New Paper on Cyber Sovereignty v. Distributed Internet Governance

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On November 30, 2016, Laura DeNardis, Gordon Goldstein, and Ambassador David A. Gross presented their new paper, “The Rising Geopolitics of Internet Governance: Cyber Sovereignty v. Distributed Governance at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPS) on November 30, 2016. The paper was part of the Columbia SIPS Tech & Policy Initiative and the panel discussion was moderated by Columbia SIPA Dean Merit Janow.

 Internet governance is at a crossroads. The 21st century has given rise to two incommensurable visions for the global Internet and how it is governed. One envisions a universal network that generally supports the free flow of information and whose governance is distributed across the private sector, governments and new global institutions in an approach that has historically been described as “multistakeholder” governance. This vision has materialized, albeit imperfectly, in how the Internet and its coordination has historically progressed and is an approach advocated by the United States government and many other countries. This is the model of Internet governance that has dominated throughout the past decade. The competing vision advocates for greater multilateral and top-down administration of the Internet in the name of social order, national cyber sovereignty, and tighter control of information flows. China and other countries interested in greater administrative control over the flow of information have been vocal proponents of a more multilateral approach to Internet governance. These visions are often debated using the language of abstract theoretical constructs but they involve actual policy choices that have arisen in particular historical contexts and whose future will have tangible effects on American foreign policy interests, American values of freedom of expression and innovation, the global digital economy, and the stability and resiliency of Internet infrastructure itself. This paper provides some historical context to the rise of distributed Internet governance, describes some of the key geopolitical conflicts that involve incommensurability between the ideology of national sovereignty and the technical topology and transnational characteristics of private Internet infrastructure, and argues for the preservation of private-sector-led multistakeholder governance rather than a shift to greater government control.

 

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Dr. Denardis gives insights at the Atlantic Council’s DC Workshop on a Transatlantic Digital Agenda, July 21, 2015

This morning, Dr. Denardis participated in the Atlantic Council’s DC Workshop on the Transatlantic Digital Agenda. The Atlantic Council promotes engagement and research in international relations. The Council has an important function in reviewing and remedying globally significant economic and political issues. It serves as a task force comprised of international thought leaders who help to navigate economic and political challenges of the modern world. The task force informs and shapes international community by recommending strategies on how to create a safer, wealthier and more peaceful environment. It has developed many programs and initiatives in order for international communities to understand many modern global issues.

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Dispatch from the 65th ICA Annual Conference, San Juan, PR, May 21 – 25, 2015

Tatevik and Andrea with Bill  Herman, Professor at CUNY
Tatevik and Andrea with Bill Herman, Professor at CUNY

By Tatevik Sargsyan

Tatevik Sargsyan and Andrea Hackl, PhD candidates at American University’s School of Communication, presented findings from their joint study on the enactment of social media’s speech policies at the International Communication Association’s annual conference Communication Across the Life Span in San Juan, PR. Read More »