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ICANN Warns Against Government Control of the Internet

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ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom, speaking at the recent Internet Governance Forum (IGF), said that all Internet stakeholders must strive to keep Internet governance out of the hands of intergovernmental organizations. If governments get more involved in the Internet, Beckstrom argues that "most Internet users—businesses, service providers, nonprofits, and consumers—would be shut out of the governance debate." The future of the IGF is set to be decided at a United Nations General Assembly meeting in December.

Beckstrom said the proof of the multi-stakeholder model lies in the successful operation of the Internet. "If governance were to become the exclusive province of nation states or captured by any other interests, we would lose the foundation of the Internet's long-term potential and transformative value," he warned. Beckstrom praised the IGF as a valuable public forum where all stakeholders are equally represented to address these issues for the common good. "Its greatest values are its egalitarian philosophy and its inclusiveness," he said.

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