Digital Economy

Internet Governance

Technological progress continues to advance ICTs and the Internet, which is fundamental for economic growth in any region of the world.

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Studies have shown that developing countries with higher levels of connectivity significantly out-perform those with limited connectivity.  Improvements in ICT infrastructure result in improved trade and market opportunities, reduced unemployment, improved health care delivery, reduced inequalities and better quality of life. 

Business is committed to creating a path for continued, sustainable and inclusive growth for the digital economy.  Drawing from a diverse membership of information and communications users, operators, and content and service providers, ICC addresses the full spectrum of internet governance issues related to regulatory affairs, general telecommunications, communications infrastructure and policy while seeking to ensure trade liberalization for IT services in order to promote innovation, investment, and entrepreneurship, particularly in developing countries. 

For business everywhere, creating the right enabling environment for investment, creativity and innovation with the inclusion of all relevant stakeholders in policy development is essential for addressing challenges and creating opportunities to ensure regulation neither creates unnecessary burdens nor unintended consequences that could impair the economic growth and societal benefit technology and new business models can provide. 

What is Internet Governance? 

Internet governance is the process of developing norms and principles that impact the way the Internet is used and functions. It includes solving technical issues, setting regulatory frameworks, and policymaking to respond to social, economic and security matters, as well as questions of trust, standard-setting, accountability and jurisdiction. 

ICC advocates the adoption of policies that support the use of the Internet in new ways, to connect people with ideas, to create jobs, to boost trade and to reverse cycles of poverty.  We believe the existing multistakeholder model of governance is the best way to keep the Internet open for future generations and the most effective means of informing Internet policy decision-making at government level. 

What is ICC BASIS? 

After the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2006, Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) was launched at the request of companies that realised the importance of global business coordination on Internet governance and ICT policy issues.     

It draws upon consensus built policy positions and practice recommendations developed by the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy, which gathers experts from across sectors and regions of ICC’s far-reaching global network of multinational enterprises, SMEs and associations from around the world and across sectors.  ICC BASIS, the leading voice of business in the international dialogues, is of the view that these goals are best achieved through the multi-stakeholder approach to developing policy. Legal and regulatory frameworks that benefit from input and cooperation of all stakeholders offer the most promising path to the benefits of connectivity and empowerment through technology and sustainable development. 

What is the relevance of the internet governance forum?

The internet governance forum (IGF) is recognised as one of the most significant outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).  This multistakeholder venue provides a platform for a candid and open discussion to consider public policy issues relating to the Internet.  Participants focus on sharing information and experience on an equal footing, to help policymakers make informed decisions.  ICC BASIS, as the de facto focal point for business since the IGF was launched, is the primary source for business input, advocating for the internet to remain open, secure, stable and inclusive.  It considers internet and digital technologies as key enablers of international trade, economic development and innovation and calls on global leaders from all stakeholder groups to continue to work together to ensure that actions are coherent with existing commitments to:  

  • promote a globally connected, stable, unfragmented Internet. Keep it whole! 
  • expand connectivity and ensure meaningful access for everyone. Keep it open! 
  • enable data free flows with trust to support a truly global digital economy. Keep it flowing! 
  • increase efforts to strengthen cybersecurity. Keep it safe! 
  • preserve the multistakeholder model for Internet governance. Keep it ours! 

Relevant publications

Join the internet governance forum 2023

The 18th internet governance forum (IGF) will be held in Kyoto, Japan from 8 to 12 October around the theme: The Internet We Want – Empowering All People, focusing on the development of a free and open Internet that will not leave anyone behind. The International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Support the Information Society (ICC BASIS) will organise four sessions open to all event participants joining the free event onsite or online. 

ICC on cybersecurity

ICC Policy Primer on Cybersecurity

A policy primer highlighting key issues and challenges that business and society face in strengthening Internet security and responding to the large and growing range of cybersecurity threats.

ICC Cybersecurity Issue Brief #1

An ICC Issues brief calling for government action on cybersecurity

ICC Cybersecurity Issue Brief #2

Implementing norms and rules for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace and enhancing cooperation to counter cybercrime.

ICC Cybersecurity Issue Brief #2 Annex

Substantive considerations on an international instrument on cybercrime