At the RIPE meeting in Amsterdam spring 2011 I held a presentation at the cooperation working group about intermediaries and their roles. The main thesis of the presentation is first that Internet is now needed not only for IT related processes in the society, but is an absolute necessity for the society as a whole. Given this, the role of intermediaries is of course of outmost importance, but unfortunately the discussions about their role is split in three directions:
- The importance of neutrality, openness, privacy and integrity
- The need law enforcement agencies have
- The need organizations have to maximize revenue for their shareholders
Unfortunately, I do not see yet any successful discussions where these three forces are balanced against each other. We need to not only listen more to each other (as we do in IGF and EuroDIG for example). We also must suggest concrete actions that are acceptable for proponents for strengthening the roles in each one of the three directions described above.