Half of the world’s population now uses the Internet to connect, communicate and interact. But basic access to the Internet is under threat, the technology that underpins it is increasingly unstable, and a growing number of people don’t trust it to be secure. The Global Commission on Internet Governance provided recommendations and practical advice on the future of the Internet. Its primary objective was the creation of “One Internet” that is protected, accessible to all and trusted by everyone. In its final report, the Commission put forward key steps that everyone needs to take to achieve an Open, Secure, Trustworthy, and Inclusive Internet. 

To take a look at the commission's full body of research, please see: https://www.cigionline.org/series/gcig-research-volumes

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The recommendations in our report are the result of comprehensive planning, consultations, analysis, and the belief in an open Internet for all. Learn more for yourself today and read the report.

Three Possible Futures of the Internet

The Internet as we know it today will not be the Internet of the future. Our actions now will determine how it evolves, for better or for worse. The following three scenarios explore these possibilities—however ideal or troubling they may be, they’re the theoretical result of our choices and actions.

A Dangerous & Broken Cyberspace

The Internet breaks due to malicious activity, and overreaching government regulation. Basic human rights are violated, online privacy is non-existent and government surveillance follows. Criminal data breaches are the norm and cyber attacks become more frequent.   The public loses its trust in the internet and people simply stop using the network. Its potential is truly lost.

Uneven & Unequal Gains Stunted Growth

Some users are able to enjoy some of the many benefits offered by being connected, while others are permanently locked out. Freedom of expression suffers, as does access to knowledge because governments don’t preserve the Internet’s openness. As a result, more than three billion people are left off-line.   Inequality and unrest spread, with minimal cooperation by governments across borders. Sharing and innovation are limited and stifled. Many are left behind.    

Broad, Unprecedented Progress

An open internet that enables unprecedented progress and opportunities for individual freedom, knowledge and innovation. Billions of new users join us online narrowing digital, social, and economic divides. GDP growth reaches upwards of $11.1 trillion by 2025. Government and industry collaborate across borders to manage the risks of online activity. This future requires concrete actions to ensure that the Internet becomes open, secure, trustworthy and inclusive for all.

GCIG Research

Commission

Dominic Barton
Dominic Barton is the global managing director of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. He served as McKinsey’s chairman in Asia from 2004 to 2009, and led McKinsey’s office in Korea from 2000 to 2004. Dominic is an active participant in many international fora, including the World Economic Forum, Le Cercle des Économistes: Les Rencontres Économiques d’Aix-en-Provence, the Asia Business Council, and the China Development Forum.
Melissa Hathaway
Melissa Hathaway is a CIGI distinguished fellow and president of Hathaway Global Strategies LLC. She is also a senior advisor at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center and the Chairman of the Council of Experts for the Global Cyber Security Center in Italy. She served in two US presidential administrations, where she spearheaded the Cyberspace Policy Review for President Barack Obama and led the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative for President George W. Bush.
Paul Twomey
Paul Twomey was the CEO and president of ICANN from 2003 to 2009. He has held executive positions within the Australian Government’s foreign trade organization and has served as CEO of the National Office for the Information Economy. He is former senior consultant with McKinsey & Company. Paul is also the founder of ArgoPacific.
Beth Simone Noveck
Beth Simone Noveck, founder and director of The Governance Lab, is a visiting professor at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the MIT Media Lab. Currently on leave from the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School, she served in the White House as the first US deputy chief technology officer and is founder of the White House Open Government Initiative.
Joseph Nye Jr.
Joseph Nye Jr. is a University Distinguished Service Professor and former dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard University. He has served as assistant secretary of defense for International Security Affairs, chair of the National Intelligence Council, and deputy undersecretary of state for Security Assistance, Science and Technology.
Moez Chakchouk
Moez Chakchouk / @mchakchouk
Moez Chakchouk is chairman and CEO of the Tunisian Post, and former Chairman and CEO of the Tunisian Internet Agency, the primary Internet service provider in Tunisia. Moez has served as a research engineer at the Centre of Telecommunication Studies and Research, Director of Interconnection and Access at the Telecommunications Regulation Authority and Adviser to the Minister of Communications Technology.
Laura Denardis
Director of Research of the Global Commission for Internet Governance
A scholar of Internet architecture and governance, Laura is a CIGI senior fellow and professor at American University. She is an affiliated fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project and previously served as its executive director.
Gordon Smith
Deputy Chair of GCIG
A former Canadian deputy foreign minister, NATO ambassador and G7/G8 Sherpa, Gordon Smith is a distinguished fellow at CIGI. He 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.
Dian Triansyah Djani
Dian Triansyah Djani is the director general of America and Europe in Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was director general for ASEAN Cooperation and drafter of the ASEAN Charter. He was also Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN, WTO, ITU, WIPO, WHO, UNCTAD, ILO and other international organizations in Geneva. He served, among others, as President of the UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board.
Mathias Müller von Blumencron
Journalist Mathias Müller von Blumencron is editor-in-chief digital media at the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Prior to his current appointment, Mathias was an editor-in-chief of Germany’s leading weekly Der Spiegel, where he managed all digital products, and editor-in-chief of Spiegel Online, which he built into Germany’s most successful and award-winning news site.

