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Scripta Nova
Universidad de Barcelona. ISSN: 1138-9788. Depósito Legal: B. 21.741-98
Vol. XII, núm. 270 (151b), 1 de agosto de 2008
Nueva serie de Geo Crítica. Cuadernos Críticos de Geografía Humana


Hindenburgo Francisco Pires
Instituto de Geografia. Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro


This article is part of a research project on the topic “Global Internet Governance: The Representation of country toponyms in cyberspace[1]. This project represents a new field of study and research in the area of Geography. It is part of the line of research entitled “Globalization, Public Policies and Territorial Restructuring” and of the discipline “Cyberspace and Information Society” of the Post-Graduate Geography Program of the Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ) Institute of Geography.

In all aspects, the issue of Internet Governance (IG) has implications in the future development of the Internet, keeping in mind that the latter encompasses a wide range of topics that are linked, not only to the question of technological development, but also to political issues concerning sovereignty, security (McCullagh, 2005)[2], geography, geopolitics, economy, education, citizenship, privacy, freedom of expression, etc.

Internet governance[3] represents a series of constructive initiatives and activities that are collectively and consensually conceived by governments, public and private sectors, and civil-society organizations to establish a global-regulation structure that independently promotes the scientific, territorial, economic and social development of the Internet among nations.  

Based on this concept, IG encompasses an extraordinary spectrum of decisions and policies concerning normative activities, operations, applications and actions (Martin, 2007, p.13)[4]

Thus, to study global Internet governance means to include geography in the list of sciences that are dedicated to investigating IG. It also means broadening the range of research in geography.

In order to meet this challenge, this article seeks to do the following: examine how the political authority for the representation of nations in IG was historically formed and instituted; investigate how national representation works in the current IG model; analyze how the private control of the system of DNS allocation among nations occurs; investigate the participation and interference of entities linked to politics, government, public and private sectors, and civil-society organizations in the establishment of a new global regulatory structure based on a multilateral Internet governance system; analyze how projects for establishing alternate, IG root-systems are being implemented by social entities that reject the current, unilateral, corporate IG model, and what has been the UN’s role in promoting dialog between member-nations for the construction of “multistakeholder” IG.

Thus, this study has the following objectives: to reveal IG’s historical phases; to present the results achieved by the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) – march 2008 – that was promoted by the UN General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro in 2007; and to point out the new trends and perspectives that are beginning to be defined for the 2008 IGF in New Delhi, India.

Historical Phases of Global Internet Governance

IG history can be divided into five large phases:

Table 1. Internet Governance Phases








1958 - 1983

1984 - 1991

1992 - 1997

1998 to Today

2002 to Today


Unilateral Military

Unilateral Military and Academic

Unilateral Military and Commercial

Unilateral Civil and Commercial

Multistakeholder or Independent







IG during the ARPANET period (1958-1983): Internet origins in the Cold War context

Growth in computer and radar production in the United States has always been related to investments in the defense sector and the arms race. This growth became even more intense when the Soviets exploded their first atomic bomb in 1949.

Based on telecommunications systems, radar at that time was the only means of taking preventive measures against a possible air attack; in this sense, a defense system that would monitor radar signals within US territory (McNeil, 1982; Pires, 1992) was created by the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the USAF with the support of the RAND Corporation[6].

In 1957, the USSR launched the “Sputnik” military satellite. Aiming at making a stand against this initiative, President Eisenhower decided to create the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in 1958. In the 60s, this concern over the issue of US national security was maintained and perfected by the Kennedy Administration.

From 1958 to 1965, ARPA operated focusing on significant national-defense issues, such as the protection of US airspace, ballistic defense missiles, and nuclear experiments. In 1960, all of its civil space programs and military space programs were transferred to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which was also created in 1958. During the Cold War, ARPA’s goal was to develop, with the support of universities, research in technology that could deter Soviet advances in the space race.[7]

In the late 60s, ARPA became the most important company in US computer history. Various factors contributed to its growth, but the most important factor was the creation of a military computer network known as the ARPANET[8]. The network installed by ARPA was improved with the use of the computer-commutation program known as the “Information Processing Techniques Office” – IPTO –[9] (Castells, 2003, p.13), which permitted the appearance of a real-time, integrated computer network within US territory.

