What ICANN CEO Chehade Has Been Up To: WSIS, Wuzhen Initiative

Another Initiative? Yes, and this time it's not in Brazil but China: the Wuzhen Initiative--and ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade is still in charge!--whatever happened to Fadi's NETmundial Initiative?

For a different take on the Wuzhen Initiative than Fadi Chehade's above, read The Firewall Awakens: ICANN's exiting CEO takes internet governance to the dark side by Kieren McCarthy, The Register: "Chehade knows only too well what this initiative means and represents. Combined with the closed organizing committee, and the closed "advisory committee," the setup is little more than a Chinese-government-run effort to influence global internet governance."

: For a complete list of the "31 members of the first high-level advisory committee for the World Internet Conference's (WIC) organizing committee secretariat" that Fadi Chehade has joined, and given his personal support and endorsement, while still serving as ICANN CEO, see High-level advisory committee established for World Internet Conference. To understand the dynamics at play here, see also the meanings of Guanxi. See also World Economic ForumHow China and Russia see the internet.

The 2nd WIC Organizing Committee proposes the Wuzhen Initiative: ".... 5. Improving the global Internet governance. We call for the international community to cooperate in good faith, basing on mutual trust and in pursuit of common values and interest, in developing a joint approach to and common understanding of cyber-related international norms and rules in cyberspace, protecting and respecting basic rights and fundamental interests on the Internet, to foster and encourage innovation, and to bring the rule of law into cyberspace to jointly establish a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace, and feature a multilateral, democratic and transparent global Internet governance system, with more valuable and inclusive involvement of governments, private sector, civil society, technical and academic community, international organizations and all other relevant stakeholders in accordance with their respective roles and responsibilities to contribute in a meaningful manner, helping to forge a genuine community of common destiny in cyberspace...."

See IGF, WSIS 10+ & WIC: Three World Conferences for One Internet by Wolfgang Kleinwächter: "... It was interesting that Wuzhen did not only discuss "sovereignty" but also "sharing" and "differentiation". The Chinese "Internet Plus" plan refers to the "shared Internet economy". And Jack Ma, the CEO of Alibaba, spoke about a "differentiated Internet Governance" system. On the other hand: One should not be naïve. To implement the philosophy of sharing in Internet policy development and decision making on the national and international level is a big challenge. Sharing sovereign rights needs a high level of mutual trust and understanding. There are deep conflicts among stakeholders. And there are also natural tensions between rules in bordered places in the real world and principles in unbordered spaces in the virtual world. If the rules of the bordered places are extended into the unbordered spaces, the risk is high that this will kill opportunities, that the global and open Internet will become fragmented into 193 national segments..."

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