The Regime Complex for Managing Global Cyber Activities

Global Commission on Internet Governance Paper Series No. 1

May 20, 2014

When we try to understand cyber governance, it is important to remember how new cyberspace is. The World Wide Web was conceived in 1989, but only in the last 15 years have the number of websites burgeoned, with businesses beginning to use this new technology to shift production and procurement in complex global supply chains. The Internet has become a substrate of modern economic, social and political life. Analysts are now trying to understand the implications of ubiquitous mobility, the “Internet of everything” and the storage of “big data.” The advances in technology have, so far, outstripped the ability of institutions of governance to respond.

Internet governance is the application by governments, the private sector and civil society of principles, norms, rules, procedures and programs that shape the evolution and use of the Internet. Naming and numbering is only a small part of Internet governance, and while Internet governance is at the heart of cyberspace, it is only a subset of cyber governance. 

Part of Series

Global Commission on Internet Governance Paper 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.

About the Author

Joseph S. Nye, Jr., is a university distinguished service professor and former dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has served as assistant secretary of defense for International Security Affairs; chair of the National Intelligence Council; and deputy under the secretary of state for Security Assistance, Science and Technology.