Technical Management of the Internet – Dr Yasam Ayavefe



Clear regulatory bodies appear to be very different from traditional international regulation and standardization mechanisms such as the International Telecommunication Union (IUT), the International Standards Organization (ISO), or the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Despite their limitations, ICANN, IETF, and W3C, through their combination, play an important role in the technical management of the Internet. However, it partly stipulates the socio-economic regulation of the activities the network supports.

Indeed, in an Internet-type network, each participant has the opportunity to influence the way communication flows are managed. This possibility is expressed in the information encoding capacities offered by digital technologies. In a digital system, all information is encoded in the form of a digital string that is then easy to encrypt.

That’s why encryption is the key to filtering information usage. Through its manipulation, access to all or some of the potentially available information can be granted, depending on the user’s identity or other criteria.

The combination of encryption capabilities and decentralized communications management produces different results.

It allows any Internet user to control the future use of the information he spreads on the network. Because it may impose standards for the use of this information. This will be made applicable through techniques.

This opens up almost endless room for maneuver for economic agents who want to define the provision of information services, as well as for social actors who want to enforce certain rules of information interaction.

However, there is an important limitation of interoperability. For players to enforce such specific rules, they must still be compliant with interoperability standards defined by the IETF or W3C.

Through this medium, these organizations have a significant influence on the uses that may or may not develop on the Internet. Also, the way the addressing system is managed affects usage.

It allows managing domain names, i.e. the recognition of trademark law or the classification and thus labeling of service providers.

This affects the creation of categories and the definition of rules for inclusion in these categories, the conditions of competition between operators and thus ultimately the nature of services and uses.

In light of these issues, and the technical mechanisms for the governance and regulation of the Internet, are neither completely legitimate nor completely complete. States have gradually intervened in the socio-economic regulation of the network.

More precisely, the Internet only touches a coherent and closed community, the community of scientists, the American Government, and other States. The Internet has little interest in interfering with this community that operates by its own rules. The situation is ultimately subject to state control.

On the other hand, with the diversification of uses and actors, it is necessary to organize competition, allow commercial activities to flourish, protect citizens, etc. There was a need to complete the technical arrangement.

Innovations cannot happen without delay, without conflict, questioning the boundaries between industries inherited from the pre-digital era.

The Internet is a platform aimed at integrating all communication and information processing technologies that inevitably tend to blur the traditionally established boundaries between the respective fields of voice, data and video. In other words, it is among the telecommunications, informatics, audio-visual and broadcasting sectors in the industrial sense.

For this reason, Internet activities have been subject to numerous regulations, sometimes contradictory, sometimes simply costly and complex to articulate.

On the other hand, the global and open nature of the Internet is not conducive to the creation of national regulations. However, the Internet is territorial as long as it ignores the geographic location of its computing operations.

Data transmitted by the network follows uncontrollable paths. The consulted or used knowledge bases can be fragmented or reproduced in various locations so that they are completely invisible to the user.

Legal standards have proven to be largely ineffective if operations conducted on the network are not geo-fixed.

The pre-existence and incompleteness of Internet regulatory mechanisms are within the limits of traditional government approaches.

In fact, from the early 1990s the United States tried to impose a model of self-regulation demanded by the creators of the internet and industrialists.

But the internet’s intellectual property, national security, public freedoms, etc. It soon became clear that it was impossible to maintain this logic, given the consequences for

Beyond that, it was also necessary to adapt the existing legal framework to allow economic activity on the Internet, particularly e-commerce, to flourish. Thus, the idea of ​​cooperation between the State and non-governmental organizations for the regulation of the Internet gradually emerged.

This cooperation has three aspects:

  • Implementation of the principle of subsidiarity between the state and related NGOs, in particular
  • Informal delimitation of areas of responsibility;
  • Strong involvement of Internet stakeholders in the development of government standards, using network tools in general.

Dr.Yaşam Ayavefe

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