Business Welcomes OECD Internet Principles

4213_image002New York, N.Y., December 15, 2011 – American companies and the broader global business community welcomed adoption of the 34-nation OECD’s Principles for Internet Policy-Making, which call for a light touch on regulation, saying this is essential to promote economic growth. The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents the views of American companies to the OECD and other international bodies, applauded the OECD Council’s call for member countries to “promote and protect the global free flow of information” online.

“The OECD principles balance two mutually supportive goals: maintaining an open, dynamic Internet that can generate economic growth, and ensuring closer international cooperation on Internet issues,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “While the Internet has no borders, and countries should set their own policies and regulations, they must do so judiciously, in cooperation with each other and with the private sector. The OECD has given governments urgently needed guideposts in this area.”

Both USCIB and BIAC, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, which USCIB represents in the United States, have endorsed the OECD principles and sought to promote awareness of them in key international forums. In September, at the UN’s Internet Governance Forum in Nairobi, USCIB representatives underscored the importance of maintaining an open, multi-stakeholder approach to international discussions of the Internet’s development.

Last June in Paris, BIAC members played a central role in an OECD High Level Meeting on the Internet Economy, which highlighted that the strength and dynamism of the Internet depends on its ease of access to high-speed networks, openness and on user confidence. The OECD Council’s adoption of the new principles is based on a communiqué issued at a meeting in June, when their broad outlines were drawn up.

“Born at a U.S.-initiated high-level meeting earlier this year, these principles are a major step in our efforts to ensure the Internet remains an open platform, continuing to spur innovation, prosperity and job creation,” said U.S. Ambassador to the OECD Karen Kornbluh in a statement. “This platform, that produced more growth in its first 15 years than the Industrial Revolution did in its first 50, mustn’t be balkanized. We will work with others to continue building consensus for these global norms that nurture openness and freedom on the Internet.”

The OECD principles are non-binding. However, they will be included in the criteria used to assess the suitability of candidate countries for OECD membership.

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation. Its members include top 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, including BIAC, 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
(212) 703-5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org.

More on USCIB’s Information, Communications and Technology Committee

Staff Contact:   Jonathan Huneke

VP, Communications and Public Affairs
Tel: 212.703.5043

Jonathan Huneke is responsible for USCIB’s strategic communications, including media relations, publications, online content and high-level public events. He also manages the work of USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee.
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