In 1972, ARPA was renamed. It became the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and continued to be regulated by the US Department of Defense (DoD), with an annual budget of US$238 million dollars. During that time, DARPA investments were directed toward programs for the processing of information and the development of a Communications Control and Command system. Cooperating with Bell Laboratories, General Electric and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the area of data processing, DARPA made great progress in its research to improve the US defense system.

Meanwhile, with the aid of IBM and of MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, the US Army had also developed an ambitious US continental airspace defense program known as SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment)[10]. The SAGE system was conceived to coordinate radar stations designed to intercept airplanes seeking to attempt a possible air attack. Twenty-three control centers equipped with the SAGE system were established within US territory. Each center could monitor up to 400 planes.

In the early 70s, together with IBM, ARPANET developed the Network Control Program (NCP)[11]. The NCP was the first program with a standard network protocol that executed the functions of email, telnet and file transfer protocols (FTP) among servers. This program helped to integrate fifteen important academic, military and research institutions into one network: 1. Bolt Baranek and Newman; 2. Carnegie Mellon University; 3. Case Western Reserve University; 4. Harvard University; 5. Lincoln Laboratories; 6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 7. NASA and AMES; 8. RAND Corporation; 9. Stanford Research Institute; 10. Stanford University; 11. System Development Corporation; 12. University of California at Los Angeles; 13. University of California at Santa Barbara; 14. University of Illinois at Urbana; 15. University of UTAH. These institutions formed the embryo of that which is today known as the Internet or inter-networking. By the mid-70s, the network established via the NCP already had 100 sites. The ARPANET’s objective was to connect military bases with US government research departments.

In 1983, ARPANET stopped using the NCP and decided to permanently establish a more powerful, efficient and flexible network protocol known as TCP/IP[12]. Conceived in 1974, this protocol was developed by ARPANET scientists Vinton Cerf, Yogen Dalal and Carl Sunshine in close collaboration with Stanford University specialists[13]. Like a series of control and transmission protocols among Internet protocols, the TCP/IP allowed different networks to communicate among themselves. This language set off a revolution in the age of network communications and became the world’s most-used network protocol.

The spontaneous growth in the number of university and civil institutions on this network forced the defense department to create, in 1983, an eminently military network known as MILNET14, which permitted only institutions from the US military-industrial complex and military sites on its network.

During the 80s, the MILNET expanded and formed the Defense Data Network (DDN), which was used by the DoD from 1983 to 1995. The DDN offered a network protocol that interconnected US military bases outside the US.

At the end of the 80s, the MILNET was subdivided into a group of four large military networks: NIPRNET - Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network, SIPRNET - Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, JWICS - Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System and, more recently, in 2007, RIPRNET- Radio over Internet Protocol Routed Network15. Each one operates with varying levels of security and global scope.

For security reasons, since the 90s the MILNET has restricted the use of innumerous communications applications that are common to conventional commercial networks, and has begun to operate differently from academic and corporate networks.

IG during the NSFNET period (1984-1992): The transition from military use to academic and civil use of the Internet

Created by the US Congress in 1950, during the Cold War, the National Science Foundation (NSF) was conceived to promote socio-scientific progress and to guarantee the defense of US territory.16 Consequently, from the standpoint of American universities and colleges, the NSF has been the main source of federal R&D funding in many areas, such as mathematics, computer science, social sciences, etc.

In the mid-80s, with the growth in academic and civil uses of the Internet that was facilitated by advances in the use of the TCP/IP, the NSF received legal authority to administer the maintenance of computer networks previously maintained by the ARPANET and to support and reinforce scientific investigation and educational activities in the United States. According to Mandel, Simon and deLyra (1997), during this period extraordinary growth of new networks occurred, such as “DECNET, VNET, BITNET, HEPNET, JANET, JUNET, EARN, NETNORTH, and FidoNet. Published in 1989, the book A Directory of Electronic Mail Addressing and Networks by D. Frey and R. Adams listed no less than 105 networks spread throughout the world, several of them with their own form of email addressing”[17].

