- Post 31 May 2012
- By Josh Peterson | The Daily Caller
American policymakers met Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to discuss how international proposals to regulate the Internet would affect the U.S. and developing nations. That fate which may decided at a conference in Dubai in December.
Policymakers were adamant that the proposals to renegotiate a treaty that deregulated international telecommunications in 1988 through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a little-known U.N. agency responsible for the regulation of long-distance phone calls and satellite orbits, would be harmful to the developing nations.
Treaties are only binding on countries that agree to them, and American experts were emphatic that not only would the U.S. oppose the proposals to shift the Internet governance away from its current multi-stakeholder process, but also that it would work with allies in Latin America to oppose these proposals.
“At the outset, let me make one point perfectly clear: The administration, and of course the Department of State, firmly supports the position that the United Nations is not the place for the day-to-day technical operations of the Internet,” said Richard Beaird, Senior Deputy United States Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy in the State Department.
“We have made this point repeatedly, and we will continue to make it,” said Beaird. “The United Nations and the ITU can do many things, and they can do those things effectively and importantly. In the areas of development, in the areas of training as a forum of discussion for international policy matters, and [in] the case of the ITU of course, preemintently, in the area of spectrum allocation and management on an international basis. But managing the Internet is certainly not one of the U.N.’s roles.”
The talk, held at the National Press Club, was sponsored by the Free State Foundation, a Maryland-based free market think tank.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology is scheduled to convene Thursday morning to discuss the U.N.-related proposals. Vint Cerf, considered to be one of the ‘Fathers of the Internet,’ is scheduled to appear before the subcommittee as a witness.