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 provides recommendations and practical advice on the future of the Internet. Its primary objective is the creation of “One Internet” that is protected, accessible to all and trusted by everyone. In its final report, the Commission puts forward key steps that everyone needs to take to achieve an Open, Secure, Trustworthy, and Inclusive Internet. These videos help explain why each of these four elements are so crucial to our future.
The Future of the Internet Hangs in the Balance
The world is embracing a digital future. The Internet is an intrinsic part of our daily lives. It transcends borders, cultural boundaries, and connects almost half of Earth’s population, yet many of us take it for granted. Within the next five years, an additional one billion new users will join us online—they’ll expect the same digital freedom, security, trustworthiness and accessibility we’re accustomed to. To protect these things, we need to develop effective rules for Internet governance that allow for innovation and economic opportunities without compromising our privacy. By having governments, businesses, the tech community and regular Internet users work together, we can ensure this happens.
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.
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.