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Q2: Internet Challenges

What specific challenges including, but not restricted to technical and political challenges do you expect the Internet to encounter during your tenure? How would you recommend that ISOC meet them?

This entry was posted by the ISOC Elections Committee on Friday, March 5th, 2010 at 10:25 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 or Atom 1.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

9 Responses to “Q2: Internet Challenges”

  1. Comment by: Eva Frolich   
    March 9th, 2010 at 9:49 am

    The two biggest technical challenges we have in front of us is IPv6 and DNSSEC. Many people and organizations are involved already but ISOC still need to keep an eye and continue to promote implementation.

    Another big challenge is new tld´s. Both IDN-versions of current tld´s to new gtld´s. What will that mean to competition? How will that affect .org?

    The agreement for .org is up for renewal in 2012/2013 – to get it renewed to PIR is a challenge that ISOC need to adress together with PIR.

  2. Comment by: Eduardo Diaz   
    March 12th, 2010 at 3:59 am

    [EN] In the short term, I expect to see more and more efforts to restrict access to information and invade privacy for whatever reasons.  ISOC should continue its efforts in education and public policy development to help eradicate such restrictions.


    [ES] A corto plazo, espero ver más y más esfuerzos para restringir el acceso a la información e invadir la privacidad por las razones que sean. ISOC debe continuar sus esfuerzos en la educación y el desarrollo de políticas públicas dirigidas a erradicar tales restricciones.

  3. Comment by: Michael Nelson   
    March 12th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I spend most of my time trying to understand and explain the evolution of the Internet, especially the technology and policy choices that will affect how the Internet develops and is used. I’m particularly excited about how Cloud computing is enabling the Internet to become a platform for computation and storage–as well as communication–and how the Internet of Things will dramatically increase the number of devices connected to the Net. Taking full advantage of the Cloud and the Internet of Things will require new standards, new investments, and new approaches to some very thorny Internet policy issues.

    I’m particularly concerned about the growing number of national governments and companies that are trying to restrict or control what Internet users can do online. We must not let efforts to improve Internet security, limit online piracy, block offensive content, or fight cybercrime result in misguided, ill-informed changes to the architecture of the Internet that could limit new, innovative applications.

  4. Comment by: Andy Linton   
    March 13th, 2010 at 3:45 am

    We’re faced with a number of challenges that will be around for the next few years.

    On the technical side the deployment of IPv6, DNSSEC and IDNs will challenge many. The successful deployment of IPv6 needs to happen to allow the growth of the net in a way that favours Open Access and Interoperability and we need DNSSEC as part of the fabric of trust we need to allow users to operate with confidence as our reliance on the net grows. It’s great to have .org as a leader in this area.

    Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) represent a fantastic opportunity to see the Internet have more meaning to those of us who don’t use the Latin alphabet but it also represents a challenge to the existing top level domains. Will those who want to use IDNs migrate away from .org and provide funding challenges for ISOC?

    We have a challenge in this area anyway – we need to derive more of the funding needed for ISOC’s activities from sources other than PIR since it’s anticipated that revenue growth will flatten in the next few years and if we can’t negotiate a continuation of the agreement to operate .org we’ll really have a problem on our hands.

    I also have real concerns that we’ll see restrictions being imposed by governments (often at the instigation of multinational corporations) to control access to and content on the net. A current problem which typifies this is the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations being conducted between Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States of America.

    These discussions appear to be likely to result in participating countries enacting legislation that will see Internet users disconnected for copyright infringement, often without due process. The real issue of course is that as these are “trade” negotiations they’re held in secret with no published agenda. I think there’s some education work for ISOC to do here directly and via its chapter organisations.

  5. Comment by: narelle clark   
    March 15th, 2010 at 1:53 am

    ISOC’s biggest challenges remain as they always have and I see these in the following terms: promoting Internet reliability, accessibility and affordability. It does this through the creation of open, effective technical standards, working to ensure good Internet governance, and working to ensure a broad participation in these systems.

    As the Internet becomes more and more important to society, more and more groups will try to reduce ISOC’s influence. We need to work with governments, as a whole as well as via our Chapters, to strengthen the Internet and strengthen people’s access to, and confidence in, it. We also need to work with other standards bodies, industry and consumer groups.

    We need to ensure that ISOC is the one governments go to when they want to legislate or regulate, or even grow the Internet, so that rights are protected and societies informed, of the impact of technology, and technology choices made by governments the best they can be. We have a massive base of members and supporters to draw from. When governments want to build high speed networks or create Internet accessible medical databases we can help ensure privacy, security and reliability.

    On the technical front, over the next few years Internet security from all levels (desktop to infrastructure), IPv6 migration and pervasive computing will stay on our critical list, as well, of course, as naming and numbering.

  6. Comment by: Hiroshi Esaki   
    March 16th, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    IPv6 is just on-going, though it is not easy business. Rather the system decelopment for IoT(Internet of Things), including the smartgrid is a challenge to the next decade.
    This includes “trust and identifier” for farther large scaled network development with new architectural framework.

