A Working Group established after a United Nations-initiated World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) proposed the following definition of Internet governance as part of its June 2005 report:
Law professor Yochai Benkler developed a framework for conceptualizing the idea of Internet governance through the idea of three "layers" of governance: the "physical infrastructure" layer through which information travels; the "code" or "logical" layer that controls the infrastructure; and the "content" layer, which contains the information that runs through the network.
The original ARPANET, one of the components which eventually evolved into the Internet, connected four Universities: University of California Los Angeles, University of California Santa Barbara , Stanford Research Institute and Utah University. The IMPs, interface minicomputers, were built in 1969 by Bolt, Beranek and Newman under a proposal by the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. By 1973 it connected many more systems and included satellite links to Hawaii and Scandinavia, and a further link from Norway to London. ARPANET continued to grow in size, becoming more a utility than a research project. For this reason in 1975 it was transferred to the US Defense Communications Agency.
During the development of ARPANET, a numbered series of Request for Comments (RFCs) memos documented technical decisions and methods of working as they evolved. The standards of today's Internet are still documented by RFCs, produced through the very process which evolved on ARPANET.
Outside of the USA the dominant technology was X.25. The International Packet Switched Service, created in 1978, used X.25 and extended to Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada, and the USA. It allowed individual users and companies to connect to a variety of mainframe systems, including Compuserve. Between 1979 and 1984, an approach known as Unix to Unix Copy Program grew to connect 940 hosts, using methods like X.25 links, ARPANET connections, and leased lines. Usenet News, a distributed discussion system, was a major use of UUCP.
The Internet protocol suite, developed between 1973 and 1977 with funding from ARPA, was intended to hide the differences between different underlying networks and allow many different applications to be used over the same network.
RFC 801 describes how the US Department of Defense organized the replacement of ARPANET's Network Control Program by the new Internet Protocol in January 1983. In the same year, the military systems were removed to a distinct MILNET, and the Domain Name System was invented to manage the names and addresses of computers on the "ARPA Internet". The familiar top-level domains .gov, .mil, .edu, .org, .net, .com, and .int, and the two-letter country code top-level domains were deployed in 1984.
By the end of 1989 Australia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom had connected to the Internet, which now contained over 160,000 hosts.
In 1990, ARPANET formally shut down, and in 1991 the NSF dropped its restrictions on commercial use of its part of the Internet. Commercial network providers began to interconnect, extending the Internet.
Today almost all Internet infrastructure is provided and owned by the private sector. Traffic is exchanged between these networks, at major interconnect points, in accordance with established Internet standards and commercial agreements.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) was formed in 1986 by the US Government to develop and promote Internet standards. It initially consisted of researchers, but by the end of the year participation was open to anyone, and its business was largely carried on by email.
From the early days of the network until his death in 1998, Jon Postel oversaw address allocation and other Internet protocol numbering and assignments in his capacity as Director of the Computer Networks Division at the Information Sciences Institute of the the University of Southern California, under a contract from the DoD. This role eventually became known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and as it expanded to include management of the global Domain Name System (DNS) root servers, a small organization grew. Postel also served as RFC Editor.
Allocation of IP addresses was delegated to four Regional Internet Registries (RIRs):
In 2004 a new RIR, AfriNIC, was created to manage allocations for Africa.
After Jon Postel's death in 1998, the IANA function was taken over by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a newly created Californian non-profit corporation, set up in September 1998 by the US Government and awarded a contract by the US Department of Commerce. Initially two board members were elected by the Internet community at large, though this was changed by the rest of the board in 2002 in a thinly attended public meeting in Accra, in Ghana.
In 1992 the Internet Society (ISOC) was founded, with a mission to "assure the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world". Its members include individuals (anyone may join) as well as corporations, organizations, governments, and universities. The IAB was renamed the Internet Architecture Board, and became part of ISOC. The Internet Engineering Task Force also came under the ISOC umbrella. The IETF is currently overseen by the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), and longer term research is carried on by the Internet Research Task Force and overseen by the Internet Research Steering Group.
In 2002, a restructuring of the Internet Society gave more control to its corporate members.
At the first World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva 2003 the topic of Internet governance was put on the table. Since no general agreement existed even on the definition of what comprised Internet governance, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan set up a Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) to clarify the issues and report before the second part of the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis 2005. After much controversial debate, participants agreed on a compromise to allow for wider international debate on the policy principles. They agreed to establish an Internet Governance Forum, to be convened by United Nations Secretary General before the end of the second quarter of the year 2006. The Greek government volunteered to host the first such meeting.
The position of the US Department of Commerce as the controller of the Internet gradually attracted criticism from those who felt that its control should reflect its international nature. A hands-off approach by the DoC helped contain this criticism.
When the IANA functions were handed to a new US non-profit Corporation called ICANN, controversy increased. ICANN's decision-making process was criticised by some observers as being secretive and unaccountable. When the directors' posts which had previously been elected by the "at-large" community of Internet users were abolished, some feared the worst. ICANN stated that they were merely streamlining decision-making processes, and developing a structure suitable for the modern Internet.
Other areas of controversy included the creation and control of generic top-level domains (.com, .org, and possible new ones, such as .biz or .xxx), the control of country-code domains, recent proposals for a large increase in ICANN's budget and responsibilities, and a proposed "domain tax" to pay for the increase.
Diplo's Capacity Building is divided into three phases: phase one covers a background course divided in 4 baskets: Infrastructure and Standardisation Basket, Legal Basket, Economic Basket, and Socio-Cultural Basket.
Phase two of the programme gives the opportunity to selected participants to expand their research skills in various research projects related to IG.
The third phase is the last one and ensure Fellowships allocation to successful participants in both phases. The fellowships includes attending IG events mainly IGF.
DiploFoundation participated in all the IGF Athens 2006 and IGF Rio 2007 with two delegations including some of the programme successful participants and associates from all over the world.