iGovernance: The Future of Multi-Stakeholder Internet Governance in the Wake of the Apple Encryption Saga
42 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 11, 2016
How should the Internet be governed? What role should governments play? What about the private sector? Does it still make sense — as it did in 1998 when it was created — for a non-profit corporation based in California to be responsible for managing the Domain Name System (DNS), which matches IP addresses with website names? Would your answer change if you were a resident of New Delhi, or Beijing? From net neutrality to privacy, encryption, and the proper role for governments in securing critical infrastructure, Internet governance is a multi-faceted field with an increasing number of power centers shaping myriad global cybersecurity debates. Recently, in the wake of the 2015-16 Apple encryption debate touched off by the FBI’s request to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, the role of the private sector vis-à-vis States has enjoyed renewed attention at a time when the prevailing multi-stakeholder approach – incorporating a variety of non-governmental actors in an open and participative polycentric governance process – has come under strain. This reexamination is a continuation of the global debate following revelations by former NSA-contractor Edward Snowden, prompting a reassessment of the benefits and drawbacks of the current state of Internet governance and what role international law and institutions should play in crafting twenty-first century cyberspace. This Article delves into this debate by focusing on the Apple encryption saga and what it portends for the role of emerging private and public power centers in shaping the future of polycentric Internet governance. Addressing this question and what it portends for the prospects of cyber peace in an age often defined by cyber insecurity is central to enhancing global equity, security, and privacy online.
Keywords: cybersecurity, cyber attack, encryption, Apple
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