31 July 2015

Toward a Grand Unifying Theory of Tech Trends Today

Toward a Grand Unifying Theory of Today’s Tech Trends | Morrison & Foerster LLP - Social Media - JDSupra:

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30 July 2015

Florida Crowdfunding Act, Small Business, Raise Capital

The Florida Crowdfunding Act - An Attempt to Facilitate Capital Raising by Small Businesses in Florida | Akerman LLP - JDSupra:

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29 July 2015

China, New National Security Law, Effort to Control Cybersecurity

China Adopts the New National Security Law - a Top Legislative Effort to Control Cybersecurity | DLA Piper - JDSupra:

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28 July 2015

Internet, Trademarks, Words, Actions

Web trademarks: It's not the words, it's the action | Thompson Coburn LLP - JDSupra:

Internet, Trademarks, Words, Actions

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27 July 2015

Priorities: Information Governance Program

The Top 10 Priorities For Your Information Governance Program | Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP - JDSupra:

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23 July 2015

Are You Ready for the Attack? Online Brand and Reputation Protection

Are You Ready for the Attack? Online Brand and Reputation Protection | Goulston & Storrs PC - JDSupra:

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22 July 2015

FCC, Small Business Exemption, Open Internet Enhanced Transparency Requirements

FCC Seeks Comment on Small Business Exemption From Open Internet Enhanced Transparency Requirements | Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP - JDSupra:

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21 July 2015

NTIA Larry Strickling's Remarks at the Internet Governance Forum USA

Remarks of Assistant Secretary Strickling at the Internet Governance Forum USA 07/16/2015 | NTIA:

Remarks of Lawrence E. Strickling
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information
The Internet Governance Forum USA [IGF-USA]
Washington, D.C.
July 16, 2015—As Prepared for Delivery—

Thank you, Shane, for the introduction. I also want to thank the U.S. IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Planning Committee for planning this event and George Washington University for hosting. I have enjoyed having the opportunity to speak at each of these IGF-USA events since they started back in 2009.

When I look at your agenda for the day, much of it mirrors our agenda at NTIA. Rather than devoting my remarks to one specific issue, I will use my time this morning to take stock of the multistakeholder process as a tool for addressing the key issues that exist in the Internet policy space and to reaffirm our strong support for the model in the work we do.

An appropriate starting point for these remarks is the ongoing work of the global Internet community to develop the plan to transition NTIA’s stewardship role with respect to the Internet Domain Name System [DNS].

In a testament to the success of the multistakeholder model, technical experts and representatives of private industry, academia, civil society and governments are working around-the-clock to complete a transition proposal that meets the criteria we have outlined. This work is tiring; sometimes contentious; perhaps exasperating. No doubt, this is not an easy task. But it is an important one, and I greatly appreciate the effort and level of commitment demonstrated by all the participants in this process. Most importantly, it is working and I am confident it will be successful.

The effort is a compelling demonstration that bringing together all stakeholders, including businesses, technical experts, civil society and government, to resolve issues on a consensus basis is the best way to set the future direction of the Internet. Over the past 20 years, the Internet has flourished. It has driven economic growth, innovation and free expression around the globe. And a big part of its success can be attributed to this multistakeholder approach to resolving technical and policy challenges.

It is not hard to understand why this has been the case. Like the Internet itself, the multistakeholder model is characterized by its open participation and decentralized processes. The Internet thrives only through the cooperation of many different parties. The multistakeholder model reflects this fact by enabling a diversity of stakeholders to participate, fostering a diversity of opinions and ideas. The result is more creative problem solving. It is a nimble, flexible approach, much better suited to rapidly changing technologies, business practices, and markets than traditional regulatory or legislative models.

This is not to say that multistakeholder processes are easy. They can be chaotic and they do require a serious commitment of time and energy from participants. But they have a record of success. The Internet works seamlessly today because a cadre of technologists, policy wonks and others through such groups as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) put their heads together to standardize voluntary programming languages, security protocols, and other web technologies.

