Historically, Internet governance has been accomplished en passant. It has emerged largely from the actions of computer scientists and engineers, in interaction with domestic legal and regulatory systems. Beginning at least with the 2003–2005 World Summit on the Information Society process, however, there has been an explicit rule-making agenda at the international level. This strategic agenda is increasingly driven by a coalition of states — including Russia, China and the Arab states — that is organized and has a clear, more state-controlled and monetary vision for the Internet.  Advanced industrial democracies and other states committed to existing multi-stakeholder mechanisms have a different view — they regard Internet governance as important, but generally lack coherent strategies for Internet governance — especially at the international level. Given the Internet’s constant evolution and its economic, political and social importance as a public good, this situation is clearly untenable.

A coherent strategy is needed to ensure that difficult trade-offs between competing interests, as well as between distinct public values, are managed in a consistent, transparent and accountable manner that accurately reflects public priorities. Guided by these considerations, CIGI researchers believe they can play a constructive role in creating a strategy for states committed to multi-stakeholder models of Internet governance.

In aiming to develop this strategy, the project members will consider what kind of Internet the world wants in 2020, and will lay the analytical groundwork for future Internet governance discussions that consider the pros and cons of a variety of governance models. This project was launched in 2012.

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Experts

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Gordon Smith

CIGI Distinguished Fellow

A former Canadian deputy foreign minister, NATO ambassador and G7/G8 Sherpa, Gordon Smith is a leading expert on the evolution of the G20 and global summitry. Since joining CIGI in 2010 as a distinguished fellow, Gordon has been a key contributor to CIGI’s G20 research activities, events and publications. His current work focuses on the convergence of technology and global affairs.

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Melissa Hathaway

CIGI Distinguished Fellow

Melissa Hathaway is a CIGI distinguished fellow, and is contributing to the Global Security & Politics Program’s research on Internet governance. Also the president of Hathaway Global Strategies LLC, she has worked as a cyber security advisor to U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Events

Nov 25

Canada and the Global Digital Future

Conference
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 12:00 AM
Fairmont Château Laurier
Ottawa
  • John Baird
  • Carl Bildt
  • Melissa Hathaway
  • Sir David Omand
  • Latha Reddy
  • Evan Solomon