Feeds

Comms minister Vaizey reads internet script excellently

Coalition government sticks with existing line

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

In his first outing in the minefield of internet politics, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey stuck firmly to the script.

Speaking at the UK Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Whitehall yesterday, Vaizey basically repeated the civil servant line that has been formed over the past five years, pleasing everyone.

The “multi-stakeholder” approach to deciding internet policies (where government, business, the tech community and civil society all have an equal voice) is the right one, Vaizey reiterated.

The internet touches every aspect of our lives… Government needs to work with business and internet users… Government doesn’t want to impose unnecessary regulation… We shouldn’t second-guess the internet but leave it open to innovation… The domain name industry has shown it can effectively self-regulate… and so on.

Things got a little spicier when it came to the high-politics going on at the moment with respect to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and overseer of the domain name system, ICANN, although all of it was calculated to soothe UK souls.

The new agreement that ICANN has with the US government is a “significant step in the right direction”, and its independent reviews are on schedule – demonstrating that ICANN is willing to be accountable. The latest power-grab by the ITU in October at its big meeting in Mexico may be “overstated”, but either way, it is not welcome.

Further careful balancing was provided over ICANN’s plan to introduce hundreds of new internet extensions next year. It is a “major test” and it’s important that the organization “gets it right” but the expectation is that introduction of new domain names will achieve greater competition and innovation.

And as for the most controversial aspect of global internet governance – the contract owned by the US government to basically run the internet’s address book, the “IANA function” – Vaizey says it “has to be addressed” and he will discuss it with his US counterpart when he heads to Washington soon, but that he appreciates the “sensitivities”. This basically means the UK is stuck between the US government wanting to retain control, and Europe wanting the US to give up control.

It’s clear the minister had been warned not to stray from the nuances, none of which he currently understands, so he couldn’t help himself but to offer to take questions, even joking that he was giving his staff a heart attack by doing so.

He handled the toughest question well. “We inherited the Digital Economy Act,” he began, “but that’s no excuse because we did vote for it.” As to the question about his claimed laissez-faire approach to the internet fitted with the copyright infringement measures in the Act, he characterized the law as “wanting to put in place framework that allowed for the enforcement of existing law” rather than introducing new laws.

And then he was off, and the room gave a collective sigh of relief. When it comes to internet politics, it’s business as usual with the Con-Lib government. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.