Non-Commercial Internet Users Issue Statement on World Summit
The Non-Commercial Users Constituency of ICANN issued a brief statement for the WSIS Forum held March 4th at the ICANN Rome Conference. Milton Mueller issued the following statement:
The Non-Commercial Users Constituency sees the World Summit on the Information Society as a way of mobilizing additional civil society participants in international communication and information policy issues. We favor this.
In regards to ability of Civil Society Organizations to participate in policy making processes, ICANN compares favorably to the UN Summit and to most international organizations. We appreciate this, and we publicize it.
The NCUC welcomes the creation of the UN Working Group on Internet governance, however, for two reasons:
1. It increases the accountability of ICANN
2. It is necessary to broaden discussion of Internet Governance issues.
ICANN will figure prominently in the UN Working Group discussions. It is a way of integrating ICANN-Internet Governance into the broader international system. Specifically, the (real or apparent) role of US interests and US Governent in ICANN is a point of contention, and it was inevitable that UN system and governments would take this on. The Working Group will have a dialogue about that. There is real potential to do good. Internet Governance debate is not so "confused." What's confused is the patchwork quilt of governance arrangements that exist now.
We have stated since the beginning that ICANN makes public policy regarding specific aspects of the Internet. So do a number of other international organizations. The UN Working Group on Internet Governance can develop consensus on basic principles regarding what the Internet is and how it can be treated in an international regime. There is some potential for harm and some potential for good. NCUC members will be key participants in the Working Group process, both as constituency representatives and in their capacity as experts in various aspects of policy.