The way the Internet is governed is of strategic importance to modern society. Yet, current Internet governance (IG) is not robust enough to address the Internet’s critical relevance. This became apparent after the Snowden revelations created a major earthquake in global digital politics. Many governments, think-tanks, and experts have started a search for a new IG formula, moving the issue from the realm of engineers and geeks into the premier league of global politics.
More than 50% of global IG is conducted in Geneva. The Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the main IG umbrella body, is based in Geneva. Telecommunication issues are addressed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). For online human rights, there is the UN Human Rights Council. The World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the global framework for e-commerce.
Internet standardisation bodies have a presence in Geneva as well: (the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) via the Internet Society (ISOC); the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)). Many countries cover global digital policy via their permanent missions in Geneva. A wide range of NGOs and business associations ensure multistakeholder participation. A few months ago, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) opened an office in Geneva.
The Geneva Internet Platform will add to this vibrant scene by bridging policy silos, strengthening the participation of small and developing countries, monitoring digital policies, and facilitating research for evidence-based IG. Tomorrow, 8th April 2014, the Platform will be launched officially during an event at the World Meteorological Organization building (WMO) in Geneva. Details of the programme and location are on the GIP website. Follow the launch on Twitter with #theGIP