'Intergovernmental Control' Not Needed

Article excerpt

Byline: John Zarocostas, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In a separate Geneva interview on the same subject, Mr. Zarocostas also spoke with Allen Z. Miller, senior vice president for global affairs with the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), an umbrella group for more than 400 information-technology corporations.

Question: What are the views of the ITAA on the four models for Internet oversight to be considered this autumn in Tunisia at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)?

Answer: Well, I think the options represent an entire range of possibilities that could be taken. Actually, the ITAA doesn't agree with any of those options. First of all, we don't need intergovernmental control of the Internet, and second, we don't need a new forum to discuss the issues. There are plenty of fora that are already available, and we should use them.

Q: What about all this U.N. process and the summit conference in Tunisia in November?

A: Well, I think the U.N. process is a useful exercise. Clearly, we are sympathetic to the needs of the developing countries and the need to be able to push the Internet into areas where it is not today. And by spotlighting these needs, WSIS has provided a useful place to spotlight it and to discuss possible solutions to the problems.

Q: The report says no single government should have a pre-eminent role in relation to international Internet governance. What's your response?

A: Well, I think that's an ideal that we should all be striving for and are striving for. On the other hand, it's the history of the situation that has enabled the U.S. government to have that role today. Certainly, business is concerned with the stability of the Internet - most businesses, particularly in developed countries, have developed business models that are in many ways dependent upon the Internet.

Our concern is that nothing be done that would disrupt the Internet. …