A delegation from the Serbian National Internet Domain Name Registry Foundation (RNIDS) was invited for a meeting with the Economic Section of the US Embassy in Serbia on 18th August. Attending on behalf of RNIDS were Dušan Stojičević, Chair of the Board of Governors, Danko Jevtović, director, and Slobodan Marković, advisor for ICT policy and Internet community relations. Representing the Embassy were Jeremy Long, the Embassy's Acting Economic Counselor, Zorica Mihajlović, Senior Commercial Specialist and Dejan Gajić, Economic Assistant. The meeting was a chance to talk about topics of common interest in the area of telecommunications, in particular about cyber-security, the promotion of ICT and the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance – which was an issue specially emphasised by the Embassy.
The US government is committed to the multi-stakeholder model for the administration of critical Internet resources, which it demonstrated back in 1998 when it supported the idea of the creation of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This non-profit organisation, based in California, manages the global DNS system, and takes its decisions through a process that involves dialogue amongst a large number of different stakeholders around the world who include national and generic domain name registries, Internet and hosting providers, digital content creators and e-marketers, representatives of international organisations and national governments, academic institutions, civil society organisations and end users.
Although since its founding ICANN has been autonomous in its adoption of rules for the functioning of the global DNS system and has implemented them in the technical sense via a separate unit (IANA), formal supervision of the IANA functions has been in the hands of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), under an agreement with ICANN. Last year the NTIA expressed its readiness to relinquish its supervisory role and hand it over to the global Internet community under the ICANN umbrella. Transfer of supervision of the IANA function is one of the most significant changes under way in the area of Internet governance, and is expected to be completed over the next year.
RNIDS stressed that as an organisation it had its roots in the local Internet community and was founded on similar multi-stakeholder principles, and that it was the only national Internet domain name registry in the region that had successfully implemented such a model. RNIDS presented its regional and international activities, such as the initiation of a regional dialogue – the South-East European Dialogue on Internet Governance, SEEDIG – its involvement in the Board of Directors of the association of European country code top-level domain registries (CENTR) and its role in organising the global Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
During the discussions, special mention was made of the support provided by RNIDS to state institutions in their formulation and implementation of ICT policies. This particularly referred to RNIDS’ activities relating to the new Information Security Act, which was recently opened for public debate.
The US Embassy delegates were also given a presentation of RNIDS’ educational activities in the area of cyber-security, such as the events organised by RNIDS every October as part of European Cyber Security Month, and the series of talks on the subject organised by RNIDS throughout the year in partnership with university faculties and student organisations.
It was agreed that RNIDS would support ICT-related educational events in the field of ICT organised by the US Embassy, and that the two parties would work together in promoting e-commerce and the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance.