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

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.
Pascal Cagni
Pascal Cagni is an independent director at Kingfisher and Vivendi. He is a business angel in multiple start-ups of the digital economy. From 2000 to 2012, Pascal led Apple EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India, Africa) to become the largest and fastest growing region for Apple.
Anriette Esterhuysen
A resident of Johannesburg, South Africa, Anriette Esterhuysen is the executive director of the Association for Progressive Communications, an international network and non-profit organization committed to providing affordable Internet access to all people to enhance social justice and development. She was previously executive director of The Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT), where she helped establish Internet connectivity in South Africa.
Hartmut Glaser
Hartmut Glaser is executive secretary of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee and serves on the board of directors of LACNIC. He has served as special adviser to the dean of Escola Politécnica at the University of São Paulo, special adviser to the rector of the University of São Paulo, and special adviser to the president of the Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo.
Michael Spence
Michael Spence is the William R. Berkley Professor in Economics and Business at the Stern School of Business, New York University. He received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001, and the John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economics Association in 1981. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society.
Sir David Omand
Sir David Omand was the first UK security and intelligence coordinator from 2002 to 2005 as Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office. Previously, he was Permanent Secretary of the UK Home Office and Director of GCHQ (the UK Sigint and cyber security agency). He is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College Cambridge and is Senior Independent Director of Babcock International Group PLC.
Fen Osler Hampson
co-Director of the GCIG
Fen Osler Hampson is a distinguished fellow and director of the Global Security & Politics Program at CIGI. He previously served as director of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and is concurrently Chancellor’s Professor at Carleton University
Dame Wendy Hall
Dame Wendy Hall is professor of computer science and executive director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton. One of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia, the influence of her work has been significant in many areas including digital libraries, the development of the Semantic Web, and emerging research discipline of Web Science.

Research Advisors

Carolina Rossini
Research Advisor
Carolina Rossini is a Brazilian lawyer with over 13 years of experience in international law, transactions and policy, with a specific focus on Internet, telecom, intellectual property and human rights. She has worked in the United States and Brazil. In February 2014, she joined Global Partners Digital as an associate, and Public Knowledge, to lead their international work. Her previous affiliations include project director at the Open Technology Institute, International Intellectual Property Director at Electronic Frontiers Foundation, a fellow at the Berkman Center at Harvard University, a project coordinator at Fundação Getulio Vargas Center for Technology and Society and in-house council for Terra Networks S/A.
Matthias Bauer
Research Advisor
Matthias Bauer is a senior economist at the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) in Brussels, Belgium. He studied business administration at the University of Hull, United Kingdom, and economics at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. He received his Ph.D. after joining the Bundesbank graduate program on “Foundations of Global Financial Markets and Financial Stability."
Emily Taylor
Research Advisor
Emily Taylor is a renowned expert in the field of Internet law and governance, and provides research services in areas including security, IPv6 deployment, internationalised domain names, the domain name industry, and global policy development. Her roles in the Internet sphere include chair of the WhoIs Review Committee for ICANN 2012, member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group to the IGF (2006-2012), director of Synetergy (providing Sunrise Dispute resolution services to the largest gTLD applicant, Donuts), and several ongoing non-executive directorships.
Oleg Demidov
Research Advisor
Oleg Demidov is program director of International Information Security and Global Internet Governance at PIR Center (The Russian Center for Policy Studies) in Moscow. From 2011 to 2012, he was project coordinator at the Center for Political and International Studies, under the International Federation for Peace and Conciliation. Oleg is the author of a number of research articles on information security, global Internet governance, and BRICS development in the PIR’s Security Index journal and other publications.
Jacqueline Lipton
Research Advisor
Jacqueline Lipton has held tenured faculty positions at the University of Houston, University of Nottingham and Monash University. She also held visiting faculty positions at the University of Florida and University of Melbourne. Prior to her academic work, she was a banking and finance lawyer in Australia, including a stint as a member of the in-house counsel team at a major Australian bank. Her scholarship focuses on law and digital technology, as well as law and the creative arts. She is the co-author of two editions of a leading cyberspace casebook Cyberspace Law: Cases and Materials, as well as sole author of Rethinking Cyberlaw (Edward Elgar, 2015), Internet Domain Names, Trademarks and Free Speech (Edward Elgar, 2010) and Security Over Intangible Property (LBC Thompson, 2000). She has also published in these areas in leading law reviews in the United States, Europe and Australia.
Sadie Creese
Research Advisor
Sadie Creese is professor of cyber security in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford. Sadie is director of Oxford’s Cyber Security Centre and the Global Centre for Cyber Security Capacity Building at the Oxford Martin School, and co-director of the school’s Institute for the Future of Computing. Her broad portfolio of cyber security research spans situational awareness, risk propagation and communication, threat modelling and detection, and formal analysis.
Juan Jung
Research Advisor
Juan Jung is coordinator of regulation and studies at the Iberoamerican Association of Telecom Enterprises (AHCIET), and is coordinator of the Centre of Studies of Telecom of Latin America, AHCIET’s think tank for the region. Born in Montevideo, Juan has a degree in economics from the University of the Republic in Uruguay, and a Master’s in Economics from the University of Barcelona, where he is currently conducting research for his Ph.D.
Subimal Bhattacharjee
Research Advisor
Subimal Bhattacharjee is an independent consultant on defence and cyber issues, working primarily with government and private sector advisory panels in India. He is the former India country director for General Dynamics International Corporation. Subimal is a columnist and internationally respected speaker on issues of Internet governance and cyber security.
Ahmed Abdel-Latif
Research Advisor
Ahmed Abdel-Latif is currently Special Assistant at the Office of the Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). From 2007 to 2015, he was Senior Programme Manager for Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). As an Egyptian career diplomat, he worked at the Permanent Mission of Egypt in Geneva (2000-2004). He has taken an active part in international debates on intellectual property, innovation and development. He holds an LL.M in International Law (LSE), a BA in Political Science (American University in Cairo) and the Diplome of Sciences Po Paris.
Leslie Daigle
Research Advisor
Leslie Daigle has been actively involved in shaping the Internet’s practical evolution for more than 20 years. She was an appointed member of the Internet Architecture Board for eight years, and elected as its chair for five of those years. Leslie was most recently the Internet Society’s first Chief Internet Technology Officer. She is currently principal at ThinkingCat Enterprises, where she has launched the online InternetImpossible.org storybook of the Internet’s experienced global impact.

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