Internet Governance Forum – USA, 2011 NTIA’s Larry Strickling’s afternoon remarks
Larry Strickling, administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and assistant secretary for communications and information at the U.S. Department of Commerce, gave a mini-keynote talk at IGF-USA 2011. NTIA is the executive branch agency that is principally responsible for advising the U.S. president on communications and information policies. Prior to his work for the Obama Administration Strickling worked as a policy coordinator for Obama for America, as a regulatory officer at Broadwing Communications, a department head at the FCC, a VP for Ameritech and a litigation partner at the Chicago law firm Kirkland & Ellis.
Details of the Session:
To begin the final plenary session for the day, Larry Strickling, an administrator for the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA), took to the podium to discuss recent activity in the world of Internet governance, particularly the recent Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Numbers conference in Singapore and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development meeting in Paris.
“We are at a very critical time in the history of the Internet,” he said, mentioning disputes among international organizations, including some governments that have recently called for increased regulation of Internet activity.
Strickling said he contributes the success of the current Internet and the way it is, or isn’t governed, to the multi-stakeholder approach, which can only be sustained and advanced when there is participation.
Last December, Strickling said, he helped complete a review of ICANN and submitted 27 recommendations to their board, all of which have been adopted.
“Now the focus turns to ICANN’s management and staff,” he said.
He also applauded ICANN’s acceptance of proposals made by the Governmental Advisory Committee regarding generic top-level domain names.
“The fact that not all the proposals were adopted does not represent a failure of the process or a setback in progress but reflects the reality of the multi-stakeholder model,” he said.
At the OECD’s meeting in June, representatives from government, the private sector, civilians and the field of technology met to discuss and develop the “Internet economy.”
“Participants at the meeting agreed to a communiqué on policy making principles and will create the conditions for an open, interoperable, secure and continually innovating Internet,” he said.
Strickling added that the intent was not to harmonize global law, but was to provide a global framework.
He then moved on to where the world could go next after the advancements of the past few months.
“More importantly, what’s the call of action for all of you?” he said, later concluding that the audience’s job was to advocate for a multi-stakeholder approach, not a treaty-based approach to developing policy.
Strickling reminded participants about the approaching July 29 deadline for comments on NTIA’s IANA Functions Contract, the first time that NTIA has sought public input.
He then concluded that the U.S. government is committed to multi-stakeholder solutions, and then reiterated the need for international cooperation and a focus on the process, not necessarily the outcome and adherence to developments already made, while taking questions from Cade and Michael Nelson of Georgetown University.
“If all that happens with the OECD principles and people file them away in a filing cabinet, then we’ve failed,” Strickling said. “These are only useful if they become a tool that we can now use as an advocacy basis for the rest of the world.”
In 2009, Strickling was appointed by the Senate to serve as assistant secretary for communications and information at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
During her introduction, Marilyn Cade said that Strickling’s reach went far and wide.
“The scope of his responsibility extends to impact on global decisions and global actions,” she said.
As an administrator with NTIA, Strickling is responsible for advising President Barack Obama on matters related to communications and information. He has extensive experience in technology policy and telecommunications both for the government and in the private sector.
– Rachel Southmayd