Governance of the Domain Name System and Future Internet (completed)

Who decides how the Internet is run? How is that control legally exercised? This project (also called Internet Governance 2 or Igov2) examines these questions with focus on the Internet domain name system. 

About the project

The Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law is pursuing research on governance of the Internet, focusing particularly on the legal aspects related to governance of the Domain Name System (DNS).

The project examines a set of important issues that arise from recent and ongoing changes to the way in which the DNS of the internet is governed. The project has two main prongs of research. The first prong critically examines the ongoing enlargement of the generic Top-Level Domain namespace. The second prong assesses the relative utility of respectively (i) contractual mechanisms and (ii) legislative and treaty-based mechanisms for global governance structures in Internet governance generally, but with focus particularly on the management and steering of the DNS. Other issues taken up under the project include net neutrality, deployment of IP addresses, and jurisdictional issues realted to TLD disputes.     


The primary objective is to improve understanding of current and proposed changes to governance of the internet DNS and to assess their suitability with respect to the Future Internet. This involves elucidating for the main stakeholders in DNS governance (and internet governance more generally) the policy choices they face in designing the parameters for the Future Internet, including the legal elements of those parameters.


The project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and Norid (the organization responsible for managing the .no namespace). The project commenced in November 2010 and finishes in November 2014.


Collaborators include researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University, Institute of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, Department for Media and Information Studies at the University of Århus, Department of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen, Research Centre for Information Law at the University of St. Gallen, Institute of Computer and Communications Law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London, and Professor Larry Solum at the Georgetown University School of Law. 


Published Apr. 11, 2013 4:13 PM - Last modified Apr. 5, 2016 1:54 PM


Project leader

Lee A. Bygrave


  • Tobias Mahler
  • Emily Mary Weitzenboeck
  • Kevin McGillivray
  • Samson Yoseph Esayas
  • Francis Araujo Medeiro Pereira
  • Darren Christopher Read
Detailed list of participants