Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Strickling, the head of the NTIA, made extensive remarks on Thursday at iNet, an Internet Society (ISOC) event organized by the recently reconstituted ISOC-DC chapter. In this post, we offer our interpretation and comments on the various issues:
Strickling on Internet liability: “Section 230 has been described as one of the most important guarantors of free speech on the Internet and has been responsible for securing the vibrant culture of freedom of expression that exists today on the Internet.”
IGP response: Three cheers! Be sure to tell that to the OECD as it explores intermediary liability.
Strickling on Internet trade and the free flow of information: “How do we work with U.S. businesses and other entities to understand the economic impact that restrictions on global flows of information have on U.S. trade and investment?”
IGP suggestion: Call off the copyright dogs, ditch ACTA
Strickling on ICANN: “How do we ensure that ICANN serves the public interest and conducts its activities with the openness and transparency that the global Internet community demands?”
IGP suggestion: You can start by asking ICANN to stop trying to avoid the decision of its independent review panel in the .xxx case. Comments close on May 10 – be sure the Commerce Department makes its views known!
Strickling on GAC: “From our perspective, it is entirely appropriate that governments participate in ICANN, as they are critical to ensuring that decisions fully reflect the public interest. And we think it is equally appropriate that the role of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee remains advisory.”
IGP translation: Other governments need to be there to provide legitimacy, but not in any formalized way which might make their voice more powerful than ours.
Strickling on DNSSEC: “In the coming months, we expect to make DNSSEC at the root a reality by authorizing ICANN to publish the root trust anchor and VeriSign to distribute a validatable signed root zone. NTIA will issue a Public Notice to inform in advance you and others in the DNS community of this landmark achievement.”
IGP comment: If you haven't figured it out, NTIA is in charge of DNSSEC at the root.
Strickling on IGF: “Some have suggested that the IGF should continue, but in a modified format that would inevitably elevate the role of governments. I am concerned about this as changes that place one stakeholder group above another will ultimately undermine this model. We are dedicated to working with global stakeholders to ensure that the IGF continues as a truly multi-stakeholder venue.”
IGP translation: …unlike ICANN, where we only put one government above the others.
Strickling on all of the above: “[The issues] I raise are global in scope, raising questions about whether a single government or actor could provide comprehensive solutions if it wanted to.”
IGP response: Three cheers! It's about time NTIA started raising those questions!