15 years of ways of Internet governance: Towards a new agenda for action

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The “National Information Infrastructure: Agenda for Action” of the US Department of Commerce (National Telecommunications and Information Administration, NTIA) goes back to fifteen years (1993); the “3rd Internet Governance Forum” (IGF) will be held in Hyderabad (India) on December 3-6, 2008. Between those two dates, several events, documents, programmes, etc., may be regarded as signposts of Internet policy and governance: the European “Bangemann Report”, followed quickly by similar proposals by different countries, the G7’s “Global Information Infrastructure: Agenda for Cooperation”, the two phases of the World Summit on the Information Society (Geneva, December 10-12, 2003 and Tunis November 16-18, 2005), and its subsequent Internet Governance Forums (Athens 2006, Rio de Janeiro 2007, and Hyderabad at the end of 2008), as well as the 2000 eEurope programme updated in eEurope 2002, and eEurope 2005 and the i2010 Initiative, “i2010 - A European Information Society for growth and employment.” Although those documents are not always per se “policy documents” - they are called from time to time objectives, visions, framework, policy guidelines, programmes, etc. The goal of this paper is to derive some of the main social and political issues on Internet Governance that emerge from those programmes and documents. Our perspective and methodology are both historicocritical and thematic.

Keywords: Governance, World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), Internet Governance Forum (IGF), NII, Bangemann, eEurope, i2010, deliberative and participative democracy