In response to recent calls for the private sector to play a leadership role in charting the future of the Internet, the Global Internet Project (GIP) today released a series of recommendations on electronic commerce to the European Union.
The proposals cover:
– security and authentication
– telecommunications infrastructure
– taxation and customs
– international commercial principles
– intellectual property
– standards and interoperability
– regulation of content
– import and export regulations
GIP members believe that Internet expansion will depend to a great extent on the ability of companies and consumers to obtain products and services in a secure, flexible, convenient, and easy-to-use manner.
“A fundamental precept of the GIP is that as a global medium, barriers to the Internet’s growth must be addressed on a global basis. As such, we welcome efforts to encourage this dialogue and note the recent thought-provoking comments by Commissioner Bangemann calling for an ‘International Charter for Global Communications.’ We believe that our recommendations on electronic commerce should be the foundation of any such global policy,” said John Gerdelman, Chairman of the GIP and President of networkMCI Services.
“We are pleased that Commissioner Bangemann emphasized the importance of telecommunications deregulation and the need to address questions of security and authentication, which have also been at the top of the GIP’s agenda,” said Dr. James Clark, founder of the GIP and Founder and Chairman of Netscape Communications. “Our goals must be to promote user choice and encourage competition and innovation,” he argued.
The group also injected a note of caution related to Internet governance. “The open, standards-based nature of the Internet is largely responsible for its remarkable growth. We believe that the private sector must continue to drive the development and progress of this emerging medium to enable new technologies and applications,” said John Patrick, Vice President, Internet technology, IBM.
The Global Internet Project has previously made proposals to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on the Internet’s impact upon telecommunications markets and presented recommendations on security and authentication to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). On April 8th, 1997, the GIP held an encryption summit in London in which European Union (EU) and other officials from around the world participated. Today’s recommendations on electronic commerce as well as these earlier reports can be found at the GIP’s web site [at http://www.gip.org].
“We are very pleased that the EU’s recently released communication on security and authentication, ‘Ensuring Security and Trust in Electronic Communication,’ echoes many of the themes in our proposals and many of the sentiments expressed during our encryption feasibility summit in London earlier this year,” said Bob Foster, Manager of Online and Multimedia at British Telecom. “We look forward to discussing this paper in greater detail with EU officials,” Foster continued.
“Let us continue the dialogue with Commissioner Bangemann and work with the EU, ITU, the OECD, and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) and other international organizations to achieve the goals suggested by the GIP to facilitate the growth of the Internet and electronic commerce,” said Michio Naruto, Executive Vice President of Fujitsu Limited.
The Global Internet Project is composed of 13 CEOs and senior executives representing the global software and telecommunications industries whose companies have a direct stake in the development of the Internet. Last year, the group produced a paper entitled, “The Emergence of a Networked World,” which looked at the nature of the Internet and what it can become. It has also developed recommendations for the OECD on information security, proposals on telecommunications and the Internet for the ITU and earlier this year held an encryption feasibility summit in London attended by industry leaders and government officials from around the world.
Global Internet Project members include:
Dr. James Clark (Founder), Chairman
Netscape Communications Corporation
Mr. John Gerdelman (Chairman), President
Mr. Dan Schulman, President,
AT&T WorldNet Service
Mr. Robert Foster, Manager,
Online & Multimedia
Mr. Volker Steiner, Executive Vice President,
Broadcasting, Multimedia & Online Services
Mr. Barry Sullivan, Corporate Vice President
Electronic Data Systems Corporation
Mr. Michio Naruto,
Executive Vice President
Mr. Paul Gudonis, President, Internet
Mr. John Patrick, Vice President,
Mr. Yukio Mizuno, Executive Advisor
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
The Global Internet Project is managed and staffed by the Information Technology Association of America, a high tech trade group representing 9,000 members and affiliates in the Internet, software, systems integration, services and telecommunications segments of the industry. For more information contact Jon Englund at 703-284-5301; email: [email protected]