Reviews – Internet Governance

Top Reviews for Internet Governance: The NETmundial Roadmap


Review posted on by Diego R. Canabarro, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

A must-read for those who want to understand Internet governance today and a great reference guide for those who work with IG. …

The NETmundial Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance was a milestone for the future of the digital era. More than one thousand stakeholders representing governments, civil society groups, the private sector (both ISPs, application providers, and corporate users of the Internet), technical communities, IGOs and INGOs as well as individual users agreed on a set of shared principles and a roadmap to guide the future development of the network and its governance. The future envisioned in São Paulo, in April 2014, was projected on the basis of the recognition of the global character of the network; the imoportance of the protection of human rights and shared values online; the need for a proper balance between the liability of Internet intermediaries and innovation, economic growth, and the free flow of information. In procedurala terms, it enshrined the notion of multistakeholderism as the lynchpin of politics in an interconnected era. This future involves a comprehensive roadmap that touches upon institutional improvements within a highly distributed ecosystem, the importance of an strengthened Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and the permanent discussion of issues such as net neutrality, the challenges posed by the global character of Internet flows at the brink of a shift in the westphalian nature of international politics.

William Drake and Monroe Price have captured the causes and implications of the NETmundial process with this book. Their editorial work put together several highly renowned scholars and practioners involved with Internet governance, yielding an overarching depiction of the political, economic, social, cultural, and institutional struggles that led to the NETmundial meeting and that explain the results achieved by the Internet community in São Paulo. Despite of having a very rich array of topics that stem from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) agenda, the book has a special focus on the IGF and ICANN (the corporation in charge of the Internet root zone), which stand out as the two main focal points for Internet discussions worldwide. Those two governance tracks are at the forefront of the future of the Internet as we approach the conclusion of the WSIS+10 review process before the UN General Assembly in December 2015.

In general terms, the book is a great source of references and analyses of the NETmundial Meeting, its origins and its results. But most importantly, it registers in a lively manner the opinions and the perceptions of those directly involved with the process