India hosting the GCCS next year is a chance to consolidate its leadership in foreign policy frontiers like cyber and climate change, where the international regime is not yet on firm ground.
From geospatial bills to the digital Indic language movement, India is struggling to practice the multistakeholderism it preaches and supports at global Internet governance forums, including this week’s ICANN 57 meeting in Hyderabad.
To achieve concrete policy objectives, however, Indian bureaucrats and civil society representatives will need to engage more closely with and work their way into various Internet governance body mechanisms.
If membership in the 2016 UN group of governmental experts is a shot in the arm for Indian diplomacy, the group’s deliberations will require New Delhi to finesse its line and approach negotiations with caution.
If the digital divide has to be bridged across the world, it is for the BRICS countries to take leadership and shape the global agenda with a billion new entrants in mind.
India has repeatedly expressed its support for multistakeholder Internet governance at the global level. If India is to make the system work for its interests, it is the implementation of multistakeholderism at the domestic level that now needs to become a priority.
The recommendations for the post-transition ICANN, as they currently stand, change the power dynamics within ICANN. Governments will now get a say in key operational decisions, something that they earlier didn’t have.
New Delhi is currently considering a bilateral cyber deal with Russia, which would be a game-changer not just in this space, but also for India’s foreign policy
The outcome document produced of the 10-year review of the World Summit on Information Society has some glaring omissions
If India used its knowledge and expertise to help improvise new directions for global Internet governance, that would bring much richer dividends than just capitulating to the US-led power structure.
By backing multi-stakeholderism in global Internet governance, India has aligned itself closer to the United States. Washington must now reciprocate by accommodating Indian concerns
Internet governance as practiced by ICANN has been prone to capture by an elite coalition of US commercial interests, besides being subject to US political imperatives. Does India have an alternative model?