At the World Economic Forum (WEF) the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) was announced as a “two-year initiative that will present a comprehensive stand on the future of multi-stakeholder Internet governance.”
The GCIG was created by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA).
One purpose of the GCIG is to “create and advance a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance that can act as a rallying point for states that are striving for a continued free and open Internet.”
Using influence to foster debate, the GCIG will lobby heads of state, incorporate public relations tactics and inject pro-agenda propaganda into the mainstream ideology across the globe.
Some of the members of the GCIG are:
• Sir David Omand, former head of the UK’s GCHQ
• Michael Chertoff, former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
• Carl Bildt, Swedish foreign minister
• Dame Wendy Hall, professor of computer science
Bildt said : “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. 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.”
Two concerns of the GCIG are:
• Authoritarian controls by government over the Internet
• Loss of customer confidence due to revelations of widespread surveillance
To combat current loss of trust, the GCIG will focus on establishing principles of technological neutrality in the name of:
• Human rights
• Free expression
In line with building the foundation of the future of the Internet, the GCIG will advise on how to:
• Avoid risks
• Establish norms regarding conduct
• Initiate cybercrime cooperation
• Proliferation and disarmament
This project is supported by technological leaders who want “greater transparency” when it comes to government surveillance on citizens; with or without their knowledge.
Marissa Mayer, chief executive officer for Yahoo, Inc. spoke at the WEF about concerns for customer privacy and the “tipping point” for the evolution of the internet.
Mayer pointed out that “when you go through security at the airport, when you sign up for a driver’s license, you know exactly what you getting from the government in exchange. I think that’s what’s murky…people don’t know what information is being collected and how it’s being used. And that’s the transparency that we are asking for and trying to awaken a debate on.”
John Chambers, chief executive officer at Cisco commented : “We need some rules of the road that everyone can live with. It has been the wild, Wild West around the world and we need some guidelines that we can all live by.”