Solving the International Internet Policy Coordination Problem

Nick Ashton-Hart
Published: Monday, 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.