‘Govts should not set net policy’
LONDON: Granting governments full powers to set Internet policies would be a “gigantic mistake”, a European politician said on Thursday in the EU’s strongest statement yet in favour of preserving the medium’s free-market commercial structure.
The Internet’s growth as a marketplace of over 750 million users over the past decade has been helped by the decision to allow it to grow at its own pace with little interference from government, Lucio Stanca, Italian minister for innovation and technologies, told reporters via a conference call on Thursday.
This existing regime should not be tinkered with, he said in summing up the position of the 15-nation European Union bloc.
“Government must be involved only when public policy issues are at stake, but it is not the role of government to manage the Internet or to interfere in its free development,” said Stanca. His comments, made at a meeting of technology officials in Rome for Internet industry group the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), comes at one of most fractious times for the Internet since the communications network was turned over to the private sector a decade ago. A host of governments in the developing world recently challenged the pro-business nature of the Internet, saying it is aggravating a “digital divide” where the world’s poor remain unconnected to modern Internet and telecommunications innovations. —Reuters