How — if at all — should the internet be regulated at the international level? At AEI on Wednesday, Ambassador Terry Kramer began a discussion of this question with an overview of the US recommendations for the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT-12), namely a non-prescriptive, multi-stakeholder framework designed to largely maintain the status quo of limited government involvement.
While the US delegation to the conference is united in its commitment to this framework, in the international arena, there are numerous counterproposals from countries like China, Russia, India, and Brazil. Ambassador Kramer therefore stressed the need for international outreach and careful thinking as WCIT-12 draws closer.
Panelist Fiona Alexander of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration reiterated the importance of the multi-stakeholder model, underscoring the panelists' unanimous commitment to this approach. Ross LaJeunesse of Google also drove home the potential practical outcomes, noting that failed negotiations could be "a real threat to the net as we know it today." With control of the internet itself at stake, LaJeunesse emphasized that we risk losing not only a valuable technological tool, but the biggest force of cultural understanding and awareness that exists today.
The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) will convene in Dubai on December 3, 2012, to discuss expanding the role of the International Telecommunications Union — an agency of the United Nations — in regulating various aspects of the Internet, including standard setting, regulation of broadband providers, cybersecurity, and speech.
The conference’s US delegation, led by Ambassador Terry Kramer, is united by its desire to maintain the current framework, which is based in large measure on multi-stakeholder organizations. Join Ambassador Kramer, other members of the US delegation, and a panel of distinguished experts from the government and Internet industry as they discuss the key issues at hand and outline the US position in advance of the upcoming conference.
If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.