U.S. makes it official, opposes revised Internet regulations

Will accept only 'minimal changes' to existing ITU rules, says special envoy
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It's not exactly sabre rattling—more like fiber rattling—but the United States will brook only "minimal" changes to existing rules governing the Internet when those changes are brought up for discussion at an ITU (International Telecommunication Union) conference in December.

"We need to avoid suffocating … the Internet space through well-meaning but overly proscriptive proposals that would seek to control content or seek to mandate routing and payment practices," said Terry Kramer, the U.S. special envoy for the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) planned for Dubai this December.

Kramer, speaking with reporters in Geneva, said the U.S. government would like to cooperate with other nations on a consensus of how to revise global regulations set up by the U.N.'s ITU in 1988. But, he said in a story reported by PhysOrg News, those changes would have to be minimal.

He also said that the United States is opposed to any proposals that expand the ITU's authority to regulate the Internet and that his bosses in Washington do not want cybersecurity to fall under the United Nations' mandate because ITU regulations are "not an appropriate or useful venue to address" the issue.

"There are a lot of cyber threats but the nature of cyber issues requires agility, it requires technical expertise, and it requires a distributed effort, so we are very sensitive about any one organization taking on the sole role of solving cyber threats," he said.

He added that the U.S. was strongly opposed to a proposal from European Telecommunications Network Operators (ETNO) that would clear the way for those operators to charge for sending content on to Internet users.

This type of action, he said, would have far-reaching consequences, "even leading to blackouts in less developed countries."

Kramer made it clear that the U.S. remains opposed to proposals from "non-democratic nations" that would track and monitor data routing and make it "very easy for nations to monitor traffic" that includes content and customer information.

Few, if any, changes to current rules "would not be a terrible outcome at all," he said, calling today's Internet "a very vibrant and dynamic place."

For more:
- PhysOrg has this story

Industry Voices: Walking the walk on Internet regulation

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