On the Internet Governance website comes the annoucement that core Internet institutions -- ICANN, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, the World Wide Web Consortium, the Internet Society, all five of the regional Internet address registries -- have unanimously agreed to put an end to "3 decades of U.S. dominance of Internet governance."
But that was only the beginning. A day after the Montevideo declaration, the President and CEO of ICANN, Fadi Chehadi ? the man vetted by the US government to lead its keystone Internet governance institution ? met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. And at this meeting, Chehade engaged in some audacious private Internet diplomacy. He asked the president [of Brazil] to elevate her leadership to a new level, to ensure that we can all get together around a new model of governance in which all are equal. A press release from the Brazilian government said that President Rousseff wanted the event to be held in April 2014 in Rio de Janeiro. The President of ICANN thus not only allied himself with a political figure who has been intensely critical of the US government and the NSA spying program, he conspired with her to convene a global meeting to begin forging a new system of Internet governance that would move beyond the old world of US hegemony.
Make no mistake about it: this is important. It is the latest, and one of the most significant manifestations of the fallout from the Snowden revelations about NSA spying on the global Internet. Its one thing when the government of Brazil, a longtime antagonist regarding the US role in Internet governance, gets indignant and makes threats because of the revelations. And of course, the gloating of representatives of the International Telecommunication Union could be expected. But this is different. Brazils state is now allied with the spokespersons for all of the organically evolved Internet institutions, the representatives of the very multi-stakeholder model the US purports to defend. You know youve made a big mistake, a life-changing mistake, when even your own children abandon you en masse.
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