On 30 September 2011, 9:00-10:30, the OECD organised a very successful Open Forum at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) on basic principles for Internet policy making to help ensure the Internet remains open and dynamic (Workshop Number 971).
After the Chair’s introduction on the Principles for an Open Internet adopted by the OECD in June 2011, each panellist presented their views on the importance of having principles for an open Internet, how best to encourage wide support for this type of principles, and which principles are of specific importance to them. There was consensus, both by the panel and participants, that having such principles was important. Some, while adhering to the broad principles, expressed concerns with specific text and possible misinterpretations. The Moderator lead a lively discussion, opening the panel for questions from the floor as well as asking participants specific questions directly.
Background documents are available at www.oecd.org/InternetGovernance.
The expert panellists comprised representatives from the OECD Communications and Consumer Policy Division (Dimitri Ypsilanti, Head of Division, chairing the session); Portugal (Luis Magalhães, Professor, President of the Knowledge Society Agency UMIC, moderating the session); the United States Department of State (Ambassador Philip L. Verveer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy); the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications (Alice Munyua); ICANN, on behalf of the Internet Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) to the OECD (Rod Beckstrom, President and CEO); the Association for Progressive Communications, on behalf of the Civil Society Information Society Council to the OECD (Anriette Esterhuysen, CEO); and the United States Council for International Business - USCIB, on behalf of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (Heather Shaw, Vice President, ICT Policy).
The organisers wish to extend their thanks to the expert panellists and all participants for a very engaging and fruitful discussion across a wide range of issues, including:
• The importance of having Internet policy-making principles
• The need to keep the Internet unified and ensure the freedom to connect
• The necessity of multi-stakeholder participation for developing Internet-related policy
• The current proliferation of such Internet principles that do, however, tend to converge substantively
• The importance of bringing such principles forward to bodies such as the Internet Governance Forum and the World Telecommunications Conference in 2012
• The need for risks confronted by Internet intermediaries to be limited by appropriate legal arrangements
• The commitment to freedom of expression and the free flow of information
• The need for developing countries and regions to develop their own principles ensuring ownership and bottom-up processes yet drawing on existing principles such as those of the OECD
• The need to focus on affordable access to the Internet in developing countries
A detailed report regarding the workshop will be made available in due course at www.oecd.org/InternetGovernance.