The results of a new survey, commissioned by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and conducted by global research company, Ipsos, has revealed that 92% of Internet users in Nigeria, compared with 83% globally, believe affordable Internet access should be a basic human right.
[su_quote]Respondents in Nigeria were more concerned about online privacy (83%), compared to the global average. Trust of multi-stakeholder governance of the Internet in Nigeria (65%) was higher than the global average, although it was the second preferred option behind the United Nations (69%).[/su_quote]
The report, titled “CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust” revealed that two thirds of Internet users are more concerned today about online privacy than they were compared to one year ago (64%). When given a choice of various governance sources for the Internet, the majority (57%) chose a multi-stakeholder model “of technology companies, engineers, non-governmental organizations and institutions that represent the interests and will of ordinary citizens, and governments.”
Respondents in Nigeria were more concerned about online privacy (83%), compared to the global average. Trust of multi-stakeholder governance of the Internet in Nigeria (65%) was higher than the global average, although it was the second preferred option behind the United Nations (69%).
Among the top areas of concern for global Internet users, criminal hacking into personal bank accounts (78%) ranks highest followed by stolen personal information, such as private messages and photos, through hacking (77%), and further followed by private companies monitoring the activities of Internet users and then selling that information for commercial purposes without explicit consent (74%).
“The remarkable findings of this survey of global attitudes dramatically underscore that fears about human security have moved from the physical world to now include the virtual world. There is a gaping trust deficit in the Internet as people around the globe increasingly worry that their online identities and communications will be compromised or stolen by those who operate in the dark recesses of the Internet,” says Fen Hampson, Director of CIGI’s Global Security Politics Programme.
“Unless trust is restored in the Internet through creative governance innovations its real potential to promote human development and global prosperity will be severely compromised”, Hampson adds.
Other concerned focused on governments and institutions with a full majority of Internet users worried about important institutions in their country being cyber attacked by a foreign government or terrorist organization. Two-thirds of Internet users are concerned about governments censoring the internet and government agencies from other countries secretly monitoring their online activities.
“Overwhelming global public support for the idea that access to the Internet should be a human right also shows just how important the Internet has come to freedom of expression, freedom of association, social communication, the generation of new knowledge, and economic opportunity and growth,” says Hampson. “Right now, one third of the world’s population is online but two-thirds of the world’s population is not. Unless they are brought online, a world of Internet ‘have and have-nots’ will not only contribute to income inequality, but also stifle the world’s full potential for prosperity and innovation.”
When it comes to governance, Internet users prefer the broadest form of representation through a multi-stakeholder model that represents the interests and will of ordinary citizens as well as governments. Only 48% of Internet users believe their government does a very good job of making sure the Internet in their country is safe and secure, which underlines the wariness of the role of governments in Internet governance.