We stand on the cusp of a defining moment for the Internet, and existing trends, left unaddressed, might very well lead to the legal fracturing of the World Wide Web. This brief paper offers some thoughts on how this challenge should be resolved, concluding that multilateral agreement on a choice-of-law framework is essential to the continuing growth of the network. While such a framework may be difficult (some might say impossible) to achieve, it is clear that the current situation, in the absence of such a framework, is untenable in the long run and destructive of economic prosperity. 

Part of Series

The Global Commission on Internet Governance was established in January 2014 to articulate and advance a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance. The two-year project conducted and supported independent research on internet-related dimensions of global public policy, culminating in an official commission report that articulates concrete policy recommendations for the future of Internet governance.
  • Michael Chertoff is a distinguished fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and former secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security.


  • Paul Rosenzweig is a senior adviser to The Chertoff Group. He previously served as the deputy assistant secretary for policy and as acting assistant secretary for international affairs at the US Department of Homeland Security. During this time, Paul developed policy, strategic plans and global approaches to homeland security, ranging from immigration and border security to avian flu and international rules for data protection. He currently provides legal and strategic advice on cyber security, national security and privacy concerns to individuals, companies and governments.