Feeds

Biden: The internet ain't broke, let's not fix it

US rejects calls for 'national barriers on information'

The essential guide to IT transformation

LCC US Vice President Joe Biden has made it clear that America is not interested in the sort of global internet rules that China and Russia have been calling for.

China, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan proposed a voluntary "code of conduct" for information security to the UN in September.

Countries following the code would have “respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for the diversity of history, culture and social systems of all countries”, and promise “not to use information and communications technologies, including networks, to carry out hostile activities or acts of aggression, pose threats to international peace and security or proliferate information weapons or related technologies”.

But they would have to curb “the dissemination of information that incites terrorism, secessionism or extremism or that undermines other countries’ political, economic and social stability, as well as their spiritual and cultural environment” as part of the pact.

The US has shown before that it’s reluctant to sign any sort of restrictive internet treaty and Biden, speaking at the London Conference on Cyberspace (LCC), agreed with remarks by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Prime Minister David Cameron that the internet needed to stay free and open and out from under heavy government control.

“There are some who have a different view, as you know. They seek an international legal instrument that would lead to exclusive government control over Internet resources, institutions, and content, and national barriers on the free flow of information online,” Biden said.

“But this, in our view, would lead to a fragmented internet, one that does not connect people but divides them, a stagnant cyberspace, not an innovative one, and ultimately a less secure cyberspace with less trust among nations.”

He added that existing international law principles existed in cyberspace as well as the real world, so there was no need for additional regulation, a view he summarized in one of his favourite adages – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The vice president addressed the conference over a video link from Washington, after a planned visit from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was cancelled when her mother fell ill. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.