In just one week, representatives of governments from all around the world will gather at the UN headquarters in New York for the 10-year Review of the World Summit on the Information Society, a.k.a. “WSIS+10”. We are very pleased to see the consensus forming that the principles of multi-stakeholder cooperation and engagement should be at the core of the Information Society. Moreover, consensus has emerged around a “post-2015” vision for how the Internet can be used to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will bring about a better future for us all. We are also pleased to see continued support for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) as a key part of the multistakeholder future of the Internet.

However, not all governments share this post-2015 vision that a partnership among all stakeholders is needed to achieve our collective goals. As our matrix analysis of recent comments on the draft document show, some are in fact actively opposed to it, particularly in the area of cybersecurity. There are many explanations for this disagreement, but at its core is a worldview of applying national solutions to global problems, and a misbelief that cooperation among a single stakeholder group (ex. governments) is sufficient to solve issues that require the expertise and commitment of all stakeholders. In short: it is a perspective of the past projected to the world of the future.

In our view, raising the level of trust in the Internet through increasing both security and privacy is the critical imperative of our time. Embedded as the Internet Society is within the Internet’s technical community, we see the massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that are happening. We see the phishing and spam issues. We see large-scale pervasive surveillance and corporate and state espionage. And we see the erosion of trust that this is causing for end users, and the negative effect of these security threats on the economic development of countries.



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