A post from the Internet Governance Project blog:
The evolution of Internet governance has been characterized by a tension between the Internet’s organically evolved governance institutions and nation-states. The native Internet institutions, such as the IETF, IANA/ICANN, the Internet Society, and the regional Internet address registries (RIRs) are transnational in scope and rooted in non-state actors. Governments on the other hand are seeking to reassert traditional forms of territorial authority over communications in the context of the internet. In this struggle, non-state actors had a first-mover advantage. The Internet succeeded in creating a globalized virtual space before states really knew what was happening. But with the World Summit on the Information Society (2003-2005) and later in the ITU’s 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), there was a confrontation between state sovereignty and the native institutions. The WCIT process polarized the controversy, fragmenting support for a new treaty on International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs).