The proposed United Nations Global Digital Compact would exclude technical experts from Internet governance, ignoring their enormous contribution to the development and maintenance of the Internet, according to ICANN.
The Global Digital Compact (Global Digital Compact) is an effort "to outline common principles for an open, free and secure digital future for all". The United Nations hopes the pact will address issues such as digital inclusion, internet fragmentation, giving individuals control over how their data is used and making the internet trustworthy "withtreatment accountability criteria for discrimination and misleading content".
However, ICANN, the Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) and the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) are concerned that the new Compact proposes to use a tripartite model of digital cooperations with three groups of stakeholders: the private sector, governments and civil society.
This is dangerous, ICANN and its partners argue, because technical experts would lose their distinctive position. So they co-signed and published a document criticizing the Pact as it stands today.
"The technical community is not part of civil society and never has been," the document says, citing the results of the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) - a UN event organized in 2003 and 2005 and established a multilateral Internet governance framework. The 10 WSIS+2015 event confirmed this strategy.
"This model excludes the technical community as a separate entity and overlooks the unique and essential roles that members of that community play individually and collectively."
Η publication supports that the tripartite model represents an unnecessary change in Internet governance.
Citing the growth of Internet users from one billion in 2005 to over five billion today, the authors argue that current governance models – which include the technical community as a distinct stakeholder – are working just fine.
The publication concludes: "The technical community will certainly continue to play a critical role in the future of the Internet, and it is up to the UN to recognize this reality in formulating any future processes related to Internet governance."