The Internet, together with the information communications technology (ICT) that underpins it, is a critical national resource for governments, a vital part of national infrastructures and a key driver of economic growth. Over the last 40 years, and particularly since the year 2000, governments and businesses have embraced the Internet, and ICT’s potential to generate income and employment, provide access to businesses and information, enable e-learning and facilitate government activities.
Internet governance involves highly complex, transboundary governance challenges in a rapidly evolving technical environment. Identifying effective policy options that can balance competing interests and conflicting values requires foresight and analysis. Governing the Internet presents timely expert opinion from CIGI staff and a variety of guest authors on governance options across a range of vital Internet governance issues.
Monday, 13 May 2013Change the Conversation, Change the Venue and Change Our Future
Wednesday, 30 January 2013Internet Governance via Hard and Soft Laws: Choosing the Right Tools for the Job
Governance is established and mediated through law; however, the modern conception of law — that it is coextensive with books of statutes adopted by duly authorized, elected legislatures — fails to capture critical dimensions of law and legality as they apply to global governance. In practice, global governance is accomplished by a combination of “hard” and “soft” laws. Hard law, in the form of domestic statutes or international treaties, coexists alongside various forms of soft law, which are less binding, less precise and/or rely on less centralized forms of interpretation and enforcement.
The rapid growth of the Internet, and the risks and rewards this brings, are moving issues of cybersecurity and Internet governance to the forefront of policy debates around the world. As more people are connecting to the Internet and using it for myriad reasons, both public and private, and as infrastructure sectors such as energy, transport and water become interconnected, societal dependence on the Internet increases dramatically. How can this international ecosystem be adequately secured and governed? What might things look like in 2020?
“Eradicate small pox.” “Ban land mines.” Global goals can have real impact. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established to achieve the goals of universal education, global equality, eradicating global poverty and combatting HIV/AIDS, among others, by 2015. As that date approaches, the United Nations has unleashed a bewildering range of consultation activities on what should succeed the MDGs when they expire.
The crisis in Europe continues to fester. The weak global economy, distressed banking sectors and the absence of exchange rate policy have impeded resolution. But all of these problems were understood at the outset. The key shortcoming in the strategy for dealing with them was allowing unsustainable national debt burdens — of banks and governments — to sit on the books of the crisis-torn countries. This fundamental strategic error should not have occurred. Ten years ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its rules for handling crises, precisely to prevent such errors. But the rules were scrapped, and the IMF was set adrift in handling the European debt crisis.
Is the Internet inherently free and open? A broad array of actors, from civil libertarians and technical experts to Western militaries, think that it is, that it should be, or both. Whether these beliefs, frequently expressed by referring to the Internet as a commons, are correct has important implications for how the Internet is governed.
Massively multiplayer online (MMO) games are now an established segment of the global entertainment industry. One popular game, World of Warcraft, boasts several million worldwide subscribers. There is, however, another massively multiplayer game unfolding concerning the future governance of the Internet as a whole. The name of this game is rule making.
There was a time when young officers of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) were taught during training that “their goal, at CIDA, was to work themselves out of a job — by helping a country to develop to the point where it no longer needs aid.”
The Singapore Exchange Limited — or SGX — announced on July 6, 2012 that it is ready to list, quote, trade, clear and settle securities denominated in Chinese renmimbi (RMB), as it aims to parlay the decision to name an RMB-clearing bank for Singapore into a game changer for offshore RMB business. SGX's addition of RMB securities trading complements the offshore RMB bonds already listed on the exchange.