Internet Governance

Michel Foucault’s concept of governmentality is a combination of the words “government”, “mentality”, and “rationality”. With this word, Foucault whishes’ to explain a regulation rationale in which governments can exercise power, and thereby control and regulate it’s habitants trough discrete technologies and mechanisms (Lindgreen, 2007, s. 339).

The Internet can be described as a stateless arena where individuals, government agencies, organizations and commercial market forces together organize themselves and develop in many different directions. When the Internet, however, is mentioned as a unified identity, it shall be read as a collection of all the actors and standards that create a network. For example, organizations such as the independent non-profit organizations IAB, ISOC, WC3, IETF, ITU and ICANN, along with private companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, and governmental and political bodies help to control, regulate and renew the Internet infrastructure. The Internet has become a place with need for rules, but who will create them? Political institutions have coined a term for this kind of regulation, Internet Governance that is described as:

Internet governance is the development and application by governments, the private sector, and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures and programs, that shape the evolution and utilization of the Internet. (De Bossey, 2005, s. 1)

My question is then, why is it government agencies that control the Internet and not the people?

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One comment

  1. Very interesting post, and regarding your final question,well i think it has to be the government because they will represent the majority of people and that will include all the people online and offline.

    cheers
    Cristian Reyes.

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