The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) finished 2011 with an important step in international efforts to ensure the Internet remains an open platform that is secure and reliable, continuing to spur free expression and association, innovation, prosperity and job creation. As part of its mission to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world, OECD members adopted a Recommendation of the Council on Principles for Internet Policy Making.
The Recommendation was born at a U.S.-initiated high-level meeting earlier this year. It was developed through the OECD's multilateral consensus-based process and is a successful follow-on to the June 28-29 High Level Meeting on the Internet Economy. A Communique' was agreed to by the member countries, Egypt, businesses, and Internet technical advisory groups, setting the principles to guide Internet-related policy making.
This is an important deliverable on the U.S. open Internet agenda. In May, President Obama issued the U.S. International Strategy for Cyberspace, an agenda for safeguarding the single Internet. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has developed a groundbreaking Internet freedom agenda, a principled approach to preserving the freedom to connect -- the freedoms of expression, association and assembly online -- and to ensuring that the Internet can be a platform for commerce, debate, learning and innovation in the 21st century.
The stakes are high. According to McKinsey and Associates, over the past five years, the Internet has been responsible for 21 percent of the growth in mature economies and has created 2.6 jobs for every job it has displaced. Its power to generate innovation is rivaled only by its potential to help people realize their rights and democratic aspirations, as the Arab Spring demonstrated. According to McKinsey, this platform produced more growth in its first 15 years than the Industrial Revolution did in its first 50. The United States plans to work with others to continue building consensus for global norms that promote a free future for the Internet.