September 2020


How Can The Global Internet Be Regulated  – Beyond managing domain names and associated IP addresses, the Internet does not have much governance. Technical experts from around the world met recently in Berlin to discuss options. John Savage, the An Wang Professor of Computer Science at Brown, presented a working paper on approaches to the Internet governance question.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Policymakers, business leaders and technical experts from all over the world gathered recently in Berlin for the fifth Global Cyberspace Cooperation Summit. Sponsored by the German Foreign Office and the EastWest Institute, a global nonprofit focused on international conflict resolution, the summit aimed to address a wide variety of political, economic and social issues that have arisen since the global emergence of the Internet.

John Savage, the An Wang Professor of Computer Science at Brown and a professorial fellow of the EastWest Institute, was a presenter at the summit on Internet governance. Savage and Bruce McConnell, senior vice president at the EastWest Institute, contributed a working paper to the conference outlining broad recommendations for how the governance of the Internet could be structured.

Savage discussed the paper with Kevin Stacey, Brown science news officer.

Could you give us an overview of how the Internet is governed today?

The short answer is that the Internet is basically not governed. One component is governed, and that concerns domain names and the associated IP addresses. There is an organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN that supervises this process. The creation of the corporation was supported by the U.S. government, which maintains limited control over the organization. Specifically, the government has some limited control over the root zone file. When a computer encounters a domain name its never seen before, it goes to the root zone file and from there it’s directed to machines that can do the translation from domain name to IP address. The U.S. maintains some control over the file, but has announced that in about a year it plans to relinquish that control.

Over the last decade many forums have emerged to discuss issues of Internet governance, including the World Summit on the Information Society, the U.N.’s Internet Governance Forum and others. They examined an astonishing range of issues, but none of these groups has authority to make decisions. So it’s fair to say that governance of the Internet is still evolving.

There have been calls for expanding global governance of the Internet. Could you explain what types of issues that might entail?

We ask the question in our paper: What is Internet governance? The fact is that it means many things to many people. To some it means doing something about crime mediated by the Internet — fraud, identity theft, theft of intellectual property. For others it’s Internet terrorism. For others it’s human rights — freedom of expression and protection from surveillance. The list goes on.

In our paper, we outline five broad areas of concern for Internet governance. Those include network architecture (technical issues dealing with the function of the Internet), content control (issues like spam and child pornography), cybercrime, cyber attacks (terrorism and major network disruptions), and human rights.

What are some of your recommendations on how to deal with these issues?

When you think about it, so many of the issues people are looking to govern predate the Internet — crime, human rights terrorism, etc. There do exist international organizations that deal with many of these issues already. We think that existing organizations should deal with those governance matters involving the Internet that fall within their respective areas. For example, do we need a separate agency to deal with Internet-based crime and terrorism when we have Interpol and a variety of other organizations that already deal with these things? The answer in our view is no, there’s no need for that.

The problem with a lot of these agencies is that they’re not up to speed when it comes to the Internet. So we propose that these organizations should start to air these issues in forums with multiple stakeholders who have expertise in the Internet. They should bring in NGOs, corporations, and technical experts to give input on technical, political, and economic aspects to these issues. When you create multi-stakeholder organizations like these, you bring expertise that governments and agencies don’t have. As a consequence, they can make better decisions and move forward more rapidly.

For those issues dealing with the technical aspects of network architecture, we recommend multi-stakeholder oversight of existing technical organizations like ICANN. However, we recommend that oversight bodies dealing with such organizations only have the right to accept or reject technical recommendations, not change them. Such recommendations should only be modified by qualified technical people.

What are the advantages to this decentralized approach?

Internet governance today is very complex, largely because it encompasses a large variety of issues. The likelihood of reaching agreement on them increases if we can simplify the landscape. To us, that means disaggregating governance into a small set of important issues, including those we outline in the paper. That increases the odds that existing international bodies can deal with most of them. Multi-stakeholder participation in each of these bodies brings the expertise and concern found among the citizenry and nongovernmental organizations to bear on complex Internet governance issues. We would hope that that could be done in a way that encourages openness, transparency, and inclusiveness.

If one organization governs all of the Internet, some governments may be tempted to try to capture control of this organization and, thereby, have too great a say about Internet governance. For example, the governments of Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and others have advocated consolidating Internet governance under the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations organization that currently oversees telephony and other matters of international communications. We would argue that isn’t a good approach, given the diversity and complexity of the issues at hand.


Which regulates the running of the Internet – Because the Internet is not a single infrastructure, it is easy to lose track of everybody involved in Internet Governance. Yet, nothing beats the multi-stakeholder approach, according to dotmagazine’s Mathias Röckel.