Research Advisors

Jasmina Byrne
Research Advisor
Jasmina Byrne, Senior Research Manager UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, leads UNICEF’s research on children’s rights in the digital age and co-leads the Global Kids Online research initiative. She has also overseen and co-authored several UNICEF studies on family support and child welfare policies, child trafficking and exploitation, internet governance and children’s rights. Jasmina has 20 years of international experience in managing complex child rights and protection programmes in South East Asia, Europe and Southern Africa with UN agencies and civil society.
Sarah Box
Research Advisor
Sarah Box is counsellor to the Directors in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI), providing support to the Directors in the management and co-ordination of the activities of DSTI. Since starting in DSTI in 2007 Sarah has worked on a variety of public policy areas, most recently analysing issues of Internet openness (for the Digital Economy Policy Division). Her other research areas have included human resources for science and technology, the OECD Innovation Strategy, public research organizations and the shipbuilding industry. Before joining the OECD, she worked as a senior research economist at the Australian Productivity Commission, and as an economist at the New Zealand Treasury.
Konstantinos Komaitis
Research Advisor
Konstantinos Komaitis is a policy advisor at the Internet Society, focusing primarily on the field of digital content and intellectual property. Before joining the Internet Society in July 2012, he was a senior lecturer at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Konstantinos holds a Ph.D. in law and his thesis focused on issues of intellectual property and the Internet, with particular focus on the intersection of trademarks and domain names. He is the author of The Current State of Domain Name Regulation.
Sunil Abraham
Research Advisor
Sunil Abraham is the executive director of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS). CIS is a five year old policy and academic research organization focusing on accessibility, access to knowledge, Internet governance, telecom, digital natives and digital humanities. He founded Mahiti in 1998, a social enterprise that provides technology to civil society for which he was elected an Ashoka fellow in 1999. Between June 2004 and June 2007, Sunil also managed the International Open Source Network, a project of UNDP serving 42 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Bertrand de La Chapelle
Research Advisor
Bertrand de La Chapelle is the Director of the Internet Jurisdiction Project, a global multistakeholder dialogue process developing a due process framework to handle the diversity of national laws in cross-border online spaces. He served as a Director on the ICANN Board from 2010 to 2013. From 2006 to 2010, he was France’s Thematic Ambassador and Special Envoy for the Information Society, participating in all WSIS follow-up activities and Internet governance processes, including in particular the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and was a Vice-Chair of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Bertrand is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique, Sciences Po Paris and Ecole Nationale d’Administration.
Mark Raymond
Research Advisor
Mark Raymond is the Wick Cary Assistant Professor of International Security at the University of Oklahoma, and a Fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in International Theory, The Cyber Defense Review, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs and the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal. His current research examines the politics of global rule-making, as well as Internet governance. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto.
Young-eum Lee
Research Advisor
Young-eum Lee is a professor in the Department of Media Arts and Sciences at Korea National Open University. She has been involved in various Internet governance policy making processes of the Korean domain name .kr at KISA (KRNIC), and has also been involved in global Internet governance activities at ICANN. Since 2003, she has been a council member of the ccNSO representing .kr in the Asia-Pacific region. Young-eum received her M.A. in Communication Science at Northwestern University and her doctorate in Communication from the University of Michigan.
Deborah Brown
Research Advisor
Deborah Brown is Global Advocacy Lead for the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) where she focuses on the intersection of the human rights and internet governance. Deborah engages in international advocacy for APC, and facilitates the engagement of APC members at forums such as the UN Human Rights Council, the Internet Governance Forum, World Summit on Information Society, and the International Telecommunications Union, among others.
Nick Savage
Research Advisor
Nick Savage is the Head of the School of Computing at the University of Portsmouth and he has a passion for investigating communication networks and security. His previous research on communication networks has been funded by OFCOM and the EPSRC and has resulted in contributions to ITU recommendations. He has over 50 publications in journals and conference proceedings and serves as a referee for IET, IEEE and Elsevier journals. He has also acted as the conference chair, given plenaries, presented keynotes and chaired sessions at many international IEEE/ACM computer networking and security conferences. He is a member of Working Group 3 for the EC NIS Platform, an Academic Advocate for the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and a Chartered Engineer.
Hernan Galperin
Research Advisor
Hernan Galperin (Ph.D., Stanford University) is Research Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. Previously, he was Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Technology and Society at the Universidad de San Andrés (Argentina). He is also a Research Fellow at CONICET, the national science council of Argentina, and Steering Committee member for DIRSI, an ICT policy research consortium based at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP) in Lima, Peru.

Partners & Sponsors

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We are the Center for International Governance Innovation: an independent, non-partisan think tank with an objective and uniquely global perspective. Our research, opinions and public voice make a difference in today's world by bringing clarity and innovative thinking to global policy making. By working across disciplines and in partnership with the best peers and experts, we are the benchmark for influential research and trusted analysis. To learn more about CIGI's research on Internet governance, including free online publications, please visit:www.cigionline.org/internetgovernance.


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Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is based in London, UK. Chatham House's mission is to be a world-leading source of independent analysis, informed debate and influential ideas on how to build a prosperous and secure world for all. Chatham House produces independent and rigorous analysis of critical global, regional and country-specific challenges and opportunities, while offering new ideas to decision-makers and -shapers on how these could best be tackled from the near- to the long-term. To learn more about Chatham House’s research on cyber security, please visit: www.chathamhouse.org


Sponsors

CIGI, Chatham House and the Commissioners of the GCIG would like to recognize and thank the following sponsors for their generous support which facilitated the work of the GCIG on one of the most pressing global public policy issues of our time, Internet governance.

  • Canadian Copyright Corporation
  • Government of Canada
  • Government of Jordan
  • Government of the Netherlands
  • Government of Sweden
  • Government of the United Kingdom, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Al Qassemi
  • International Development Research Centre
  • Kakao Corporation
  • The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Maekyung Media Group
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Ministry of Research and Innovation of the Province of Ontario
  • Oasis500
  • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Synergia Foundation
  • The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands
  • The Royal Patronage of HH the Crown Prince of Jordan