What is the IGP?
The IGP is an alliance of academics that puts expertise into practical action in the fields of global governance, Internet policy, and information and communication technology. The Project both researches and publishes analysis of global Internet policy issues. You can read more on how our work relates to the interests of civil society.
The goal of the Internet Governance Project (IGP) is to:
- Inform and shape Internet public policy choices by providing independent analysis and timely recommendations.
- Identify and analyze new possibilities for improving global governance institutions
- Develop policy positions guided by the values of globalism, democratic governance and individual rights.
Our work contributes to policy discussions and related debates at the global, international, regional and national levels. The IGP is active in international institutions like the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Regional Internet Registies (RIRs) like ARIN and RIPE, the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD-ICCP).
In 2008, the Project was awarded a follow-on grant from the Ford Foundation’s Civil Society and Governance, and Media units. If you are interested in supporting our work please consider making a donation securely online or contact us.
Why debate governance of the Internet?
The Internet is a public, global system of interconnected commercial, academic, household and government networks. Unlike most communications media, Internet technology is based on global, open and nonproprietary standards. The mix of open standards, diverse networks, and the growing ubiquity of digital devices makes the Internet a revolutionary force that undermines traditional media such as newspapers, broadcasting, and telephone systems, and challenges existing regulatory institutions based on national boundaries. The institutions governing the Internet are relatively new and open compared to traditional domestic and intergovernmental forums. Internet-based communication tools are enabling new forms of global governance and new ways to participate in these institutions and shape policy.
Internet governance affects a wide range of social and political issues. It affects who gets to participate in the online economy. It affects intellectual property – witness the attempts to control and regulate Internet-based communication in order to protect copyrights and trademarks. It determines who gets access to the key technical resources, such as domain names and IP addresses, that make Internet service possible. As a target of government surveillance, it affects privacy and civil liberties. It affects freedom of expression, forcing the world’s diverse policies to be harmonized. Internet governance provokes “high politic” debates over the global balance of power, as the US government holds unilateral control of critical Internet resources against the will of users and governments in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.