About Us

What is the Internet Governance Project?

Founded in 2004, IGP is now the leading source of independent analysis of global Internet governance. We are a group of professors, postdoctoral researchers and students hosted at the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, one of the world’s leading engineering universities. We conduct scholarly research, produce timely policy analyses and public comments, blog on current events in Internet governance, and bring our ideas and proposals directly into Internet governance processes at the United Nations, agencies of the U.S. government and the European Commission, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Regional Internet Address Registries (RIRs) and other venues. We also educate professionals and young people about Internet governance in various world regions.

We currently focus on issues such as cybersecurity and its implications for global Internet governance, BGP routing security, trade policy in information services, the governance implications of ICANN’s jurisdiction, ICANN accountability, and the impact of global Internet governance institutions on individual rights to freedom of expression and privacy.

What do we believe?

Our engagement with global governance institutions is guided by a distinct set of values. We believe unfettered communication is an individual right and support maximal freedom to deploy and develop information technology products and services, insofar as it is consistent with individual rights. We support a system of governance of the Internet that is distributed and accountable, rooted in nonstate actors, and based on open and voluntary technical standards. We favor a competitive market economy and open global trade in information services and technologies. We oppose censorship, nationalism and jurisdictional fragmentation of online services. We embrace the institutional innovations required to adapt information and communications governance to the new requirements of a globalizing world.

Our achievements

From the earliest days of Internet governance, IGP has shaped policy debates and the building of institutions. Our research and analysis is often quoted in policy making fora, academic journals, and court opinions. IGP’s contributors are not afraid to move outside the ivory tower to participate in IG institutions.

Our ongoing coverage and research on ICANN’s accountability deficit, including a series of blog posts on accountability problems paved the way for the policy reforms at ICANN. IGP was the earliest and most consistent advocate of the IANA transition, which ended the U.S. government’s oversight of ICANN. During implementation of the transition, IGP members were elected to or participated as experts in the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) and the Accountability Working Groups at ICANN. The eventual post-transition IANA, a legally separate affiliate now known as the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) organization, was based in part on an IGP paper proposing to divest IANA from ICANN. IGP also fought to limit the power of governments in ICANN to a limited, predictable and advisory role. IGP’s research on IP address markets was the first to quantify the phenomenon and call attention to its policy implications.

IGP’s contributors have had leading roles in various Internet governance institutions. One of our partners was one of the original organizers of the Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC), the voice of civil society in ICANN, as well as elected to the Advisory Council of ARIN. Our current Executive Director chairs the NCUC. Another is a former chair of the board of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. Another has served on NCUC’s Executive Committee and on the Nominating Committee in charge of appointing ICANN board members.

IGP research support

An initial grant awarded in 2006 by the Ford Foundation's Civil Society and Governance and Media units helped get us started. Since then our principals have received research grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Next Generation Infrastructure foundation and contributions from other private-sector organizations and foundations to support continued independent, objective research and analysis. If you are interested in supporting our work please contact us at info@internetgovernance.org.