back to article Critics hit out at 'black box' UN internet body

The United Nations body that reviews how the internet is governed is facing criticism from some of its biggest supporters over its "black box" decision making. The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is an annual event that pulls everyone from governments to civil society to business and the technical community together to discuss …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Is the UN role really important or has just become another stumbling block with the good old boys (friends of UN types) who need a vacation in an exotic place?

    If it's not working (and it seems it isn't) then kill it off. Kill with fire and save everyone some time and money.

    1. Ole Juul


      Unfortunately all old organizations evolve into zombies. You can't kill them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: evolution

        You can, however, change their remit so that they're so busy squabbling internally they won't bother anyone?

        Task them with coming up with a single definition, acceptable to all UN member states and requiring worldwide adoption (replacing all other such laws in every country, no exceptions & no additions to list allowed by national governments) of "illegal material", with any stuff that is not on that list being lawful and all categories defined clearly and in plain language.

        Oh, and until they've done that, they're not allowed to discuss anything else?

        Should keep them arguing for a decade or two. Or ten.

        Then we tell them it's got to fit on one side of A4. Another decade.

        1. energystar

          Forums, Comittees...

          Maybe 'Task Forces'?

  2. Joey A

    The United Nations is not multistakeholder, and neither is the IGF

    The UN was built to represent nation states and governments, it is not built for "multi-stakeholder" groups from the private sector, civil society, or technical communities. These non-governmental groups can, at best, aspire to be participatory audience members, or to be assigned committee-like roles (which the MAG apparently does as the IGF's program committee). If the UN sought operate the IGF as a multi-stakeholder organization, then the IGF would need to have accountability to a multi-stakeholder group, leaving the MAG to carry out only the quasi-executive programme committee functions that it currently does. Couldn't the IGF have a separate multi-stakeholder board of trustees of some kind that could produce bylaws and provide transparency and accountability for decisions like MAG selection?

    1. energystar

      The United Nations IS multistakeholder.

      Warsaw Pact [successor], NATO, Transnational Corporations, EU, NAFTA, etc. If Actors were contained within frontiers, then you could be right.

      Nations come to vote in the End. But for that voting to be successful -and RELEVANT as an ultimate Goal- the multistakeholder reality of the World has to be accounted for.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Does it actually do anything? Except meet at unpredictable intervals in unpredictable places?

  4. tom dial Silver badge

    Yes. What authority does it have and, more importantly, what power? Who can ignore it, and who must follow its orders? What actions can it take and make stick?

    Its web page at suggests it is little more than another yammering society.

  5. Yes Me Silver badge

    Who exactly cares who sits on the Internet Governance Forum's main body?

    Since it is a completely useless and pointless body, who the f cares?

    (At least there is the perfect icon for this comment.)

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