The Internet is the result of several technological innovations which connected local and regional computer networks to one network of global dimension. This creates a free flow of information without territorial restrictions. It has become possible to do business easier and faster. Completely new business models are based on the existence of the Internet and existing business models are adopting to the Digital Age.
With the increased importance of the Internet there is also an increased need for dependable rules and trust. These rules must be transparent, ethical and common sense (human rights). The Internet however, is independent from a specific territory, a specific group of people or a specific sovereign power. The Internet can only be governed by the community who shapes it. This is called the “Multi-Stakeholder approach”.
Apart from states and governments there are other stakeholders involved: the private sector with its commercial companies, civil society, Intergovernmental Organisations like the EU, International organisations which are neither commercial, civil society or private sector organisations, the academic community and last but not least the technical community. All of these seven groups have different approaches to shaping the Internet.