The Internet – critical to our lives: are we sure it’s reliable? – WS 03 2009

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14 September 2009 | 14:15-15:45
Programme overview 2009

Keywords and questions

Addresses; domain names; trademarks; naming issues; ICANN JPA & IANA contract; responsibilities regarding namespace; new gTLDs and IDNs; mobile Internet, digital dividend, IPV6; DNSSEC

Session focus

Workshop focus: The Internet is a critical resource, but what does that mean? Is it managed as such? Are the current arrangements sufficient? And what are the major challenges to the future stability of the network? What are the roles of the different stakeholders? How are operational decisions made and coordinated (and funded)? What is the influence of national requirements? How does national work take into account wider international circumstances (bearing in mind that one country’s network can impact another’s)? If the Internet is considered as critical information infrastructure, what does that mean for our decisions and co-operation in reaching the decisions?


There was some consensus about the Internet being “always available”. The reliability of (dependency on) the Internet was considered to be very important. Consequently, this requires better preparation for crises, in particular by conducting national and international exercises.

Notwithstanding the technical and economic requirements for connecting the billions of people who are not yet connected, the importance of education and awareness raising and also the ease of use technologies and user interfaces was underlined in order to make the Internet a true commodity for all.

With the evolution of the Internet, national and international collaboration and co-ordination between actors needs to develop simultaneously. In this connection, it was suggested that co-regulation should supplement self-regulation measures.

The reference to the “reliability” of the Internet was understood by many as including the integrity of, and confidentiality and safety for, users. Attention and focus on this aspect of “reliability” was raised.