New Delhi: Reiterating India's support to multi-stakeholder model for governing Internet, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said there should be focus on security also which is the primary responsibility of governments.
"While fully endorsing the multi-stakeholder model, the issue of security should also remain in focus, where the government has a very important role to play, as safety and security remains the primary responsibility of the governments," Prasad said at ICANN Summit at Marrakech in Morocco.
A new Internet governance model is being worked out through global consultation process and it is being coordinated by global Internet body ICANN. ICANN has been assigned the task to manage Internet by the US Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) under a contract, which expires on September 30.
NTIA has decided to step out of its role of ICANN overseer after the contract expires and it be managed by global community and work is in progress to set rules on who should manage Internet post September 30. The new model was proposed to be finalised by September 30 last year but responses of some of the groups involved in the process could not be closed in time.
Since consensus on some issues related to accountability could not be arrived at by various communities, the process is expected to be closed by September this year if communities reach at an agreement. India has proposed that Internet should be managed through multi-stakeholder approach and the governments should have "supreme right and control" on matters relating to international security.
"If Internet is one of the finest creations of human mind, it ought not be allowed to be abused by the few, to unleash terror and cybercrime through dark net and dark webs and other instruments. Therefore, the role of government will continue to be relevant, as an important stakeholder," Prasad said.
A committee on Internet governance set by Indian government has favoured the approach and decided the country should try to collaborate with the US on the matter. "We instinctively value Internet to be open, plural and inclusive and access should be without discrimination. To ensure its stability, it must also be secure," Prasad said.
India in its submission has said under new transition, the body managing Internet should have "accountability towards governments" in areas where "governments have primary responsibility, such as security and similar public policy concerns." Prasad talked about push for content in local language over internet so that people can establish a link with it.
"Diversity of the representation should be ensured in the new architecture because developing and emerging economies are going to contribute the next billion internet users," he said. The minister said that India would like to share its own experience of successfully living in a country with diversity and the spread of internet capturing this diversity.
"Democracy and Deliberative policy making are some of the core strengths of India. We wish to convey our good wishes to the new architecture, in which we seek a constructive engagement with international community and let me assure that India's would be a voice of moderation," Prasad said.
Last round of public comments closed on December 21. ICANN received 4-5 comments from India among about 80 comments it received over accountability of new entity that will manage or oversee functions of Internet. The proposal will be then sent to US government, which is expected to take 60-90 days to gets approvals from various authorities within their government.