In 1986, the National Science Foundation created a high-speed network known as the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), which permitted national integration and interconnection, through the TCP/IP protocol, of the supercomputers of five renowned US university institutions, connecting via network more than 4000 research and teaching institutions throughout the country. Later, other institutions – such as the CSNET (Computer Science Network)[18] and the EUNET (European UNIX Network – previously known as the USENET) – also began to hook up to the NSFNET. In 1987, the inclusion of new academic institutions in the NSFNET increased the total data flow, which practically doubled in less than seven months[19].

At the end of the 80s, scientists from CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Switzerland) also developed software, protocols and technology that formed the base of the current World Wide Web, and introduced a new concept in web documentation based on hypertext. With their inventions, they also were the protagonists of the future of that which would become the Internet. Such was the case of Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and director, during the 90s, of the WWW or W3C consortium[20].

With the extinction of the ARPANET in 1990[21], US Internet management became the responsibility of the NSFNET.  In 1992, the US Congress decision authorizing the NSF to permit the development of commercial activities and services on the NSFNET favored the explosive Internet boom even more.

The 1992 boom practically forced the preparation of a new regulatory milestone in Internet Governance: The Internet Standards Process[22], which was reinforced by the creation of a series of documents (RFC1310, RFC1602, RFC1603, RFC1871, RFC2727, etc.)[23]. The establishment of these procedures for the standardization of Internet protocols was elaborated by the Internet Activities Board (IAB), which became the main coordinating committee for conceiving the Internet’s design, engineering and management. This board’s work altered the architecture and organization of the Internet.

The IAB delegated to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) the task of assigning Internet protocol parameters. The numbers of these parameters are published in Request for Comments documents (RFCs) entitled “Assigned Numbers” or “Registered Numbers”. Each category of assigned numbers results from a protocol that obeys the Internet standardization norms and procedures.

IG during the IANA period (1992-1997): The beginning of civil and commercial Internet uses

In the early 90s, the IANA was administered by Jon Postel (Jonathan Bruce Postel)[24], who in 1980 created the DoD Standard Internet Protocol[25] and the Dominion Name System (DNS)[26]. According to RFC 1310, the term IANA referred to the technical team designated by the IAB, which was responsible for assigning and publishing technical parameters and Internet protocols. At the time, the IANA took over the central coordination and administration of the Internet, with the assignment of registering all addresses, domain names, protocols and parameters as far back as the very creation of the Internet.

Located at USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI), the IANA managed Internet protocols and parameters. Parameter files and definitions were cataloged in Request for Comments documents, or RFCs. Since 1994, these RFCs can be found with the assigned protocol numbers in the network’s sites, in the services section.

The IANA’s goal was to correct problems of security and vulnerability, which the disorderly expansion of the Internet had caused during the NSFNET period. The IANA also became the Request for Comments (RFCs) publisher. The RFCs became an excellent source of documentation for the development and dissemination of research, which was conducted by the Internet’s developers, and they ended up becoming the official Internet record of decisions as to the design, architecture and technical operating norms of the Internet[27].

The IANA was also responsible for coordinating the assignment of the country code top-level domain (ccTLD)[28]. The ccTLDs went on to become mere two-letter identifiers (br, es, ar, ch, de, etc.) of the country toponyms because, according to the IANA itself, it is not up to the IANA to determine who is and who is not a country. The notion of a country is only represented by a two-letter code that is granted by the record maintenance agency, which follows a set of geographical norms that were created in 1974. This series of norms (ISO 3166-1) validates the codes for the names of countries and dependencies[29].

During this Internet Governance phase, the IANA considered the country representations mere toponyms for the formal geographical record of the ccTLD DNS location in the immense Internet “galaxy”.

With the Internet’s privatization and commercial expansion through e-commerce in 1998, the IANA was practically subsumed politically by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

IG during the ICANN period (from 1998 to today): The corporate governance of the Internet

Until 1998, the governance of the Internet, and the administration of its technical infra/infostructure, was carried out by companies linked to the DoD and the US State Department (DARPA, NSF and IANA). During the Clinton Administration, the government decided to employ a policy of gradual Internet privatization, seeking to implement a virtual accumulation structure that would encourage the expansion of the USA’s business and interests in the new e-commerce frontier that the Internet had opened.

