Global Internet Report

The future of the Internet, and all the positive opportunities it could bring is in our hands. The Global Internet Report shows the scale of the challenge, and what we can do about it.

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2017 Internet Society Global Internet Report: Paths to Our Digital Future

The future of the Internet is ours to shape for the next generation. Humanity must be at the centre of tomorrow's Internet.

We cannot take the Internet for granted. The path to our digital future rests in our hands. We can start today by taking actions that will preserve the underlying values of the Internet and keep it on course to remain open, globally connected and secure.


No one can predict the Internet’s future, but it is too important to ignore. Most believe the Internet will continue to shape our societies, cultures and economies, and define the world for generations to come. But there are no assurances of what lies ahead for the Internet. The choices we make today will impact the Internet we are creating for tomorrow.

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Executive summary

The Internet has profoundly shaped our world and has changed our lives in both big and small ways. The technology change around us has happened both quickly and imperceptibly. The very first connections between computers nearly fifty years ago have been transformed into a wave of connectivity that covers the planet. New devices and innovations have given us more ways to harness the power of connectivity wherever we go and have given us functionality we could never have imagined.

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Drivers of Change & Areas of Impact

The Drivers of Change encompass technological, economic, regulatory, security and network related challenges for the future Internet. In all cases, the implications of one Driver are inextricably tied to another – for example, we fully expect the role of governments in the Internet to grow in large part due to the rise of cyber threats.


Top ten recommendations for the future of the Internet

We are only beginning to understand the full value that the Internet can bring to tomorrow’s world.  This said, what we know about the Internet tells us that its future will not be only about new technologies but also about empowering people.

The Internet may be decades old but we are still at the beginning of the journey. For 25 years now the Internet Society has been home to a global community of people who believe in a core set of values for the Internet. Throughout this project, it has been clear that people are looking at the future of the Internet through the lens of these core values that are as valid for the future as they were 25 years ago: The Internet must be global, open and secure.  And because we live in an interdependent world, decisions about the Internet’s future must be inclusive and multistakeholder.

So, how do we get there? How do we ensure that the Internet of the future is one that betters society, creates opportunity and empowers people? We believe that the key to the future is to put humanity at the centre of the online world.  These recommendations suggest possible ways forward so that we will realise the Internet’s promise for all citizens of the globe:

  1. Human values must drive technical development and use
  2. Apply human rights online as well as offline
  3. Put users’ interests first with respect to their own data
  4. Act now to close digital divides
  5. Make the Internet economy work for everyone
  6. Take a collaborative approach to security
  7. Increase accountability for data handlers
  8. Build strong, secure, resilient networks
  9. Address the need for online social norms
  10. Empower people to shape their own future

Read Previous Reports

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The Economics of Building Trust Online: Preventing Data Breaches

2016 Global Internet Report

Today we are at a defining moment in the evolution and growth of the Internet. Large-scale data breaches, uncertainties about the use of our data, cybercrime, surveillance and other online threats are eroding users’ trust and affecting how they use the Internet. Eroding trust is also affecting the way governments view the Internet, and, is shaping the policy environment for the Internet around the world. The 2016 Global Internet Report takes a close look at data breaches through an economic lens and provides five clear recommendations for a path forward.

Mobile Evolution and Development of the Global Internet

2015 Global Internet Report

While there’s no question that the mobile Internet is changing everything, there are still big reasons why people aren’t logging on. The 2015 Global Internet Report presents data that shows it’s not always a question of if it’s available, but rather how cost and a lack of useful content are core to why people are not opting in.

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Open and Sustainable Access for All

2014 Global Internet Report

The first in the series, Global Internet Report 2014 focuses on the open and sustainable Internet – what we mean by that, what benefits it brings, and how to overcome threats that prevent those of us already online from enjoying the full benefits, and what keeps non-users from going online in the first place.