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

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.
Nii Quaynor
Nii Quaynor is chairman of the board of directors at National Information Technology Agency. He pioneered Internet development and expansion throughout Africa for nearly two decades, establishing some of Africa’s first Internet connections and helping set up key organizations, including the African Network Operators Group. He is a member of the IGF Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group.
Pablo Bello
Pablo Bello Arellano is a Chilean economist, expert in telecommunications and economic regulation. Pablo was appointed Secretary General of the Asociación Iberoamericana de Centros de Investigación y Empresas de Telecomunicaciones in June 2011. During the presidency of Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010), he served as Vice-Minister of Telecommunications.
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.
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.
Pindar Wong
Pindar Wong is the chairman of VeriFi (Hong Kong) Ltd, a discreet Internet financial infrastructure consultancy. He is a Bitcoin protocol enthusiast and chairs ScalingBitcoin.org. Previously, he co-founded Hong Kong’s first licensed ISP in 1993, was the first vice-chairman of ICANN, chairman of the Asia Pacific Internet Association, alternate chairman of Asia Pacific Network Information Center and elected trustee of the Internet 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.
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.
Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi
Sultan is a UAE-based commentator on Arab Affairs writing for numerous local and international publications including The National, Gulf News, The New York Times, Financial Times, and the Guardian. He tweets prolifically @SultanAlQassemi and has over 270,000 followers and was listed in the “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011” by Time Magazine. He is a non-resident fellow at the Mohamed Bin Rashid School of Government in Dubai.
Tobby Simon
Tobby Simon is the president of Synergia Foundation, a think tank in India that works closely with industry, polity and academia to establish leading edge practices through applied research in the domains of geopolitics, geoeconomics and geosecurity. He has been an adviser to several international organizations such as the World Health Organization , the European Union and served as the Regional Director for the World Information Technology and Services Alliance.

Research Advisors

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.
Jan-Peter Kleinhans
Research Advisor
Jan-Peter Kleinhans is Program Manager at Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, an independent, charitable think tank in Berlin. He focuses on policy issues in the field of IT-Security, protection of National Critical Infrastructures and surveillance by law enforcement agencies. Before joining SNV he was an intern at netzpolitik.org where he wrote about the Snowden revelations, government surveillance and human rights violations on the Internet. Jan-Peter holds a BA in Information Systems from Darmstadt University of Technology and a MA in Communication Theory from Uppsala University.
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.
Jeanette Hofmann
Research Advisor
Jeanette Hofmann is a political scientist with a focus on Internet governance. She heads a research group on Internet policy at the Berlin Social Science Center, is co-director of the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, and professor for Internet policy at the Berlin University of the Arts. Her current research interests include multi-stakeholder processes and the role of technical, legal and social norms in Internet regulation.
Jeremy West
Research Advisor
Jeremy West is a senior policy analyst in the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation at the OECD. He recently led a multidisciplinary project on intellectual property in the digital age and is currently researching the economic and social effects of Internet openness. Jeremy is a member of the State Bar of California and the District of Columbia Bar. His background is in competition law and includes experience at a law firm in Washington, DC, at the United States Department of Justice and with the New Zealand Commerce Commission.
John Carr
Research Advisor
John Carr is a technical adviser to Bangkok-based global NGO, ECPAT International and Rome-based European NGO Network for Child Safety Online. He is Secretary of the British Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety and sits on the Executive Board of the UK Government’s Council for Child Internet Safety. John was formerly a Vice President of My Space and sat on Microsoft’s Policy Board for Europe the Middle East and Africa. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the LSE.
Jorge Contreras
Research Advisor
Jorge Contreras is an Associate Professor at the University of Utah Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law and a Senior Policy Fellow at the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University Washington College of Law. He has written and spoken extensively on the institutional structures and policy implications of intellectual property, technical standardization and scientific research. In addition, he has served as the long-time legal counsel to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and many other organizations involved in standards and technology development.
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.
Kilnam Chon
Research Advisor
Kilnam Chon is a professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and also taught at Keio University and Tsinghua University. He developed the first Internet in Asia, called SDN in 1982, and his pioneering work inspired many others to promote the Internet’s further growth in the region. He has founded various regional Internet organizations such as Asia Pacific Networking Group, Asia Pacific Advanced Network, and Asia Pacific Top Level Domain Name. Kilnam received a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from UCLA.
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.

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