Stakeholders continue to update these standards on an ongoing basis. If these technological challenges had been handed off to the typical Washington regulatory or legislative processes to resolve, we might still be waiting for a resolution. Worse, we might have technical protocols that are hopelessly out of date, hamstringing technologists and users from creating the robust, evolving Internet we enjoy today. One shudders to imagine an HTML standard drafted by a government committee.

And of course we have seen the model work in the context of ICANN, where the Internet community has come together to resolve technical and policy issues related to the Internet Domain Name System for nearly 17 years. This system ensures that users are able to easily access content by typing in simple names like www.doc.gov rather than confusing numeric addresses.

So we know this model can work. That’s why we continue to embrace it as the best tool to meet our mission at NTIA to preserve and protect the Internet as a platform for economic growth, innovation, and the free flow of information. This mission places us front and center at every major Internet policy debate today – privacy, Internet governance, cybersecurity and more. We are committed to making progress where we can to ensure that our digital economy continues to grow and thrive. But we cannot do it by ourselves. We need you to come to the table, roll up your sleeves and work with us to find solutions to these complex issues.

In the next several weeks, NTIA will be kicking off two new multistakeholder processes. The first will tackle issues related to privacy, transparency and accountability regarding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Our first meeting is scheduled for August 3.

The second new process will focus on cybersecurity vulnerability disclosures and will get underway in September. We will also be reconvening the facial recognition privacy multistakeholder process on July 28. In all three instances, we selected the topics after soliciting broad input from the community. In any multistakeholder process, the community must decide when a topic is ripe for discussion and possible consensus in order for it to be successful.

We are putting our time and resources in the multistakeholder process because we know it can help build trust in the digital ecosystem. For the sustainability and continued growth of the Internet, it is imperative that we preserve the trust of all actors on the Internet. The multistakeholder process has the ability to produce – in a timely way – meaningful guideposts for industry and consumers in this rapidly evolving technological environment. That cannot be said for the legislative or regulatory processes in Washington.

As we continue to engage the community in these multistakeholder efforts, we are constantly reassessing how we employ the process. We welcome the community’s ongoing feedback on how to improve our processes. That’s part of the beauty of the model – it’s adaptable and flexible in a way that regulatory approaches could never be.

We are particularly concerned about identifying and reducing the barriers to participation in these processes. For example, we have heard concerns about the time it takes to reach consensus. I grant you that reaching consensus on challenging policy issues does not happen overnight. In our first multistakeholder process on privacy, it took over one year to reach consensus on a code of conduct aimed at improving disclosures on mobile devices. But today, enhanced privacy notices based on the code are now live in apps used by 200 million consumers and the numbers are growing.

A one-year process to make substantial progress on a policy issue impacting millions of consumers – that’s lightning speed in Washington. Complex policy issues typically take years to make their way through the regulatory and legislative morass of Washington. Most efforts end in failure. The few that do reach a conclusion inevitably solve a problem that no longer exists or has been overtaken by newer issues that themselves need to be addressed.

Washington policymakers have struggled mightily to update laws impacting core technology policy issues – even when nearly everyone agrees updates are desperately needed. For example, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was enacted in 1986 – almost 30 years ago. It governs a range of key issues regarding electronic communications, but it has not been significantly revised since its enactment. ECPA has created frustrations for law enforcement, judges and advocates for decades. All key stakeholders agree that the law should be updated to take account of developments -- like the development of powerful mobile devices, widespread email use, and cloud computing – that were unforeseen in the mid-80s and are handled clumsily by ECPA. Experts have called for Congress to amend ECPA to ensure the standard of protection for online, digital content is consistent with that afforded to data in the physical world. Proposal after proposal has been floated over the years. Despite the best of intentions, lawmakers have not been able to break the logjam and update a law that is sorely in need of revision.

So in evaluating the time it takes to reach consensus in a multistakeholder process, consider the alternatives. They are no faster.

Some stakeholders have also shared their concerns that multistakeholder processes are too resource-intensive. I understand that participants have to pick and choose their battles. Meetings can be lengthy. And some participants have spent countless hours working through drafts of documents. We want to encourage broad participation in the three multistakeholder efforts that will be proceeding on parallel tracks this summer. We suggest to those companies and organizations that find it hard to attend all of these events to find a way to pool resources with other like-minded organizations to lighten the load of direct participation.

