Solving the International Internet Policy Coordination Problem

GCIG Paper No. 12

May 4, 2015

Just under 50 percent of humanity is currently online, and the impact the Internet will have on policy making, and vice versa, is only beginning to be felt.  The digital ecosystem — with the public Internet at its centre — is inherently borderless and impacts, and is impacted by, an increasing spectrum of international public policy. This is due to the Internet being a general purpose technology that alters society worldwide through its impact on pre-existing economic and social structures, and the Internet's already large impact is accelerated and amplified due to the network of effects. The twelfth in the Global Commission on Internet Governance paper series argues that it would be a serious mistake to continue to address Internet-related public policy in subject-area silos, and proposes using existing fora to coordinate at the institutional level to deliver better policy results within existing processes and mandates. 

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

Nick Ashton-Hart is the senior permanent representative of the technology sector to the United Nations, its member states and the international organizations in Geneva. He has participated in multilateral policy development since 1992, been an active part of the Geneva community for 14 years and a resident for the past eight.