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Internet pioneer warns US House about internet regulation effort

01 June 2012

Internet pioneer Vint Cerf warned a House panel this week that attempts by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to regulate the internet poses a significant risk to the web's future.

"The internet’s success has generated a worrying desire by some countries’ governments to create new international rules that would jeopardize the network’s innovative evolution and its multi-faceted success", Cerf, who currently works for Google, testified at a Thursday hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

The ITU is proposing to expand its mandate over internet governance, including giving the United Nations body more control over information security, data privacy, and technical standards, according to a memo issued by the subcommittee.

“There is a strong possibility that this December the ITU will significantly amend the International Telecommunication Regulations – a multilateral treaty last revised in 1988 – in a way that authorizes increased ITU and member state control over the Internet. These proposals, if implemented, would change the foundational structure of the internet that has historically led to unprecedented worldwide innovation and economic growth”, Cert warned the subcommittee.

“It is critically important that the United States Government engage in the ITU process and encourage like-minded countries, [nongovernmental organizations], private-sector actors, and technical and civil society organizations that believe in the social and economic benefits of a free and open Internet to do so as well. We need a global and united coalition to ensure openness and an outcome that preserves the features of internet development, governance, and operation that have produced economic, scientific, educational, and societal benefits for three decades”, Cerf concluded.


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Compliance and Policy  •  Industry News  •  Internet and Network Security  •  Public Sector


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