An attempt to describe the Internet in one sentence: The Internet is a cross-national infrastructure of cables, routers, switches and servers that rely on multiple services, applications, standards and protocols that allow anyone to exchange data with anybody else, and it is impossible to say who runs or owns the Internet or even understand and agree upon everything necessary to keep it running – which doesn’t keep us from trying.

Keep us from trying? Who is “us,” exactly? It’s hard to say. Just like there is no single central Internet, but rather a variety of autonomous networks, there is no single central party governing the Internet. Instead, we have ICANN with IANA, IETF, IGF, W3C, and the ITU, to name just a few. For a longer list, visit Wikipedia, but don’t count on that list being complete.

As for eco – Association of the Internet Industry: eco actively supports and participates in a number of international committees, such as the IGF, whose last meeting took place in Mexico in December. Michael Rotert, eco’s Chairman of the Board, was there to represent the Internet industry in discussions that ranged from multi-layered IT security connections to sustainable development and human rights in the digital age.

Multi-stakeholder approach
Conferences like these display the full diversity of Internet stakeholders and leave no doubt that fair and efficient Internet governance is not achieved by centralizing power, but rather by working on the multi-stakeholder approach. It won’t come easy, but we are making good progress.

“The open and self-regulating multi-stakeholder approach needs constant improvement and adjustment. Stronger cooperation is already taking place at all levels. The Internet has become ubiquitous, and digitalization is advancing in all areas. For this to succeed, open discussions need to continue at all levels,” Michael Rotert stated at the Mexico conference. (Read and listen to Michael Rotert on the work of the IGF)

For more on the major players in Internet governance and the multi-stakeholder approach, see “A Quiet Global Revolution” and “The Why, How, and Who of Internet Governance”

Nationalization of the Internet
With stakeholders coming from all countries in the world and different political, social and industrial backgrounds, consensus is often hard to reach. Even basic principles such as openness, transparency, and neutrality are the subject of ongoing negotiations and, as can be expected, interpreted differently in different parts of the world. Germany and other European countries are no exception. Attempts to nationalize the Internet are frequent, and these come from politics, the industry, and also Internet users.

Klaus Landefeld, eco Director of Infrastructure and Networks warns:

“Irrespective of the world region, be it North America, Europe, Russia or China, national regulations and requirements are being toughened to a point where navigating the thin line of lawful operation on a global scale is becoming close to impossible for a multinational service. As difficult as it may be in the new world order of “my nation first” – it is imperative to quickly resolve these conflicts, to find a common ground for internationally acceptable rules and regulations in order to ensure the survival of cyberspace as we know it.”

Self-regulation initiatives
One very successful area of self-regulation is the Internet industry’s processes for dealing with illegal online content, through the complaints offices of the global INHOPE network, for example.

“Self-regulation of the Internet is very important,” according to Alexandra Koch-Skiba, Head of the eco Complaints Office. “It is not only the basis of the eco Complaints Office [but even more] it is the approach of our members. Many years ago, they talked about the best way to fight illegal content, and one of the results was the founding of the eco Complaints Office, and we still stick to the self-regulatory approach. So it’s us who inform the providers, instead of governmental authorities. It is a very, very fast approach, and being fast when it comes to illegal content is one of the important things.”

(Listen to an interview with Alexandra Koch-Skiba on the work of the eco Complaints Office and the INHOPE Network)

Another area where self-regulation has proven to be successful is in the area of security and abuse. According to Wido Potters, who established the free-to-use, open source network abuse support project AbuseIO,

“Abuse is becoming increasingly problematic on the Internet. It consumes large amounts of resources and reduces the public trust in the online world. This negatively affects businesses worldwide, especially the Internet industry. For quite some time, Dutch Internet industry organizations have been have been warning the industry that if they do not solve the problem themselves, the politicians will solve it for them. It is likely that their solution will not benefit the industry.”

(Read Wido Potter’s article on AbuseIO)

Another recent initiative is the Healthy Domains Initiative (HDI), established by the Domain Name Association, with its recommendation of “Healthy Practice Areas for Domain Registries and Registrars”. According to Mason Cole, Vice-President of Donuts and Chair of the DNA Healthy Domains Initiative Committee

“While HDI is designed primarily to advance the safe and beneficial evolution of the domain name system, its secondary goal is to demonstrate to Internet stakeholders the capability of industry operators to effectively self-regulate. HDI is not under the aegis of ICANN or any other regulator — it’s an industry-led program that operates independently, guided by the organizations that have the operational experience to help keep the namespace healthy.”

