Skip to main content

‘One Internet’ report outlines the web’s biggest issues – backdoors, cyberwar and more

report advises governments to avoid encryption backdoors internet router
The Global Commission on Internet Governance has issued a new report on the biggest issues facing the continued good health of the internet. The 140-page One Internet report is intended to brief governmental officials, members of the tech industry — and anyone interested in preserving the value of the web — on some of the biggest challenges of the moment.

The report covers everything from best practices in case of a major data breach, to the ongoing debate surrounding net neutrality. There’s even a detailed section advising governments on how to engage in “cyberwar” with a minimal amount of collateral damage.

Unsurprisingly, the increasingly pertinent issue of encryption is discussed at length. The report stresses that governments should not attempt to pressure manufacturers into creating backdoors into their output, arguing that these actions “would weaken the overall security of digital data flows and transactions.”

There’s also a measured warning about the growing influence of proprietary algorithms. Sites like Facebook and Twitter use their own algorithms to determine which content should be served to users, which the report outlines as a potential precursor towards censorship of certain materials and the propagation of others.

The document goes on to suggest that the algorithms being used by companies to vet potential employees could lead to job discrimination. The fact that these algorithms are proprietary means that the public isn’t entitled to know exactly what function they serve, or how they carry out the process.

The Global Commission on Internet Governance was helmed by Carl Bildt, the former Swedish prime minister who is credited with sending the first email between world leaders back in 1994 — a message to Bill Clinton commending his decision to end the trade embargo with Vietnam.

The Commission was made up of 29 members of varying nationalities, working in fields spanning from academia to public policy. The body was established in 2014 as a joint effort between the United Kingdom’s Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Canadian Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Editors' Recommendations