Declaration for the Future of the Internet

From ICANNWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Declaration for the Future of Internet is a call for a global partnership to support an open, free, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet. The pledge affirms a commitment to protecting and respecting human rights online and across the digital ecosystem. Partners in this Declaration agree to create an environment that reinforces democratic systems, promotes citizens' participation in democratic processes, secures and protects individuals’ privacy, maintains secure and reliable connectivity, resists efforts to splinter the internet, and encourages a free, competitive global economy.[1]


On April 28 2022, the Biden administration announced a new global partnership establishing norms for nation-states' use of technology. The Declaration for the Future of the Internet is partly a reproach of the digital authoritarianism of Russia and China[2] but is primarily a warning for wavering democracies from internet transgressions.[3] By May 9, 2022, 61 nation-states had signed the Declaration. The Declaration supports the preservation of the universality of the Domain Name System (DNS), globally applicable Internet standards, and network neutrality.

Key Principles

The DFI's key principles sound fairly similar to ICANN's mission and core values, which heartened the ICANN Board in light of other geopolitical digital regulatory trends:[4][5]

  1. Protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in the online environment
  2. Keep the Internet global
  3. Make access to the Internet inclusive and affordable
  4. Build trust in the digital ecosystem
  5. encourage a Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance


Some critiques include:[6]

  1. only 61 of the UN's 193 members have signed it
  2. if the declaration takes an alliance approach it will exclude some because it will only accept like-minded countries
  3. It formulates a series of criteria for determining how “democratic” or “autocratic” the Internet is organized in a country
  4. India, Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, Ghana, Kenya and Singapore are hesitant to sign
  5. no procedure has yet been published on how to join the declaration
  6. the authors of the declaration should have included ideas for implementation mechanisms, such as reviews, reports, reconsideration
  7. unclear about non-state actors' future involvement and how to link it to two decades of work already undertaken by the Internet Governance ecosystem
  8. The DFI, aka the “Washington Declaration,” came directly from the White House, and it should have been more like the NETmundial-derived declaration in 2014
  9. a proliferation of political instruments may reduce effectiveness by tying up scarce resources and contributing to policy fragmentation and confusion