The struggle for control and regulation – or lack thereof – for the Internet continues.
Today, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), an IT lobbying agency, is applauding a bipartisan U.S. House resolution opposing government control and regulation of the Internet. An International Telecommunication Union (ITU) conference that will take place later this year in Dubai will reportedly include consideration of proposals to shift regulatory control of the Internet to that UN body – a move ITI is firmly against.
The ITI calls itself the premier voice, advocate and thought leader for the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. ITI is recognized as the high-tech sector's most effective advocacy organization in Washington D.C., and in various foreign capitals around the world, the Council said.
Members include companies and organizations from all areas of the ICT sector including hardware, services and software. Notable members include Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Intel, Dell, Google, HP, Motorola, SAP (News - Alert), Oracle and Symantec.
Overall, the Committee's membership includes 10 of the world’s 50 largest companies, and 10 percent of both the Fortune 50 and Fortune 100.
ITI Director of Government Relations, Vince Jesaitis, noted that the House resolution, expected to be discussed at a subcommittee hearing later this morning, would send a strong signal that the Internet, and the innovation it has helped to foster, should stay free of government interference and control.
“ITI and our member companies have long championed protecting and preserving the Internet as an engine for innovation and progress around the globe,” said Jesaitis. “Misguided efforts to control it through government regulation would freeze innovation and have a chilling effect on free speech and free enterprise.”
“What makes the Internet thrive isn’t government control, but global collaboration and individual creativity,” Jesaitis said. “Stakeholder groups work in voluntary, collaborative approaches to set standards which, since the creation of the Web, have helped generate unprecedented growth and innovation in fields from technology to medicine to manufacturing, and revolutionized the way people across the globe work, learn and play.”
“Shifting from this open, consensus-based approach to government-dominated control would stifle market-led competition and rob Internet users of much of the freedom they enjoy online today,” he added.
Among its Congressional allies, ITI includes Chairman Mary Bono-Mack (R-CA (News - Alert)), Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA), Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA).