Interaction with Mr. Samiran Gupta, the Head of India for ICANN
Printer-friendly versionSend to friend
DSCN9221 copy.jpg

Mr. Samiran Gupta, the Head of India for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was invited February 23, 2017 for a discussion on issues broadly related to internet’s freedom and security. In his opening remarks, General NC Vij, Director VIF, while highlighting increasing threats in the cyber domain posed by a few state and non-state actors, urged that the internet, an identified global common, must remain open and free from threats.

Echoing General Vij’s sentiments, Mr. Samiran Gupta navigated the audience through the complex web of present internet governance. The presentation by Mr. Samiran Gupta included a broad range of topics such as the evolution of internet from packet switching networks in the 1960s to its present form and the present eco-system of internet governance, besides the organizational structure of the ICANN, various stake-holders, policy development processes etc.

The ICANN was founded in 1998 in the United States with the broad objectives of preserving the operational stability of the internet, promoting competition; achieving broad representation of the global Internet community; and developing policies appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes. As a non-profit organization, it works through multi-stakeholders and is responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the name-spaces of the Internet, ensuring the network's stable and secure operation. The multi-stakeholder model comprises individuals, non-commercial stakeholders groups, industry and governments. In so far as policies are concerned, these are fair, community-based and consensus driven.

Mr. Gupta underlined the ICANN’s proven commitment to accountability and transparency in all of its practices. These remain fundamental safeguards in ensuring that its international, bottom-up and multi-stakeholder operating model remains effective.While urging the VIF to actively engage with the ICANN’s policy development processes, Mr. Gupta stressed that trajectory of the internet is increasingly gravitating towards the Asia-Pacific region which necessitates the countries in the region not only further beef up their infrastructure networks but also more vigorously engage with the ICANN in the policy development processes. Internet censorship, free basics, dark web etc. were a few amongst issues that came up for discussions during the interactive session.

Besides General NC Vij, Director VIF, Lt Gen RK Sawhney (retd) Dean, Centre for Defence Studies, VIF, Mr. CD Sahay, Dean, Centre for Neighbourhood Studies and Internal Security Studies, VIF and Mr. Sushant Sareen, Senior Fellow, VIF, attended, among others, the discussion. The interaction was coordinated by Lt Gen Davinder Kumar, former Signal Officer-in-Chief of the Indian Army and former CEO & Managing Director of Tata Advanced Systems Ltd.

Event Date: 
February 23, 2017