Last week, NETmundial's global gathering on Internet governance marked a historical moment. Brazil aligned itself not just rhetorically, but politically with those pushing for an open, neutral, and free Internet. The signing of the landmark Marco Civil bill at the opening session, after years of mobilization and multi-stakeholder engagement, should serve as an example for civil society and inspiration for governments around the world.
As Public Knowledge reflects upon last week's NETmundial multi-stakeholder meeting, it is clear that for all its faults, the meeting in Sao Paulo was a turning point for Internet governance and human rights in the digital environment.
For the first time in such a meeting, all the stakeholders were not only “at the table” but, to some extent, drivers of the agenda, drafting, and outcomes.The process itself was open to the Internet, whether it was for scathing criticism or simply curious engagement via video streaming.
The following can be attributed to Carolina Rossini at Public Knowledge:
“The NETmundial outcome document made progress in a number of areas that have not been the subject of multi-stakeholder consensus before. These areas include the recognition of the Internet as a common resource that needs to be managed in the public interest, and that the development of international public policy principles for the Internet should be conducted in a democratic and multi-stakeholder processes.
“The NETmundial text also recognizes that the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in this process should be interpreted in a flexible manner with reference to the issues under discussion. The outcome document was a clear shift in the politics of digital networks.”
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