Internet Governance 23 April 2016

G7 Questionnaire Submission – Feb 2016

The Internet Society submitted the following responses to a questionnaire in advance of the G7 ICT Ministers’ Multistakeholder Conference taking place on 29 April 2016 in Takamatsu, Japan.


Internet Society submission to the “Points of Discussions towards ICT Charter from G7 Ministers”

24 FEBRUARY 2016

Points of Discussions towards – New ICT Charter from G7 Ministers

【Background and Fundamental Question】

Arrival of the Society of Global Digital Connectivity (herein after GDC society) will bring us an unprecedented space where everything in addition to human beings could be connected to the networks. It is significantly important to gather and reflect opinions and suggestions from multi- stakeholders on how to maximize the benefits of GDC society.

0-1) In order to foster the development and maximize the benefits of GDC society, what do you expect for ICT policy?

The Internet and ICTs enable economies. Through technology we are able to improve business value-chains, increase the speed of global transactions and innovate to provide faster and better global entrepreneurship and Development.

In 2003, the WSIS Geneva Declaration of Principles and accompanying Plan of Action stressed the central role of ICTs in many areas of economic and social development, recommending that ICTs be harnessed to transform the digital divide into a digital opportunity for all. And, in his message to the World Summit of Information Society Forum 2011 in Geneva, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon emphasized the importance of ICT:

“Through e-learning, e-health, e-government, climate monitoring and more, today’s and tomorrow’s technologies will help bring the Millennium Development Goals within reach […]. The power of fixed and mobile broadband will further improve our ability to extend basic services to communities – even those in the remotest places – in ways that were inconceivable when the MDGs were first articulated more than a decade ago”.

Now, we are focused on the next phase of development through the UN’s Sustainable development goals and the critical role that the Internet and SDGs to achieve them, from better network infrastructure to enable e-health, to new applications to sustain farming communities, to faster network speeds to allow for mobile banking and “real-time” communications.

Policy objectives in ICT should include:

§ Strong and transparent government parameters to increase investment, lower taxes and duties on ICT equipment, and promote policies to encourage public-private partnerships.

§ Better coordination among government ministries to support strong communications infrastructures to enable economies.

§ Create better programs to provide and maintain infrastructure to enable ICTs energy, communications, and transport;

§ Break down barriers between and among countries to enable better cross-border communications.

§ Create strong educational and community training programs to create a strong core of ICT personnel and knowledge workers;§Establish institutional mechanisms and procedures for determining sectoral application priorities;

§ Encourage the development and use of and ensure equitable access to benefits offered by ICTs across gender, youth, the disabled and the elderly.

Consistent with this approach and in view of the efforts around the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community, we released a major report in March of last year that looked at the potential of the Internet for ASEAN economies, and what they need to do to transition to a digital economy. The report outlines 10 recommendations that can be taken to encourage and accelerate the move towards a more fully interconnected and interoperable digital economy:

  • Prioritize access to wireless networks by extending them to unserved and underserved areas;
  • Ensure affordability of network access;
  • Prioritize affordability of devices, including ensuring that device distribution and retail networks are fully competitive;
  • Promote infrastructure sharing and equal access, especially where resources are dominated by one or two carriers, to protect smaller new entrants and maximize services competition;
  • Plan for and promote the transition to IPv6;
  • Promote interoperability via voluntary agreements or state-supported clearance systems;
  • Build interoperability into all service delivery by adopting open Internet standards, which allows devices, services and applications to work together across a wide and disperse network independent of the actual platforms they run on;
  • Lead in using ICTs—potentially starting with health, education and disaster risk management services—extending inclusion to marginalized communities considered ‘uneconomic’ by the private sector;
  • Recognize that populations are mobile-centric and adjust Internet access and national digital economy plans accordingly; and
  • Involve populations that are marginalized by gender or disability in the planning process and distribute resources and capacity building to enable greater access and participation.

What do you expect for the role of academia and civil societies?


