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Tuesday, December 6 • 14:40 - 15:00
[LIGHTNING SESSION] Internet infrastructure, global technical standards and SDGs

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[20-Minute Lightning Session]

Many different crucial Internet governance documents, from the WSIS + 10 review to the
NetMundial multistakeholder statement, to the latest report of UN Special Rapporteur Kaye
say that the infrastructure of the Internet must be managed such that it serves the public interest. Some Standard Developing Organizations (SDOs) clearly state what they believe this
public interest to be and how to achieve it, see for instance IETF RFC 1958:
“The current exponential growth of the network seems to show that connectivity is its own
reward, and is more valuable than any individual application such as mail or the World-Wide
Web. The key to global connectivity is the inter-networking layer.”
Global standards that ensure interoperability are crucial to maintain the Internet as a human
rights enabling medium. Yet, the debate about the impact of the Internet on issues like human
rights and SDGs, mostly takes place on a political, regulatory or commercial level, seemingly
ignoring the power of the Internet’s infrastructure and the organizations managing it.
This session will explore the relation between SDOs and Internet Governance Bodies (IGB)
building and influencing the Internet’s infrastructure and human rights. More specifically we
will discuss the following issue: what is the role of different SDOs in maintaining a global
Internet based on global standards? The debate will foster discussion on how the, often
contravening interests and objectives of SDOs and IGBs, can be balanced such that it allows
them to maintain the Internet’s technical architecture, while enabling human rights and SDGs.

Session Organizers

Tuesday December 6, 2016 14:40 - 15:00 CST
Lightning Session Area