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A Bayesian Belief Network Analysis of the Internet Governance Conflict Open Access

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The demographics of the Internet will experience significant changes in the near future. The developed countries are maximizing the number of citizens connected to the network while the developing countries, with the majority of the global population, increase their presence as the information technologies become more accessible. Leaders from the developed countries advocate the preservation of existing governance organizations regulating the network, such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), on the basis of stability and security. New generations of Internet users are demanding new structures based on transparency, participation, accountability and legitimacy. In the absence of new agreements, uncoordinated changes to the existing governance structure could potentially affect the technical structure of the network and its functionality. Employing a Bayesian Belief Network model, this dissertation analyzes the correlation between demographics, socio-economic factors and the feasibility of changes to the existing Internet governance system. Favorable change conditions could initiate changes that could impact all Internet users. Results demonstrate that even when conditions for radical changes that could fragment the network are not present within the timeframe evaluated, conditions in support of changes increase with time, validating a need to modify the existing Internet governance structure.

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