National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) have been a core part of the Internet infrastructure from the earliest days of the Internet. They formed part of the first Internet backbones and pioneered the use of new technologies. Today, they continue to help build Internet ecosystems around the globe, testing and implementing new technologies and developing local and national human technical capacity.

  • NRENs are an excellent example of communities dedicated to cooperating and working together for the common good of research and education, and technical capacity development. Many NREN experts share their expertise and help build networks around the world, dedicating themselves to a bottom-up community based approach that fosters innovation, knowledge transfer, and better all around national technical environments.
  • There is evidence that the availability of cost effective and cutting-edge NREN services enables and encourages technological spillover into the commercial sector, which ultimately benefits society as a whole. Therefore, a strong NREN can assist national technical and economic development.

Specific activities and benefits related to NRENs include:

  • Strong local, national, and regional technical human capacity is developed in the NREN system and incorporated into local technical and commercial sectors. Some experts may remain in the NREN system to continue cutting-edge innovation. Others are incorporated into the local commercial environment, strengthening local companies and local technical infrastructures.
  • NRENs can incorporate applied research that assists in the development of national and international test beds and pilot services, resulting in new production-grade services. These developments often find their way into commercial ISP networking, providing future benefits to the public.
  • As NRENs are not commercial, they can be a valuable asset when seeking advice on the development of national policies on education, research and IT. Many NRENs occupy a position of trust and can be called upon to provide neutral guidance from the pressures and demands of commercial entities, serving as a pool of independent expertise that is an asset to its country.Given the importance of NRENs in providing advanced ICT services to the research and education communities, we urge the G7 to recognize the important role that NRENs play in the GDC Society and to call for strengthening of NREN networks, particularly in developing and emerging markets.

    Civil Society

    Civil society can help bring change to ICT-related norms in three-separate, yet overlapping areas: a) Engaging effectively; b) fostering transparency and accountability; and, c) deepening knowledge. Combined, these measures can strengthen the legitimacy and sustainability of ongoing processes, ensure that broader normative concerns are attended to, and that the right technical expertise is leveraged when solutions are being sought; and, ultimately, help build trust between states and between the state and society.

Civil society organizations increasingly engage in various international and regional fora related to ICT development. This engagement has helped produce positive results. Civil society organizations can be credited for having helped build confidence among and within states, promoting the creation of new international organizations, and lobbying in national capitals to gain consent to stronger international rules and standards.

Technical community

Although not directly requested, we believe that the role of the Internet technical community in the sustainability, growth and evolution of ICTs – and the Internet – is key.

The Internet technical community is an indispensable stakeholder and contributor to the global Internet governance dialogue. The organizations and individuals in this community have had over four decades of cumulative experience in creating, improving, deploying, and managing the Internet in almost all countries of the world, under a wide variety of legal, administrative, and regulatory regimes. We strongly urge the G-7 to recognize the role of the Internet technical community as a key stakeholder that can help the global community reach its ICT goals.

The Internet technical community consists of individuals and organizations from around the world that understand the global Internet as a complex interaction of technology, standards, implementation, operation and application. They bring this expertise when working with governments, national and international organizations, educational institutions, civil society organizations, and private sector entities to maintain a technically viable Internet that can also respond to societal needs. While participants have a wide range of missions and roles to play, the Internet technical community shares a common culture that is grounded in a clear understanding of the unique technical characteristics of the Internet. These characteristics are essential to the Internet’s past, present, and future success as a platform for advancing the economic and social well-being of all of its users.

In a remarkably short period of time, the Internet has evolved from a research effort to test the then-new theories of computer networking to a powerful, pervasive, and now indispensable tool for global communication, business innovation, government, social networking and the activities of daily life. Many of the early technology and architecture choices that created the Internet that we know today were made as integral, original elements of the network itself. They remain essential to the Internet as a complex, multi-dimensional system. In particular, the network operates with only the minimal central authority required for essential coordination, allowing for the autonomy and growth of constituent networks.