Within this geopolitical comprehension of the importance of cyberspace to the US economy, the ICANN was founded in 1998 with the strategic objective of guaranteeing global Internet governance and coordinating the Internet names and numbers system. The ICANN is a non-profit corporation linked to the Department of Commerce (DoC). Consequently, Internet governance shifted from DoD control to DoC control. However, despite the Internet’s extraordinary expansion, the US continued controlling the system’s root-servers (figure 1).

Figure 1. ICANN Root-Servers throughout the World
<>March 20, 2008

Thus, although apparently exiting the commercial Internet scene – which is a strategic field of economic interest to the United States –, and because it considers cyberspace a virtual war field over which it must maintain a permanent military system of security, vigilance and network protection, the DoD established information dominance (MAMPAEY and SERFATI, 2005, p.244)30 that was articulated via the principle of “Networking Centric Warfare[31]  (Network-Based Warfare)[32], which was created by the DoD’s Command and Control Research Program (CCRP). 

In this sense, the DoD retained the military control of cyberspace, while the ICANN and VeriSign obtained the commercial control. Consequently, they are the only ones responsible for the assignment of Internet protocol parameters – through the supervision of the domain name system, through the allocation of IP-address number blocks and through the management of the system’s root server. With the endorsement of the Internet trinity (US-DoC/ICANN/Verisign), the generic top-level domain (gTLD) system and the regional Internet registry (RIR) system became a highly profitable enterprise. Adopted by the ICANN, this management model favors US-based economic interests (Afonso, 2005, p.51).

Thus, although ICANN apparently is a non-profit corporation, it is in fact guaranteeing the United States’ total politico-economic control of the Internet via its organizational management structure (Figure 2), which involves a series of institutions and committees.

On the other hand, acting together with ICANN, VeriSign – a for-profit corporation that also controls the Internet – offers “security” certification and RIR certification to over 900,000 servers throughout the world. This corporation’s purpose – which is explicit on its site (Cf. <>March 20, 2008) – is to offer the highest profit to its clients, the majority of whom are large e-commerce companies. Accordingly, these companies are the link between the State and the market; as a result, besides its military control via the DoD, the State also controls the assignment of gTLD and RIR concession rights through the DoC.

Figure 2. ICANN's Organizational Structure
Source: ICANN, 2008. In: < >March 20, 200833

In relation to the country-name code system, ICANN preferred to maintain IANA’s policy and continued following the ISO 3166-1 series of geographical norms. The only alteration was bureaucratic, corresponding to the creation of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (CCNSO) and the establishment of a global policy administration council to elaborate, in a “consensual” manner, the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) system.34 Thus, the system’s essence remained the same as that of the IANA – that is, countries are not countries; they are merely country toponyms that are subject to mercantilism.

According to Carlos Afonso (2005, p.13), the country code and domain system became a commodity, and there were flaws in the support given to the concession of the ccTLD because, in several cases, ICANN passed the control and management of codes to companies outside the country to which they should belong, instead of passing this control and management to the country itself.35

With the growth of the Internet, ICANN’s excessively corporate biases and its management capacity began to be questioned (Goldsmith& Wu, 2006), mainly by European authorities that wanted greater autonomy in the elaboration of their proposals of public policies for their development of the Internet.[36]

Alternative Projects of Internet Governance (from 2002 to today) – The non-corporate governance of the ORSN

Reinforcing this tendency to contest the legitimacy of the current IG model, in 2002 a new, alternative root system created by European scientists for the Internet appeared: the Open Root Server Network (ORSN). This system represents an alternative, emancipation movement to override the corporate governance imposed by ICANN and VeriSign.[37]

Although it had no intention of creating a root zone outside the “American” Internet, the ORSN – as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) for the root zone of the European networks – explains that there are various reasons and factors (location, security, geopolitics, sovereignty) that justify the establishment of an alternative root system beyond US reach:

Another important movement to break away from the current IG model is the OpenDNS system, which was created in 2006 by David Ulevitch, an entrepreneur and DNS specialist.39 In 2007, OpenDNS underwent extraordinary geographic expansion in the US (Figure 3), and its servers are already operating in five large, world metropolises: Seattle, Palo Alto, New York, Washington (DC) and London.

