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The report recognizes that the dynamic nature of the Internet and its rapidly changing environment may lead to unforeseen — and unforeseeable — developments. It acknowledges that the open and collaborative nature of the Internet challenges traditional policy- making processes and that a multi-stakeholder approach to achieving an appropriate balance of laws, policies, self-regulation and consumer empowerment may be the only way to promote the Internet economy effectively. An effective and innovative multi-stakeholder approach has to be developed for government, the private sector, the technical community, civil society and individual users to join forces in shaping the policy environment for the future of the Internet economy.
This report highlights ways to encourage the development of the Internet economy. It looks first at the infrastructure on which its development relies and the need to strengthen and extend broadband networks. It considers the ways in which the Internet already contributes to social and economic goals. It looks to how the Internet can act as a catalyst to further these goals through policies that facilitate convergence, stimulate creativity, strengthen confidence and expand the opportunities for global economic, social and cultural development.
The report seeks to provide guideposts for shaping policies and practices for the future of the Internet economy in this rapidly changing and inherently global area. It seeks to improve international co-ordination while addressing many common challenges:
- Making Internet access available to everyone and everywhere.
- Promoting Internet-based innovation, competition and user
- Securing critical information infrastructures and responding to new threats.
- Ensuring the protection of personal information, respect for intellectual property rights, and more generally a trusted Internet-based environment which offers protection to individuals, especially minors and other vulnerable groups.
- Promoting secure and responsible use of the Internet; and,
- Creating an environment that encourages infrastructure investment, higher levels of connectivity and innovative services and applications.
It also identifies linkages and gaps in policy domains where future work may be useful. It is addressed to OECD countries as they face these challenges, and it seeks to be of value to OECD observers and, more generally, non-member economies.