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Ambassador Warns Against Demonizing the UN in Negotiations Over Internet Treaty


Science & Tech  (tags: technology, world, science, NewTechnology, internet, humans, society, safety, computers, history )

JL
- 670 days ago - thehill.com
U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer argued on Wednesday that the United States will have to address the concerns of other countries during negotiations over an international telecommunications treaty.



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JL A. (275)
Saturday November 17, 2012, 10:12 am

Ambassador warns against demonizing the UN in negotiations over Internet treaty
By Brendan Sasso - 11/14/12 01:10 PM ET

U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer argued on Wednesday that the United States will have to address the concerns of other countries during negotiations over an international telecommunications treaty.

He warned that refusing to participate in discussions or demonizing the United Nations will only prevent the United States from having a seat at the negotiating table.

"Our messages need to be issues-orientated and fact-orientated not taking shots at the U.N., not taking shots at leadership," he said during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

Officials will discuss proposals to expand the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) authority over the Internet at a treaty conference in Dubai next month. The ITU is an agency within the U.N.

Kramer said the United States will have to remain open to proposals that would improve security or expand Internet access to areas that have little or no access.

But he emphasized that certain proposals are non-negotiable, including a plan pushed by European telecommunications companies that would allow them to charge more to carry international traffic.

The proposal by the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association could force websites like Google, Facebook and Netflix to pay fees to network operators around the world.

Karmer warned that the proposal could stifle the freedom and openness of the Internet and that it is gaining support in some countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Ross LaJeunesse, global head of free expression and international relations for Google and a member of the U.S. delegation to the conference, said the proposal is a "real threat to the future of the net as we know it today."

He argued that the ITU is poor forum for discussing changes to the management of the Internet because only governments are allowed to negotiate changes to the treaties. He argued that the Internet has been successful because of innovations from the private sector.

LaJeunesse said the ITU is not transparent and that authoritarian regimes like Russia, Syria and Iran will use any new powers over the Internet to crack down on their citizens.

Robert McDowell, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission, urged the delegates to be wary of even "seemingly small or innocuous changes to the treaty."

He argued that the conference shouldn't become a battle between developed countries and developing countries.

"The developing world benefits more greatly, proportionally speaking, from an unfettered Internet than we do," McDowell said.
 

Roger Garin-michaud (62)
Saturday November 17, 2012, 12:27 pm
noted, thanks !
 

JL A. (275)
Saturday November 17, 2012, 12:48 pm
You are welcome Roger!
 

John B. (215)
Saturday November 17, 2012, 6:29 pm
Thanks J.L. for the post. I must agree with Ross LaJeunesse that ITU is not transparent and ITU is poor forum for discussing changes to the management of the Internet. I feel the discussion will be quite contentious. Read and noted.
 

JL A. (275)
Saturday November 17, 2012, 6:34 pm
I hope it is contentious enough that they don't try to make a heinous decision John. You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.
 

Giana Peranio-Paz (383)
Saturday November 17, 2012, 11:33 pm
Noted.
 
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