Public Policy on the Internet: What is it? Who makes it?

14 November 2007 - A Workshop on Internet Governance Principles in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


In the Tunis Agenda, national governments claimed the right to make “public policy” for the Internet, but also said that “technical and operational matters” should be left to the private sector.

But what is "public policy" on the Internet? When do Internet issues become "public policy" issues, and how can these be isolated and extracted from day-to-day technical and operational matters? Is the claim that states have a "sovereign right" to make policy for the Internet compatible with the global scope of the Internet? What was intended by the Tunis Agenda's call for the "development of globally-applicable principles on public policy issues associated with the coordination and management of critical Internet resources"? What kind of "globally applicable principles" could be applied to the Internet resources? How would such principles improve and guide Internet governance?

This workshop explores these important questions with expert representatives of government, academia, international organizations and business.


The Internet Governance Project

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France

Internet Governance Caucus

Afilias Global Registry Services

Ian Peter and Associates Pty., Ltd.


Moderator: Jeanette Hofmann, Partner, Internet Governance Project

Jeanette Hofmann holds a research position with the Social Science Research Centre Berlin and the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR) at the London School of Economics. She is a civil society member of the multistakeholder advisory group (MAG) that assists the UN Secretary General in organizing the Internet Governance Forum. She is a partner in the Internet Governance Project and a founder and member of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet).

Paul Twomey, Chief Executive Officer, ICANN

Paul Twomey became President and CEO of ICANN in March 2003. His background includes numerous leadership positions in commercial enterprises and government. He was the first chair of ICANN's Government Advisory Committee. Prior to that, Dr. Twomey was founding Chief Executive Officer of the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE), and the Australian federal government's Special Adviser for the Information Economy and Technology.

Bertrand de la Chapelle, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France

Bertrand de la Chapelle is the Special Envoy for the Information Society in the French Foreign and European Affairs Ministry in Paris. He represents the French government in ICANN´s Governmental Advisory Committee and the Internet Governance Forum, as well as the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD).

Milton Mueller, Partner, Internet Governance Project

Milton Mueller (Ph.D., U. Pennsylvania, 1989) is Professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (USA) and XS4All Professor at Technology University Delft. He co-directs the Convergence Center, which focuses on the technical, management and policy problems of converging media, and was one of the founders of the Internet Governance Project (IGP), an alliance of university scholars working on international Internet policy issues.

Miriam Sapiro, President, Summit Strategies International

Mirim Sapiro is a consultant with private sector and government experience, nominated to the panel by the International Chamber of Commerce. Prior to forming Summit Strategies she was Director of International Policy at VeriSign, and served for twelve years with the United States Government under Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton and was Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council. She has been active in the Council on Foreign Relations, the Atlantic Council, the American Society of International Law, the DC Bar and the American Bar Association.

Parminder Jeet Singh, Executive Director, IT for Change

Parminder Jeet Singh Directs IT for Change, a Bangalore, India-based NGO that has been active in the WSIS process and the Internet Governance Forum, advocating for the priorities of the South. He spent nearly a decade in government, where he initiated innovative e-governance solutions. Parminder has worked with many ICTD field projects, as well as in policy research and advocacy related to information society issues. He current is co-coordinator of the civil society Internet Governance Caucus.

Olga Cavalli, Advisor, Argentina Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ms. Cavalli is a university professor and a member of the Advisory Group for the Internet Governance Forum. As an advisor of the Argentina Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she has represented Argentina in the WSIS Second Phase and in ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Graduated as Electronic and Electric Engineer at Universidad de Mendoza, she completed her MBA at the Universidad del CEMA and a Masters Degree in Telecommunication Regulation at Universidad de Buenos Aires. Today she is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Business Administration program at the Universidad del CEMA.

Ian Peter, Ian Peter Associates Pty, Ltd., Australia

Ian Peter works as a Management Consultant in the areas of strategy, policy, business analysis and project management. Ian Peter’s experience with Internet usage in the Asian Pacific region dates to 1986, when he was commissioned by United Nations Environment Program to create an email network of peak environmental NGOs in the Asia Pacific Region. From that early experiment, Ian went on to be a Founding Director of the Association for Progressive Communications ( in 1989, which by 1993 had created global links to non profit networks across over 100 countries.

Aditional Information

The Internet Governance Project:


Ian Peter and Associates Pty., Ltd:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France:

Internet Governance Caucus: