CYBER POLITICS & POLICY
Governing the Internet
Presents the two major approaches to internet governance: multistakeholderism and cyber sovereignty.
The pros and cons of each approach are presented, and the Realist, liberal internationalist, and Constructivist paradigms are applied in evaluating them.
At the end of this chapter, students will be able to:
Define governance and relate it to ideas of power, sovereignty, and rule-making
Describe multistakeholder governance in internet regulation
Name major agreements and events in the evolution of multistakeholder governance
Describe the players who participate in multistakeholder governance in the internet area, and how this differs from other types of international governance
Questions for Discussion
In his work, Klimburg describes cyberspace as a four-layered pyramid with the pyramid standing on its head.He describes the first layer as ‘the bones of cyberspace’ – the bones are the hardware of the physical layer, such as undersea cables.
The second layer, which he describes as ‘the neurons and nervous system of cyberspace’ is described as ‘the coded behavior of the domain:the various computer protocols and software programs.”
The third layer, which he compares to human muscle systems, is data – business documents, and scientific inquiries, and all of the information which the internet houses.
Finally, the largest layer is the social layer, which he describes as ‘the actual internet of people, the total sum of human actions and aspirations in cyberspace.” (29)
As you think about these four layers -- hardware, software, data, and social media –
Which layers do you think should be regulated by a particular state as a matter of sovereignty, and
Which layers would need to be regulated internationally through either multilateralism or a multistakeholder approach.
Also, how optimistic or pessimistic are you about the ability to define and create norms regarding state behavior in relation to each of these layers of the internet?