After the initial launch of the initiative at the beginning of February 2017, changes were made to the set of “Healthy Practices” based on the feedback from the domains community. (Read more about the HDI in Mason Cole’s article on the subject)

Openness and Transparency
If you want to implement better security methods, all companies have to support them. No ISP can do this alone

Openness and transparency are also two principles held dear by supporters of open source solutions. Vittorio Bertola of Open-Xchange believes that software-as-a-service solutions used by hosting, service providers and telecommunications should be based on open source.

“As we make some fundamental free building blocks of the net, such as Dovecot and PowerDNS, and as we power the email, collaboration, and domain name resolution of many of the biggest ISPs around the world, we put some real effort into making our software open, secure, and free (as in free speech) as much as any company could,” says Bertola . “Email security, in particular, is a field that can only advance by bottom-up cooperation. … If you want to implement better security methods, all companies have to support them. No ISP can do this alone, at least not if you still believe in the traditional principles of the Internet.”

(Read Vittoria Bertola’s article on Internet governance)

Privacy, integrity and trust – they may be among the most important goals we should set when we try to improve Internet governance. Because after all, when we turn on our Internet devices, we don’t ask ourselves, “who rules the Internet?” What we really want to know – “Is this thing safe?”

The best way to get rid of illegal content
Illegal Internet content is not only damaging to the industry. It can also be very dangerous, especially when personal privacy is at stake. Of the many strategies suggested and tested, one sticks out as exceptionally successful: user integration combined with self-regulation.

How is it done?

1) Users encounter illegal content online, for instance, a racist statement in a forum, a disturbing image, or spam.

2) Users report that content to their respective Complaints Office, such as the eco Internet Complaints Office:

3) The Complaints Office will then examine the content and take measures such as getting in touch with the content provider or the hosting provider and the appropriate law enforcement agency. The goal is to take the content offline.

Does it work?

In the second quarter of 2016, the eco Complaints Office received reports of 175 cases of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) online, 42 % of which were hosted in Germany. 96 % of these cases were offline within one week.

How about international cooperation?

The Internet crosses borders and so does the Complaints Office Community. More than 45 Complaints Offices from 40 countries are united under the umbrella of INHOPE – the International Association of Internet Hotlines. Members collaborate with each other via INHOPE. As a result, complaints can be pursued in the land of origin.


Digital Marketing Guide and How To – Forget old marketing methods like the ATL (Above the line) or BTL (below the line) method. The advent of digital technology has significantly changed the way businesses market their products using omnichannel, multi-format and multi-platform. Check out the full review in the following digital marketing posts.

What is meant by digital marketing

Digital marketing is actually a promotional activity for a brand or a product using electronic (digital) media. Decades ago, digital marketing media was very limited, namely television or radio which could only convey information in one direction.

Nowadays, with the very rapid development of digital technology and wide acceptance from almost all levels of society, it is no doubt that making a digital marketing model is one of the main channels.

Some examples of marketing techniques included in digital marketing:

  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization
  • Online advertising – FB ads, Google Ads, etc.
  • Print media promotion
  • Television & radio commercials
  • Electronic billboard (video tron)
  • Email marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • and others

Advantages of Digital Marketing vs Conventional
Unlike advertisements in newspapers, flyers, brochures and the like, marketing strategies using digital media, especially online, can be measured precisely even in real-time.

By using digital media, you can find out how long your video product ad is watched, what percentage of sales conversions are from each ad, and of course you can evaluate which ads are good and which are not.

The ability of digital marketing for tracking is certainly very helpful for business people in calculating ROI (return on investment) from the company’s marketing budget.

Apart from the ease of evaluation factor, the wide geographical reach is also one of the advantages of digital marketing. By utilizing digital media, you can spread your product content / brand around the world with just a few clicks.

For this reason, old offline marketing methods have even been completely abandoned by certain companies.

How to Get Started with Digital Marketing
If we talk about digital marketing, as discussed in the article above, this spectrum is very broad. Therefore, it is important for a digital marketer to know the techniques and resources a company needs so that digital marketing can run well.

One of the important elements in digital marketing is assets, identify what digital assets you have, and start to focus on just a few assets, as mentioned in the article how to start a business on social media.

Some of the assets in digital marketing:

  • Website
  • Blog posts
  • Social media accounts
  • Brand identity (logo, company profile)
  • Online footprint (reviews / feedback from customers etc.)

If you already have some of the assets above, all you need to do is optimize these assets to build the brand you have.

For example, for business websites and blogs, regularly write articles that will attract your potential customers. Or through social media such as Instagram, make interesting and share-able short photos and videos.

Another thing that is quite important, if you are active in a public forum or marketplace, then try to have your business profile have a good rating and reviews from customers.

Because it is also a sign that your brand image is good or not in cyberspace. If you have started to understand digital marketing, it’s a good idea to know the components of digital marketing expenses and prices as a basic reference.