To avoid compromising the Internet’s technical core functions and processes, many policy debates of Internet governance are benefitting from tapping the experience and insight of those who have been directly responsible for developing and operating it. The principles that have promoted and sustained the development of the Internet since its inception — the open and inclusive process for developing Internet protocols and standards, the impartial stewardship of Internet naming and addressing resources, and the decentralized cooperation and collaboration of network operators around the globe — are the Internet technical community’s vital contribution to these debates.

What do you expect for initiatives by the private sector?

Private sector initiatives are key to the furtherance of ICT development. Private sector involvement can create sustainable employment, spur innovation, improve access to new markets and/or stimulate trade.

By engaging the private sector to bring its best skills and resources to the table – technical excellence, efficiency, sound management expertise, optimal capital allocation, etc. – ICTs can evolve and reach their full potential. Relationships with the private sector can contribute to both economic growth and sustainability. Activities that engage the private sector’s bottom line business interests often deliver the most sustainable impact. As Kofi Annan once said:

“There are many positive ways for business to make a difference in the lives of the poor – not through philanthropy, though that is also very important – but through initiatives that, over time, will build new markets”.

The growth of ICT markets through private investment creates a window for innovative solutions to development challenges. One example is mobile banking, where technology has facilitated greater financial inclusion by offering a wide range of solutions, like mobile-based money transfer and microfinancing services. The remarkable uptake of mobile technology has opened up new ways of delivering services.

Finally, international agreements, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a guideline for development cooperation in the field of ICT. In particular, Goal 17 of the SDGs agenda talks about the need to “encourage and promote effective [..] public-private partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships”. Moreover, the Addis Ababa Action agenda, agreed in July 2015, provides a foundation for implementing the global sustainable development agenda and marks a milestone in forging an enhanced global partnership that aims to foster universal, inclusive economic prosperity and improve people’s well-being while protecting the environment.

What should be tackled through international cooperation?

Few factors have contributed more to globalization than the spectacular development of ICTs.

The role of international cooperation is particularly important in matters of access to ICTs and assistive technologies. States can achieve little in isolation. In fact, by adopting national standards that are inconsistent with international standards, States can unwillingly fragment the market, which, in turn, disrupt economies of scale and increase costs for users.

Moreover, international cooperation can encourage and foster public policies for ICT development. From the perspective of ICT as infrastructure for development, public policies promote ICT by, for example, supporting the consumption of information and communication services, and/or investing in ICT infrastructure such as LAN and public access points. From this perspective, public policies are needed to promote the growth of the entire spectrum of ICT networks and infrastructure.

Finally, international cooperation could facilitated the diffusion of communication methods of ICT in order to provide easy access by many users, regardless of their income and/or regional differences. This approach may improve digital circumstances not only in developing countries, but also in developed countries through a global increase in the demand for digital devices:

• Remove barriers to cross-border connectivity by working together to allow more networks to cross borders.

• Allow more competition and new companies to compete.

0-2) In order to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (herein after the 2030 Agenda) and to solve global issues by utilizing ICT, what actions should G7 members or developed countries take?

Over the past decade, ICTs have also revealed their potential to enable human empowerment and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Internet Society has written about the linkages between the SGDs and ICTs at: sustainable-development

Facilitating and easing collaboration among corporations, public authorities, NGOs, technical experts and end users is a major contribution of ICTs to the Sustainable Development Goals. The role of ICT in cross-organizational, international and global collaboration is twofold: ICT can be a collaboration enabler, but also a collaboration purpose and goal.

