Internet ‘at a control crossroads’


Published: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

The internet is at a crossroads between greater government control and broad and open growth, one of the industry’s key players warned.

Dr Robert Pepper leads Californian software giant Cisco’s global technology policy team in areas like broadband development.

He told a Belfast audience the “internet of everything”, where billions more devices from smartphones to refrigerators were connected, was approaching but warned of the impact of greater state control.

“Some governments are well-intentioned but not well-informed. Some are well-informed but not well-intentioned.”

New rules on how the internet should be governed have been approved by the US Federal Communications Commission i n what is seen as a victory for advocates of net neutrality.

Dr Pepper’s focus was on government intervention. He said challenges like online crime and child abuse were being addressed by the internet “eco-system”.

“There is an appropriate role for government to be part of it but not to dominate it to the extent of everybody else.”

Cisco Systems is a world leader in computer networking. Dr Pepper criticised efforts to keep data within local boundaries.

“Either using it as a non-tariff trade barrier or in the name of security would have tremendously adverse impacts on national and the global economy.”

He said the internet was at a crossroads between greater government control and its traditional bottom-up growth model.

The former US regulator cited an American blues artist who sang about whether to do a deal with the devil.

“I think that is the crossroads we are at. He is the poet I think of when I think of this crossroad.

“We cannot afford that, we have to make some very clear decisions because we cannot afford to lose w hat we have, that has been built up from this very broad, transparent, bottom up, organic, multi-stakeholder process.”

Published: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search