On January 22, 2014, at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt announced the creation of a new independent commission that will examine the future of Internet governance. The Global Commission on Internet Governance (the “Commission”) is being launched by think tanks Chatham House and The Centre for International Governance Innovation (“CIGI”). The Commission will be chaired by Bildt, Sweden’s former Prime Minister, and supported by expert members representing business, government, academia and civil society. In announcing the initiative, Bildt stated that “[n]et freedom is as fundamental as freedom of information and freedom of speech in our societies.”
The two-year initiative will focus on:
- governance legitimacy, including regulatory approaches and standards;
- innovation, including infrastructure and competition;
- the rights of individuals online, human rights, privacy and freedom of expression; and
- systemic risks, including establishing cyber crime cooperation.
The Commission aims to “educate the wider public on the most effective ways to promote Internet access, while simultaneously championing the principles of freedom of expression and the free flow of ideas over the Internet.” It will host public stakeholder consultations and conduct research studies, the findings of which will be published on an ongoing basis. At the end of the two-year period, the Commission will produce a final report on Internet governance and multistakeholder governance.
Further information can be found on the Commission’s website.