Drawing on the power of collaboration through ICTs, we would invite the members of the G7 countries, as well as the developed countries, to encourage and strengthen networks that can facilitate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Such networks include:

  • Knowledge networks that develop and share ideas, and research and that can be helpful to solve global problems (e.g NRENs);
  • Operation and Delivery Networks that are capable of delivering change (e.g. The Red Cross);
  • Policy Networks that enable sharing of best practices and common approaches (e.g the Internet Governance Forum);
  • Advocacy Networks that seek to change the agenda or policies of governments, corporation or other institutions (e.g.;
  • Watchdog Networks that scrutinize institutions to ensure they behave ethically (e.g. Human Rights Watch);
  • Global Standards Networks that develop technical and operations specifications and standards (e.g. the Internet Engineering Task Force);

【Digital Innovation and Economic Growth】

1-1) Discussions on the potential of innovations and economic growth brought by the GDC society are important.

What are the roles of the public and private sectors respectively, and what should be done by public-private partnership? What policies and actions will be needed to boost up those impacts? Open innovation principle may be one of the options and what else would be helpful in promoting innovations? What should be done by international collaborations?

Public-private partnerships (PPP) are critical instruments for innovation. PPPs help governments become more inventive by creating a space outside the government structure that allows innovation to flourish. By drawing on broader set of skills and talents, PPPs help private companies and public authorities alike to embrace creative solutions to challenges problems, thus ultimately helping to facilitate innovation in increasingly competitive environments.

PPPs have gained particular relevance in the ICT sector. Much of the innovation taking place in various business sectors depends on ICT. The relationship between PPPs and ICT can be described as symbiotic. Partnerships create opportunities to reduce the risks associated with investing in new technologies, while simultaneously driving the development of new services, applications and solutions that do not yet exist. Collaborative exchanges often deliver services and solutions more cost effectively than traditional approaches can manage. Moreover, close collaboration with the public sector defines clearer social and economic objectives, which can be reached in a more satisfying way.

In the current context of the potential of innovations and economic growth brought by the GDC society, we could argue that the following priorities emerge as being particularly important from the broad toolbox of policies for innovation:

  • Foster investment in broadband and smart infrastructure;
  • Remove unnecessary barriers to the development and deployment of ICT technologies and the Internet standards;
  • Preserve the open Internet and promote the free flow of data across the global ecosystem;
  • Address individuals’ concerns about harms caused by privacy violations;
  • Address concerns related to the appropriation of returns on investment in data-driven innovation;
  • Assess market concentration and barriers to competition;
  • Promote a culture of digital risk management across society.The Internet Society has addressed many of these issues in its first Global Internet Report, at:

  • From a global perspective, G-7 Ministers can encourage more competition in communications markets and transparency for business development, encourage more public-private partnerships to build communications infrastructure to support economic development and innovation, and lower customs and taxes on ICT equipment.

【Ensuring Free Flow of Information and Promoting a Secure Cyberspace】

Ensuring free flow of information must be one of the pillar principles for the GDC society to benefit the global economies and communities..

2-1) Multi Stakeholders’ approach by various stakeholders including the governments, industries, academics and civil society is one of the pillar principles for ensuring open and transparent digital space globally. How should we maintain and strengthen this process in the future. What public-private cooperation and international cooperation will be needed?

The Internet, as a global system, is a network-of-networks held together by a spirit of collaboration. When information traverses the Internet it may pass through a handful of networks, and the network from which the traffic originated probably has no formal relationship with the network that receives it. The reason why this works is collaboration, both in exchanging and carrying traffic from other networks, and in solving problems that may have originated several hops away.

The basis for this collaboration is a number of open standards and practices that all network

operators have adopted voluntarily. In fact, voluntary adoption is one of the core principles of the Open-Stand paradigm. (

Such collaboration between stakeholders has become an essential approach to addressing issues affecting the information society. In particular, a more cohesive and representative Internet community has emerged. Stakeholders from all sectors and countries have learned to work together in many fora, such as the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). At the local level, a bottom‐up movement has spread around the world to create locally designed and run Internet

governance dialogues and forums where communities can share ideas and recommend action to ensure that the Internet remains open, secure, and responsive to local concerns.

