianco, ICANN's policy chair for the Business Constituency, has said, 'Ultimately, I think that most of us in the ICANN community want the same thing: an accountable, stable organisation that maintains its commitment to private-sector-led, multistakeholder management of the DNS.' DelBianco, 'The Path Forward: Accountability Through the IANA Transition,' 23 March 2014, http://circleid.com.

28   Just Net Coalition, 'Comments on the IANA Transition and ICANN Accountability', http://justnetcoalition.org/comments-iana-transition-and-icann-accountability

*Third World Resurgence No. 287/288, July/August 2014, pp 25-31


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