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

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.
Marietje Schaake
Marietje Schaake has served as a Member of the European Parliament from the Netherlands since 2009 with the European liberal group (ALDE). She serves on the International Trade committee, the committee on Foreign Affairs, and the subcommittee on Human Rights. She is the founder of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda for Europe. She is Vice-President of the US Delegation and serves on the Iran Delegation.
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.
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.
Angel Gurría
Angel Gurría joined the OECD as secretary-general in June 2006, following a distinguished career in public service. As Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from December 1994 to January 1998, he made dialogue and consensus-building one of the hallmarks of his approach to global issues. From January 1998 to December 2000, he was Mexico’s Minister of Finance and Public Credit. As OECD secretary-general, he has reinforced the OECD’s role as a “hub” for global dialogue and debate on economic policy issues while pursuing internal modernization and reform.
Dorothy Gordon
Dorothy Gordon is the Director-General of Ghana’s Advanced Information Technology Institute, the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE). She is at the vanguard of ICT development in Africa. Under her leadership, AITI-KACE seeks to bring African innovation to African consumers to forge a sustainable industry of communication technology. Dorothy sits on the board of several technology-based organizations.

Research Advisors

Harsha V. Singh
Research Advisor
Harsha V. Singh specializes in trade policy, development, infrastructure regulation and global governance. Currently Senior Associate at ICTSD (Geneva), he joins Brookings India as Executive Director and Senior Fellow in August 2016. He has been Deputy Director-General at WTO, secretary of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, chair/member of high level policy committees and WTO dispute settlement panels, and taught in China, India and the US. He is a Rhodes Scholar with a Ph.D. in Economics from Oxford University.
Robert Morgus
Research Advisor
Robert Morgus is a policy analyst with New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative, where he combines his background in international relations with a developing technical knowledge to provide policy relevant research and writing at the intersection of cyberspace and international affairs. His current work focuses on incident response and crisis management, international norms development, and cyber risk and insurance. In the past he has authored reports on sanctions and export controls, internet freedom, and internet governance. His work has been showcased in the New York Times, TIME, Slate, and others.
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.
Sonia Livingstone
Research Advisor
Sonia Livingstone OBE, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, has published twenty books and led research on the opportunities and risks of digital technologies for children and young people. Recipient of many honours, Professor Livingstone has advised the UK government, European Commission, Council of Europe and others on children’s rights and safety in the digital age. Founder of EU Kids Online, she leads the projects Global Kids Online and Preparing for a Digital Future.
Lee Hibbard
Research Advisor
Lee Hibbard is the Internet governance co-ordinator at the Council of Europe. He is responsible for the Council’s Internet Governance Strategy 2016–2019, including the setting up of a platform between governments and major Internet companies on their respect for human rights online. In recent years, Lee facilitated public policy on human rights for Internet service providers, network neutrality, freedom of expression on the Internet, and the protection and empowerment of children online.
Tim Maurer
Research Advisor
Tim Maurer is an associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His work focuses on cyberspace and international affairs, with a concentration on global cybersecurity norms, human rights online, Internet governance, and their interlinkages. Tim was director of the Global Cybersecurity Norms and Resilience Project at New America and head of research of New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative. He also gained experience with the United Nations in Rwanda, Geneva, and New York. His research has been published and featured by national and international print, radio and television media, including Harvard University, Foreign Policy, CNN and Slate among others.
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.

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