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No. 210 The Technical Community Role in Global Internet Governance

George Sadowsky



Internet Governance Principles

Within Internet governance, the technical community plays a special role. Operational and governance modalities for the Internet are both enhanced and constrained by the technical characteristics of what is to be governed. The Internet is a marvel of uer-oriented engineering, allowing users with very little technical knowledge to access a wealth of communications capabilities and content.  It is less obvious that this ease of use is built upon the cumulative work of tens of thousands of participants, resulting iin thousands of standards, devices, and programs created by that large and disciplined group of people. Membership in the community is defined implicitly by competence and substantial accomplishment, recognized by members of the technical community.

This special status and the cultures of the technical community that made Internet evolution possible and permeate it need to be better understood within the context of the evolving multistakeholder model. What specific aspects of governance, if any, should be relegated to the technical community? What individuals within academia fit within this stakeholder group, and why? How can this particular community best interact with other stakeholders to promote effective cooperation?

Our  goals are to more clearly identify the scope of the technical community's membership, and to further examine the technical community’s role in governance and what it beings uniquely to the overall enterprise.

Has the proponent organised a workshop with a similar subject during past IGF meetings?


Background Paper

No background paper provided

Session Type




Mr. George Sadowsky, ICANN, Technical Community, UNITED STATES, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOG

Mr. William Drake, University of Zurich, Civil Society, SWITZERLAND, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOG

Have the Proponent or any of the co-organisers organised an IGF workshop before?


The link(s) to the workshop report(s)







Panellists and Moderator

Invited panellists, individuals and organisations

= panellist or organisation has been confirmed

Please click on Biography to view the biography of panelllist

William Drake, Professor, Media Change and Innovation, Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research, University of Zurich, Male, Civil Society, SWITZERLAND, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOGBiography

Matthew Shears, Center for Democracy and Technology, Male, Civil Society, UNITED KINGDOM, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOGBiography

Christine Arida, Director for Telecom Services and Planning, National Telecom Regulatory Authority, Government of Egypt, Female, Government, EGYPT, African GroupBiography

Anne-Rachel Inné, Chief Operating Officer, AFRINIC, Female, Technical Community, NIGER, African GroupBiography

Zahid Jamil, Partner, Jamil and Jamil Law Offices, Male, Private Sector, PAKISTAN, Asia-Pacific GroupBiography


George Sadowsky, Male, ICANN, Technical Community, United States

Remote Moderator

Not yet chosen, will be selected based upon the manner of remote participation to be implemented.


Discussion among panelists with further participation from the audience.

Inclusiveness of the Session

Given the interest in multistakeholder approaches in the large, in addition to implications of their implementation in the specific instance of Internet governance, we believe that the session will attract a significant number of people with quite varying points of view.  Issues in this workshop have been both the direct and indirect targets of recent posts in listservs focusing on Internet governance, and we expect that active participants in those discussions will participate in IGF in Bali.
The size of the panel is deliberately small, so that both panelists and audience will have opportunities to speak sufficiently to make their points and yet leave sufficient time for others to do so also.  All sectors are represented on the panel.  The moderator will specifically target responses not only to panel members' presentations, but also to the various policy questions that the topic raises.  We will attempt to assess the degree of convergence of opinion (or lack of it) and articulate this during the session.

Suitability for Remote Participation

This is quite suitable for interaction with remote participants.  I have never set up a remote participation facility before, but there is now a critical mass of experience available to do so.  Between now and Bali I'll investigate the ways of doing this and will looking into setting up some form of remote interaction.

Questions or Comments

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