The Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) was established in January 2014 to articulate and advance a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance. In recent deliberations, the Commission discussed the potential for a damaging erosion of trust in the absence of a broad social agreement on norms for digital privacy and security.
The Commission considers that, for the Internet to remain a global engine of social and economic progress that reflects the world’s cultural diversity, confidence must be restored in the Internet because trust is eroding. The Internet should be open, freely available to all, secure and safe. The Commission thus agrees that all stakeholders must collaborate together to adopt norms for responsible behaviour on the Internet.
On the occasion of the April 2015 Global Conference on Cyberspace meeting in The Hague, the Commission calls on the global community to build a new social compact between citizens and their elected representatives, the judiciary, law enforcement and intelligence agencies, business, civil society and the Internet technical community, with the goal of restoring trust and enhancing confidence in the Internet.
It is now essential that governments, collaborating with all other stakeholders, take steps to build confidence that the right to privacy of all people is respected on the Internet. It is essential at the same time to ensure the rule of law is upheld. The two goals are not exclusive; indeed, they are mutually reinforcing. Individuals and businesses must be protected both from the misuse of the Internet by terrorists, cyber criminal groups and the overreach of governments and businesses that collect and use private data.
A social compact must be built on a shared commitment by all stakeholders in developed and less developed countries to take concrete action in their own jurisdictions to build trust and confidence in the Internet. A commitment to the concept of collaborative security and to privacy must replace lengthy and over-politicized negotiations and conferences.