Business Urges U.S. Government to Push Back Against Efforts to Expand ITU’s Jurisdiction

Womans controls Internet of Things in smart home with appNew York, N.Y., September 27, 2016 – Representing a broad cross-section of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) released a statement today outlining business priorities for the upcoming World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2016 (WTSA-16). The meeting will convene from October 25 to November 3 in Tunisia to determine the work program of the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), which develops international recommendations for the telecommunication sector.

While USCIB appreciates the ITU’s role in developing international standards that promote the smooth functioning of global telecommunication networks, the business group opposes expanding the ITU’s remit to include Internet governance policy.

“We urge the U.S. government to push back strongly on efforts by some member states to use the WTSA-16 review of the ITU-T’s work program as an opportunity to expand the ITU’s jurisdiction to include various Internet governance issues,” USCIB said in the statement. “A multi-stakeholder framework has proved far more effective in addressing Internet policy matters against a dynamic technological backdrop than binding rules developed by an inter-governmental organization.”

The business community also expressed concern about proposals to expand the role of governments in fostering the Internet of Things (IoT), citing the danger that such an expansion of the ITU’s remit would “support government mandates that will stifle rather than promote the benefits of IoT.” USCIB stressed that there should be no mandates or regulation of emerging technologies.

USCIB supports the efforts of the U.S. government and other sector members at the WTSA-16 to underscore the value of the ITU in “developing important technical and voluntary telecommunications standards,” the statement added.

“Expanding its work program beyond its current remit would compromise the Sector’s ability to meet its current goals,” the statement concludes. “Moreover, such an expansion would negatively impact industry’s ability to address Internet governance-related issues and explore standards and best practices for emerging technologies that are more effectively addressed in existing multi-stakeholder policy-making and standards-setting bodies.”

About USCIB:

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, VP communications, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

Staff Contact:   Kira Yevtukhova

Deputy Director, Marketing and Communications
Tel: 202.617.3160

Kira Yevtukhova manages USCIB’s print and online publications, including the website, e-newsletter and quarterly magazine, and serves as the organization’s digital media strategist. Prior to this role, Kira worked for over five years within USCIB’s Policy Department, focusing on climate change, environment, nutrition, health, and chemicals related policy issues. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and is currently pursuing an MBA at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.
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