Internet governance

Internet governance describes the control put in place to manage the growth of the Internet and its usage. Governance is traditionally undertaken by government, but the global nature of the Internet makes it less practical for a government to control cyberspace. Dyson (1998) says:

Now, with the advent of the Net, we are privatising government in a new way - not only in the traditional sense of selling things off to the private sector, but by allowing organisations independent of traditional governments to take on certain 'government' regulatory

Internet governance

Control of the operation and use of the Internet.

roles. These new international regulatory agencies will perform former government functions in counterpoint to increasingly global large companies and also to individuals and smaller private organisations who can operate globally over the Net.

The US approach to governance, formalised in the Framework for Global Electronic Commerce in 1997 is to avoid any single country taking control. Dyson (1998) describes different layers of jurisdiction. These are:

1 physical space comprising each individual country where their own laws such as those governing taxation, privacy and trading and advertising standards hold;

2 ISPs - the connection between the physical world and the virtual world;

3 domain name control (www.icann.net) and communities;

4 agencies such as TRUSTe (www.truste.org).

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