Internet governance

I spent the day at the APIA and ISOC-AU Open Forum as part of APRICOT 2006, where I crossed swords with Chris Disspain again, during the closing panel. OK, so I had a tough crowd to try to convince that a UN-formed intergovernmental organisationmulti-stakeholder forum should get a look in to Internet governance, but I was bemused by the argument that “governments will go ahead and make laws about the Internet anyway, so we should just let them do that rather than gracing the process with our presence”. Well, yes, they will go ahead and do it without us – behind closed doors, without input from the Internet technical community. Is that really what we want? The IGF is going ahead with or without us, and I for one think it is better to be on board than to miss the boat and complain about the consequences later.