Press Release

1 July 2024

Today, a group of technical experts involved in the development and maintenance of the Internet and the Web, including Vint Cerf (Internet pioneer) and Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web), published an open letter calling on the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General and the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology to “uphold the bottom-up, collaborative and inclusive model of Internet governance that has served the world for the past half century” as part of the upcoming Global Digital Compact (GDC).

The Global Digital Compact was initially proposed by the Secretary-General as part of his report, Our Common Agenda, which followed the UN’s 75th Anniversary in 2020. According to the UN, the GDC will “outline shared principles for an open, free, and secure Internet for all” and is expected to be formally agreed to at the upcoming Summit for the Future in September 2024.

Technical experts and civil society organisations have continued to express concern with procedural and substantive elements of the GDC. As stated in the open letter, “the GDC is being developed in a multilateral process between states, with very limited application of the open, inclusive, consensus-drive methods by which the Internet and Web have been developed to date. We are concerned that the document will be largely a creation only of governments, disconnected from the Internet and the Web as people all over the world currently experience them.”

There are also significant concerns with substantive elements of some proposals being made for inclusion in GDC drafts, including establishing a hierarchical model of governance over technical matters, mandates for more centralised governance, and failure to adequately protect traditional multistakeholder Internet governance models.

Information for the Press

Questions can be directed to However, note that the group is only represented by the content of the open letter, and that therefore only limited replies will be made.