Internet Governance, broadly defined, is the development and application by Governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programs that shape the evolution and use of the Internet. It covers activities such as development and coordination of technical standards, operation of critical infrastructure and public policy issues.
Conceptually Internet Governance includes following layers
- Physical Infrastructure layer
- Code or Logical layer
- Content layer
Internet Governance involves Internet Protocol Addressing (IP Addressing), Domain Name System (DNS), Routing, Technical Innovations, Standardization, Security, Public Policy, Privacy, Legal Issues, Cyber Norms, Intellectual Property and taxation.
India supports a multi-stakeholder approach in matters on Internet Governance. On matters relating to national security, Government will continue to have supreme right and control. India’s strength in the sector is its industry and human resource which can be leveraged in a multi-stakeholder approach. Multi-stakeholder approach will also align with our investment strategy for Digital India and will help India in participation in the multi-billion-dollar business opportunity of Internet industry.
Responsibility of Internet Governance Division of MeitY
Includes representation of India’s Public Policy Concerns on global platform, Awareness on Internet Governance, Encouraging greater participation in Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Working groups and Engagement with Internet Society (ISOC), Promotion of Multi-stakeholder model of Internet Governance within India, strengthening internal internet infrastructure of the country etc. MeitY is also looking after issues related to Universal Acceptance and Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs).
Engagement in International Forums/Meetings
MeitY continues to engage/participate in several global meetings like Internet Governance Forum (IGF), Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) etc.
Shri Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary MeitY has been appointed to the inaugural Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Leadership Panel on 16 August 2022, to serve a two-year term during the 2022–23 IGF cycles. The United Nations Secretary-General has established the IGF Leadership Panel as a strategic, empowered, and multi-stakeholder body, to address strategic and urgent issues, and to highlight Forum discussions and possible follow-up actions, in order to promote greater impact and dissemination of IGF discussions.
Engagement with ICANN
MeitY is closely monitoring all the activity of ICANN and participating through GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee) and other public engagement. The GAC's key role is to provide advice to ICANN on issues of public policy especially where there may be an interaction between ICANN's activities or policies and national laws or international agreements.
Shri Bhuvnesh Kumar, Additional Secretary, GoI is currently GAC representative from India.
India has supported for multi-stakeholder model of Internet Governance Mechanisms, which would involve all stakeholders and help to preserve the character of the Internet as a unified, dynamic engine for innovation, and which encourage equity and inclusion. A series of multi-stakeholder consultations/ roundtable meetings are organized by Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology. This Multi-stakeholder Consultation is open to all stakeholders. Any interested stakeholder may participate in such consultation.
Awareness about the criticality of Universal Acceptance and the technical solutions being developed are being done among Government, Internet businesses, developers and start-up community. Universal Acceptance (UA) is a technical feature by which it can be ensured that all valid domain names and email addresses, regardless of script, language, or character length can be equally used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. The Hindi (language) / Regional language URLs are being created for Central Ministries, States/ UT Government websites. Kindly visit to the website https://bhashanet.in/ or https://भाषानेट.भारत/
The Research, Development and awareness projects that are being undertaken by the Internet Governance Division, MeitY are as follows:
- Advanced Internet Operations Research in India (AIORI) by Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) Funded by MeitY. The Project seeks to improve the security, stability, and understanding of the Internet’s DNS infrastructure in India by advanced Internet Operations research and it plans to do so by
- Building relationships among its community of members and facilitate an environment where information can be shared confidentially.
- Enabling knowledge transfer by organizing workshop.
- Research with operational relevance through data collection and analysis.
- Increasing awareness of the DNS’s significance.
- Offer useful, publicly available tools and services.
Portal https://www.aiori.in/ has been indeginiously developed to check latency of the network.
- “IG-SIM- Internet Governance – Structured Implementation Module” implemented by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Delhi.The project envisages providing technical and policy support to conduct of research, training, workshops and preparation of white paper, technology reports on various Internet Governance Policy and Technology related issues. This will include providing on-going implementation support to IG related activities of the Government of India, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), review the global Internet policy and Technology landscape and provide assistance w.r.t. structured implementation on matters related to Internet Governance taking into account rapid technical developments and dynamically changing needs.
- Centre of Excellence in DNS Security by C-DAC, Bangalore (Funded by NIXI). The objective of the Project is to become a model Centre and provide through leadership in DNS and DNS security related technologies, conduct high-end research in DNS Security, to build internal competencies in DNS Security by offering advanced training programme and establish a test-bed of DNS for research and training. Domain Nameserver Health Analyser tool has been developed under this project. For more information about workshop/trainings, tools developed and research activities kindly visit https://coednssecurity.in/.