RAND Europe and titled “The Future of the Internet Economy”, a set of critical issues arising from the emerging Internet ecosystem are identified and major dilemmas faced by policy makers are explored. In order to achieve this, selected international experts were asked to rank and comment on a list of topics (such as security, reliability, privacy, net-neutrality and self-regulation), discuss the driving trends and underlying factors that policymakers would need to take into account and finally discuss possible guidelines for government intervention.
During the study six driving trends were identified. These are: a) Globalisation: universal connectivity and access, and the cost and benefits of diversity; b) People: composition of the Internet user population and the empowerment of the individual; c) Technology: pervasive computing and creation of intelligent environments; d) Security: risks, the role of transparency and importance of precautions; e) Economics: collaboration and competition, stability and innovation; and f) Governance: the global, multi-faceted nature of the Internet, jurisdictions and enforcement.
The non-exclusive set of emerging values identified includes: a) User identities, privacy, anonymity and control over personal data by people; b) Transparency, responsibility and accountability, and openness; and c) Global access, trust and diversity.
Taking into consideration the identified trends and values, the study suggests that policy makers should keep the Internet available and open, should aim at raising awareness rather than coercive intervention and promote self- and co-regulation.The full report is available here.