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Internet governance


Policies and mechanisms for Internet governance have been topics of debate between many different Internet stakeholders, some of whom have very different opinions for how and indeed whether the Internet should facilitate free communication of ideas and information.


The definition of Internet governance has been contested by differing groups across political and ideological lines. One of the main debates concerns the authority and participation of certain actors, such as national governments and corporate entities, to play a role in the Internet’s governance.

A Working group established after a United Nations-initiated World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) proposed the following definition of Internet governance as part of its June 2005 report:

Internet governance is the development and application by Governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.[1]

Law professor Yochai Benkler developed a conceptualization of Internet governance by the idea of three “layers” of governance: the “physical infrastructure” layer through which information travels; the “code” or “logical” layer that controls the infrastructure; and the “content” layer, which contains the information that signals through the network.[2]


  1. ^ WGIG (2005), p.4. Available at: http://www.wgig.org/docs/WGIGREPORT.pdf
  2. ^ Yochai Benkler, From Consumers to Users: Shifting the Deeper Structures of Regulation Towards Sustainable Commons and User Access, 52 Fed. Comm. L.J. 561, (2000).


This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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