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Internet’s openness, dynamism at risk: WEF report

Internet’s openness, dynamism at risk: WEF report

Davos: There has been a growing concern that the Internet may be in danger of splintering into a series of bordered cyberspace segments, according to a new report by the
World Economic Forum.

In a session ‘Keeping Worldwide in the Web’, participants discussed challenges facing the open global Internet, which has become a key driver of global wealth creation, socio-cultural enrichment and human empowerment in recent decades.

The issues that dominated the discussion include emerging fragmentation of the Internet, along multiple lines, due to developments in technical, governmental and commercial realm.

To help build a shared understanding about this global challenge, WEF’s Global Challenge on the Future of the Internet initiative reached out to three leading experts William J Drake, Vinton Cerf, and Wolfgang Kleinwachter – to produce a white paper.

The paper maps the landscape of Internet fragmentation and cites 28 examples arising from technical, governmental and commercial trends.

“As a first-cut overview of the landscape of Internet fragmentation, this paper is an important new resource for everyone who cares about the Internet’s ongoing contribution to human progress and potential,” Richard Samans, Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum, said.

The report noted that meeting the challenge of Internet fragmentation will require vigilance, analysis and international cooperation involving all relevant stakeholders.