Internet Membership

Document Sample
Internet Membership Powered By Docstoc
					      Membership Survey on Internet
      Governance – 2009
      May 2009

      The Internet Society conducted a survey1 of its members on the topic of Internet
      Governance (IG) in May 2009. The purpose of the survey was to assist ISOC in
      addressing Internet governance issues in the discussion up to and including the
      Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Sharm El Sheikh in November 2009. It is
      also designed to help ISOC contribute to the current consultation2 on “the
      desirability of the continuation of the Forum in formal consultation with Forum
      participants” after 2010.
      The IGF provides the framework of an institutionalized international dialogue on
      the subject of Internet Governance. Following the two phases of the World
      Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) – Geneva 2003 and Tunis 2005 – the
      United Nations has planned to hold annual IGF meetings until 2010 to provide a
      forum for discussing a range of issues of importance in the area of ICTs, the
      Internet, and economic development.
      Since the very first Internet governance discussions, the Internet Society has
      been fully engaged in the Internet Governance debate3 and has been a firm
      advocate of multi-stakeholder, democratic, and transparent participation.
      The survey attracted responses from 24 chapter delegates and from individuals
      representing organization members from 19 countries. Their participation
      provided the Internet Society with an understanding of the state of the Internet
      governance debate in their countries.


Internet Society        Galerie Jean-Malbuisson 15   Tel: +41 22 807 1444      1775 Wiehle Ave.           Tel: +1 703 439 2120
                        CH-1204 Geneva               Fax: +41 22 807 1445      Suite 201                  Fax: +1 703 326 9881
                        Switzerland               Reston, VA 20190, USA      Email:
I. ISOC members’ IGF experience

The survey shows that ISOC members continue to be highly involved in the IGF,
and that they put a lot of effort into preparing for this event, especially at the local
level. The consultation shows that 46% of respondents participated in past IGF
meetings (Athens 2006, Rio 2007, and Hyderabad 2008). This proportion should
be maintained, with 42% of respondents indicating they will participate in the next
IGF meeting in Sharm El Sheik (November 2009). A significant number of these
members (80%) have met, or are planning to meet, with local policy makers to
discuss Internet Governance issues and prepare for Sharm El Sheik.

II. Topics for discussion in Sharm El Sheik

Respondents were asked to rate the importance of the four key themes of the
Internet Governance Forum. Access and Security were selected as the most
critical issues, closely followed by Openness.

The IGF Secretariat’s planning document outlines issues within these four
themes. In anticipation of the next IGF meeting in Sharm El Sheik, respondents
were asked to indicate if these issues were top priorities. Within the theme of

                                         Membership Survey on Internet Governance | May 2009   2
improving access to the Internet, 43% of respondents ranked “National and
international regulatory issues” as the top priority. Twenty-five percent of the
interviewees also designated “Infrastructure” as the top priority. The other Access
issues rated well behind: “National and regional backbones” (8%),
“Interconnection costs” (8%), “Modes of access and regulatory challenges” (8%),
“Enabling Internet Exchange Points” (4%), “Safety and redundancy of access”
(4%), and “Issues in mobile access” (0%).

Within the theme of Openness/Security, among ten issues, 37% of the
respondents considered “Regulatory models for privacy and cyber-security”
as the top priority, and 25% identified “Ensuring the open architecture of the
Internet” as the issue of the highest importance. “Respect for privacy as a
business advantage” and issues such as “Identity theft and information leakage”
were pointed to by 17% of the participants.

                                       Membership Survey on Internet Governance | May 2009   3
Within the field of Critical Internet Resources, 31% of the respondents estimated
that “Enhanced cooperation” is the top priority; 30% designated “Transition to
IPv6” as the most important issue.

III. Taking stock and the way forward

A large majority of the respondents (62%) considered that the Internet
Governance Forum does not have a direct impact on their governments nor their
institutions. It was noted that the format of the forum was not appropriate: too
many issues covered, with a lack of pragmatism, generating a feeling of
In the mean time, many of them also recognized that the IGF has an indirect
impact in the following ways:
 • Creating a space for debate of sensitive issues
 • Enhancing multi-stakeholderism in Internet policy formulation at national and
   international levels
 • Providing guidelines for policy-makers
 • Raising awareness among Internet users and governments (eg. IPv6)
 • Sharing information and comparing national experiences
 • Enhancing participation of developing countries in international discussions.
Additionally, 83% of the respondents expressed their desire for the IGF to
continue past its initial five-year mandate.

The following suggestions have been made to improve the Internet Governance
Forum in the future:
 • Balancing participation between governments, business, and civil society
   (which they felt were underrepresented). This could be done by increasing the

                                       Membership Survey on Internet Governance | May 2009   4
  availability of grants to the later category. Also, within the business community,
  it is recommended to find ways to diversify industries represented (such as
  ISPs, content developers, and TLDs).

 • Focussing the discussions within the Forum. Generally, the workshop
   format was assessed as a good one. However, it was suggested that the
   approach of the workshops should be more local and more pragmatic. The
   objective would be to identify agreed findings which would foster cooperation
   at the international level. Many respondents expressed the necessity of
   establishing an annual progress report on the issues discussed in IGF which
   would be the IGF Secretariat’s responsibility. One respondent indicated a
   desire for greater emphasis on specific issues such as net neutrality and
   governance at the local level.

 • Ensuring the forum stays a neutral place for discussion. Some
   respondents believe the IGF secretariat should ensure a greater continuity in
   the process of the Forum (preparations and follow-up of the outcomes).
   However, only one of them believes the IGF should be provided the status of a
   decision-making body.

 • Advertising better the outcomes of the IGF, which also implies attracting

   more journalists to the event itself.

Note on Methodology
The survey of ISOC members was conducted using a web-based instrument over
a period of three weeks from 16 April 2009 to 6 May 2009. The results are
indicative, but are not considered statistically meaningful. The tables and data
presented in this report are compiled to present trends and proportions intended
to be useful in developing the 2009 Internet Governance Forum. Percentages
may not always add to 100% due to rounding and selection of categories.

                                       Membership Survey on Internet Governance | May 2009   5