In 2004, the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan convened the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG), assembling 20 government representatives and 20 representatives of non-governmental stakeholders to establish a working definition of Internet Governance in preparation for the 2005 United Nation’s World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) (Drake, 2016).
The report submitted by the WGIG presented a simple yet effective definition of Internet Governance, which to this day remains the most widely accepted and used definition. It states that:
"Internet governance is the development and application by Governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet." (de Bossey, 2005, p. 4)
By this definition, Internet governance refers to the framework in which the policies, strategies and vision relating to the community’s use of the Internet and how it is structured comes together. The Internet Society (ISOC) defines it more simply as “the processes that impact how the internet is managed” (Internet Society, n.d.).
de Bossey, C. (2005). Report of the Working Group on Internet Governance (Report No. 05.41622). https://www.wgig.org/docs/WGIGREPORT.pdf
Drake, W. J. (2016). The Working Group on Internet Governance: 10th anniversary reflections. APC.
Internet Society. (n.d.). Internet Governance. Internet Society. https://www.internetsociety.org/issues/past-categories/internet-governance/