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Internet Governance and Its Importance

Revelations of controversial surveillance practices by the United States, such as the monitoring of some foreign leaders, have revived a global discussion over Internet governance. Some countries seek to leverage the scandal in order to dilute Washington’s power over some Internet infrastructure?in particular, the processes carried out by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), that U.S.-based nonprofit that handles the unique identifiers responsible for Internet connection.

But a deeper appreciation of Internet governance concerns an entire range of public policy issues, from sovereignty to freedom of expression and more. As divisive public policy issues have turned up, the construct of internet governance has strengthened technical resources management to increase its stability and keep it growing with discussion of behaviors observed from Internet use at the so-called content layer.

Understanding Internet Governance

The term, Internet governance, has changed so much over the decades, and different groups have tried to shape working definitions of it. When the Internet first opened to the bigger public in the mid-1990s, the term meant a small set of policy issues linked to the international management of domain names. However, as the Internet became a unified channel for all kinds of information, this definition grew significantly. In 2005, Internet governance referred to a body of rules affecting Internet use for all governments and the private sector to follow. Information policy experts emphasize that “Internet governance” does not come from an institutional hierarchy, but rather, from the coordination of so many users all over the world, most of whom are in the private sector, such as network and service operators, registries and individuals. In tandem with the said stakeholders, .???

The Role of National Governments

Governments control Internet-related policies within their own boundaries, such as by passing laws that ban online gambling by blocking access to certain types of content. In some cases, authoritarian governments censor social and political content the way it’s done in in traditional media. In a study conducted by a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy nonprofit, more than 50% of participating countries, including the United States, are facing a decline in Internet freedom.

Roughly 50% of Internet users worldwide are found to be experiencing some form of web censorship as well, such as technical blocking of websites and legal take downs. In China, for example, some high-profile bloggers were detained, and this has created an atmosphere of dread that appears to limit Internet activism. Additionally, experts aver that online censorship in certain parts of the world would not occur without the business community’s compliance.

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