But, as with the concern about the time the process takes, some of the concerns may simply reflect that it takes time to acclimate to this new style of dealing with policy issues. Our processes are still less burdensome than working through regulatory proceedings or preparing for litigation. Every important proceeding at the FCC attracts thousands of pages of comments, which then require hundreds of hours for participants to read and digest and prepare their own filings. But people are used to that process and perhaps do not question it the same way as they might a new and less familiar process.

So in evaluating the resources it takes to reach consensus in a multistakeholder process, consider the alternatives. They are no less burdensome.

Nonetheless, we want to improve our process. If the community feels our process takes too long and uses too many resources, perhaps we should ask ourselves, are we setting the bar too high for consensus agreement? At the outset of each process, we need a shared understanding of consensus. Should the stakeholder community consider whether “rough consensus” is good enough in some instances? When stakeholders reach a point of exhaustion – where they have come to a place that the output could be operationalized in the marketplace, and later improved upon – it could be time to press pause and move forward. Stakeholders in IETF often commit themselves to “rough consensus and running code” – there could be a lesson there for our stakeholder engagements. At the end of the day, we leave it up to the community to decide when the work is done and we look forward to your input on that issue as our multistakeholder work starts up or resumes this month.

The last aspect of the multistakeholder process I will address is also perhaps the toughest. For these efforts to succeed, we need players to come to the table with open minds, committed to collaborating fully in the process. Everyone needs to be committed to reaching a consensus outcome and be willing to compromise to achieve that goal.

The strategy of some participants in legislative and regulatory proceedings may be simply to preserve the status quo – that approach will not work in a multistakeholder process. Moreover, I suggest to you that a strategy of accepting the status quo as an outcome of the discussions on the Internet policy issues we face today is not a strategy for success for your company or organization.

Just as the Internet economy is constantly evolving and disrupting existing business models, our policy responses also need to evolve. We cannot leave issues untended – all that will do is slow down innovation on the Internet and perhaps leave our businesses at a disadvantage in the global marketplace. Alan Deutschman’s business adage, “Change or Die,” applies just as aptly to Internet policy debates as it does to companies trapped in business models that are rapidly becoming obsolete.

Where does this discussion leave us? We have to ask ourselves whether we are better off playing the legislative and regulatory waiting game where progress perhaps never occurs. Or are we better off taking up these issues in discussions where we might reach consensus on some critical issues? Are we better off with laws and regulations that are obsolete when they are passed, or even a patchwork quilt of state rules and regulations, leaving millions of consumers subject to different protections depending on where they reside? Or are we better off with a process that is flexible and allows businesses to adjust in response to the rapid changes in their environments? I think the answers are clear.

So I encourage everyone who works on Internet policy issues to join in our multistakeholder processes. And when discussions get tough – as they inevitably do – double down to work past disagreements. Do not sit on the sidelines – observing but not participating in discussions. Multistakeholder processes work best when a broad range of stakeholders with differing viewpoints fully participate. Most importantly, stay in the room.

I realize these multistakeholder processes collide with the culture of Washington. It is more comfortable for companies to hire a team of lobbyists to work the regulatory agencies, lobby the Hill, and hire litigation specialists to represent their interests. It is how things have been done in this town for decades.

But we’re talking about the Internet here. The Internet has disrupted many entrenched industries from newspapers to travel to taxicabs. Perhaps it’s time for some Internet thinking by businesses to disrupt how business is done in Washington. Imagine what could be accomplished with the brightest technologists, policy makers and academics who come together in good faith to debate and reach consensus on the solutions for our most important policy challenges in the Internet age. That’s the promise of the multistakeholder model.

Come join us. And thank you for listening.

source: US Department of Commerce, NTIA (emphasis added)

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20 July 2015

Connecting the Next Billion, Goals for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Connecting the Next Billion: Remarks by Catherine A. Novelli, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, US Department of State - July 16, 2015 - to the IGF-USA Steering Group, Washington, DC:

I. Introduction
Good afternoon. I want to thank the IGF-USA Steering Group for planning this event and George Washington University for hosting. I also want to thank the multi-stakeholder community that’s present today, whose energy, dedication, and vigilance is critical to ensuring the Internet’s vitality.

