The Star Monitor: Statistics, news and analysis in internet governance

The Star Monitor: Statistics, news and analysis in internet governance
Photo by Wojtek Witkowski / Unsplash

This week's newsletter catches you up on the last three months in internet standards.

The Star Monitor is a cooperative effort between Global Partners Digital and the Center for Democracy and Technology. Its aim is to help civil society organisations track discussions at internet standards bodies on a quarterly basis. Participation and leadership statistics of major plenary meetings are included, with links to each full report, when available. Hits in mainstream news are included and context provided, as well as links to original sources. Lastly deeper analysis on key developments at each of the core fora are included as well. We always welcome feedback from readers to make this quarterly publication as useful as possible: Please write to or

Participation and leadership statistics

For a handy guide to internet standards and infrastructure acronyms, use ARTICLE 19’s Internet Standards Almanac. Here is a table that tracks the I-star meetings that occurred in this past quarter:

Meeting participants


All active engagement

14-17 May, Barbados

25% ARIN staff/board,

3% Amazon,

2% Comcast,

70% other

More than 140 attendees

6-10 May, Panama

816 in person

572 remote (registered)

20-24 May, Krakow

546 in person

175 remote

ITU Council
4-14 June, Geneva

Frédéric Sauvage (France), Chair

417 delegates from 48 countries in person, 81 remote

ICANN 80 Policy
10-13 June, Kigali

(Figures are not yet out).

Other notable governance-level happenings during this period can be found at the Packet Clearing House internet governance calendar of events.

News monitor

The following pulls together a curated list of the top news clips about any of the I-stars during this period that made the industry or mainstream news, with a focus on sharing reports and reporting rather than press-release style items.


Broken down by forum, below is a deeper dive into the top items that touch on public interest issues. We include a non-exhaustive list of what’s being discussed and what’s considered controversial, whether the proposal is new or part of a broader effort. We make sure that each brief analysis ends with some action and where to go to learn more from a primary source like a version controlled document or a discussion mailing list.

Broadly, there was a letter published by current and former members of the technical community on the centralised control of internet governance at the UN: 


Published RFCs of note:

The Internet Architecture Board signed a letter against Australia’s “eSafety Proposed Industry Standards” 

Global Partners Digital publishes an explainer report, “Internet Fragmentation and Human Rights: How to counter threats to an open, interoperable and global Internet” and on 

Internet Society published a reaction to the US making a pledge to regulate BGP routing security 

Published on the IETF's blog, UN Report Calls for New Era for Digital Governance in which Tech Standards Respect Human Rights:

The Research and Analysis of Standard-Setting Processes Proposed Research Group (RASPRG) was born of an IAB workshop "Show Me the Numbers" meant to analyze the diverse data on the history, development, and current activities in the development and standardization of Internet protocols and its institutions. The work of RASPRG gets a shout from an IAB retrospective on the past 10 years of its workshop series

ICANN and the RIRs

The new ICANN president has been appointed at a pivotal moment for global internet governance. 

ICANN’s OCTO published a useful baseline report on, “Quantum Computing and the DNS” 

The Governmental Advisory Committee constitutes the voice of governments and intergovernmental organizations and hosted a High-Level Governance Meeting. The HLGM covered cybersecurity and meaningful connectivity and was invite-only but published its session recordings. 

Several sessions discussed DNS abuse, the mitigation of which is now required by registries, ostensibly upon report or request. Another side has always been law enforcement requests of DNS user data. Tucows sets an example in transparency and data-driven evidence ahead of ICANN80 by publishing law enforcement disclosure requests.


Published policies of note:

Public consultation on NIS2 is coming to a close. RIPE wrote an explainer about EU's updated cybersecurity directive

At RIPE, Dr Joanna Kulesza presented their research project on "Satellite Internet: Trust and Data Governance,” covering critical policy issues including challenges related to data sovereignty and jurisdiction in the context of integrating Low Earth Orbit satellite constellations into the telecommunications network as well as the evolving multistakeholder model behind Internet's physical layer.


The ITU Council met for 2024 and published resolutions of note:

  • These are not yet online but will appear here, including a resolution to support the rebuilding of Gaza's digital infrastructure: 
  • For the first time in 71 years counsellors were able to discuss directly with the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, the Global Digital Compact and his Tech Envoy's plans

In May the ITU hosted the inaugural WSIS+20 Review event. The Chair's summary is here

That same week– at the AI Summit For Good the ITU and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) announced a unified framework for AI standards development, highlighting the push to translate AI governance principles into practical, actionable standards and "A new multistakeholder initiative was also announced to support coordinated standards development for AI watermarking, multimedia authenticity, and deepfake detection. This partnership includes the Content Authenticity Initiative, Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity, Internet Engineering Task Force, IEC, ISO, and ITU." 


What’s known as “the Lena image,” a cropped version of a Playboy centrefold featuring Swedish model Lena Forsén, has been widely used as a “default” in image processing and compression research, much of which has been published in the IEEE and related publications since the 1970s. It became a standard reference due to its features such as dynamic range and fine detail, but it’s sexist and violates the IEEE code of conduct. The journal Nature stopped using the image in 2018 for the same reason. Forsén herself has long suggested retiring the image. Finally the IEEE issued a formal ban on publications’ use of the image.

Subscribe to Internet Exchange

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.