    Also, the simple Internet’s end-to-end transparent model will not apply to all the systems, so as to deliver and continue the innovations. Careful and strategic actions will be required to ISOC.

  7. Comment by: Leonard St-Aubin   
    March 18th, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    The Internet’s key challenges, going forward, can be summarized in two words: demographics and commercialization. The demographic challenge involves both rapid growth and most growth occurring outside Western and English-speaking communities.

    Rapid growth alone imposes huge burdens, stresses and costs on infrastructure not designed for current and future traffic. IPv6 exhaustion is just one symptom. Rapid growth demands timely development of new technologies and standards and access to capital for investment in new infrastructure. Keeping pace is a significant challenge.

    Most Internet users are already non-Western and non-English-speaking, and that is the direction of future growth. But the Internet, and its underlying values, including openness, bottom-up democratic self-governance, rough consensus, adapt-and-move-forward, free speech etc… are Western, liberal and common-law in origin and construct. The experience of pluralist open societies (like my own country Canada), is that successful integration of different cultures and languages into a “community” means that both newcomers and the community adapt and change. Core values are central to successful integration. So too is being able to distinguish core values from those which are culturally-specific (whether to the “host” or the “newcomer”). This dynamic process is playing out daily as the Internet expands. It gives rise to all kinds of issues ranging from IDNs to governance models, to debates over the nature of new top-level-domains.

    Commercialization makes these challenges more complex. Private enterprise is key to financing investment required for the Internet’s rapid growth. But private enterprise inevitably seeks to maximize competitive advantage and return on investment. Proprietary technologies and standards are one way to achieve both; so are pricing and access models that discriminate among users and service providers. Although not necessarily problematic, these commercial drivers can sometimes be at odds with the open standards and access that have made the Internet so successful. A further challenge is that private enterprise often seeks to achieve dominant scale, which can overshadow and even undermine competitors; and to serve the broadest common denominator, which can overlook the needs and sensitivities of a culturally diverse population. These dynamic tensions are ongoing challenges for the Internet.

    These challenges can only be addressed through the interplay of a wide range of actors. Some form of “governance” is the outcome. Private enterprise is fully engaged, as are standards bodies such as the IETF ad the ITU. Governments play a role, as do a broad range of NGOs. ISOC has been and should continue to be a central, authoritative and unbiased contributor to the governance interplay. ISOC’s strategic initiatives (trust, internetworking and access) reflect and can help address these Internet challenges.

  8. Comment by: Richard Woundy   
    March 26th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    From my perspective, three particular technical and political challenges stand out.

    A first challenge is the depletion of the IPv4 address pool depletion and the transition to IPv6. The overall goal should be to enable a graceful transition of the IP protocol, to prevent a bifurcated Internet where universal access across the Internet is lost. Some technical issues include how to manage the remaining IPv4 address space and how to promote the deployment of IPv6 technology beyond the early adopters (who are late themselves). There is also a political question about whether or not new address allocation procedures are needed for IPv6 address space to prevent future ‘unfairness’, as raised by a recent ITU IPv6 group meeting.

    A second challenge is in balancing an open Internet with reasonable network management and with reasonable ‘government activities’. Part of the challenge is how to avoid the proliferation of ‘closed devices’, to avoid unilateral content and application blocking, and to avoid other forms of balkanization of the Internet, e.g. multiple DNS roots. But another part of the challenge is in how to promote good network management practices: not just to account for short-term congestion but also to encourage the continued growth in Internet network capacity and reach. Finally, there needs to be consideration as to enable the Internet to be responsive to the needs of law enforcement and public safety organizations — but at the same time determine what reasonable boundaries should be applied to these groups as they impact the operation and usage of the Internet.

    A third challenge is in determing reasonable responses to copyright infringement on the Internet, particularly to protect the needs and human rights of individual users to access the Internet. Content producers are responding to the ‘digital theft’ of their work product, and besides their advocacy of harsher anti-piracy mechanisms, they have also responded with a fairly restricted release of content to the Internet. At the same time, Internet users need to be protected from untrue piracy allegations, and from bans on Internet access due to the conduct of a different user. Most of all, given the global multi-stakeholder nature of the Internet, it would be best to evolve from secret negotiations to open discussions among key stakeholders on this topic.

    ISOC is well positioned to provide responses to all three challenges. As an obvious example, the InterNetWorks activities include looking at the IPv4-IPv6 transition issues, although it may be wise to prepare the ‘Enabling Access’ team for actual IPv6 and IPv4 transition support. ISOC has the appropriate membership and staff to form multi-stakeholder global discussion groups to create position papers and recommendations, although ISOC should obtain specific guidance from IETF technical experts (especially in the IAB and IESG). ISOC can also enable responses to specific national debates (e.g. Hadopi) through its regional bureaus and chapters.

  9. Comment by: Lawrence Lessig   
    April 1st, 2010 at 8:08 am

    The most important challenge in the next decade will be technical, and therefore, political. Security in the broadest sense will become the most pressing Internet issue. Governments around the world will try to address these security issues. ISOC’s role should be to help guide that process in a way that preserves the technical, and therefore, political values of the Internet — open, neutral, and yet secure.

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