People’s Daily Editorial on Global Internet Governance

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This editorial was published first in People’s Daily on 28 April 2014.

For Internet Governance, Norms and Standards are Crucial

In recent days, the Global Internet Governance Conference sponsored by the Brazilian government was organized in Sao Paolo, Brazil, representatives from more than 20 national governments, corporate circles and science and technology circles engaged in broad discussion, and passed a series of non-binding international norms that various countries may use in their Internet management. Even so, outside of this series of norms, it should also be considered that in the process of global Internet governance, the acceleration of formulating rules has become extremely urgent.

After 25 years of development, the Internet has completely renewed people’s ways of work and life. [Everyone], from the common people to national governments, at the same time as enjoying the conveniences brought by the Internet, has successively experienced the negative influences and security risks that exist on the Internet. The Internet security concerns that started with last year’s “Prism” incident, have aggravated every day, pursuits of interest are incessantly expanding, and the desire to strengthen Internet governance has become ever more prominent.

Last month, the US expressed its willingness to transfer its supervisory power over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), this is a positive signal emerging in the global Internet governance area. But Internet governance is not limited to the allocation of spaces for Internet addresses, it also depends on control of Internet technology standards, as well as how all countries can jointly build an online environment that is peaceful and secure, open and fair, free and orderly.

Internet governance should respect the UN Charter and generally recognized norms of international relations, i.e. recognizing and respecting all countries’ sovereignty in cybersace, including the formulation of relevant law, regulations and policies on the basis of the development levels of that country’s information technology, language and culture, and according to the will of the broad masses of that country; managing that country’s information infrastructure as well as online activities on that country’s territory according to the law, protecting that country’s information resources from threats according to the law, and guaranteeing citizens’ lawful rights and interests.

Internet governance should persist in the principles of broad, multi-stakeholder participation, tolerance and equality. Countries should not be distinguished on the basis of size or wealth, they should all be able to participate fairly in cyber governance, and fairly share in the opportunities that the development of information technology has brought. People should not be distinguished on the basis of sex, race, religion or belief, but should all be able to equally use knowledge and information gained through information technology

Internet governance should persist in the principles of openness and transparency, cooperation and mutual benefit. The formulation of standards, norms and policies related to the Internet should be more open and transparent, developed countries should help developing countries to develop cyber technology, and reduce the information divide.

Internet governance should persist in the unification of rights and obligations. Respect human rights, fully guarantee individuals’ online freedom of speech, confidentiality of communications and privacy. Without online order, how can online freedom come? No person may, when enjoying and exercising online rights and freedoms, harm other persons’ or society’s interests, violate laws and regulations and social morals.

The sponsor of this conference, Brazil, makes people think of the Football World Cup that will be organized in Brazil. The movement of football, from its emergence to it coming into fashion worldwide, is inseparable from incessant perfection of and respect for its rules, only when there are rules is their fairness, only when there are rules is there a basis for competition on the same field. Internet governance is similar. The crux of promoting global Internet governance lies in the fact that all countries worldwide must strengthen coordination, and formulate realistic and feasible global norms and standards. Opinions from all sides and the pursuits of all countries should be taken seriously, and we should strive to reach agreement on rules for cyberspace activities that are accepted by all sides.

Brazil’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Relations Marquedos (*) regarded this conference as a first step on the slow journey of global Internet governance. Global Internet governance requires the joint participation of all interested parties, but also needs to seek a balance between those many interested parties and the role of government, and build joint forces. Now, the majority of countries has already reached a consensus on governance norms in certain areas, we should strengthen the formulation of concrete rules and realistically promote the establishment of governance structures on this basis, and incessantly perfect them in practice, while enhancing our confidence in attacking and overcoming difficulties.

Possible transliteration of the Chinese characters 克多思. I have not been able to verify the name of this minister, nor the statements made.

人民日报钟声:互联网治理,规范和标准是关键

近日,由巴西政府发起的全球互联网治理大会在巴西圣保罗举行,20多个国家政府、企业界、科技界代表就全球互联网治理进行广泛讨论,通过了一系列各国可在互联网管理中运用的非强制性国际准则。然而,在一系列准则之外还应看到,全球互联网治理进程中,加快规则制定迫在眉睫。

经历25年发展,互联网全面刷新了人们的工作生活方式。从普通百姓到国家政府,在享受互联网带来的便利的同时,也陆续感受到互联网存在的负面影响与安全隐患。始于去年的“棱镜门”事件让各国在互联网范畴的安全关切日益加重,利益诉求不断扩大,加强互联网治理的愿望更加凸显。

上月,美国表示愿意让渡对国际互联网名称和编号分配机构(ICANN)的监管权,这是全球互联网治理领域出现的积极信号。但互联网的治理并不仅限于互联网协议地址的空间分配,更在于对互联网技术标准的掌控,以及如何由各国共同构建和平安全、开放公平、自由有序的网络环境。

互联网治理应遵循联合国宪章和公认的国际关系准则,即承认和尊重各国在网络空间的主权,包括根据本国信息技术发展水平、语言文化,按照本国广大民众的意愿,制定相关法律法规和政策;依法管理本国信息设施以及本国领土上的网络活动,依法保护本国信息资源免受威胁,保障公民合法利益。

互联网治理应坚持多利益方广泛参与、包容平等的原则。国家不分大小、贫富,都应能公平参与网络治理,公平分享信息技术发展带来的机遇。人们不分性别、种族、宗教、信仰,都能平等利用信息技术获取知识和信息。

互联网治理应坚持开放透明、合作共赢的原则。有关互联网标准、规则和政策的制定应更加开放透明,发达国家应帮助发展中国家发展网络技术,缩小信息鸿沟。

互联网治理应坚持权利和责任相统一。尊重人权、充分保障个人在网络中的言论自由、通信秘密和隐私。没有网络秩序何来网络自由?任何人在享有和行使网络权利与自由时,不得损害他人和社会公共利益,不能违反法律法规和社会公德。

本次会议的主办地巴西,使人联想到同样即将在巴西举办的世界杯足球赛。足球运动从出现到风靡全球,离不开对规则的不断完善与遵循,有规则才有公平,有规则才有同场竞技的基础。互联网治理亦是如此。推动全球互联网治理的关键在于,世界各国要加强协调,制定切实可行的全球规范和标准。各方意见和各国诉求都应得到重视,力争达成被各方接受的网络空间行为规则。

巴西对外关系部副部长马克多思将本次会议比作全球互联网治理漫漫征程的第一步。全球互联网治理,呼吁各利益相关方共同参与,却也需在多利益相关方与政府作用间寻求平衡,形成合力。现在大多数国家已经就某些方面的治理准则达成共识,应在此基础上加紧制定具体规则、切实推动治理体系的建立并在实践中不断完善、同时增进攻坚克难的信心。

 

 

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