Figure 3. OpenDNS's Area of Influence in 2007
Source: <>March 20, 2008

The issues that surface with the appearance of these emancipation movements to create a new, alternative IG system are as follows: How will the geographic registration of country names be conducted? Will these registrations surpass the ICANN’s flawed model for assigning country code top-level domains (ccTLD)? How will nations represent themselves in a sovereign manner in cyberspace?

The IGF in Rio de Janeiro: Discussions, tendencies and perspectives

In order to answer the above questions, since 2002, pressured by these emancipation movements, the UN General Assembly has been contributing to the preparation of a new governance model among member-nations. Accordingly, it has already organized four large conferences: the first one was held in Geneva in 2003 (Cf.<>20 March 2008); the second, in Tunes in 2005 (Cf.<> 20 March 2008); the third, in Greece in 2006 (Cf.<>20 March 2008); and the fourth, in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 (Cf.<>20 March 2008) (Kapur, 2005; CMSI, 2005; Afonso, 2005).

Marked by an (in)TENSE debate over the direction and future of the Internet, the IGF was organized into five large open forums that involved the following topics as the basis of discussions: critical Internet resources (transition from IPv4 to IPv6), access, diversity, openness and security. The IGF’s attendance rate was very substantial, as can be seen in table 2:

Table 2. IGF Numbers - 2007

Total Participants

Number of Parallel Events

Government Representatives

Civil Society Representatives

NGO Representatives

Private Sector Representatives

Media Representatives

1,376  from 109 countries

84 (*)






* The 84 events were distributed among the following: workshops, better-practices forums, meetings of dynamic coalitions, etc.

Although these numbers reveal significant representativeness of all social sectors of the countries that were present, there was no agreement as to the creation of a final document of recommendations for establishing a “multistakeholder” IG model, as most participants desired, due to pressures from ICANN suggesting the prolongation of the present IG model for another 25 years. Discovering it lacked the political strength needed to devise a new IG proposal, Brazil, as the IGF host-nation, decided to postpone production of the proposal until the 2008 IGF in New Delhi, India.

At the end of the event, only one conclusive report was elaborated (Cf.<>20 March 2008), with an “assessment of the situation and definition of the paths to take”, “emerging issues” and the results achieved by the Rio de Janeiro IGF.

The great merit of the IGF in Rio de Janeiro was the broadening of discussions and the commencement of public debate to formulate a final document for establishing an IG model that will satisfy the demands of all nations.

Parallel with these initiatives of global scope, the countries are also developing initiatives for the establishment of Regional Governance. In this sense, one may state that the formation of this movement for the establishment of Regional Governance represents a process of repositioning the nations in face of the need to establish common political mechanisms and regulatory instruments. This movement’s objective is to implement regional activities that promote, in an integrated fashion, economic and social development, participation, cooperation and the construction of cultural relations among the nations (Pires, 2006).

Four factors contributed to establishing Regional Governance among the nations: digital migration; digital division; expansion of the e-commerce of tangible and intangible goods; and the globalization of the financial markets (Pires, 2006).

Despite the contradictory participation of representatives of the European Union, Russia and China at the November 2007 Internet Governance Forum in Rio de Janeiro (IGF – that was promoted by the UN, several UN member-nations, including Brazil and Italy[40], produced an Internet Rights Charter, the goal of which is to consolidate a series of recommendations and orientations aimed at promoting consensual, multilateral Internet governance. This is because, within the context of extreme digital division, the dispute over the implementation of this virtual accumulation structure (Pires, 2004) represents a new fight provoked by the appropriation, maintenance or reterritorialization (Cocco; Galvão & Silva, 2003) of global markets, mainly those of peripheral world-economies, which are still entering the age of knowledge economics (Pires, 2006).

The perspectives that begin to be defined for the next IGF – which will be promoted by the UN in 2008 in New Delhi, India – indicate that the disputes will continue, because rejection of the corporate IG model maintained by ICANN and VeriSign is growing.


