Don’t break the internet! Stop spying and move to IPv6 pronto!

Did you know several countries want to build their own intranets? Sure, repressive places like Iran or China attempting to cut people off from the world-wide web are no surprise, but what about Brazil? In the wake of the NSA spying revelations its president wants to build an internet that doesn’t ever send traffic through the U.S. — which kind of ignores the way the internet currently works.

But the point is, that governmental leaders, protesters and your neighbor are all waking up to the internet as a fundamentally unsecured network by which we send all kinds of personal, secret and potentially embarrassing things. And as nations realize this — be it via NSA-gate or because street protesters are trying to topple their regime and using a social network to organize — they are threatening the fundamental interconnectedness that defines the internet.

That’s why the leaders of organizations responsible for coordination of the global Internet technical infrastructure (think the Internet Engineering Task Force and the American Registry for Internet Numbers) met in Uruguay, to consider current issues affecting the future of the Internet. After deliberating, they released the following statement (I’m publishing the whole thing):

The Internet and World Wide Web have brought major benefits in social and economic development worldwide. Both have been built and governed in the public interest through unique mechanisms for global multistakeholder Internet cooperation, which have been intrinsic to their success. The leaders discussed the clear need to continually strengthen and evolve these mechanisms, in truly substantial ways, to be able to address emerging issues faced by stakeholders in the Internet.

In this sense:

  1. They reinforced the importance of globally coherent Internet operations, and warned against Internet fragmentation at a national level. They expressed strong concern over the undermining of the trust and confidence of Internet users globally due to recent revelations of pervasive monitoring and surveillance.
  2. They identified the need for ongoing effort to address Internet Governance challenges, and agreed to catalyze community-wide efforts towards the evolution of global multistakeholder Internet cooperation.
  3. They called for accelerating the globalization of ICANN and IANA functions, towards an environment in which all stakeholders, including all governments, participate on an equal footing.
  4. They also called for the transition to IPv6 to remain a top priority globally. In particular Internet content providers must serve content with both IPv4 and IPv6 services, in order to be fully reachable on the global Internet.

Adiel A. Akplogan, CEO
African Network Information Center (AFRINIC)

John Curran, CEO
American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)

Paul Wilson, Director General
Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC)

Russ Housley, Chair
Internet Architecture Board (IAB)

Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Jari Arkko, Chair
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)

Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO
Internet Society (ISOC)

Raúl Echeberría, CEO
Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC)

Axel Pawlik, Managing Director
Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC)

Jeff Jaffe, CEO
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)