Supporting an Open and Inclusive Internet in Brazil

Woman Uses a Laptop at an Internet Governance Forum in Brazil

This week, we head to São Paulo, Brazil, to attend NETmundial, a global meeting of governments, entrepreneurs, academics, Internet institutions, activists and users to discuss the future of Internet governance.  Over two days delegates will discuss and work toward developing a set of principles to guide international Internet governance activities in the future.  We will also try to construct a roadmap for the evolution of the existing multi-stakeholder system of Internet governance to increase its inclusiveness, transparency, and responsiveness to the needs of underrepresented communities.

The United States will work with other delegations to expand the community of individuals, organizations, firms, and governments who are willing to put their faith in the proven multi-stakeholder system of cooperation and coordination;  this system has enabled the unprecedented growth of the global Internet, which in turn has fueled economic development and innovation.  Along with most of the world’s Internet advocates and users, we believe that no one stakeholder or group of stakeholders, including governments, should have control over the operation or protocols of the Internet or the creativity, innovation, and freedom of expression that it enables.

With the help of those who share our faith in the Internet community and its potential, success in São Paulo will represent a significant step towards preserving and protecting the social and economic advancement that the Internet is making possible throughout the world.

NETmundial and multistakeholder fora like it provide an excellent opportunity to preserve and strengthen the Internet’s vitality for our children, our civil society, our entrepreneurs, our constituents, and our economies.  As an indicator of our commitment to that goal and of our faith in the multistakeholder system to achieve it, the U.S. government recently announced its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder-community. We expect that the community will use a transparent process to construct a proposal that will maintain the multistakeholder nature of Internet governance institutions while ensuring that they preserve and strengthen their accountability for the proper execution of those functions critical to the operation of the Internet.  We truly believe in the community of users, firms, activists, technologists, and academics that love, study, and improve the internet, and we believe they will act in the public interest.

We are optimistic that NETmundial will make an important contribution to the positive evolution of the Internet and its governance, and we support efforts at NETmundial and beyond to preserve an, open, inclusive, resilient, interoperable, and innovative global Internet. Within that framework, we offer our comments on the second draft of the NETmundial outcome document.

About the Authors: Michael Daniel serves as Special Assistant to the President and White House Cybersecurity Coordinator.  Lawrence E. Strickling serves as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Administrator, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.  Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda serves as U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy at the U.S. Department of State. Christopher Painter serves as Coordinator for Cyber Issues at the U.S. Department of State. Scott Busby serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

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