A report released last week found that the “open Internet” is becoming less so as more laws are passed globally that impede open speech and governments and other interested parties impose a growing number of Internet controls, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The restrictions are hampering the many benefits of the open internet, according to the report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The report was released during OECD’s annual gathering of government officials and policymakers.
Laws that restrict open speech or limit the flow of data are bringing Internet governance to “a critical juncture,” and undermining the benefits of the open Internet – such as economic growth, political equality and social justice, according to the report.
The report pointed to several types of challenges – such as combating cybercrime and terrorism, state censorship, determining how carriers should be compensated for the exchange of data among online networks -- as the types of strains that are causing the Internet to slowly become less open.
These strains are also coming at a time when “companies increasingly rely on the Internet to interact with their foreign operations, suppliers and customers,” researchers said.
As a result, these constraints may impede global economic growth. OCED said cross-border data flows resulted in $2.8 trillion of global GDP in 2014.