The age of internet connectivity, supercharged by the COVID-19 pandemic is posing a challenge to governments and regulators around the world and, frankly to governance itself. Because, as it has evolved, the issues and dynamics around the internet have become as much about values as they were initially about value. As our cover author Vladimir Radunovic opines, it has shifted from the functional to the political, with real-world consequences in areas like routing, chip manufacture and the rise of the techno-security state. From differences in values and culture emerge different visions of the future architecture of the internet and with them, demands for digital sovereignty. Spreading the benefits of technology depends on the free flow of data and information. Yet states accountable to their citizens – as well as those that aren’t – will continue to expect their perspectives and demands to be taken into account: all understandable, especially for the good actors. Navigating a path between such national interests and those of the wider global community will be very difficult, but it is essential. The future of the internet depends on it.
Chris Chapman, President, IIC
P.S. I recently became a director of ICANN, whose mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global internet. The commentary above is made solely in my capacity as the President of the IIC, which is a non-partisan, non-policy-making organisation dedicated to debate among policymakers, industry and academia. These comments should not in any way be construed as a view expressed on behalf of ICANN or as an ICANN director.
A note to readers from Chris Chapman, President, IIC
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