Inclusiveness of diverse ideas and collaboration in the growth and use of the Internet have produced great dividends. The development of many Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) around the world, for example, has only been possible due to the close collaboration of local communities, technical experts, industry and government stakeholders.

How could we approach to, for the same understanding, those countries who reject supporting or intentionally ignore the Multi Stakeholders process, or intentionally reject understanding it? How could we integrate it into a globally common concept?

The multi-stakeholder model of the governance of the Internet is ingrained in the Internet’s technical architecture and in the design choices that were made since its early days. It is ingrained in the process of consensus and the way the technical community has been creating and endorsing the standards that have contributed to its growth and success. (RFC 7282,

To understand better the implications of different Internet [governance] paradigms, it is useful to bear in mind what the subject of its governance is: a distributed network of autonomous and interconnected networks, based on a voluntary agreement among its participants to communicate by implementing open protocols and standards. That is the Internet, and no person, government or entity owns or controls it. Instead it relies on all its participants for its existence, and evolves through a bottom-up process of voluntary contributions, where each node and connection brings value to the platform as a whole.

To address the future challenges it is important that we build on the experiences to date, but also recognize that there is a lot of work ahead that requires concrete action and creativity. The Internet Society has identified access and trust as the two areas that we believe require extra efforts in the years to come. Access and trust are global concepts that all stakeholders, including governments, should be working towards in 2016 and onwards. Amongst others, the Internet Society through its global network of members, organizations and chapters will be focusing on these two areas. For more information, please see the Internet Society 2016 Business Plan,

2-2) One of the essential conditions for the free flow of information is good security and trust in communication networks. In the coming years, along with development of the GDC society, what challenges are expected to rise in network security? How should we resolve them? What should be the roles of the public and private sectors respectively, and how should they collaborate? How should they collaborate internationally?

Cybersecurity is perhaps the greatest challenge we face today, with the worldwide adoption of the Internet. How do we increase the level of trust in the systems that make up the Internet – not just the technology, but also the systems of governance and operations?

In February and March 2015, the Internet Society conducted a survey ( that attracted over 800 participants. Participants identified cybersecurity, privacy and the threat of mass surveillance as some of the key challenges of the information society going forward.

Confidence in the use of ICTs would be assisted by greater collaboration in the development of and commitment to a more secure, robust and resilient Internet environment. No single stakeholder – government, users, technical community, etc. – can solve these complex challenges alone. We need to work together to stay ahead of the constantly changing security landscape. The Internet Society has captured this approach in a framework called “Collaborative Security”:

This collaborative security approach is characterized by five key elements:

• Fostering confidence and protecting opportunities: The objective of security is to foster confidence in the Internet and to ensure the continued success of the Internet as a driver for economic and social innovation.

  • Collective Responsibility: Internet participants share a responsibility towards the system as a whole.
  • Fundamental Properties and Values: Security solutions should be compatible with fundamental human rights and preserve the fundamental properties of the Internet – the “Internet Invariants” ( matters)
  • Evolution and Consensus: Effective security relies on agile evolutionary steps based on the expertise of a broad set of stakeholders.
  • Think Globally, act Locally: It is through voluntary bottom-up self-organization that the most impactful solutions are likely to reached.

    2-3) Free flow of information requires an appropriate fundamental framework of how to handle personal data. In the coming years, along with development of the GDC society, what challenges are expected to rise in privacy protection?

    The Internet Society has spent considerable time thinking about how privacy will look in the future, and specifically some challenges that lay ahead:

