Internet Governance debate: what are our beliefs?

Source: The Internet Governance debate is complex as it involves a lot of concepts, institutions and interest groups.

Reading time: 3 min

Javier Serina/ @javseri

Public Policy Manager of Telefónica 

The Internet Governance debate is complex as it involves a lot of concepts, institutions and interest groups. The correct approach to find suitable solutions for all is going from the basis to the more concrete, and we consider that the basis here are some principles and ideas that should pervade the on-going discussions.

From our point of view, these ideas should be present in the debates:

  • It is key to restore trust and confidence for the usage of Digital Services and Internet. This can be done by finding general global principles for privacy & security; the conference in Brazil is a good opportunity and start
  • This set of principles should be based in the open nature of the Internet
  • The Global Internet model must be preserved. We support the development of legal rules and policy frameworks that lead to certain and predictable outcomes which will foster the continued development of the Internet as a global platform for commerce, services and content
  • We need to evolve the policy models of Global Internet Governance by building on its existing foundations. This needs to be done through involvement of all stakeholders, including governments, in an open manner and on equal footing
  • Evolution of Internet governance principles and frameworks must be a methodical process that applies careful work and analysis to understand the options for further progress, while ensuring that the changes would also enhance the security, stability, privacy, resiliency, and economical and societal benefits of the global Internet
  • We support the internationalization process of Internet organizations and bodies to reflect the globalization of Internet
  • Internet architecture should be based on commercial agreements among actors. Consumer trust is at the core of our business and implies their confidence in the level of privacy and security we offer. We don’t support imposed rules without clear and enough reasons behind. Rules should be the same for equivalent services and should not distort competence among actors coming from different industries, technologies or geographies
  • Policymakers and regulators need to keep track with the digital revolution and specifically we ask them to:
    • Analyse the evolving new markets from a consumer perspective and treating all services fair and equal, independent from the underlying technology. For example, new Internet communication services (e.g. messaging like WhatsApp) are from a consumer perspective already equivalent to traditional communication (e.g. SMS) but regulation applying to it is very different
    • In dynamic and fast-changing digital markets, case-by-case decisions are less likely to restrict growth and innovation than regulation. More and better competition law overview about digital market, intervening fast when anti-competitive behaviour emerges, is better than ex-ante regulation, trying to predict all possible market behaviours and potential new business models.
    • Should new policies be needed, they must be forward-looking and allow for flexibility of regulatory authorities to apply the rules while securing an investment-friendly environment

This year is key for the future of the Internet. Let’s work together to deliver the best services and applications to citizens!


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