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[ NNSquad ] U.S. government "rescinds" 'leave internet alone' policy

----- Forwarded message from Dave Farber <dave@farber.net> -----

Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 15:06:07 -0500
From: Dave Farber <dave@farber.net>
Subject: [IP] USG rescinds 'leave internet alone' policy
Reply-To: dave@farber.net
To: ip <ip@v2.listbox.com>

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Richard Forno <rforno@infowarrior.org>
> Date: February 26, 2010 9:06:56 PM EST
> To: Undisclosed-recipients: <>;
> Cc: Dave Farber <dave@farber.net>
> Subject: USG rescinds 'leave internet alone' policy

> Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/27/internet_3_dot_0_policy/
> US government rescinds 'leave internet alone' policy
> By Kieren McCarthy
> Posted in Networks, 27th February 2010 00:06 GMT
> The US government’s policy of leaving the Internet alone is over, ac 
> cording to Obama’s top official at the Department of Commerce.
> Instead, an “Internet Policy 3.0” approach will see policy discussions 
> between government agencies, foreign governments, and key Internet 
> constituencies, according to Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling, with 
> those discussions covering issues such as privacy, child protection, 
> cybersecurity, copyright protection, and Internet governance.
> The outcomes of such discussions will be “flexible” but may result in 
> recommendations for legislation or regulation, Strickling said in a 
> speech at the Media Institute in Washington this week.
> The new approach 
> (http://www.ntia.doc.gov/presentations/2010/MediaInstitute_02242010.html 
> ) is a far cry from a US government that consciously decided not to  
> intrude into the internet’s functioning and growth and in so doing a 
> llowed an academic network to turn into a global communications phen 
> omenon.
> Strickling referred to these roots arguing that it was “the right po 
> licy for the United States in the early stages of the Internet, and the 
> right message to send to the rest of the world.” But, he continued, 
> “that was then and this is now. As we at NTIA approach a wide range of 
> Internet policy issues, we take the view that we are now in the third 
> generation of Internet policy making.”
> Outlining three decades of internet evolution - from transition to  
> commercialization, from the garage to Main Street, and now, starting in 
> 2010, the “Policy 3.0” approach - Strickling argued that with the 
> internet is now a social network as well a business network. “We must 
> take rules more seriously.”
> He cited a number of examples where this new approach was needed: end 
> users worried about credit card transactions, content providers who want 
> to prevent their copyright, companies concerned about hacking, network 
> neutrality, and foreign governments worried about Internet governance 
> systems.
> The decision to effectively end the policy that made the internet what 
> it is today is part of a wider global trend of governments looking to 
> impose rules on use of the network by its citizens.
> In the UK, the Digital Economy Bill currently making its way through  
> Parliament has been the subject of significant controversy for  
> advocating strict rules on copyright infringement and threatening to  
> ban people from the internet if they are found to do so. The bill  
> includes a wide variety of other measures, including giving regulator 
> Ofcom a wider remit, forcing ISPs to monitor their customers’ behavior, 
> and allowing the government to take over the dot-uk registry.
> In New Zealand, a similar measure to the UK’s cut-off provision has  
> been proposed by revising the Copyright Act to allow a tribunal to fine 
> those found guilty of infringing copyright online as well as suspend 
> their Internet accounts for up to six months. And in Italy this week, 
> three Google executives were sentenced to jail for allowing a video that 
> was subsequently pulled down to be posted onto its YouTube video site.
> Internationally, the Internet Governance Forum – set up by under a U 
> nited Nations banner to deal with global governance issues – is due to 
> end its experimental run this year and become an acknowledged ins 
> titution. However, there are signs that governments are increasingly 
> dominating the IGF, with civil society and the Internet community s 
> idelined in the decision-making process.
> In this broader context, the US government’s newly stated policy is  
> more in line with the traditional laissez-faire internet approach. I 
> nternet Policy 3.0 also offers a more global perspective than the is 
> olationist approach taken by the previous Bush administration.
> In explicitly stating that foreign governments will be a part of the  
> upcoming discussions, Strickling recognizes the United States’ unique 
> position as the country that gives final approval for changes made to 
> the internet’s “root zone.” Currently the global Internet is dependent 
> on an address book whose contents are changed through a contract that 
> the US government has granted to the Internet Corporation for Assigned 
> Names and Number (ICANN), based in Los Angeles.
> ICANN recently adjusted its own agreement with the US government to  
> give it more autonomy and now reports to the global Internet community 
> through a series of reviews. Strickling sits on the panel of one of 
> those reviews.
> Overall, this new approach could enable the US government to regain the 
> loss of some of its direct influence through recommendations made in 
> policy reports. But internet old hands will still decry the loss of a 
> policy that made the network what it is today. ®

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----- End forwarded message -----