  • Unwarranted and unchecked mass surveillance by nation state actors and the prospect that the tools and techniques, which today may only be available to a select group of states or entities, could rapidly become resources that anyone could access and use.
    • Attempts to limit the use of encryption and other data confidentiality tools could erode user trust in ICTs and undermine the global information economy.
      • Commercial online tracking is on the rise and likely to continue unless it is effectively constrained by legal and social means. Even with strong legal or social deterrents, “rogue” trackers may continue exploit loopholes and gravitate towards more covert forms of tracking, making tracking harder to detect. On the positive side, there is increasing social and legal recognition that unwanted tracking should not be accepted. This gives us a basis to strengthen safeguards for end users that should strengthen overall trust in the Internet.
        • Data that has been collected may be stored for indefinite periods of time and over time easily linked with more and larger data sets. Data that is considered meaningless today could one day be rendered meaningful through developments in data analytics. Data that is currently safe from decryption may not remain protected forever: future decryption techniques may be successful in rendering the data in “clear text”. The same principle applies to data currently thought to be “anonymized”, but which becomes more readily re- identifiable.
          • It is becoming increasingly apparent that privacy risks may be created by data that is not generally considered to be “personal data”, especially as the Internet of “sensored” Things becomes a reality.
            • We are still learning what works and does not work in terms of user interfaces, what users want and do not want, and how to make concepts tangible. Some examples include: privacy icons, privacy rating systems and new types of privacy policies. As these experiments run their course, all we can be sure about is that there may be some surprises.
              • The key privacy principles are unlikely to change, but great emphasis will be given to enforcement and other remedies for privacy violations.
                • Accountability-based approaches to legal compliance are likely to continue to gain popularity as they offer the potential of a more flexible approach as well as a way to bridge diverse legal regimes and shift the resource burden from enforcement to compliance. An example is the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system.
                • The APEC CBPR system is also a good example of how an effective framework requires international cooperation.
                • How should we resolve them without disturbing free flow of information, but balancing between data utilization and protection?
                • Privacy should not be regarded as an obstacle to the free flow of information across borders, but rather as an enabler of trusted cross border trade, commerce and communications.
  • Regional Example:

    Although it is still early days, APEC has adopted an innovative approach to privacy protection for cross border transfers of personal data. APEC economies, including Japan, having agreed on a set of general privacy principles (the APEC Privacy Framework), found a way to bridge their diverse legal environments to enable privacy-respecting cross border personal data flows. Additionally, they shifted the principal resource burden from enforcement (public authorities) to compliance (data controllers, processors, and those who certify them). The result is the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system and the APEC Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP).

    Some examples from the Internet technical community to promote privacy in Internet standards:

    The Internet technical community is actively involved in promoting privacy in the design of Internet standards. For example, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) have implemented initiatives to specifically address privacy and security in Internet standards development. For example, the IETF, through the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) Privacy Program, published RFC 6973 “Privacy Considerations for Internet Protocols” ( and the W3C is developing similar guidance for Web standards through the Privacy Interest Group (PING) ( charter.html). The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), through Project 802E is working on Recommended Practice for Privacy Considerations for IEEE 802 Technologies (

What measures would be effective toward international harmonization regarding privacy protection and appropriate handling of personal data?

Global consensus on core privacy principles such as those set out in the OECD 2013 Guidelines governing the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data and the APEC Privacy Framework and the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (Convention 108), plus an ethical approach to data collection and handling is needed. Such an approach has several key elements: legitimacy, transparency, accountability, proportionality and fairness, as well as the appropriate representation of all interested persons.

In this context, the frameworks mentioned above are examples of global and regional consensus of core policy principles that have helped drive the emergence of national laws to protect individuals’ privacy and personal data.

The Internet Society believes that the following measures should be considered in the context of data protection:

  1. Legal Environment:
    • Enforcement penalties that have a specific and general deterrent effect;
    • A means of checking compliance.
  2. Tools
    • Tools that enable users to express their preference with some granularity;
    • Tools that are usable;
    • Tools that enable users to communicate privately should they choose to do so;
    • Tools that enable service providers to offer users choices and visibility into what is

      happening with their data.

  3. Privacy by design: at all levels, standards, applications, services, business processes, etc.
  4. Data minimization: insist on targeted collection of only what is needed, for as long as it is needed;
  5. Address and fix the skewed consent model, where it is a “take it or leave it” approach and empower users to negotiate data collection and handling terms.

