A series of consultations with global key actors shows the need for a new type of issue-based cooperation process that gathers governments, internet companies, technical operators, civil society, academia and international organizations to advance legal interoperability in cyberspace. The United Nations Internet Governance Forum in Nairobi, Kenya is instrumental to secure seed funding from the community. 


Executive Director Bertrand de La Chapelle and Deputy Executive Director Paul Fehlinger officially co-found the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network (initially called the “Internet & Jurisdiction Project”). They begin to build what will become a global network of key stakeholders who care about the future of the cross-border internet. The I&J Retrospect Database is created to spur evidence-based policy innovation and demonstrate structural problems of traditional modes of legal cooperation to handle the new transnational challenges of the digital age. 


Around the world, four multistakeholder conferences are organized in New Delhi, Paris, Washington D.C. and Rio de Janeiro to physically gather the nascent policy network and discuss how to best address some of the most pressing cross-border legal challenges of the digital 21st century. To help put the issue of jurisdiction on global policy agendas and to reach out to stakeholders, the Secretariat, still consisting of only its founders, is highly present in policy events in 19 countries around the world ranging from the UN over NETmundial to the London Process. 


A first larger international meeting of the community takes place in Berlin, Germany, gathering 30 key entities. The deepening of policy discussions results in the creation of Programs on Data & Jurisdiction, Content & Jurisdiction, and Domains & Jurisdiction. The Policy Network increasingly becomes the connective tissue between relevant stakeholders, bridging the policy silos of digital economy, human rights and security. 


The community reaches a critical mass of engaged stakeholders. Based on four years of world-wide discussions, “Framing Papers” are developed by the Secretariat for each Program, laying out issues of common concerns in a mutually accepted way. In November, the 1st Global Conference of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network gathers around 200 senior-level stakeholders from over 40 countries in Paris. It is hosted by the Government of France, and institutionally supported by the OECD, the European Commission, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and ICANN. As The Economist reported: “If nothing is done, many who met [at the 1st Global Conference of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network] in Paris worried, the open internet could be a thing of the past within a decade or two. What is needed, they said, is more international co-operation—but not of the old kind.” As an outcome, stakeholders identified concrete "Areas for Cooperation" to help the development of shared policy standards and frameworks for legal interoperability and due process across borders. The 1st Global Conference firmly placed the topic of jurisdiction on the Internet governance agenda, as recommended in the 2014 NETmundial Roadmap for the Future Evolution of Internet Governance Ecosystem. 

The 2016 OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy’s Report on Economic and Social Benefits of Internet Openness highlight the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network's multistakeholder process as being exemplary: "The [Principles for Internet Policy Making of the 2011 OECD Council Recommendation] endorse the development of voluntary codes of conduct through multi-stakeholder processes, such as the Internet & Jurisdiction [Policy Network]." At the United Nations IGF 2016, the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network is granted for the first time an "Open Forum", a format traditionally reserved to treaty-based organizations.


In March, the Secretariat is invited to present outcomes to the G7 Cyber Group in Italy. In April, the Secretariat presents outcomes to the G20 Multistakeholder Conference on the Digital Future. The 2017 United Nations Secretary-General's Report "Progress Made in the Implementation of and Follow-up to the Outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society" recognizes the  Global Conference, as ulterior Reports will do in 2017 and 2019. The Secretariat continues to socialize the work of the community around the world in numerous conferences. The Policy Network further grows. 

To implement the Roadmap coming out of the 1st Global Conference, Contact Groups with over 60 members from all stakeholder groups are created in the Programs of the organization. They jointly develop “Policy Options”, based on the “Areas of Cooperation” identified in Paris. The I&JPN methodology for multistakeholder policy development and concrete outcomes starts to be born. 


In February, the 2nd Global Conference of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network takes place in Ottawa. It is hosted by the Government of Canada and institutionally supported by the OECD, the European Commission, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and ICANN. Based on the “Policy Options” of the Programs of the Policy Network, over 200 senior-level stakeholder from more than 40 countries define common objectives to develop concrete solutions to pressing jurisdictional challenges on the internet and adopt the Ottawa Roadmap. It established for the first time agreed Work Plans with structuring components for each Program of the Policy Network to advance towards policy coherence and joint action. Ahead of the 2nd Global Conference, co-founder of the internet Vint Cerf called in a Financial Times Op-Ed upon stakeholders that "the future of the cross-border internet depends on [its outcomes]". Politico asked "The internet is broken. Can this group fix it?". 

The unique coalition of institutional and financial supporters, all leaders for the future of the cross-border internet, gathers for the first time physically in the Supporters Meeting of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network and reaffirms their engagement. 

To implement the Ottawa Roadmap, the Contact Groups of the Programs of the Policy Network grow to 120 members, and jointly develop “Operational Approaches” with proposals for concrete operational Norms, Criteria and Mechanisms. 

The G7 Cyber Group expresses its support for the "continued multi-stakeholder work under the auspices of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network, including most recently the Ottawa Road Map that came out of the 2nd Global Conference on Internet and Jurisdiction held in Ottawa in February 2018". The inaugural 2018 Paris Peace Forum, which gathers over 70 heads of government and international organizations, selects the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network for its contribution to global governance as one of only 40 worldwide initiatives showcased with a dedicated session. 

Strengthening the regional engagement of the Policy Network, the Secretariat signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. A first regional conference of the Policy Network takes place. 


The 3rd Global Conference of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network takes place in June in Berlin gathering almost 300 senior level key stakeholders from more than 50 countries around the world. It is hosted by the Government of Germany, and institutionally supported by the Council of Europe, European Commission, ICANN, OECD, UN ECLAC, and UNESCO. The Conference discusses the operational Norms, Criteria and Mechanisms and adopts the Berlin Roadmap with precise Work Plans structuring the work of the Programs to develop concrete solutions. Over 140 Members are now part of the Contact Groups. A new format for policy standards is created: I&J Outcome Documents. They are released throughout on an ongoing basis by the Programs’ Members, and foster legal interoperability with operational recommendations for policy makers and practitioners dealing with cross-border data, content and domain issues.  

Responding to the urgent call of the community for more policy coherence, the Secretariat launches the world’s first Internet & Jurisdiction Global Status Report at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum during a Special Session. It presents a first-of-its-kind mapping of internet jurisdiction related policy trends, actors and initiatives based on the mutualized knowledge of over 150 key entities from all stakeholder groups and five continents.


The work of stakeholder of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network and its function in the ecosystem is increasingly widely recognized. The community now consists of over 400 key entities in over 70 countries around the world. The Report of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation, the basis of the UN Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, references the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network in a chapter on mechanisms for Digital Cooperation”. In its Report on Governance Innovation launched together with the OECD, the Government of Japan references the Policy Network as a key example of a multistakeholder organization working to foster legal interoperability in the digital economy. 

The methodology for multistakeholder solutions development in the Programs proves itself further. Based on hundreds of hours of intense work among stakeholders that is facilitated by the Secretariat, the Members of the Policy Network’s Programs release a total of 13 I&J Outcomes implementing the Berlin Roadmap. 

Responding to the call of members to further engage stakeholders from the Global South in the Policy Network, the Secretariat organizes regional multistakeholder conferences in Latin America in partnership with United Nations ECLAC, and in Africa in partnership with the African Union Commission. Both events serve also as official consultations for the United Nations Digital Cooperation Roadmap on the future of the digital governance architecture. 

Following the Global Status Report, the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network launches the first Regional Status Report for Latin America and the Caribbean in partnership with United Nations ECLAC.