II. Goals for the IGF [Internet Governance Forum]
It is with high expectations that we prepare ourselves for this year’s global IGF in Brazil. Over the past few years, we have seen the IGF grow in stature, in participants, in diversity, and in substance. This is a very positive development. The IGF has demonstrated that it is a preeminent venue for the multi-stakeholder community to share opinions, ideas, and solutions to problems regarding a range of Internet governance and policy issues. Its continued growth and long-term stability is absolutely essential to the future of the Internet.

The Internet and technology are strengthening the lives of people everywhere, particularly in the developing world. For example:
  • Since the first IGF ten years ago, the number of Internet users has increased from 1 billion to 3 billion people.
  • Mobile phone subscriptions have increased from 40% of the world’s population in 2005 to over 90% today. That includes over four billion subscriptions in developing countries.
  • And today, the Internet’s economic benefits are increasingly being felt in the developing world. Overall, the Internet economy contributes 5 to 9 percent to total economic growth in developed markets; and, in developing markets, the Internet economy is growing at 15 to 25 percent per year.
In Brazil, we must continue to demonstrate to the world that the multi-stakeholder approach, that brings together government policy-makers, businesses, NGOs and Internet experts on an equal footing, is the best way to effectively overcome today’s challenges and preserve the Internet’s future. I am thrilled with the growing support for this model of Internet governance. For example, just a few weeks ago, Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced the Government of India’s support for the multistakeholder approach at the last ICANN meeting. The Minister stressed the idea that multistakeholderism should embrace all geographies and societies. I could not agree more with Minister Prasad on this point and we look forward to our continued dialogue with India and others on this important issue. Every citizen – regardless of the country they live in – can contribute to global decision-making on how we manage this common resource.

At the next IGF in Brazil, we should continue to find ways to further encourage and enhance global participation in multi-stakeholder bodies, like the IGF, ICANN or the Internet Engineering Task Force [IETF]. As I travel the world and speak with entrepreneurs, technologists, and Internet users, I hear their interest in shaping and preserving the Internet’s future. A key challenge is how to make the ability to contribute ideas and solutions available to a broader spectrum of people.

Over these next few months, I encourage everyone to work together to further strengthen the IGF. We can promote stronger regional IGF discussions between annual global meetings. Most importantly, we must all ensure that the IGF continues and remains an inclusive, respected, and neutral convener of the international multistakeholder community. It is vital, however, that the IGF do more than just convene. The IGF should also be a forum where solutions to the thorny issues that surround the Internet, such as identify theft, preserving privacy and security of networks are put forward. The U.S. Government will continue to fully support the continuation of those efforts.

Development as a Priority
I want to commend the IGF’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group for selecting the theme “Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion” for its intercessional work at the global IGF in Brazil. I am also gratified that the IGF-USA selected this same theme for our plenary session this afternoon.

To fulfill the Internet’s promise, all stakeholders must redouble development efforts to extend Internet access to everyone. Unfortunately, the benefits of economic development – access to education, medicine, information and global markets that are fostered by the Internet are not yet shared by all. Today, roughly three out of every five people in the world remain without Internet access – and in the poorest countries that figure can top 95%.

There’s a reason why access is relatively high in Colombia but low in Venezuela; high in Malaysia but low in North Korea; high in Kenya but low in Ethiopia. Some governments do much more than others to make access possible. Countries everywhere – including the United States – need clear and comprehensive national broadband plans that allow for private investment, encourage competition, remove bureaucratic obstacles and take full advantage of shared Internet services at schools, libraries, community centers and cafes.

With that goal in mind, the U.S. Department of State is looking for ways to partner with countries, regional development banks, network engineers, and industry leaders to substantially increase broadband access in the developing world and foster a sound policy environment to ensure a healthy Internet.

