Plans for a new internet governance body are struggling to get off the ground after blowback from the internet community itself.
The NetMundial Initiative was formally launched three weeks ago as an open source platform that would enable people to collaborate on internet governance issues.
However observers immediately took issue with the fact that before the organizers had done anything to actually build the platform or identify the issues it would tackle, they had created an oversight body where they would pick the members – and they granted themselves “permanent seats.”
Just a week later, the Internet Society – one of the organizations that had been offered a permanent seat – blasted the initiative saying it was “concerned” about “the way in which the NETmundial Initiative is being formed” and noting that it “does not appear to be consistent with the Internet Society’s longstanding principles.” It refused to take up the offer the seat.
That stance was quickly reiterated by one group of civil-society individuals and led to discussions on other civil-society mailing lists about whether to effectively boycott the whole scheme.
The organizers, who had planned for a flood of applications to the 20 positions on its “Coordination Council”, have so far received just 10, with only two weeks left until the announced deadline. And the entire idea of building a list of proposals and ideas for improving the internet’s functioning has managed to attract a solitary contribution.
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