India's position on UN Committee for Internet Related Policies sparks debate
Added On:9/20/2012 10:40:00 AM

A multi stakeholder discussion on ‘India’s Position in the UN on Internet Governance: UN Committee for Internet Related Policies (UN-CIRP)’ was organized in New Delhi by FICCI.

In October 2011, the Government of India submitted a proposal for establishment of a new institutional mechanism for global internet governance by way of the United Nations Committee on Internet Related Policy (UN-CIRP). The UN-CIRP’s mandate will include inter alia tasks such as developing and establishing international public policies relating to global issues of internet; coordinating and overseeing bodies responsible for the technical and operational functioning of the internet; facilitating negotiation of treaties, conventions and agreements on internet related public policy; address developmental issues, promote and protect human rights, including the right to development; undertake arbitrations and dispute resolution where necessary and crisis management.

Mr. Virat Bhatia, Chairman, Communication and Digital Economy Committee, FICCI stated that the Indian Government’s decision on this issue had triggered a debate in the country and put a question mark on the proposal which was submitted in the UN. The debate deliberated on whether India’s stand is justified or not? Whether it was ethical to take a stand of this magnitude without informing the stakeholders and many more such questions were raised and answered during the meeting.

Discussions and debate on the issue of internet governance has increased over the past few years. The entire issue of internet governance has become strikingly important for the internet users, government, Indian industry, mobile and internet service providers, internet companies, social media, civil society, academia as well as youth and women on account of the fact that internet subscriber base has already reached the 125 million mark, and is expected to increase dramatically under the targets established in NTP 2012. Unlike in telecommunications, issues related to internet and data penetration requires not just discussion between government and service providers but cooperation and dialogue amongst a host of other stakeholders – commonly known as Multi stakeholder Groups.

Mr. Nitin Desai, Special Adviser to UN Secretary General on Internet Governance and Former Chairman of Multi stakeholder Advisory Group for Internet Governance Forum mentioned that the world is facing a situation where Internet is threatening the security of nations and thus a regulatory body is necessary. They need to protect the functionality of the internet so that the cyber space is not misused.



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