December 11, 1996 6:00 PM ET
Global Internet Project articulates its mission
By Margaret Kane

  NEW YORK--From chips to software to telecommunications equipment, an estimated 1.1 million jobs were created this year because of the Internet, according to a study released today.

The study was commissioned by the Global Internet Project, which unveiled its mission today here at Internet World. The GIP, comprising senior executives from 15 major IT corporations, was created "in enlightened self-interest" to expand the global reach of the Internet, secure standards and protect the Internet from government regulation, said member Vinton Cerf, senior vice president at MCI Corp.

"Not enough has been done to educate and inform world leaders of this dynamic medium," said Cerf.

The companies are working so hard to foster growth of the Internet because it's big business--and not just for them.

According to the survey the group sponsored, conducted by investment bankers Takuma Amano and Robert Blohm, the Internet contributed $200 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product in 1996, almost 3 percent of the total GDP.

Internationally, the Internet fueled economic growth by $100 billion.

"The U.S. is really dominating the Internet economy on a global basis," Amano said.

Other members of the GIP include James Clark, chairman of Netscape Communications Corp., who will serve as chairman of the new group; John Patrick, vice president of Internet technology at IBM; and Eric Schmidt, chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems Inc.

Members of the Project outlined two goals at a press conference today. The first is to guide security and authentication technology development so that they will work globally. The group has developed a set of principles, presented to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, relating to cryptography, and will recommend a set of steps to implement the OECD's guidelines. Early next year, the group will host a summit on information security in London to discuss global key management infrastructure issues.

"Our goal is to shape the national policies on Internet security that work globally, across national boundaries," Patrick said.

The second priority of the group is to protect the Internet from unnecessary government regulations. To that end, the GIP will work with groups like the G7, the World Trade Organization and the International Telecommunications Union to encourage a deregulated atmosphere for the global network.

"One of our greatest concerns is this growing maze of international rules and regulations," said member John Gerdelman, president of networkMCI Services.

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