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Future of Internet Cooperation: a statement based upon the Montevideo Convention

Last Edit: 10/01/17

The 'Future of Internet Cooperation' was a statement released by the 'heads' of a range of important Internet organisations. The 'Future of Internet Cooperation' is also referred to as the 'Montevideo Statement' as it was inspired by the Montevideo Convention of 1933. The Montevideo Convention was held in the capital city of Uruguay (Montevideo) and discussed and codified statehood and international law for American nations.

Released on the 7th of October, 2013, the 'Future of Internet Cooperation' statement was signed by the 'heads' of the following Internet organisations:

  1. Internet Architecture Board
  2. Internet Society
  3. Internet Engineering Task Force
  4. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
  5. World Wide Web Consortium
  6. African Network Information Center
  7. American Registry for Internet Numbers
  8. Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre
  9. Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry
  10. Réseaux IP European Network Coordination Centre

The statement was prompted by the information leak - of Edward Snowden - that the NSA was conducting surveillance of the Internet with the PRISM surveillance program. The Department of Commerce of the United States has ultimate authority of the DNS root domain of the Internet. ICANN is under contract to the Department of Commerce (as of 2014). This gives the US government control of certain aspects of the Internet: most notable the address system of the Internet.

Many nations, through the UN, have stated their displeasure that the US government will not surrender control of the DNS root domain. Prompted by the NSA scandal, the 'Future of Internet Cooperation' Montevideo statement warned against national control of Internet architecture and highlighted the need for international cooperation: ultimately suggesting the creation of an international multi-stakeholder body to control the functions of ICANN and IANA.