Raising awareness:

Finally, the Internet Society has developed a series of papers and tutorials providing an overview of privacy and online identity, focused on user-managed identity. The papers include discussions of privacy and some general guidelines on protecting your identity online.

  • Understanding your Online Identity: An Overview of Identity
  • Understanding your Online Identity: Protecting your Privacy
  • Understanding your Online Identity: Learning to Protect your Online Identity

• The Internet Society Digital Footprint initiative ( digital-footprint-matters

【Solving Global Issues by Enhancing Digital Connectivity and International Cooperation】

3-1) Along with the arrival of the GDC society, the global issues such as those indicated in 2030 Agenda must be addressed.

3-2) In order for new ICT to contribute to solving those global issues, digital connectivity needs to be extended all over the world. To achieve this, what should be the roles public and private sector, and how should they collaborate?

The following provide a snapshot of the issues the Internet Society believes could be tackled through collaborative efforts.

a. Collaborative networks for human empowerment and sustainable development

  • Affordable and widely available access is an essential foundation and should remain a primary objective of all stakeholders. Going forward, ISOC recommends that efforts to connect all populations draw on a local community of technologists, innovators and early- adopters who can build, maintain and ultimately grow and sustain networks to their full potential. We have found that everywhere the Internet has flourished, it has done so thanks to the existence of a robust technical class of public and private sector actors, which include engineers, technicians and users who not only ensure the network keeps running, but also create the tools, forums and services that create local demand.
  • While affordable and widely available access is an essential foundation, ISOC also believes private and public sector collaboration should further focus on how Internet access and ICTs enable meaningful opportunities for human empowerment: the ability to connect but also to speak, to innovate and share, to chose and to trust. This set of abilities which can be amplified by the power of the technology, and remain at the heart of societies from any era (For more information please refer to: are/mission/values-and-principles).
  • ISOC also believes that an Internet experience based on the respect of Human Rights online is a necessary foundation in order to reap the full benefits that the Internet can offer. The implementation of human rights, both on and offline, must remain a key priority for public and private partnerships with respect to ICT development.
  • The Internet Society sees value in the nexus between private-public sector collaborative efforts in the adoption of the new U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Indeed, for many years, the Internet and ICTs have been drivers and enablers of development; we firmly believe that the power of the open Internet can create innovation, change, and local solutions with global impact. The open Internet is and will continue to be an essential tool in facilitating the implementation of all SDG goals, as well as a key means to leverage the ingenuity, collaboration and partnerships needed to make them a reality (Read more: )

b. Collaborative security for trust-worthy environments

Since no one actor is solely responsible for Internet security, we believe that public-private sector security-related discussions should be based on a collaborative approach that reflect the principles of collaborative security – see above.

Examples of the benefits of this collaborative approach in action are found throughout the existing Information Society and must be replicated. For instance, Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) around the world bring together representatives of government, industry, educational institutions and other organizations to collaborate on improving the security of their individual systems).

Another example is the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS – project where network operators have agreed to work together collaboratively to improve the overall security and stability of the Internet’s routing infrastructure.

c. Collaborative efforts in real life:

Collaboration amongst a variety of actors is key in order to fully realize the potential of the Internet and ICT technologies.

  • The Internet Society’s award-winning Wireless for Communities project – a way to provide cost-effective Internet connectivity to dispersed communities located in challenging terrains –is a collaboration with the Digital Empowerment Foundation and the Nepal Wireless Networking Project. It has helped establish a mesh-type WI-FI networking to provide basic connectivity to remote villages in South Asia. It is now deployed in three countries in the Asia-Pacific region, namely Nepal, Pakistan and India. More information about the project can be found here: we-work/asia/south-asia/wireless-communities
  • The Internet Society is of the view that ICTs play a significant role in times of crisis in getting the right information to the right people at the right time. This is often critical in order to save lives. Availability of a robust information management system supported by ICTs is essential to support the constant flow of vital information required for disaster management activities. In line with this, in March of this year, we are organizing an event in Kathmandu with the aim to bring together international agencies and local stakeholders involved in emergency planning, emergency services and, disaster management work. More information about the event can be found here: kathmandu/
  • Measures such as these, and many others like them, are critical to raise the level of trust in the Internet as a means of communication, connection, collaboration and commerce. People must trust in the security, privacy and availability of their connections in order to fully realize the opportunities available to them in the Information Society.

