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Wiley Rein’s David Gross Discusses U.S. Opposition to Telecommunications Treaty

International Business
April 29, 2013

Ambassador David A. Gross, chair of Wiley Rein’s International Telecommunications Group, was quoted in an International Business article about efforts by some countries to expand government regulation of the Internet. The story ran in the publication’s Spring 2013 issue.

A new global telecommunications treaty—signed late last year by 89 countries including China, Iran and Russia—seeks to create a new Internet governance role for the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU) regarding spam and cybersecurity.

Amb. Gross, who served as the U.S. State Department’s Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy from 2001-2009, was a member of the U.S. delegation that rejected the treaty at the December 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai. The U.S. was among 55 countries that refused to sign the measure.

“Like everyone else, I am disappointed with the outcome of the WCIT negotiations,” Amb. Gross told International Business, which is published by the United States Council for International Business (USCIB). “However, I am encouraged that the world recognizes the vital importance of international telecommunications and the Internet in providing social, cultural and economic benefits to everyone.”

Amb. Gross, who chairs the USCIB’s Committee on Information, Communications and Technology, testified in February at a joint U.S. House subcommittee hearing on the WCIT negotiations. All lawmakers who attended the hearing said they supported the U.S. delegation’s decision not to sign the treaty, according to the article.