The European Commission (EC) has urged nations to stick together on internet governance for the benefit of the entire web community, noting that issues such as France's concerns with the .wine and .vin domains must be tackled together.
“It was the demonstration that the multi-stakeholder model works, and that it can produce concrete outcomes. The result can make the multi-stakeholder model more inclusive, transparent and sustainable in the long term,” she said.
However, Kroes said future discussions must include all stakeholders as decisions made about the internet affect many areas of business, government and everyday life. Kroes cited the recent concerns from the French about how the .wine and .vin domains will be handed out as proof of this.
“We have to make sure that the technologists and the policy makers talk more, and better. Nowhere as in Icann is it crystal clear that apparently 'technical' decisions can have deep public policy implications,” she said.
"You have to recognise the rights and responsibilities of governments to care about those issues. You cannot ignore their role. The debate over dot wine is damaging, for example.
"It's damaging to Icann's credibility. But – more significantly, more worryingly – it could damage the whole multi-stakeholder model on which it is based.”
Kroes said issues such as this must not weaken the good work that has been done to make internet governance a strong, cross-government affair.
“The internet is a global, common resource. Its benefits stem from its global nature. While governments' ability to apply local laws should be preserved, of course, we all have too much to lose if we allow the internet to become fragmented and nationalised,” she added.
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