WASHINGTON—Following the launch of the Biden administration’s Declaration for the Future of the Internet, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading think tank for science and technology policy, issued the following statement from Senior Policy Analyst Ashley Johnson, who provided further analysis of the development in a blog post with ITIF President Robert D. Atkinson:
Just as nations choose different laws in the offline world, they choose different laws in the online world depending on their values, institutions, and legal traditions. Any international efforts to cooperate on Internet policy should be focused on policy areas that are truly international in nature and avoid attempting to harmonize rules among nations with historic differences.
In this regard, the Biden administration’s Declaration for the Future of the Internet is too ambitious because it includes Internet policy issues such as data privacy, antitrust policy, and disinformation and misinformation, all of which would open the door for the EU to export its innovation-limiting policy regime.
The Declaration should be scaled back considerably to address what are principally cross-border issues, such as cybersecurity, cross-border data flows and data localization, a commitment to only use trustworthy providers for core information and communications technology network infrastructure, and a commitment to nondiscrimination in domestic regulation in the Internet sector. Most importantly, the Declaration’s signatories should reject attempts by authoritarian government to control the Internet and promote an alternative vision for the Internet that is safe, lawful, and fosters innovation.