Posts Tagged ‘larry strickling’
Brief session description:
Thursday, July 26, 2012 – Larry Strickling, assistant secretary for communications and information and administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the US Department of Commerce, spoke about the United States and the global Internet.
Details of the session:
Larry Strickling, assistant secretary for communications and information and administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the US Department of Commerce, highlighted the importance of the multistakeholder model in his afternoon keynote talk at IGF-USA Thursday at Georgetown Law Center.
The NTIA has long been integral in the operation of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which regulates global domain name policy. While NTIA, on behalf of the US Department of Commerce, reached an agreement with ICANN in 2009to transition the technical coordination of the DNS to a new setting in ICANN under conditions that protect the interests of global Internet users, NTIA represents the US government on ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee and it is still an influential force.
Given the near-infinite reach of Internet services, Strickling emphasized the need to include more global representatives in the process of domain name regulation and the discussion of related issues.
“We have focused on enhanced cooperation and finding ways for the global Internet community to have a more direct say in matters of Internet governance,” he said. “This issue is one of great importance as we head into the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) and World Trade Forum conferences over the next year, where some countries will attempt to justify greater governmental control over the Internet.”
Strickling said the NTIA has made a concerted effort to dissolve the illusion of US control over the Internet infrastructure by showing a heightened respect for the laws of individual countries and finding new ways to address conflicts of interest.
He also expressed his support of greater transparency in all organizations involved in Internet governance, including the International Telecommunication Union, and forcefully restated that the US position on Internet governance is to appropriately limit the role of the government in policymaking.
“Those of us in the US government will work to be as inclusive and transparent as we can be,” he said. “We will push back against calls for more control. Limiting ourselves to the role of facilitator is absolutely key to the ultimate success of the (multistakeholder model). We will press ahead.”
— Katie Blunt
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
Marilyn Cade, chair of the IGF-USA Steering Committee, led a closing discussion that also included remarks from Markus Kummer, executive administrator for the global IGF Secretariat; Larry Strickling, assistant secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce; and Deimante Bartkiene, a representative of the Lithuanian Embassy, invited IGF-USA attendees to the global IGF, taking place in Vilnius, Lithuania, Sept. 14-17.
Details of the session:
Marilyn Cade, president of ICT Strategies, asked the gathered audience during the closing session of IGF-USA 2010 to suggest at least five ways the IGF process can be improved in the future. She received more input than that. Here are a few of the ideas:
- The “users reign” scenario isn’t based in reality right now. The only way the scenario can come to fruition is if the people involved in global IGF efforts help design it and make it work.
- People should not demonize innovative companies that make mistakes. When companies take risks, let them fail, call them out but don’t overreact or issue calls for new laws to stop an experiment from ever happening again.
- The people involved with IGF should embrace transparency, inclusion and collaboration. Inclusion, in particular, means reaching out to parties that don’t show up to participate in opportunities like IGF-USA. The IGF effort should increase awareness, extend more outreach and have broader information available to people.
- The organizers of IGF should extend participation, particularly remote participation (ability to “attend” virtually, online), to the conferences.
- The Internet is inherently not like real life, and the more we try to make it like real life, the less appealing it will be to users. The people participating in the discussions at IGF should to keep this sentiment in mind going forward.
- The IGF organizers should more clearly articulate the roles of the different Internet stakeholders and organizations, define and implement a funding model for IG and enact some form of output for the IGF itself.
- The IGF should have more voices from emerging markets and the private sector at the table.
- A final piece of advice: Make sure what the people involved in IGF ask for is going to gain the best result. Don’t change the mandate, just renew.
Strickling said in his closing remarks that the U.S. government is committed to the continuation of the IGF in its current form. He said allowing a multistakeholder discussion will only enhance the accessibility of the Internet.
“Internet stakeholders across the globe are committed to this type of forum,” he said. “We want to make sure IGF is not just about dialogue. We need to make sure lessons learned from these discussions are put into action. I don’t imagine I am alone in thinking that open dialogue in IGF is an ideal way to enhance trust in these stakeholders.
“Changes that place one group above another in IGF would ultimately undermine this model.”
Kummer closed by saying that the IGF mandate will be up for a vote in the United Nations’ General Assembly later this year, and he added that the general assembly should almost certainly vote to extend the IGF mandate. But he’s concerned about what kind of changes might be suggested.
“Now we will have to find synthesis between two tendencies: the Internet will stay with us and nation-states will stay with us,” Kummer said. “We see the IGF as a synthesis between these two tendencies.
“I hope they will not do much tweaking moving on. All of you can have a role to play in this by reaching out, talking to governments.”
Click here to go to the main site used by
the organizers of IGF-USA: http://www.igf-usa.us/
-Colin Donohue, http://imaginingtheinternet.org
UN, U.S. representatives emphasize vital need for international dialogue about the future of the Internet
At the opening of the inaugural Internet Governance Forum-USA, representatives from the United Nations and the U.S. government commended the Internet Governance Forum for its support of multistakeholder discussions and expressed optimism that the group’s annual conferences will continue well into the future at the first ever IGF-USA.
Markus Kummer, the executive coordinator of the United Nations Secretariat for the Internet Governance Forum, and Larry Strickling, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Agency, expressed their gratitude to organizer Marilyn Cade and other IGF stakeholders for making a U.S. conference possible Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C.
“I’m very impressed with the interest that has developed here not just in quantity but in quality,” Kummer said. “It’s an impressive gathering. This has turned into an enthusiastic endorsement of the IGF as a platform for dialogue.”
Kummer, briefly reviewed the history of the creation and execution of the UN-facilitated international IGF conferences, which have taken place previously in Athens, Rio de Janeiro and Hyderabad, India, and he said more regional IGF conventions are now taking place in cities and countries worldwide, proving the global importance of discussions regarding how the Internet is governed.
“There was a question of what kind of governance do you want?” Kummer said. “Do you want to stick to the traditional form of top-down governance or do you want a widely-distributed decision-making process? In essence it was a decision to continue the dialogue in a multistakeholder mold.”
The U.S. government is now even more accepting of allowing greater international access to the domain name system. Just this week, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce that affords the nonprofit ICANN greater independence and gives additional emphasis to the international oversight of the organization.
“I was pleased I was able to represent the United States on Wednesday to sign the historic document,” Strickling said.
Strickling, who helped form the new agreement, titled an “Affirmation of Commitments,” said the new set-up has been well received from within President Barack Obama’s administration and members of Congress.
Strickling said the agreement ensures accountability and transparency in ICANN and establishes mechanisms to address security. He said it should continue to increase the “free and unfettered flow of information and commerce” online.
“It contains the U.S. government’s strong endorsement of the rapid introduction of internationalized country codes,” Strickling said.
The ICANN Affirmation of Commitments follows through with the IGF’s mission of creating open and honest international dialogue. Representatives will gather for the group’s fourth global conference in November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
The initial mandate agreed upon during the World Summit on the Information Society process stipulated that the IGF would meet yearly for five years, and the meeting in Egypt will be its fourth. Both Strickling and Kummer, though, said they hoped the IGF will be extended.
“There is obviously some need for this kind of gathering,” Kummer said.
Strickling added that President Obama supports holding more IGF conferences both worldwide and domestically.
“The U.S. government supports extending IGF past five years,” Strickling said. “The hope and expectation is that today’s event will be first of many U.S. IGFs that will shape priorities in the Internet governance arena and bring stakeholders together. The Obama administration looks forward to next month’s meeting in Egypt and commends all of you for gathering at today’s U.S. meeting.”
- Colin Donohue, http://www.imaginingtheinternet.org