An Inclusive Internet as Global Asset

Balancing Leadership & Control So All May Connect to Thrive

By Carrie Ford Hilliker
September 9, 2016

In a series of recent statements, the Obama Administration argues against “a fragmented Internet that divides us rather than unites us, that minimizes the voice of people and maximizes their ability to cloud the truth.” The United States recognizes that keeping the web free, open and globally regulated will benefit the entirety of the world’s population, from issues of security to improving people’s lives.

In addition to devoting resources to STEM and Computer Science education and investing more than $19 billion of the budget in domestic cyber security, the U.S. is leading the charge on the creation of an Internet ruled by its users and participants, not governments and ruling powers. In order for control of the web to be more global, the U.S. State Department is encouraging other world powers to “step in as a counterbalance.”

The United States is balancing the need to relinquish control (for the greater good of the global community) with ensuring they maintain major leadership role in the Web’s continued development. American leadership understands that they can’t keep too tight a grip on control, but also don’t want to hand it over to the global community entirely. Manu Bhardwaj of the State Department shares that the United States’ goal is to safeguard the open, decentralized nature of the Internet by allowing its technical aspect to be managed by the multi-stakeholder model that includes both governments and global stakeholders. The more the network grows, the more each society in the network benefits.

Our international efforts as the People Centered Internet both echo and heartily support the U.S. State Department’s goal to bring “the most revolutionary communications network that has ever existed” to every community in the world.  Now, the inspiring challenge at hand is the creation and enforcement of global standards and frameworks for actions that not only keep the internet open and safe, but accessible, so that all people can “Connect to Thrive.”

As Secretary of State John Kerry said recently at a meeting for the U.S. State Department’s Global Connect Initiative, “an investment in the Internet is an investment in people.” We applaud the U.S. government and fully support their forward-thinking, inclusive efforts to expand Internet connectivity.

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