IGF 2023 Town Hall #137 Reviving Internet Governance and Decentralization

Issue(s)

Harmonising Global Digital Infrastructure

Debate - 60 Min

Description

In 2018 IGF, we organized a workshop about Internet consolidation (https://apps.intgovforum.org/en/content/igf-2018-ws-275-before-you-know…) and how it could potentially make Internet governance irrelevant. Since that workshop, different initiatives and organizations (Internet Society for example) have monitored and studied Internet consolidation further. We believe we should go beyond discussing the issue and come up with solutions. During this session we propose a solution for re-decentralizing the Internet through technical and policy solutions. We discuss different attempts at bringing data security and privacy and decentralization of data flow across the Internet. We explain our approach on decentralizing Domain Name System Resolvers and discuss the pros and cons of the approach and how it can be replicated in the future.
We are in the process of developing the technical solution and the required policies for inducing decentralization in DNS resolvers and make local DNS resolvers self-sufficient and secure. This session can help us with steering that effort, raise awareness about the project but also spark some new ideas among the Internet community on how we can decentralize the Internet through collective action and with good old tools.
Policy questions:
What are some of the technical and policy solutions to decentralize the Internet?
What is the role of each stakeholder in starting a global collective action to decentralize and make the Internet more secure?
How would decentralization contribute to freedom of expression and efficiency and security of networks?

In order for the onsite participants to ask a question, we ask them to preferably log-into the virtual room and raise their hand but also engage with the online participants. We also create a mini-virtual campaign before the event about the session which helps participants to attend online. We also train our online participants and the presenters before the event.
We also use the existing UN best practices (those relevant to us)https://unsceb.org/sites/default/files/2020-09/Digital%20%26%20Technolo… and other sectors best practices (especially civil society best practices on how to protect people against cyber vandalism) to help with supporting IGF and host country representing in case of unfortunate incidents.

Organizers

DigitalMedusa
Farzaneh Badii, Digital Medusa, Civil Society, US
Jonathan Brewer, Consultant, Technical Community, New Zealand

Speakers

Farzaneh Badii, Digital Medusa, Civil Society, US (WEOG)
Jonathan Brewer, Consultant, Technical Community, New Zealand
Danny O'Brien, FileCoin, Private Sector, US (WEOG)
A representative from civil society/academia
DNS resolver operators and IXP operators in developing countries

Onsite Moderator

Farzaneh Badii

Online Moderator

Anju Mangal

Rapporteur

Farzaneh Badii

SDGs

9.2
9.5
9.b


Targets: Decentralization of the Internet and prevention of Internet consolidation can contribute to developing reliable and sustainable Internet infrastructure around the world. Decentralization can also enhance countries technological capability as it tries to distribute the operators of networks across different geographies and locations. Decentralization of networks can especially help with technology development, research and innovation as provision of services do not remain in the hands of a few providers.