The future of the internet

by Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has initiated a public consultation on the future of the internet economy. On its web site, the OECD is asking any and all interested parties for their input on what the internet should be and how it should be governed in advance of a ministerial meeting on the subject in Seoul, South Korea, in June next year. The OECD is especially looking for comments from civil society groups, representatives of the internet technical community and individual experts and businesses, but comments from everyday folk are welcome as well.

The OECD is asking four questions, to be answered in essay-like format (given that school is back in, perhaps some teacher readers out there may want to assign this to their class - we here at CBC.ca could be convinced to publish the best such essay):

  • What should be the fundamental policy principles that will help the internet keep driving key economic and social development?
  • What policies should be put in place to help manage convergence of computing and communications services, as well as emerging technologies such as wireless access and sensor networks?
  • How can creativity on the internet be maintained, if not bolstered?
  • What sort of steps need to be taken to improve security and the public's trust in the internet?

Those are some pretty heavy questions the OECD is asking. Given that next year's ministerial meeting will likely lead to some solid internet policies being put into place, this is a good opportunity for the public to weigh in. The organization is taking submissions until Sept. 14.