Consumer Electronics Association Takes Issue with UN "Internet Kill Switch" Plan

By Tracey E. Schelmetic February 05, 2013

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), a standards and trade organization for the consumer electronics industry in the U.S. and sponsor of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), has Internet freedom on its collective mind.

The CEA’s president and CEO, Gary Shapiro, offered his opinion on the matter as the House of Representatives convened today to discuss the topic of Internet freedom.

“The open and uncensored Internet is a great engine of social and economic progress – but it is under threat,” said Shapiro. “Through the United Nation’s agency, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a number of countries are attempting to establish greater governmental control of the Internet. Their efforts, if successful, could destroy the open and innovative technology platform that millions around the world need and trust.”

He added, “As the world’s technology leader, it is essential that the United States persuade other nations of the benefits of an open Internet. We must provide the example. We must continue to walk the walk, not just talk about preserving Internet Freedom.

Image via Mashable

So what prompted Shapiro’s statement? Real concerns, shared by many Americans and most technology companies, that the open nature of the Internet is under attack.

The International Telecommunications Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for information and communication technologies. The ITU coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world, and assists in the development and coordination of worldwide technical standards. The U.S. is one of 192 member states of the ITU.

In August of 2012, the ITU prepared a draft document that would essentially give world governments over the Internet. According to an Australian news site, the proposal, which was formulated in secret, would allow government restriction or blocking of information disseminated via the Internet and create a global regime of monitoring Internet communications -- including the demand that those who send and receive information identify themselves. In essence, it would provide world leaders with the oft-discussed “kill switch” for the Internet in their nation in the event of an emergency.

The plan is highly unpopular in the U.S., and given the tone of today’s hearing by the House Commerce and Foreign Affairs Committees, the CEA and others have little to fear. The Committees reinforced the U.S.’s commitment to keeping the Internet open and safe from government censorship and interference.




Edited by Rachel Ramsey

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

How to Buy a Laptop in 2016: Oh the Choices...

By: Rob Enderle    8/29/2016

Currently people are replacing their laptop computers about once every five years, and for those reaching that five-year due date, the next couple of …

Read More

Wearable Camera Market Climbs to New Heights

By: Alicia Young    8/29/2016

Wearable cameras are becoming increasingly popular thanks to thrill-seekers. After all, it's much easier to record yourself skydiving or mountain clim…

Read More

Ford's Autonomous Car Plan Implies We're Idiots

By: Rob Enderle    8/29/2016

According to CrashStats, about 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all police reported crashes were caused largely because we weren't actu…

Read More

Apple Goes Social with Video Editing App

By: Alicia Young    8/26/2016

The goal is to offer simple video editing with tools that appeal to millennials and upcoming generations-the people who grew up surrounded by social m…

Read More

How Do the Year's Threat Predictions Match Reality?

By: Special Guest    8/24/2016

Last year, Fortinet's FortiGuard Labs global threat research team made a series of predictions about cyber threats in 2016. We are now halfway through…

Read More