Much of the public policy discussion in Internet circles in recent months – including the Global INET conference in Geneva last month celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Internet Society - has been on the topic of Internet governance: how to steer the Internet to balance the diverse objectives of its numerous stakeholders.
The debates around control versus creativity, voluntary versus mandatory, centralized versus distributed, have counterparts in other dialogues on how society should share and sustain vital resources. Humans have been forming and reforming structures for balancing stakeholders’ interests in the world’s often limited resources for millennia.
But the Internet is different than nearly every other resource, natural or constructed, that humans have aspired to govern in two fundamental ways. First, it encompasses vast computational capabilities, even an emergent form of distributed intelligence. Second, those capabilities are not only renewable, but they are expanding at a dramatic pace.Read more