The race for UN tech standards sets up a proxy battle between the US and Russia
US officials have expressed growing concern that ceding leadership to China and other rivals in setting global technical standards for emerging technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence could have implications considerable impact on economic development and Internet access.
This week, dozens of U.S. diplomats, regulators and Biden administration officials are pushing to gain ground, converging at the United Nations to rally behind their preferred candidate to lead a key digital normalization unit.
Up for grabs is the post of secretary-general of the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a 157-year-old specialized agency that helps oversee the distribution of radio waves around the world and how different technologies are transmitted. interconnect across borders.
The election formally opposes Doreen Bogdan-Martinan American ITU veteran supported by the White House, against Rashid Ismailov, a former Russian government official and Huawei executive. Current and former US officials say what’s at stake is much bigger — it’s a battle between competing visions for the future of emerging technologies and the internet.
Tom Wheelerformer Democratic chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, called it last month “the most important election you’ve never heard of,” with the choice between an “open internet or some kind of controlled internet by the state which resembles that of Russia and China”.
The Biden administration apparently shares that urgency, deploying a massive delegation to the ITU conference that kicks off Monday that will decide the fate of the lead role.
Assistant Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information April McClain Delaneyone of the officials going to the summit in Bucharest, Romania, told me that the competition between Bogdan-Martin and Ismailov “is a tough choice in terms of vision and openness.”
China has increasingly sought to exert influence over global standards bodies over the past decade, including the ITU, raising concerns in the United States that the tactic is shaping adopted technologies and further fracturing. Internet between the West and its rivals.
Sean Kellya spokesperson for Rep. Cathy McMorrisRodgers (R-Wash.), called it “critical that someone like Doreen Bogdan-Martin represents the United States” and that “we encourage trusted companies to participate in and lead these international standards bodies.” Kelly added that it would “thwart all efforts by adversaries like Russia and China to control our technological future.”
Current and former US officials have expressed concern that China and Russia are pushing to broaden the scope of the ITU’s work to include broader internet governance and move away from its decentralized decision-making.
“Some of these more autocratic nations want to come in and have a more top-down approach and have more control over the type of internet and the standards,” McClain-Delaney said.
She added, “I think the other big issue is mission creep. … We don’t want this to get into internet regulation, or any broader regulatory regime, because digital taxation – those issues are really dealt with in other forums.
Senior US officials say Bogdan-Smith would be a victory both for greater inclusiveness in decision-making at the agency, which has nearly 200 member states, and for a greater emphasis on the numerical equality accordingly.
McClain-Delaney argued that under Ismailov, “ITU’s vision, priorities would certainly be much less inclusive”. Geoffrey Starka Democrat who sits on the Federal Communications Commission, said in an interview that Bodgan-Smith aims to deliver “an inclusive digital future where everyone is connected, everyone has access to the opportunities the internet provides.”
Democratic FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement, highlighted “Bogdan-Smith’s proven track record in developing high-speed, modern communications in every country.”
At a press conference last week, Ismailov pushed back against the idea that under him the ITU would play a bigger role in issues such as content regulation.
“I don’t think the ITU will be able to control or regulate this,” he said, according to an official translation. And he suggested that efforts to expand internet regulation reflect member interest.
“These organizations that don’t want regulation say that the ITU is trying to take over the regulation and management of the Internet,” he said. ” This is not the case. The representatives of the countries want to have an international legal framework on the regulation of the Internet and agree to it.
Ismailov also took issue with suggestions that what he advocates will fragment the internet.
“We would like the Internet to remain a unified platform, a single space,” he said.
Natalia Abbakumova from Moscow contributed to this report.
Iranians grapple with widespread internet blackouts
Amid escalating nationwide protests and widespread internet outrage, Iranians are turning to virtual private networks and other tactics to get online, Bloomberg News said. Patrick Sykes, Thomas Sceau, and Arsalan Shahla report.
“Mobile networks suffered a ‘complete shutdown’ on Friday, according to Cloudflare, a content delivery network company,” the report said. “This follows nationwide power outages from 3:30 p.m. to around 10:00 p.m. Wednesday, according to a company blog post. site requests from mobile devices, the blog added.
However, blockages in Iran against many virtual private networks and large platforms like Google are hampering efforts to connect to the internet. In response, the US Treasury Department issued guidelines on Friday to expand internet services in Iran despite sanctions against the country, as reported by Reuters.
House Republicans target Silicon Valley on midterm agenda
House Republicans unveiled a midterm plan on Friday that directly targeted the tech giants over allegations they are biased against conservatives and pose risks to children.
The “Pledge to America” includes as its core a pledge to “confront big tech and demand fairness,” and criticized tech companies for “crystallizing an ideological echo chamber” and creating addictive apps which have “potentially devastating consequences” for children.
Although few specific policy proposals, the agenda calls for stronger privacy and data security protections and giving parents “more tools to keep their children safe online”, offering a potential glimpse of legislation that GOP leaders will pursue if they take over Congress.
Amazon and AT&T could pay some of the biggest bills with new minimum tax
A handful of large companies, including e-commerce giant Amazon and telecommunications giant AT&T, could bear most of the financial burden of the 15% minimum corporate tax enacted last month, according to the Wall Street Journal. Richard Rubin and Theo Francois report.
According to a new estimate from the University of North Carolina, the report states that “Berkshire Hathaway would have paid the most in 2021, at $8.3 billion – about a quarter of the estimated total – followed by Amazon at 2. $8 billion and Ford Motor Co. at $1.9 billion Add the following three companies, and that’s more than half of the $31.8 billion total: AT&T Inc. at $1.5 billion, eBay Inc. at $1.3 billion and Moderna Inc. at $1.2 billion.
Amazon declined to comment on the figure but said it was awaiting federal guidance. Amazon said its taxes reflect a combination of investment and compensation decisions and U.S. laws. (Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos , owns The Washington Post.) “An AT&T spokesperson said the company does not expect the minimum tax to affect its 2023 tax bill.”
TikTok heads for US security deal, but hurdles remain (New York Times)
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes crypto bill that could have transformed the industry (Barron’s)
LinkedIn conducted social experiments on 20 million users over five years (New York Times)
TikTok could face a $29m fine in the UK for failing to protect children’s privacy (CNBC)
San Francisco police can now watch private surveillance cameras in real time (The Verge)
VPN Providers Flee India as New Data Law Sets In (Wired)
Silicon Valley Returns to ‘Bro’ Culture (New York Times)
How to be famous and anonymous on the internet at the same time (Wall Street Journal)
- Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Sameera Fazilithe deputy director of the White House National Economic Council, speaks Wednesday at an event hosted by the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution on the technology and service sectors.
- Microsoft Information Security Officer Bret Arsenault discusses cloud innovation and security at a Washington Post Live event Wednesday at 9 a.m.
- The House Science Committee holds a hearing on artificial intelligence Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
- Representatives. Frank Pallone Jr. (DN.J.) and Cathy McMorrisRodgers (R-Wash.), top-ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, discuss privacy legislation during a Washington Post live event Thursday at 11 a.m.
- Raimondo discusses semiconductor legislation at an event hosted by the Global Tech Security Commission Thursday at 11:15 a.m.
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