RE: [AfrICANN-discuss] Nelie Kroes: I propose a "Compact for the Internet"

Vika Mpisane vika at
Wed Jun 29 18:04:51 SAST 2011

One thing very impressive about Ms. Kroes is her willingness to readily
apply her mind to the matters Internet-related. I find the principles she
advocates below reasonable & quite convincing. Of course, the devil lies in
implementing them. 


Interesting to note there was no African panellist in this OECD event (or am
I wrong)L. See,3746,en_21571361_47081080_47122335_1_1_1_1




Vika Mpisane


+27 11 275 0082


From: africann-bounces at [mailto:africann-bounces at] On
Behalf Of Anne-Rachel Inné
Sent: 28 June 2011 05:16 PM
To: africann at
Subject: [AfrICANN-discuss] Nelie Kroes: I propose a “Compact for the
Today I had the pleasure of speaking at the OECD’s High-Level Meeting on the
Internet Economy
<,3407,en_21571361_47081080_1_1_1_1_1,00.html> .
It is a chance for people across the world – from the US and Japan to Mexico
and South Africa – to get together and talk about the challenges we are

>From how to deliver broadband for all, to how to keep the Internet open.

I spoke about my view of what matters on the Internet. There’s been a lot of
discussion recently about principles which do, or should, underpin the
network. The G8
eedom-and-democracy.1314.html>  recently agreed a few – principles like
openness, freedom, non-discrimination and respect for human rights. Other
bodies, including the OECD itself, are also developing their own.

I think this is a very worthwhile exercise for these bodies – and for the
European Commission, too: it’s clear to me that the Internet is a European
strategic domain – and our stance towards it should be underpinned by the
same values, priorities and interests as everything else we do.

If, like me, you believe that the Internet is a force for positive change in
the world, then it’s worth thinking about what the key features are that we
couldn’t do without, the “internet essentials”, imperative features which
must be preserved if the Internet is to go on playing the role it plays in
the world.

So I’ve set out my own initial ideas about this
t=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en> . I think the main ingredients are

- Civic responsibility. On the internet, we are not atoms. And just as when
we are out in “normal”, offline society, we bear responsibilities to each
other which go beyond the purely legalistic, especially when there is
harmful behaviour out there.
- One internet – we should safeguard the idea that, on the Internet, every
node can communicate with every other. This unity is what allows the
Internet to thrive in the way it has; we need to avoid fragmentation.
- Multistakeholder governance of the Internet – because the participation of
all stakeholders in policy making is a good one, which we support in this
domain and others.
- Pro-democracy. With the right tools – like open access to Government
information, and platforms for collective action – the Internet can become
an instrument supporting democratic life, and we should promote it as such.
- Architecture matters – the architecture of the internet is fundamental to
its dynamics. I’m sure the architecture will change in the future as new
challenges emerge – but we need to be aware of the implications that
different models might have.
- Confidence of users is a prerequisite: barriers to confidence and trust
are barriers to access. If we don’t solve problems like protection of
personal data, privacy and identify; like online safety for children; like
cybercrime and resilience of the network, then people will be turned off the
net and we won’t unlock the Internet’s potential. And finally,
- Transparent governance – so that the multistakeholder model doesn’t fall
apart. In particular we need to be transparent about the role which
government representing their citizens play, and ensure that those views
aren’t ignored.

So you could call this “a Compact for the Internet”.

This isn’t about regulation – as I’ve said before, the Internet should
remain a place of freedom, and regulation should be only an exceptional last
resort; in any case keyhole surgery rather than amputation.

But, as the Internet develops – becomes more and more part of our lives, and
develops into new areas like the Internet of Things – then we need a vision
of what properties of the Internet should remain. (See my speech on the IoT
here <> ).

These are just my initial ideas – I’ll be developing them further over the
coming months. And I want to get your views too; what do you think really
matters about the Internet? Tell me on this blog, or on Twitter:

Anne-Rachel Inne

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