G7 ICT Ministers’ Meeting will be held in 2016 for the first time in about 20 years. Please describe freely what you expect for discussion and outcomes of this meeting. In addition, please describe freely what you expect for discussion and outcomes of the ICT Multi-Stakeholders’ Conference, held at the same time.

The Internet Society firmly believes that access to an open and inclusive Internet and trust in the Internet are the central issues of our time. The best way to address these two big challenges is through open collaboration and constant innovation.

The success of the Internet to date has been due to its open, transparent and inclusive architecture, governed through a unique multi-stakeholder model that has favored cooperation and collaboration. The Internet is a global “network of networks” comprised of millions of individual networks — all of which interact with each other through the power of open Internet standards and many of which operate across national boundaries.

As the world increasingly relies on the Internet as an enabler for development, the discussions at the G7 should focus on broadening partnerships and cooperation to include a wider, more comprehensive range of stakeholders. In particular, the Internet Society recommends including Internet sector foundations, development agencies, Small and Medium Enterprises from emerging regions, technical experts, and many others who have a critical stake in the Internet’s development.

The Internet Society would like the G7 to consider and reaffirm the value of a distributed model of governance where each stakeholder group has its own role and responsibility in the evolution of the Internet – while all converge towards a common goal of enabling an Internet of opportunity for all. We believe that the G7 could help build a collective vision for the future of the Information Society, based on three pillars:

  • Collaborative networks for human empowerment and Sustainable Development;
  • Collaborative security for trustworthy environments; and
  • Collaborative governance where open frameworks lead to successful policy approaches.

Specific G-7 action items to operationalize commitments would also include:

  • A commitment to removing barriers to connectivity and access in order to enable better Internet and ICT development. The newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals recognize the Internet and connected information and communication technologies (ICTs) as a critical enabler for economic and social progress. The close alignment between the G7 discussions and these goals reflects the essential role of ICT and the Internet in advancing the 2030 agenda. To achieve these goals, and to ensure a secure and trustworthy Internet, it is crucial that the future of the Internet be shaped through an open, inclusive and truly multi-stakeholder process.
  • A commitment to collaborate broadly across stakeholders to address issues of security. Accomplishing global deployment of secure, resilient, future-proof Internet technology is better done “the Internet way”: at the initiative of individual actors, based on their own decisions and leadership; and through sharing know-how and experience, both voluntary and professionally.

• A commitment to support and help enhance the multi-stakeholder model of governance. The Internet is one of our most important tools for sustainable development, improved human rights and good governance. The community must safeguard the principles of collaboration, openness, transparency and inclusiveness that have allowed the Internet to flourish.

The G7 discussions provide a key opportunity to reflect on the successes and milestones achieved since the Internet’s inception using the principles of collaboration, inclusiveness and diversity that have accompanied the Internet throughout its evolution. It is also an opportunity to reaffirm these principles, which have developed in sophistication over time and which have been essential in fostering an Internet environment that enables societies and people to embrace the benefits of an open Internet.

As we look ahead, the G-7 should affirm a commitment to the “Internet of opportunity”- an Internet that is accessible to all people around the world and trusted as a means of communication, connection, collaboration and commerce. The Internet Society looks forward to working with the G7 members and all other stakeholders to make this vision a reality.

Related resources

Internet Governance 3 November 2014

New Zealand Statement

Internet Governance 12 February 2014

Internet technical community urging WSIS consultations to stay open to all stakeholders

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