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

Latha Reddy
Latha Reddy served in the Indian Foreign Service from 1975 to 2011. She was Ambassador of India to Portugal and Thailand and Consul-General in Durban, South Africa. She was Secretary (East) in the Indian Foreign Ministry, overseeing Indian foreign policy in Asia. She also has extensive experience in multilateral and regional diplomacy. She was appointed as the Deputy National Security Advisor and Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat from 2011 to 2013.
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.
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.
Patricia Lewis
co-Director of the GCIG
Patricia Lewis is research director of international security at Chatham House. In previous positions, she has been deputy director and scientist-in-residence at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Middlebury College, and director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research.
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.

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.
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.
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.
William Dutton
Research Advisor
William Dutton is professor of Internet studies at the Oxford Internet Institute and Fellow at Balliol College. Prior to his current position, he was a professor in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. William has published and edited numerous articles, chapters, and books related to the impact of the Internet on society, politics and research.
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.
Nanette S. Levinson
Research Advisor
Nanette S. Levinson is Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, School of International Service, American University, and Co-Director of the Internet Governance Lab. She is a past Chair of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet), the ISA’s International Communication Section, and APSA’s Information Technology and Politics Section. Her research/writings focus on knowledge transfer and innovation in a range of complex, cross-organizational, and cross-cultural settings especially internet and global governance. She received her bachelor’s, master's and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.
Clem Herman
Research Advisor
Clem Herman is a senior lecturer in the Department of Computing and Communications at the UK Open University, and was previously director of the Manchester Women’s Electronic Village Hall (WEVH) pioneering the use of ICTs to empower women. She has published widely on gender issues in technology and is the founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Gender Science and Technology.
Peng Hwa Ang
Research Advisor
Peng Hwa Ang is director of the Singapore Internet Research Centre and professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University. He was a member of the 2004 Working Group on Internet Governance and he went on to co-found and serve as inaugural chair of both the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) and the Asia-Pacific Regional IGF (APrIGF).

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