The present context of unilateral, corporate IG that is maintained by ICANN is on its way to being surpassed. The UN-promoted, global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 demonstrated that many UN member-countries seek multilateral, democratic IG based on global agreement.

Several countries do not accept being seen as mere Internet toponyms. The control and extreme centralization of Internet Governance by one single nation risks the sovereignty of all nations and paves the way for continued doubt as to the capacity of countries to represent themselves politically in the age of the knowledge society. The legitimacy of ICANN’s authority under this IG model is already widely questioned.

The authority historically demonstrated by the US in IG is no longer legitimate today, because the Internet can no longer be viewed as a “state-of-war space”, as is occurring. Countries do not want to be controlled by foreign companies that are established outside the domain of their own political spaces. There is no way to continue blocking the participation of nations in decisive IG forums. Ways and means of guaranteeing the autonomy of countries to elaborate public-policy proposals for Internet development are needed.

Today’s alternative IG projects – ORSN, OpenDNS and the IG Forum debates promoted by the UN – signify the creation of new initiatives for the establishment of alternative IG root systems.

There is a large mobilization of political entities – governments, public and private sectors, and civil organizations – for the establishment of a new structure of global regulation based on a multilateral IG system.

The nations of the world that have already perceived through practice that cyberspace cannot be administered by a single country – mainly when that country holds all economic and military power over the Internet – are demanding an independent space for decision-making and participation in IG. These social actors reject ICANN’s current unilateral-corporate IG model and demand the UN’s encouragement of discussion aimed at the construction of a new IG system that is consensually administered by countries belonging to a Multistakeholder Advisory Group – (MAG).


1 Our concept of cyberspace was already amply discussed in the following articles and book chapters (Pires, 2004; Pires, 2005ab; Pires, 2006; Pires, 2007): The concept of cyberspace (a term created by William Gibson in 1984) has often been confused through common sense with the Internet, or has been improperly treated as a “virtual” dimension whose nature is “non-territorial”, “post-organic” and “immaterial”, occasioning innumerous equivocations, mystifications and imprecision. The fetishism of cyberspace is the opposition between the representation (based on viewpoints) and what is represented – as a Social Accumulation Structure (SAS).…Seeking to elucidate the use (indicated by common sense) of the term cyberspace, geography has been making efforts to elucidate and demystify all ideological attempts to dissimulate the “nature” of cyberspace.

This study treats cyberspace as a “technospace” (Turco, 2002) – that is, a territory that is articulated and structured by the primacy of its SAS. Cyberspace stopped being a “public space” eminently consisting of the academic networks and became a virtual accumulation structure subsumed by the digital migration (See Carvalho-Júnior, 2006). The necessity of cyberspace and of the digital age is an irreversible fact. The growth of e-commerce and the exchange of tangible and intangible goods through the Internet reveal this trend.

2 Mc Cullagh, Declan. Should the UN administer the Internet? In: CNET, Published: 30 Mar 2005: “Anything which concerns the future development of the Internet will be part of the question of Internet governance. It covers a very wide range of topics not just related to technology development, service development, but also policy matters, sovereignty, security, privacy, almost anything”. In: <,1000000097,39193156,00.htm?r=1 >20 de março de 2008

3According to the Brazilian Internet Administrative Committee,   “Internet governance is the development and execution – by governments, civil society and private initiative, in their respective roles – of principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures and shared programs that outline the evolution and use of the Internet”. In:< >20 March 2008. Also, according to the Internet Governance organization (In:< >20 de março de 2008), “Internet governance is ‘collective action, by governments and/or the private sector operators of the networks connected by the Internet, to establish agreements about the standards, policies, rules, enforcement and dispute resolution procedures to apply to global Internetworking activities.” In other words, our matrix of IG institutions includes only those legal, regulatory and policy problems that are arise as a direct consequence of the involved parties’ mutual use of the Internet protocols to communicate globally”.