A recent report of the Alliance for an Affordable Internet (A4AI) provides at least four critical success factors for any government that wants to better extend Internet connectivity to its citizens.
  • First, drive broadband infrastructure expansion through increased private investment and removal of barriers;
  • Second, intensify competition and level the playing field to increase access, reduce cost and stimulate demand;
  • Third, open access and infrastructure sharing; and
  • Fourth, enable access to spectrum.
These factors provide an excellent starting point for collective action. And, I commend this year’s IGF-USA for creating a diverse, multi-stakeholder working group to discuss and formulate high-level policy options that reflect the report of the Alliance for an Affordable Internet. I look forward to continuing this discussion at the global IGF in Brazil. It will take all of us, working in partnership, to help connect the rest of the world.

III. Closing
The Internet offers unprecedented opportunities for economic growth in developing countries. Of the developing world’s 1.4 billion extremely poor people, 70 percent live in rural areas. Their lives can be transformed by connecting village schools to the web, bringing telemedicine to far-flung rural health centers, providing accurate weather information to farmers and fisherman, and supplying up-to-date market information to producers. For every ten percent increase in a country’s Internet penetration, its total economic growth expands by one to two percent. Thus, the Internet is a foundational tool for creating shared prosperity. It is as fundamental for economic growth as highways, power grids, and ports.

However, the Internet can only be an engine for inclusive growth if it is available, accessible, and affordable for everyone. To successfully connect the rest of the world, we will need multi-stakeholder engagement and cooperation. Over these next few months, I look forward to working together with you towards our shared goal.

source: US Department of State (emphasis added)

See  also: Domain Mondo: Internet Broadband Affordability Map, A Global Digital Divide

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14 July 2015

Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53 Hearing, Opening Statement

Opening Statement of the Honorable Greg Walden
Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
Hearing on “Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53
July 8, 2015
(As Prepared for Delivery)

Last year, NTIA announced that it would work to transition the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority to the multi-stakeholder community to a chorus of concern. Will this open the door to a U.N. agency taking over where the U.S. government leaves off? What of the checks and balances that NTIA places on ICANN? What is the multi-stakeholder community, anyway? Large and fundamental questions loomed and this subcommittee sought to exercise its role as NTIA's oversight authority and get answers.

A year later I am proud of the work of this subcommittee to ensure that the IANA transition preserves the Internet we know and makes certain that if the U.S. government steps away from IANA that the system we leave in its place won't permit another government or intergovernmental group to fill the void.

From the beginning, this subcommittee sought to strike the right balance between supporting the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance, while still protecting the invaluable tool of communications and commerce the Internet has become. And many of the questions we have raised are being incorporated into the work of the multi-stakeholder groups committed to working through this transition.

In the past, I've often made reference to both the contract between the U.S. and ICANN as well as the Affirmation of Commitments. I believe that both of these documents create valuable protections and rules that serve the governance of the Internet well. Among those crucial terms are the requirements that ICANN remain a non-profit corporation headquartered in the United States; that ICANN maintain open and transparent processes; and, ongoing review of ICANN's operations by the multi-stakeholder community. That's why I am pleased to see that that multi-stakeholder community has proposed to ensconce the terms of the Affirmation of Commitments in the ICANN bylaws, themselves. These policies are critical to ensuring that ICANN remain a stable steward of IANA and must be a part of a successful transition.

We also heard from the multi-stakeholder community over the last year. And with respect to at least one part of this transition the world spoke with one voice: ICANN must be more accountable if it is to be trusted with the stewardship of IANA. Over the last year, a group of dedicated volunteers have been working to come up with a structure for ICANN that ensures that it is the Internet community, not any one group of players, that will guide the future of the Internet.

I couldn't be happier to see that the issues raised by the subcommittee have been an integral part of the work of this group. The community must be able to hold the ICANN board accountable, and that means the ability to recall those board members that are no longer representing their community. It also means that once this new system is in place, that it be resistant to capture. Fundamental bylaws that require a supermajority to change, actionable mechanisms that empower the community, independent review of board decisions, and the stress tests to ensure that the system will work as planned are essential elements of an accountable ICANN. We have been talking about these issues for the past year and we will continue to do our jobs to ensure that if NTIA is to agree to a transition proposal, that these changes are fully implemented up-front.

