A Critical Moment for the Future of the Internet | Techonomy

A Critical Moment for the Future of the Internet By Fadi Chehadé

The Internet, the greatest invention of our generation — several generations in fact — is in many ways a reflection of the American Dream. It’s vast and open, unlimited in its potential reach. It’s inclusive and welcoming. Anyone can be part of it and make a difference. The fastest growing part of the global economy is Internet-based, and the Internet accounts for a significant and growing portion of global GDP. According to Boston Consulting Group, the Internet is contributing up to 8 percent of GDP in some economies, powering growth and creating jobs.

You’d be correct in arguing it’s an American-made innovation. We can trace the roots of the Internet back some 50 years to a U.S. Defense Department research program. But as the Internet has expanded globally, it’s become increasingly clear that one government cannot lay claim to it. The Internet is a worldwide resource. It belongs to everyone.

Appropriately, the U.S. Government has long understood the Internet’s global potential. That’s why it helped create the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 1998 — a neutral, independent and private-sector led organization designed to coordinate the Internet’s domain name system functions. Its operations are not made under the direction of one government, but through a bottom-up, multi-stakeholder policy development process involving business, civil society, engineers, academics, everyday users and many governments (around 150 of them participate). Under that system, the Internet has flourished, connecting over 3 billion of us, through our billions of devices.

Over the past two decades, the U.S. Government has gradually lightened its touch in its stewardship over the key Internet domain name system functions operated by ICANN. These technical functions are known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions. The U.S. Government is now prepared to give up stewardship over the IANA functions altogether.

But why? And why now?

The U.S. Government always envisioned that its role in the IANA functions would be temporary. In March of 2014, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intent to transition out of its stewardship of the IANA functions. In its announcement, NTIA cited its belief that ICANN as an organization has matured and improved its accountability, transparency and its technical competence. NTIA also asserted that the Internet, managed and driven by the global community of diverse stakeholders, is in very good hands.

The current model of Internet governance is the only one that can keep pace with the global expansion of users, including where, how, how often and in what language they’re using it. Continual evolution is key: Internet governance must evolve to meet the changing needs of all users to ensure the network remains available, open, stable and secure. A report by Microsoft projects that the number of Internet users will grow to 4.7 billion in 2025, 75 percent of that growth coming from emerging economies. We must work together to take into consideration this changing landscape.

Many believe that if the U.S. Government does not step aside, other governments, including some that are uncomfortable with an open and inclusive Internet, will step in to try to capture control of it through intergovernmental organizations. Alternatively, governments could become motivated to break away from the one, unified Internet to form their own national or regional networks, essentially fragmenting the Internet we know today. The result of this could be a patchwork of incompatible networks spread across different nation states, with long-term social, cultural, political and economic casualties. Why take that chance?

The ICANN multi-stakeholder community brings together thousands of representatives from large and small businesses and civil society with technical experts, researchers, academics and end users from all over the world. Our role at ICANN is to coordinate this community. We are neutral and independent facilitators.

Many stakeholders have been working tirelessly over the past year to meet NTIA’s guidelines for the transition of their stewardship role to the global multi-stakeholder community. Since March 2014, the community has spent more than 400 hours together on calls and in meetings, working to develop a proposal that meets the following guidelines:

• Supports and enhances the existing multi-stakeholder model.

• Maintains the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet Domain Name System.

• Meets the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners of the IANA services.

• Maintains the openness of the Internet.

They also have to take into account that NTIA also specified that it would not accept a proposal that replaces NTIA’s role with a government-led or intergovernmental organization solution.

Should the transition fail, the United States could lose credibility in its quest to maintain an open, multi-stakeholder-driven Internet. The risk of fragmentation will grow and U.S. and global economies risk losing the commercial and social benefits inherent in the single, global, free and open Internet where innovation happens, and on which we’ve all come to rely.

I invite you to please join our process. If you have concerns, voice them. If you agree with the fundamental principles the proposal is based on, share that. Engage with the multi-stakeholder community and share your thoughts and opinions. It is critical to the success of our effort and the future of the Internet that we have as much participation in the process as possible.

Fadi Chehadé is the president and CEO of ICANN, a not-for-profit, public benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. He will be speaking on a session at the Techonomy Policy conference June 9 on the Worrisome Future of the Internet.
To attend, you can register here. Original article published at Techonomy.com.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/techonomy/a-critical-moment-for-the_b_7513308.html

The USA FREEDOM Act, the President’s Review Group and the Biggest Intelligence Reform in 40 Years

The USA FREEDOM Act, the President’s Review Group and the Biggest Intelligence Reform in 40 Years
https://privacyassociation.org/news/a/the-usa-freedom-act-the-presidents-review-group-and-the-biggest-intelligence-reform-in-40-years/
 
Two years after the first story based on Edward Snowden’s leaks hit the press, the U.S. government enacted the USA FREEDOM Act, ending bulk collection under Section 215. As one of five members of President Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology, I applaud its passage—the biggest pro-privacy change to U.S. intelligence law since the original enactment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978.
There is a close fit between the Review Group’s work and the new law as well as multiple significant reform measures the Obama administration has already adopted without legislative change. In this era of partisan gridlock, the U.S. system of government has proved more responsive and resilient than many skeptics had predicted.
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US Dept of Commerce seeks comments on proposed export changes

The Wassenaar Arrangement (full name: The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies) is a multilateral export control regime (MECR) with 41 participating states including many former COMECON (Warsaw Pact) countries.
An FRN issued on 5/20/2015

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/05/20/2015-11642/wassenaar-arrangement-2013-plenary-agreements-implementation-intrusion-and-surveillance-items

describes a proposal by Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) for a license requirement for the export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) of systems, equipment or components specially designed for the generation, operation or delivery of, or communication with, intrusion software; software specially designed or modified for the development or production of such systems, equipment or components; software specially designed for the generation, operation or delivery of, or communication with, intrusion software; technology required for the development of intrusion software; Internet Protocol (IP) network communications surveillance systems or equipment and test, inspection, production equipment, specially designed components therefor, and development and production software and technology therefor.
The FRN notes that BIS is seeking information about the effect of this rule and would appreciate the submission of comments, and especially answers to the following questions:
1. How many additional license applications would your company be required to submit per year under the requirements of this proposed rule? If any, of those applications:
a. How many additional applications would be for products that are currently eligible for license exceptions?
b. How many additional applications would be for products that currently are classified EAR99?
2. How many deemed export, reexport or transfer (in-country) license applications would your company be required to submit per year under the requirements of this rule?
3. Would the rule have negative effects on your legitimate vulnerability research, audits, testing or screening and your company’s ability to protect your own or your client’s networks? If so, explain how.
4. How long would it take you to answer the questions in proposed paragraph (z) to Supplement No. 2 to part 748? Is this information you already have for your products?
* The ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule includes information about how to submit comments.