Increased government control is the biggest risk to the future of the Internet, according to the Internet Society.
Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday, the organization’s European director, Frederic Donck, called on all Internet users to continue “to promote and protect the open, transparent, inclusive and collaborative nature of the Internet that underpins its success.”
A survey conducted by the organization found that 39 percent of respondents rated more top-down government control as the single biggest threat to the Internet. Limited access to content and services (25 percent) and a rise in security threats (16 percent) followed as issues of concern, rated by 730 respondents.
This shows that far from being weakened by its decentralized nature, the openness of the Internet is key to its success, Donck said. “This openness characterized the development and architecture of the basic building blocks of the Internet — packet switching and TCP/IP — and continues to allow our Internet experience to be as creative and connected as it is today,” he said.
The Internet Society agrees with the European Commission that competition could help deliver consumer choice and transparency, but said that an open, globally accessible Internet is not a foregone conclusion.
The Internet Society is a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet-related standards, education and policy.