ITU

Conservatives Are Leading Internet Transformation

Posted by | Broadband Internet, International | One Comment

Last summer I blogged about my expectation that conservatives would embrace the Internet. Though many shared this expectation, I doubt anyone expected the Republican Party platform would provide a vision for transforming our communications infrastructure into the Twenty-First Century, or that conservatives would be leading Internet transformation in 2012. Though progressives are stereotypically viewed as tech-savvy, progressives are now following the lead of conservatives on Internet transformation.

Conservatives started leading on Internet issues early in 2012. Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell was outspoken often and early on the dangers posed to the Internet by the World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012 (WCIT-12), which is going on right now in Dubai.

Many in the tech blogosphere initially attacked McDowell. Last February, ExtremeTech said McDowell’s “claims [were] factually inaccurate and hyperbolic,” and that his threat assessment “[was] completely out-of-step with the US government’s opinion.” Though it offered no apology to McDowell, this month ExtremeTech finally recognized that the ongoing negotiations in Dubai “have the potential to completely change the way the internet works, and that is terrifying.”

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Don’t Let the Doublespeak Fool You: When CLECs Say “Packet-Mode,” They Mean “Regulate the Internet”

Posted by | Broadband Internet | No Comments

When CLECs say “packet mode,” don’t let the doublespeak fool you. They are asking for heavy-handed economic regulation of the Internet itself, just like many countries at the ITU.

Last week, I wrote about the failure of the CLECs to provide consumers with the additional choices in communications services Congress had envisioned in 1996. I noted that, now that the antiquated telephone network is about to sunset, CLECs must bear responsibility for their own decisions to forgo investment in their own infrastructure and rely on lines leased with temporary government subsidies. The desperation of CLECs to avoid this reality is apparent in their use of doublespeak to conceal their true intent: convincing the FCC to regulate the Internet like plain old telephone service.

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SB 1161 Promotes California’s Internet Innovation and Economic Growth

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California is recognized as a world leader in Internet technologies and services. It is the home of companies, like Apple, Google, and Cisco, whose innovations are driving economic recovery in California and Internet innovation around the world. The success of these and many other California technology companies has been driven by the decentralized and largely unregulated Internet, which provides them with the ability to market their products and services globally.

California’s success is also its biggest threat. The economic growth, individual empowerment, and entrepreneurialism driven by Internet innovation in California have made it the envy of the world. As a result, local and international governments are increasingly proposing new regulations that would favor their own companies – and cripple California’s economy. A current example is the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications, which will consider proposals to impose price regulations on the Internet through an agency of the United Nations.

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Is the U.S. United on Individual Rights or Internet Forum Shopping?

Posted by | Broadband Internet, International | No Comments

I had a Twitter exchange this week with Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge, regarding government regulatory jurisdiction over the Internet. The exchange clarified the similarities and the differences in the views on this issue offered by advocates for centralized government regulation of the Internet (in this case, represented by Harold) and advocates for individual rights and free markets (in this case, represented by me). After giving this exchange some thought, I decided the additional clarity justified another post on the issue.

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United States Needs United Message: Don’t Regulate the Internet

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Two weeks ago, Gigi Sohn, President and CEO of Public Knowledge, wrote “US communications policymaking, policymakers, industry and civil society groups (including Public Knowledge) of all stripes are in accord that the ITU’s jurisdiction should not expand to encompass regulation of the Internet.” That’s good news.

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WCITLeaks.org Brings Transparency to United Nations Effort to Regulate Internet

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Jerry Brito, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and Eli Dourado, also a research fellow at Mercatus, have launched a new website, WCITLeaks.org, to foster greater transparency into the effort at the International Telecommunications Union, a specialized agency of the United Nations, to regulate the Internet. Jerry Brito describes the purpose behind the new website here. The site has already published a document, known as TD 64, that contains all the proposals under consideration. This is a must read for those who are defending Internet liberty.