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David Gross Testifies Before Congress on Potential United Nations Internet Regulation

Reuters
May 31, 2012

Ambassador David A. Gross, chair of Wiley Rein's International Telecommunications Group, was quoted in a Reuters article previewing a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on the Internet regulation debate scheduled to be held at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT).

Reuters reported that "U.S. government officials are gearing up for a December meeting in Dubai where delegations from 193 countries will discuss whether the U.N. should have more say over how the Internet is organized and controlled."  The article added that "critics say that, under such a regime, each nation regardless of size has one vote, which could give China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other countries greater ability to isolate their populations and silence political dissidents."

Amb. Gross -- who is appearing before the House subcommittee on behalf of an industry coalition that includes Google, Microsoft and News Corp -- said in his prepared testimony that this is not the first attempt to centralize control over the Internet, while pointing to United Nations talks in 2003 and 2005.

Reuters reported that Amb. Gross said "the United States must take a diplomatic approach that does not unnecessarily attack the UN's telecommunications authority, but instead concentrates on countries seeking to impose government mandates on the Internet through the UN."  Amb. Gross added there should be a strong coalition between the United States and like-minded countries.  "This has been done before and it must be done again," Amb. Gross said. 

To read Amb. Gross' testimony, click here