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

Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff is chairman and co-founder of the Chertoff Group and senior of counsel, Covington & Burling LLP, was secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009. Previously he was a US Court of Appeals judge and chief of the US Department of Justice Criminal Division.
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.
Carl Bildt
Chair of the GCIG
Carl Bildt served as Sweden’s foreign minister from 2006 to 2014, and was Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994, when he negotiated Sweden’s EU accession. A renowned international diplomat, he served as EU Special Envoy to the former Yugoslavia, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, UN Special Envoy to the Balkans, and Co-Chairman of the Dayton Peace Conference.
Dae-Whan Chang
Dae-Whan Chang is chairman of the Maekyung Media Group, which includes the Maeil Business Newspaper and Maeil Broadcasting Network. He served as Acting Prime Minister of Korea (2002), chairman of the Korean Association of Newspaper (2005-2010), chairman of the board at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts (2008-2011) and member of the National Competitiveness Council (2008-2013). He serves as board member of World Association of Newspapers and founder and executive chairman of World Knowledge Forum.
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.

Research Advisors

Christopher Yoo
Research Advisor
Christopher Yoo is the John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer Information Science as well as the director of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a leading voice in the “network neutrality” debate that has dominated Internet policy over the past several years, and is also pursuing research on copyright theory. Christopher testifies frequently before US Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission.
Meryem Marzouki
Research Advisor
Meryem Marzouki is a senior researcher in Political Sciences with the French National Scientific Research Center, currently with the Computer Science Laboratory of Paris 6. Her multi-disciplinary research interests focus on Internet governance, human rights, and the rule of law. She is a member of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet), and of the European Internet Science Network of Excellence (EINS).
Eric Jardine
Research Advisor
Eric Jardine is a research fellow in the Global Security & Politics program at CIGI (and soon to be assistant professor of political science at Virginia Tech). His research focuses on trends in cybercrime and the Dark Web. He is the author (with Fen Hampson) of the book, Look Who’s Watching: Surveillance, Treachery and Trust Online.
Patrik Fältström
Research Advisor
Patrik Fältström is head of research and development at Netnod. Previously, he was a distinguished engineer at Cisco, technical specialist at Tele2, systems manager at the Royal Institute of Technology, researcher at Bunyip Information Systems and a programmer in the Royal Swedish Navy. He has been a member of numerous advisory groups and investigations related to Internet, both public and private sector. Patrik holds an M.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Stockholm.
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.
Samantha Bradshaw
Research Advisor
Samantha Bradshaw is a DPhil student at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) focusing on the politics of cybersecurity protocols. Prior to undertaking her doctoral degree, Samantha worked as a researcher at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, supporting the work of the Global Commission on Internet Governance. Samantha holds a Master’s degree in global governance from the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts (joint honours) in Political Science and Legal Studies from the University of Waterloo.
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.
Suk-Ho Bang
Research Advisor
Suk-Ho Bang is dean of the College of Law at Hongik University in Seoul. From 2008 to 2011, he led the Korea Information Society Development Institute, which is a broadcasting, telecommunications and Internet policy research institute founded by the Korean government. He has served on the board of the Korea Broadcasting System, co-chaired the Korean Association for Info-Media Law, and led the Cybercommunication Academic Society. Suk-Ho received his J.D. as well as LL.M. from Duke University School of Law, and received his LL.B. from Seoul National University.
Andrew W. Wyckoff
Research Advisor
Andrew W. Wyckoff is the director of the OECD’s Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry. Prior to the OECD, he was a program manager of the Information, Telecommunications and Commerce program of the US Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, an economist at the US National Science Foundation and a programmer at the Brookings Institution. Andrew holds a Master of Public Policy from the JFK School of Government, Harvard University.
Lorraine Eden
Research Advisor
Lorraine Eden is a professor of management at Texas A&M University. Her current research focuses on two areas: the economics of transfer pricing (the pricing of related party transactions), and multinational (MNE) strategies for coping with institutional distance, liability of foreignness and “hot spots” (e.g., conflict zones, corrupt economies, tax havens). She teaches courses on transfer pricing, MNEs and the economics of international business. From 2008 to 2010, Lorraine was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Business Studies.

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