Last month the House acted on a bipartisan basis to pass this subcommittee's DOTCOM Act. The DOTCOM Act was developed through months of hearings, discussions, and bipartisan negotiations. Throughout this process, we made a concerted effort to recognize the impact of our actions on the international process, but we also felt it would be irresponsible to ignore the very real risks associated with a relinquishment of the United States' role in Internet governance, no matter how small. The measured approach of the DOTCOM Act properly balances NTIA's role as the U.S. government participant in the multi-stakeholder community with the U.S. Congress' role as NTIA's oversight authority. Our hope is that the Senate will quickly pass this legislation and provide Congress with another tool to ensure a transition will meet our nation's - and the world's - needs.

Finally, we've said all along that this transition is far too important to be rushed by an artificial deadline. I was pleased to see Assistant Secretary Strickling's testimony states that the transition timeline is flexible, and will extend beyond the September 2015 expiration of the ICANN contract. Extending the contract will ensure that the multi-stakeholder community and the U.S. Government through NTIA and Congress are driven by a full and robust vetting of the transition proposal, rather than the calendar. Moreover, extending the contract is consistent with the timeline for the work that is taking place on ICANN accountability reforms. Just last week the Cross-Community Working Group-Accountability has indicated that the "Work Stream 1" reforms required for the IANA transition may not be implemented until July 2016.

There are still many unknowns in this process, and much remains to be decided before a transition can take place. For example, how will the transition deal with the .mil and .gov top-level domains and what role will the Government Advisory Committee have in the new ICANN? My hope is that this committee's oversight will continue to strengthen the process, raise important questions, and improve the outcome. I thank both of our witnesses for testifying today and sharing their insight into the transition process, and answering some of the many questions that remain as we move forward.
(source: US Gov)

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10 July 2015

US Ambassador Sepulveda, World Summit on the Information Society

Remarks at the First Preparatory Meeting on the Ten-year Review of the World Summit on the Information Society: Remarks at the First Preparatory Meeting on the Ten-year Review of the World Summit on the Information Society, US Ambassador Daniel A. SepulvedaCoordinator and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy  to United States Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, New York, NY, July 1, 2015 - AS DELIVERED:

Madam and Mister co-facilitator, excellencies, and respected colleagues, the United States of America is honored to participate in the first preparatory meeting of the UN General Assembly ten-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society.

We thank the permanent representatives from the Missions of Latvia and the United Arab Emirates for stepping forward to ably lead these important discussions. We especially thank the co-facilitators for focusing our discussions today on the three issues we all agreed last year should be the subject of the WSIS+10 review: taking stock of the progress made in the implementation of WSIS outcomes; addressing potential ICT gaps and areas for continued focus; and addressing challenges, including bridging the digital divide, and harnessing ICTs for development.

Wisely, the President of the General Assembly has asked the multistakeholder community to address these same issues tomorrow. Their viewpoints are as valuable as ours and we look forward to participating in those discussions as well.

As we take stock of the implementation of WSIS, let us recognize progress, salute the stakeholders that have enabled it, and reaffirm our commitment to preserving and building on that progress. Take a minute to consider the world we live in today compared to where we were a decade ago: mobile phone subscriptions have increased from 40% of the world’s population during the time of WSIS to over 96% today. That includes over 4 billion new subscriptions in developing countries alone. During that same time, the number of people using the Internet increased from around1 billion to over 3 billion people. Mobile broadband subscriptions, for which statistics were not even kept in 2005, have increased in developing countries from around 42 million subscriptions in 2007 to over 2.3 billion subscriptions today. At the time of WSIS, top-level domains were limited to a small subset of characters. Today, Internet domain names are available in a multitude of scripts including Cyrillic, Chinese, and Arabic, which better reflects the world’s diversity of languages and people. In many places, mobile communications are leapfrogging wired broadband development as the main conduit of information because people are demanding the ability to move themselves, ideas, and information seamlessly, without being tethered.

This is remarkable and unprecedented growth. It is a record of global achievement.

Our specific task during this preparatory process is to chart a course towards a consensus outcome at the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly in December. But our primary objective throughout the review process, has been to ensure that WSIS continues to facilitate the development and deployment of ICTs as tools for achieving our shared economic and social development goals for the people we serve.

