Administration to ITU: Multistakeholder Model Is Way to Go
Issue of international governance of Internet teed up for Dubai conference
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/3/2012 5:10:53 PM
The U.S. is concerned about a push by China, Russia and some Arab states for more UN involvement (ITU is a UN organization) in Internet governance, and that some countries facing declining revenues from the exchange of traditional phone traffic will want to charge for Internet connections to, say, a Google or Facebook.
"Since the beginning of my Chairmanship, I have fought for Internet freedom," said Genachowski in announcing the U.S. submission. "Th proposals by some countries to restrict the free flow of information online would threaten one of the most powerful engines for global economic growth and the spread of democracy in the 21st century. As today's U.S. contribution makes clear, the WCIT must embrace the successes of the last two decades of liberalization in telecommunications regulation and the existing multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance to ensure continued investment and growth of the Internet around the globe."
On Thursday, the Republican-controlled House passed a resolution similarly championing the multistakeholder model, one of the few issues that Republicans and Democrats are united on.
"The State Department, White House, Congress and the FCC have been working very well together to insure that the ITU powers are not expanded into the Internet sphere," said FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, who has long been sounding the alarm about the threat to the multistakeholder model. "Today's submission is one part of a much larger effort to insure that we keep intergovernmental bodies out of the Internet'as wake. We should remain constantly vigilant to insure not even the slightest preemption of jurisdiction."
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