Internet Governance


The Internet is a fundamental infrastructure with a still largely untapped potential to address a wide array of economic and social challenges. Its open and decentralised design means that this potential is accessible to all. Bringing evidence-based analysis on the economic dimensions of the open Internet, including its impact on productivity, jobs and growth, the OECD’s long-standing work aims to help governments develop policies to stimulate the digital economy for the benefit of all. Restoring trust in the absence of a broad social agreement on norms for digital privacy and security is now crucial.

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Toward a Social Compact for Digital Privacy and Security

‘Social Compact for Digital Privacy and Security’ - a critical first step for trust and economic prosperity

15 April 2015 The Hague

On the occasion of the Global Conference on Cyberspace, the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) issued a statement calling 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’. 

This is a critical first step to achieving long-term digital trust, which in turn can help ensure economic prosperity and well-being... Restoring trust in the absence of a broad social agreement on norms for digital privacy and security is crucial. As a member of the GCIG, I welcome this call for citizens, governments, businesses, and civil society to agree on the terms of a social compact for digital privacy and security.

- OECD SG Angel Gurría

Read the press release

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The OECD Recommendation on Internet Policy Making Principles was adopted amid concerns that the openness of the Internet—which has stimulated innovation, delivered economic and societal benefits, and given voice to democratic aspirations—was at risk. Aimed to preserve the fundamental open nature of the Internet while protecting privacy, security, children online, intellectual property, and the free flow of information, the principles strengthen international co-operation and support a flexible, multi-stakeholder approach to Internet policy making, rather than an international regulatory approach.

The OECD’s Committee for Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) held a special high-level session on Internet policy and governance issues on 20 June 2014 in ParisHigh-level representatives from government, business, civil society and the Internet technical community shared their perspectives on the key challenges to be addressed as the internet continues its development. There was strong consensus in support of the importance of engaging a wide-range of stakeholders, including from those parts of the world and society which are not yet fully represented, in the development of policies that govern the Internet.

Past Events

2014- Paris, France

2012- Baku, Azerbaijan

2011- Nairobi, Kenya

2010- Vilnius, Lithuania

2009- Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

2008- Hyderabad, India

2007- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2006- Athens, Greece

Reports on Internet governance

The issues related to Internet Governance are broad and involve infrastructure, security, stability, privacy, intellectual property rights, national sovereignty (country domain names for example), etc. These issues have potentially wide-ranging social, economic and security implications.

Telecome and Internet Reports | Consumer Protection | E-Government and Taxation | Taxation 

OECD Input to the UN Working Group on Internet Governance

External resources


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