4 Martin, Olivier H. State of the Internet & Challenges ahead: How is the Internet likely to evolve in the coming decade. Bulgaria: Varna, in: XXI-th International Symposium on Nuclear Electronics and Computing – NEC 2007. 10-17 September 2007, p.30. < >21 March 2008

5 According to Baruque and Melo, 2005, “corporate governance is related to the manner in which the organization reaches its objective. It includes elements of leadership, measurement, ethics, security, vision, direction, influence and values. Corporate Governance concerns the protection of the interests of the 'stakeholders'”.

6 See In: “The History of Rand, Project Air Force – 1946-1996”, < >20 March 2008, p.23.

7 See In: “ARPA and the ARPANET: A Brief History”, < March 2008

8 Hauben, Michael. History ARPANET. New York: Columbia University. In: < >20 March 2008

9 Created in 1962, with a budget of US$ 15 million, the IPTO was developed by ARPA, the University of California at Berkeley (via “Project Genie”) and the Systems Development Corporation in Santa Monica. Large IPTO users include the Institute of Naval Investigation, the National Health Institute, the Army, the Navy, NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and various other institutions.

10 See In: “SAGE Computer System”, < >20 March 2008

11 See In: “Internet History, NCP -- Network Control Program”,< >20 March 2008

12 See In: “Internet History, TCP/IP Internet Protocol”, < >20 March 2008

13 Cerf, Vinton, Dalal, Yogen & Sunshine, Carl. Specification of Internet Transmission Control Program. ARPANET -- Network Working Group (NWG), 1974, In: < >20 March 2008

14 See In: “MILNET Project History”, < >20 March 2008

15 Maintained by the US Department of Defense (DoD), the NIPRNET network was conceived by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to gradually substitute the MILNET network. The SIPRNET network is a system of interconnected networks controlled by a computer used by the DoD and the US State Department, with the objective of transmitting “Secret” information. In the same way as SIPRNET, the JWICS network is a system of interconnected networks controlled by a computer used by the DoD and the US State Department, with the objective of transmitting “Top Secret” information. Meanwhile, the RIPNET is a US military network that permits its users to exchange information and data via radio through voice over IP. In 2007, this network was installed in Iraq for the use of the US Army and the Coalition forces. See In: < >20 March 2008

16 See In: “The National Science Foundation: A Brief History, 1994”, < >20 March 2008

17 Mandel, Arnaldo, Simon, Imre and DeLyra, Jorge L. Informação: Computação e Comunicação (Information, Computation and Communication). São Paulo. University of São Paulo, 1997, In: <>20 March 2008

18 See The CSNET interconnected various institutions by telephone: the University of California at Irvine (UCI); Hewlett Packard Laboratories (HP-Labs); Cornell University; the National Science Foundation; Princeton University; the University of Delaware; etc. In: “CSNET - Computer Science Network”, <>20 March 2008

19 See In: “NSFNET -- National Science Foundation Network”, <>20 March 2008

20 Working with Robert Cailliau at CERN, Tim Berners-Lee (<See image in:>20 March 2008) proposed the construction of a distributed information system based on “hypertext”, which became a way of interconnecting the chunks of information stored in the computers. Items and information that can be interconnected between various computers are highlighted on the screen after the network addresses. The name chosen for this system is “World Wide Web”. See In: <>20 March 2008

21 In order to get an exact idea of the historical evolution of the ARPANET, check out the series of maps created by HEART, F., MCKENZIE, A., MCQUILLIAN, J., and WALDEN, D., ARPANET Completion Report – Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Burlington, MA, January 4, 1978. In: <>20 March 2008

22 Chapin, Lyman. The Internet Standards Process, 1992. In: <>20 March 2008

23 To read these documents, access the following site: <>20 March 2008

24 For more info on Jon Postel, see See “Jon Postel, Internet Pioneer”, <>20 March 2008

25 Postel, Jon. DoD Standard Internet Protocol. Arlington, Virginia. RFC 760, Prepared for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Information Processing Techniques Office, 1980. In:  < >20 March 2008

26 The concern over the assignment of network numbers goes back to 1969, when Jon Postel, a great authority on the assignment of network protocol numbers, decided to catalog a list of network protocol numbers in a notebook. Contracted to work at UCLA, Jon Postel, then a graduate student of the university, committed himself to maintaining this list of registered numbers and addresses and to cataloging documents prepared by ARPANET investigators in this respect, the RFCs. Cf. In: < March 2008

