Letter from IGF Italia to Professor Mario Monti

To Professor Mario Monti, Senate of the Republic

Crisis: for growth, the new government must address the "digital spread"

Dear Professor,

We don't need to remind you of the importance of the Internet, an area of global freedom, an instrument of political and social organization, an indispensable support for the economy. Italy's "digital spread" with the main countries of the world has now reached unsustainable levels also for the national economic stability. Even more worrying, even in these hours of extraordinary concern for the country's financial situation, is the persistence of a condition of political unawareness and government inaction in dealing with this delay which seriously jeopardizes our chances of growth and development. In particular, the inability to address the problems associated with the spread of broadband is unworthy of a country that wants to stay in Europe.

We cannot wait for the economic crisis to be overcome before investing in digital technology, because, as established by the European Commission in the 2020 Strategy, the development of the digital economy is one of the essential conditions for overcoming the crisis itself.

Despite the delays, the digital economy already accounts for 2% of the national economy's GDP and has created over 700,000 jobs over the past 15 years. The Internet can no longer be ignored. The country cannot continue to remain politically marginalized with respect to these issues. The initiatives which, also thanks to documents signed with other states, had made our country an undisputed protagonist of the initiative for an Internet Bill of Rights within the framework of the Internet Governance Forums promoted by the United Nations have been abandoned. Faced with this role, in recent years Italy has been mortified by inaction and by repeated attempts to limit online freedom and the development of the digital economy.

The Internet Governance Forum Italy 2011 turns to you so that a new government commits itself concretely, also through the appointment of a minister if necessary, for the full implementation of a digital agenda in accordance with what has been established by Europe. We draw particular attention to Internet access as a fundamental human right, as already recognized by constitutions, national laws and resolutions of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe; on the recognition in principle of knowledge as a global common good; on ensuring net neutrality in relation to data flows; on the definition of a statute of work on the net.

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