A new Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) was announced today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt has been named as chair for the GCIG.
The GCIG has been founded by the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the Royal Institute of International Affairs as a two-year initiative to “produce a comprehensive stand on the future of multi-stakeholder internet governance.” The organization will have at least 25 members from around the world who are experts in the fields such as government policy and academia.
The idea behind the GCIG is that it will promote debate about the future of global internet governance while also laying out a “strategic vision” for the future and a framework for such policies. The organization also hopes to “act as a rallying point for states that are striving for a continued free and open Internet.” The GCIG’s current four stated themes are improving the legitimacy of internet governance, stimulating innovation, ensuring online human rights, and avoiding systematic risks to the internet.
“In most countries, increased attention is being given to all the issues of net freedom, net security and net governance,” said Bildt. “And they are, in my view, closely related to each other. The rapid evolution of the net has been made possible by the open and flexible model by which it has evolved and been governed. But increasingly this is coming under attack. And this is happening as issues of net freedom, net security and net surveillance are increasingly debated. Net freedom is as fundamental as freedom of information and freedom of speech in our societies.”