What do we mean when we talk about “Internet Governance”? How do we ensure that the internet remains functional technically, socially and politically? In which way is it possible to control our coexistence online? These are some of the issues tackled by the booklet “Who governs the internet?”, which was written by iRights.Lab on behalf of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and originally published in German in September 2016. Due to ongoing high demand, the Foundation has now published an English edition.
“Who governs the internet? Players and fields of action” introduces the topic of Internet Governance and is updated to reflect recent developments up to November 2017. The outline remains unchanged: Renowned authors give an overview of the history of internet regulation, explain regulatory methods and show the ways that the process might be shaped. The work also presents the relevant actors in the field, and a glossary explains the most important concepts and offers links for further reading, and hints on where to look for more information and additional literature, so as to help the reader continue to explore the subject.
On the one hand, “Who governs the internet?” addresses those who want to get an initial overview of the topic of internet governance; but it also sets out the current state of debates, so that experienced internet users can get up to speed on the latest developments.
The many fields of internet regulation are diverse and complex – and they relate to infrastructure and collaboration in development, human and civil rights, security policy and the development of legislation. As Johanna Niesyto, Head of Media Policy at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, sums up in her foreword: “The stakes are high in today’s digital society. Equitable access to the internet; human and civil rights; the right to social, cultural, and economic participation; fair trade; and ensuring that the ‘net of nets’ is working smoothly and securely at all times”.
The brochure’s focus is on the following key questions which this ongoing process is attempting to answer:
- How can online civil liberties best be safeguarded for all?
- What should global online trade look like?
- Who is working to ensure that the technical infrastructure of the internet will keep running smoothly in the future?
In order that everyone can continue to have equal access to the internet, its development cannot stand still, but it has to be constantly encouraged in light of these central questions.
You can download the brochure here for free (PDF, ~5 MB).