UNESCO consults on Internet indicators at ICANN60

30 October 2017

The intersection of UNESCO interests in the Internet, and the world’s systems for managing Internet traffic, came under discussion during a conference on 28 October 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The 60th general meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN60) included a session where 80 technical experts engaged with UNESCO about possible indicators to assess Internet development.

Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Guy Berger, explained UNESCO’s concept of Internet Universality and the Organisation’s project to develop an indicator framework to assess human rights, openness, accessibility and multistakeholder participation on the Internet.

Participants suggested that Internet Universality indicators could assess transparency around takedowns of domain names, as well as the extent of abuse where websites were used for phishing, spam and botnet.

Further indicators could assess national registries for website names, as to whether they were independent and operated language policies, and whether the country allowed for competitive services for sub-domain name registration.

Referring to the technology under which Internet addresses are allocated, several participants said it was relevant to assess to what extent IP Version 6 is being used in a country as this would provide an idea about how advanced local internet networks were.

Information on the routing of Internet traffic is important for the Indicators because it impacts on affordability and therefore accessibility, said one participant

On multistakeholder participation, an indicator was suggested to assess if there is community involvement in policy around domain names, and a further proposed indicator was about participation by nationals in global fora such as the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).