Despite its phenomenal growth, the existing Internet was not
conceived with its multiple uses, internationalization, and the WSIS principles
in mind. The evolution of the Internet, from both the technical and the
governance perspectives, has been slow, difficult, and based on a suboptimal
platform. Among its weaknesses, which need to be addressed and improved, are:
governance which is not fully internationalized and which focuses primarily on
security features, including susceptibility to malware and spam; and
facility for multilingualization, non-Latin scripts, and local content.
A feature that has characterized Internet development and
governance over the last two decades has been an apparent commitment to avoid
fragmentation. However, extrapolating from the successes of policies, programs
and initiatives in other areas of ICT, there appear to be substantial benefits
to be gained from competition. In particular, this could apply to a new,
alternate internet based on innovative technologies that address current
challenges and whose protocols and governance are optimized from the beginning
to support current and projected requirements.
The competition and innovation provided by one or more new,
alternate internets can be expected to lead to improvements in all internets.
The core technology that powers the existing Internet, for example, has changed
little since it was invented, and the existing monopolistic situation has not
been effective in addressing current challenges.
It would, of course, be necessary to ensure interoperability
among internets while presenting options for those countries which choose to
use a new, alternate internet. The need for a new, alternate internet has been
recognized by many relevant organizations and work is progressing on many
fronts, with some attempt at coordination. Research is underway on both
evolutionary and clean slate approaches to Internet development.
International public policy related to development of the
Internet should stress that sustainability, security, stability and
interoperabilty are of paramount importance. This does not preclude alternative
internets that use different technologies and protocols, as long as gateways
are provided to ensure interoperability.
New developments in a clean slate approach should ensure
native capability to address the known deficiencies of the existing technology.
These include, among others: scalability; security; multilingualism; and
Governance principles need to adapt to developments in the
Internet and should not be focused primarily on a domain name system.
Governance should evolve and adapt to changes in the Internet in a manner that
optimizes the entire ecosystem. This includes:
internationalization appropriate to the infrastructure design and with a
decentralized governance structure in line with WSIS principles;
of cybersecurity, including coordinated measures against malware, botnets,
phishing, spam, etc.;
of all forms of e-transactions and in particular e-government;
of implementing multilingualism, diverse scripts, and local content; and
• The needs
and requirements of developing countries through their participation in the
design and governance of the Internet and its development.