27 See “Request For Comments (RFC's) History”, In: <>20 March 2008

28 See “Country-code Top-level Domains (ccTLDs)”, In: <>   e < >20 March 2008

29 See ISO 3166, In: < >20 March 2008

30 According to Luc Mampaey and Claude Serfati: “Together with the modification of the connections of finance and politics with armaments, the third factor that favors the emergence of a military, security system is related to the role that security plays in the realm of information and communications technologies (ICT). Legally assuming the potential of these technologies, as of the 80s, the American military developed the concept of information dominance. Important programs dedicated to ICT and space R&D were launched by the DoD; they were less affected by military budget reductions (1986-1998) than programs aimed at arms production. The entry blockades that protect the large groups (see part one) are reinforced by the type of competence needed to put into practice new doctrines experimented in Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq. The Network Centric Warfare (NCW) that supports the new US military doctrines aids the main groups, whose “comparative advantage” is generally maintained by their competence in the realm of integrated systems. Actually, application of NCW requires more organizational structuring, more integration of “systems of systems”, and highly accentuated protection and security of the networks, and, consequently, of the production of computer programs and of extremely secure materials.” (2005, p.244).

31 Alberts, David S., Garstka, John J., Stein, Frederick P. Networking Centric Warfare, CCRP, 2000, In: < >20 March 2008   or <>20 March 2008

32 See In: < >20 March 2008

33 See “Organizational Structure”, In: <>20 March 2008

34 To view a chart of country toponyms and a comparison of the nations according to ICANN, see See In: <>20 March 2008  and  “Welcome to the CCNSO”, In:< >20 March 2008

35 According to Carlos Afonso: “The fact is that the initial Internet governance process, which led to ICANN’s creation, resulted in the transformation into merchandise of a good that should be within the public domain: the series of generic top-level domains (gTLDs). Unfortunately, various countries adopted this approach in relation to country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs, which characterize or should represent a nation’s Internet identity). Sometimes, a ccTLD is in the hands of a private enterprise outside of the country to which it belongs (as is the case of “.tv”, from Tuvalu; of “.st”, from São Tomé and Príncipe; and various others)  (2005, p.12-13).

36 According to Castells  (2003, pp.31-32),  “…there is no lack of well-formulated criticism of the lack of true democracy within ICANN… Furthermore, ties between ICANN and the US Department of Commerce were not really broken. Governments throughout the world, especially European governments, are extremely critical of what they see as ICANN’s American dominance. For example, ICANN refused to recognize the domain address “.eu”, which would apply to all European Union companies and institutions. To the European representatives, this symbol would be very important for designating European companies that operate within the scope of institutional norms established in the European Union, such as the protection of Internet privacy. Thus, the contradiction between the Internet’s historical American roots and its increasingly global nature seems to point to the final transformation of ICANN into a culturally ampler institution”.

37 Concerning this fact, Carlos Afonso stated (2005, p.50), “The role of the United States is a provocation to other governments, encouraging them to seek equal, sovereign rights in the supervision of ICANN. This tension between governments causes instability. Over the years, it has produced a growing politicization of ICANN and of its functions. Alternative root systems such as ORSN in Europe are already being formed to counterbalance US authority over the root zone”.

38 See European Open Root Server Network, In: <>20 March 2008

39 See Who is David Ulevitch? In: <>20 March 2008

40 See Joint Declaration on Internet Rights by the Minister of Culture of Brazil and the Undersecretary for Communications of Italy. <>20 March 2008


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© Copyright Hindenburgo Francisco Pires, 2008
© Copyright Scripta Nova, 2008

Bibliographical Reference:

PIRES, Hindenburgo Francisco. Global Internet Governance: the representation of country toponyms in Cyberspace. Scripta Nova. Revista Electrónica de Geografía y Ciencias Sociales.  Barcelona: Universidad de Barcelona, 1 de agosto de 2008, vol. XII, núm. 270 (151b). <>ISSN: 1138-9788

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