Since the very first Internet governance discussions over a decade ago, the Internet Society (ISOC) has been fully engaged in the Internet governance debate. The global Internet community will continue to address significant issues in 2015 that could shape the future of Internet governance. As we engage in these discussions, we recognize the importance that the collective sentiment of our community plays in shaping our work and informing our approach in this important area. To gain valuable insight into our community’s views on Internet governance, we opted to conduct a survey on this topic in February. We are now pleased to be able to share the survey findings with you all in this summary report.
Focus Areas and Main Takeaways
The questions posed in the survey focused on four main topics:
- Identifying the most important Internet governance issues facing the Internet community;
- Understanding whether existing platforms and organizations are effectively addressing these issues;
- Improving Internet governance processes;
- Recognizing which fora are best positioned to respond to the current set of issues.
Other questions asked respondents to rate how ISOC staff and members could best strengthen inclusive and effective Internet governance, and whether ISOC should be involved in the more recent NETmundial Initiative (NMI).
The main takeaways from this survey are that:
- The majority of respondents (86%) indicated that Cybersecurity is the most important issue facing the Internet community today;
- The priorities for the community are to make Internet governance easier to understand (with 75% feeling that this is “Extremely” or “Very Important”) and to develop and share best practices amongst countries and communities (70% indicating that this was Extremely” or “Very Important”);
- A high percentage of respondents (90%) indicated that informal local and regional communities should be enhanced while 87% of respondents want the global, regional, and national Internet Governance Forums (IGFs) to be enhanced; and
- 27% of respondents think NMI is needed for effective Internet governance, while 56% indicated that they are unclear as to whether NMI is needed, and 17% think it is not needed.
With regards to the Internet Society’s role and how it can best strengthen Internet governance:
- Convening dialogues and facilitating Information sharing among all stakeholder communities was considered “Very” or “Extremely important” by 94% of respondents;
- 92% of respondents indicated that supporting platforms where best practices can be discussed in an open and inclusive manner was “Very” or “Extremely important”; and;
- With respect to NMI, 41% respondents favored formal participation; 49% of the respondents wanted the Internet Society to lead consultations about NMI; 10% did not want any kind of participation.
Read more: Internet Governance Survey: What You Told Us