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IGF strategy and strengthening in 2020: Online Discussions Overarching Area 3

‎3.1 Frameworks for addressing emerging Internet issues in the context of cooperation in ‎policy design (part 1)


Tuesday 20 October 2020 – 13:00-17:00 UTC

Overview of topic

Discussion on frameworks for addressing emerging Internet issues. Several ‎organisations and academic institutions are currently developing such frameworks ‎which can have an important impact on how policy is designed.‎

Why is this important? While we have all accepted that the Internet is an essential ‎part of our societies,  it is hard to provide a single definition of what it is. The ‎Internet is not 'one' thing and it is not a monolith. At the same time, in the absence ‎of a definition, it is often hard to analyze its evolution, explain which ‎developments are healthy and which are not, and understand how some ‎approaches could be problematic. On top of that, there is also the tangible danger ‎that the Internet with a capital "I" might simply disappear from the discourse, ‎subsumed by higher level concepts, such Digital economy, Digital transformation, ‎etc..‎

One promising way to address these issues is to look at some of the properties that ‎characterize the Internet. These properties should not be seen in isolation but in ‎conjunction with the benefits they generate. This will allow us to better understand ‎their relationship to the Internet's successful evolution. There are several efforts ‎that follow this approach, for instance the work by the MIT team (W. Lehr, D. ‎Clark et al "Wither the Public Internet"), "The Idealised Internet vs. Internet ‎Realities" by the New America's Cybersecurity Initiative. Finally, the Internet ‎Society work on "Internet Invariants: What Really Matters" and now its further ‎development in the "Critical Properties of the Internet Way of Networking ‎‎(IWN)".‎

The goal of this discussion is to: a. solicit feedback on the properties that are ‎identified by these frameworks and b. to work with the IGF community to identify ‎use cases and case studies that could use such a framework as a guide.‎

Discussion leads

Konstantinos Komaitis and Andrei Robachevsky ISOC


MAG Chair and the Internet Society ‎

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411