global information infrastructure (GII)

The global information infrastructure (GII) is the developing communications framework intended to eventually connect all telecommunications and computer networks world-wide. Sometimes called a network of networks, the GII would eventually make all electronically stored or transmitted information accessible from anywhere on the planet.

The Internet is considered the de facto global information infrastructure right now. However, for the GII to evolve as envisioned, either the Internet or its successor must deal with challenging issues such as security, privacy, hardware and software compatibility, translation, rights to information, identity management, digital rights management (DRM), competition, and governance. Over 50 countries across the world are working, independently or collaboratively, to resolve these issues.

According to Christine L. Borgman, author of From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to Information in the Networked World, the creation of a successful GII could have as much impact on global culture as Gutenberg's printing press has done since its development in the mid-fifteenth century. The GII is expected to revolutionize the ease with which electronic information can be shared across the planet much as the printing press enabled an abundance of printed information to become easily accessible for anyone who knew how to read.

This was last updated in June 2007

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