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Thursday, September 4 • 2:30pm - 4:00pm
WS96: Accountability challenges facing Internet governance today

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Critics of multistakeholder Internet governance have long focused on ICANN accountability and transparency. But issues of who is accountable to whom exist throughout the Internet governance ecosystem. Traditionally, Internet technical organizations have prided themselves on the way that people participated as individuals, rather than as representatives of organizations or businesses, when developing standards and policy. However, as the Internet has grown and become more integrated with all aspects of life, more stakeholders are wishing to participate. Resource limitations, however, mean individual voices are becoming less common and more organizations are beginning to represent, or claim to represent, their communities in wider Internet governance discussions. In addition, as more stakeholders enter Internet governance discussions, it becomes more difficult to assess via direct experience whether the individuals and those stating that they representing wider groups of stakeholders are acting as responsible stakeholders or have other reasons for engaging in processes.

This workshop will discuss accountability mechanisms and gaps in today’s hybrid multistakeholder Internet governance system where stakeholders participate as individuals, as representatives of organizations or groups of stakeholders, or as representatives of entire nation states. Using accountability literature available in (non-Internet) governance as a starting point, the workshop will examine ways to strengthen the accountability mechanisms available to:

• Stakeholders participating directly in multistakeholder Internet governance decision-making processes;
• Organizations representing the collective voice of their communities in high-level Internet governance discussions such as the UN and IGF; and
• Organizations tasked with implementing policies and decisions by their stakeholders.

avatar for Samantha Dickinson

Samantha Dickinson

Internet governance consultant and writer, Lingua Synaptica
Samantha Dickinson is a writer and Internet governance consultant at Lingua Synaptica, with expertise in analyzing and explaining Internet-related issues under discussion at ICANN and at intergovernmental forums including the ITU, CSTD and UNGA. She live tweets Internet governance meetings and is followed and read by a wide range of Internet governance participants from the Internet technical community, civil society and the business sector, as... Read More →


Laura DeNardis

Professor, American University
Dr. Laura DeNardis is a scholar of Internet architecture and governance, a Senior Fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and a Professor in the School of Communication at American University. Her books include The Global War for Internet Governance (Yale University Press 2014); Opening Standards: The Global Politics of Interoperability (MIT Press 2011); Protocol Politics: The Globalization of Internet Governance... Read More →

Remote Moderators

Thursday September 4, 2014 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Workshop Room 09 (Rumeli -1 Floor / Room 6)