BY ANITA GURUMURTHY
Participatory democracy has been hijacked by business-led multistakeholderism, and ‘presence and power’ are replaced as tokens of people’s political involvement.
13 June 2016 — The mother of all controversies about the Internet is about its global governance; neatly polarized between those who believe that it is time to herald a new international institutional response adequate to our collective predicament as ‘things of the Internet’, and status quoists who believe that the Internet-mediated world order is serving us well, and any change will portend ominous consequences for the Internet’s future.
Status quoists have good reason to stall change. The breakneck and almost sinister speed at which global digital capitalism has risen together with its intimate US foreign policy connection reveal the force majeure that the Internet is. For the US state and US Internet corporations – Google, Facebook, Twitter – protecting the US government’s unilateral control over Internet governance is thus critical. The US state has repeatedly deployed the political discourse of Internet freedom to assert an a priori legitimacy to be the primary manager of the extraterritorial Internet. This has also meant tactics to undermine emerging economic powers that challenge its dominance, discrediting them for a poor human rights record. Read more