Six ways ICC mobilises business on Internet governance

  • 5 December 2016
Commercial Agency

Every year, through its Business Action to Support the Information Society initiative, ICC mobilises business participation at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) – an important United Nations (UN)-linked event for frank and open discussions on all issues relating to Internet governance.

But what is ICC BASIS and how do its members benefit from the work it carries out year round on behalf of business? As Day Zero gets underway in Guadalajara, Mexico, we’re taking time out from our activities on the ground to explain…

Why did ICC create BASIS?

The outcomes of a two-phase United Nations gathering of heads of states about bridging global digital divides mandated that governance of the Internet should be both transparent and inclusive. This was the World Summit on the Information Society or WSIS.

Having helped global business engage in the Summit and have a voice at WSIS, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) created BASIS to ensure not only the continued representation but also the active participation of the private sector in global discussions on Internet-related issues.

What does ICC BASIS do today?

ICC BASIS believes that all interest groups, or “stakeholders”, impacted by the Internet – including business, governments, the technical community, civil society and academics – should contribute their respective competencies and perspectives to Internet governance. We think this is the best way to ensure the Internet can be utilised by everyone to fulfil the development potential of individuals and societies.

ICC BASIS helps business to navigate the many international dialogues on Internet governance issues. We amass the essential perspectives of business and work to amplify or provide business views in these discussions.

So what’s in it for members?

The BASIS membership comprises a diverse range of companies and associations that recognise both the importance of the Internet to their business operations and the importance of business being part of the decisions taken in governing the Internet.

By leveraging this diversity, BASIS is able to monitor and collect valuable information to share with business. The information is then used to organize our activities and engagement to maximise impact well beyond the possible achievements of any company acting on its own behalf.

Working this way means that the resources a company dedicates to this important work are compounded, providing a cost-effective way to gain advance notice on activities and developments as well as emerging issues in the Internet governance landscape. At the same time it guarantees private sector interests are conveyed and factored into policymaking and implementation.

We’re consulted… and listened to!

Not only has ICC been around since global discussions on how to manage and develop the Internet began, it has close to a century-long track record as the most representative voice of business, working closely with the UN, the World Trade Organization and the US government multistakeholder entity the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers also known as ICANN. Whether in meetings with government representatives, speaking at high-level events or participating in expert-level discussions, ICC BASIS voices global business priorities at the highest level of decision-making – giving our members an opportunity to contribute to the discussion and to really make a difference.

For example?

ICC has played a pivotal role for the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), for the annual IGF and its multistakeholder advisory group, as well as for Netmundial – an event on Internet governance initiated by Brazil in 2014.

ICC BASIS also played a unique role representing the perspective of business during the transition of key Internet technical functions from a contract with ICANN.

What’s next for ICC BASIS?

We’ve been busy preparing business engagement and participation at the upcoming 2016 Internet Governance Forum in Guadalajara, Mexico from 6-9 December. We’re reaching out to business newcomers to help them navigate the forum most effectively and will once again mobilize business engagement to provide input and expertise on a wide range of issues.

These include how to reap the benefits of emerging technology to connect the next four billion potential Internet users to discussion pertaining to online security and trust.

Looking beyond the forum, the ICC BASIS annual work programme includes working with the relevant UN bodies to promote a multistakeholder approach to governance of the Internet that will help fulfil ambitious sustainable development goals. ICC BASIS will also leverage the policy principles and guidance of the ICC Commission on Digital Economy Commission.

For more information about the work of BASIS and how to get involved visit: ICC BASIS