So how do we use this final stage of the ten-year review to accomplish that task?

First, let’s identify what has worked and build on it.

It is clear that a major contribution to the rapid growth of ICTs over the past ten years has been private sector innovation, investment, and build-out of ICTs and telecommunication networks. Other stakeholders, including the technical community, academia, and civil society, have also driven innovation and adoption, as well as held public and private sector leaders to high standards of scrutiny, challenging us all to perform better.

It is this community that operates, interconnects, uses, and builds on the ICT platforms. They are the subject matter experts, and they are the ones driving the evolution and growth of the Information Society.

We, as governments, can and should enable the deployment and use of ICT products and services by creating an environment that rewards investment, sparks innovation, and facilitates the free flow of information. It is in this manner that we will make our greatest contribution to the future success of the Information Society. Governments will not capitalize on the opportunities of the digital world or solve the challenges it presents by acting alone, nor will we solve them by centralizing regulation or control over other stakeholders. We live in an age where the key ingredients for innovation and growth are cooperation and collaboration, flexibility and ingenuity. And we need the community’s multistakeholder support because they bear the largest share of the burden toward implementing solutions.

In order to ensure that WSIS continues to serve as a constructive and positive platform to facilitate ICTs for development and help us achieve the post-2015 development agenda, we should remain true to the principles set forth during the original World Summit a decade ago.

Fortunately, we are not starting from scratch on this task. Over the past few years, these principles have been reaffirmed by other WSIS review events. Throughout these intensive efforts and negotiations, we have benefitted from a spirit of mutual respect and a common mission to support the global public interest. And the WSIS outcome documents have provided a common vision and set of principles to guide our work. As we continue our efforts towards a consensus outcome document this December, we must follow that formula again.

We must ensure the WSIS+10 outcome document reaffirms the principles agreed at the World Summit and focuses on a review of our collective efforts to achieve the WSIS outcomes of building a people-centered, development-oriented Information Society. It should welcome continued practical implementation measures. It should welcome continued efforts to connect people to the Internet and ensure that they have the skills and freedom to use that connectivity productively. It should support efforts to use ICTs to achieve the SDGs. And it should once again reinforce the multistakeholder model of Internet governance, which continues to serve us well.

Further, we believe the Action Lines are broad enough to address a range of new and emerging technologies and to guide us towards the fulfillment of a new and ambitious post-2015 development agenda. We agree with those who have called for a concise and focused outcome document that addresses all the Action Lines in a holistic manner.

The WSIS outcomes clearly recognize the role of the multistakeholder community, and the Internet as one of the most powerful tools we have to enable other development goals. The United States believes that connecting people to the Internet and ensuring that they have the skills and freedom to use that connectivity productively is one of the primary missions of WSIS.

In that regard, two important elements came out of the Tunis phase of WSIS in order to facilitate discussion of Internet issues. The first is the Internet Governance Forum. The United States is a staunch supporter of the IGF and strong proponent for the continuation of its mandate. We believe that it is a critical forum for candid, multistakeholder dialogue on crosscutting Internet policy issues. It has matured and improved over the course of its ten years, and continues to produce valuable contributions to the sustainability and development of the Internet for interested stakeholders around the world. We must ensure that the IGF remains an inclusive, respected, and neutral convener of the international multistakeholder community for sharing ideas and engaging in dialogue.

The second issue out of Tunis was the process towards enhanced cooperation, which we recognize has different interpretations. The United States believes enhanced cooperation was meant to improve and strengthen the cooperation between and within existing institutions and organizations, and in forums like the IGF. On this front, we believe enhanced cooperation has been a tremendous and ongoing success for the key issues of concern to governments and all stakeholders. We believe we should recommit ourselves to such multistakeholder cooperation, and look for even more ways to work together to achieve it.

In closing, I would like to once again thank all the participants for attending this session. ICTs and the Internet are among the most powerful tools the world has seen to bring economic and social development to all people in every corner of the world, and to do so they must remain dynamic and open. We look forward to the opportunity to work together with each and every one of you to ensure that WSIS continues to facilitate that goal.

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