(AV17286) Global Communications and U.S. Foreign Policy 2/2

to have a very internationally
reflective board in fact the president of its in Australia and most of the
board members are not American citizens we also think that it is important that
the government advisory committee which is the way the governments have impacted
I can be as broad-based as possibly encourage all governments to
join I can GAC we also believe very strongly in terms of
internationalization that I can continue to work very hard to make sure that the
internet reflects all languages there have been a number of technical issues
about the use of different languages on the internet not so much for the
creation of text but actually for the domain names because they need to make
sure that they’re all unique but having said that we are against any
international body taking over control of ICANN that is becoming some sort of
international organization or the like because we think the private sector
should continue to lead in this area not other governments and then simple astley
we’re very concerned that a certain other governments take over this was the
one of the big fights at the world summit that it would have a profoundly
adverse impact on the ability of the innovate of the Internet to both
innovate change over time technically and probably even more importantly for
the free flow of information across the internet certain governments would seek
to use I can to control the ability of people to express themselves over the
Internet and we feel very very strongly that the internet which is the most
powerful tool for the dissemination of knowledge ever created by mankind needs
to be preserved as the ability to provide free flow of information across
borders did that answer your question government regulations like that yeah I
think that’s right and it works both ways so that those people who would like
to have some more of our secret sauce which are primarily the people would
like to have it unfortunately we find that some governments don’t want to give
the rights to their people because they’re concerned about the political
ramifications of that free flow of information so I think there’s no doubt
and in fact the Chinese and others are very straightforward and I mean there’s
just not a the issue is controversy only because we disagree about it not because
we disagree about the facts about it but China is very straightforward that they
believe it’s in their national self-interest to control access to the
Internet and what what goes across the internet we profoundly disagree and we
will do everything we can to make sure that our vision of the internet that is
free and open will continue to rule the day yes I have a question about the
upcoming auction of the broadband spectrum I wrote about how Google is
planning on bidding for that part of the spectrum against companies like AT&T or
Verizon because they want to make it an open spectrum and they’ve been lobbying
the FCC to make it easier for them to do so so zoning if you could explain kind
of what the situation means and what it would mean for us whether the spectrum
is open or closed sure first a disclaimer that an answer the disclaimer
is that ain’t my job you remember when I talked at the very beginning between the
difference between the federal communications commission that has
authority over domestic issues and international I am very happy to say
this is their problem not mine now having said that that’s the disclaimer
part but let me see if I can answer your question as a result of the digital
television transition that is as of February 2009 you will not be there will
no longer be over-the-air analog television so if you have an old
television and analog television set you have basically two choices you can
either throw it out or you can get a converter box that’ll take digital
signals and convert it in I guess there’s a third alternate which is that
some cable system many cable systems but that’s a difference that’s more like you
can convert a box the reason for that transition in
essence is to capture a bunch of spectrum it’s really really good
spectrum it’s in 700 megahertz and one really good spectrum I mean it’s got
great propagation characteristics we’re relatively low power it covers large
geographic areas so it’s really powerful it goes through buildings well it’s got
great great characteristics associated with it so the FCC is taking that
spectrum that they are reclaiming back from the broadcaster’s over-the-air
broadcasters that’s the old analog spectrum and we’ll be auctioning off
early next year that spectrum to the highest bidders the question that they
have been grappling with is what are the rules of the game
how much spectrum how it gets divided up what the how it should be used and
Google was arguing that the spectrum basically a form of net neutrality that
is the concept that carriers should not be able to differentiate in their
pricing based upon whose content it is and all the price of accordingly that
that should be applied for Wireless because Wireless is a lot of the
spectrum is likely to be used for wireless internet access so Google said
if you do meet certain criteria including having net what essence is a
net neutrality type of approach for some of that spectrum one particular set of
that banned in that spectrum that they would bid and the minimum bid is I think
4.6 billion or something like that for that part of the spectrum the FCC’s
decision was very close on that and said basically more or less what it is that
Google wanted to hear and I say more or less because I think it’s fair to say
that they didn’t say exactly what it was that Google wanted them to say on the
other hand I was at a meeting with CEO recently a conference with CEO Eric
Schmidt at Google said in essence that they thought that was close enough that
they would probably did now that’s not I’d be very clear he didn’t say they
were going to bid he couched it with you know appropriate language but it was
clear that he’s in in bidding frankly I’m just this is my
personal view this is not at all a State Department or the US government for you
I’m a little confused about this because no matter who assume for the moment
Google purchased the spectrum outright regardless of those criteria there is
they could impose on themselves as the owner of that spectrum or the user of
that spectrum net neutrality rules in other words you don’t need the
government to mandate that for your own purposes so if they wanted to do it they
could do it anyway they didn’t need to have it so I’m not quite sure I
understood and I asked the Google people on are frankly I’ve never quite
understood the answer sure it’s a good why just don’t understand it why they
required it to be imposed in order to introduce them to bid if it was
important for them to bid I think the answer is if somebody else were to win
they wanted to have the benefit of those net neutrality rules regardless of who
was the winner there but that’s my speculation that answer your question
okay right this is more of an opinion
question for you but I was wondering what do you see as the potential for
programs like the one laptop for child program do you think it could have the
same impact as cell phones have had in the developing world if everybody could
hear the question is about one laptop per child program or whether or not it
would have the same impact we think as cell phones would have again I’ll start
with the disclaimer which is I don’t have a clue in part because of what I
said about the Black Swan phenomenon I think I’m it confirmed thing I’ve always
felt which is my ability to predict the future is really lousy I think I know
certain things that help facilitate whatever that future is going to be and
that’s our policy is to help put in place policies that will facilitate what
we think are good outcomes regardless of what how you get there rather than try
to pick winners and losers having said that Nick negroponte who is a very
famous professor at MIT who is the really the primary force behind one lap
per child has done I think a terrific job of creating that laptop
Manoah target price was supposed to be about $100 it’s it’s a bit higher than
that the hope is that as volumes go up the prices will drop is is often the
true and I’ve had the good pleasure that a nice opportunity to play with them the
Machine it’s really quite it’s cool even though it’s designed for little kids I
think it’s really pretty cool it’s got a little crank so we can generate its own
electricity it’s got it’s pretty waterproof release water-resistant
it’s got webcams so you can do all sorts of video stuff it’s really pretty cool
he’s had as he has said a lot of trouble selling it the concept would be not to
sell it 1 z 2 Z’s as a traditional company might do but rather sell very
much in bulk to governments so as to make he believes that the power is not
in having an individual have child habit but rather have large communities in
fact whole countries but certainly large communities all have at the same time
because of the power of the networking associated with it I think he has found
as he has said a hard time closing a deal with governments I think he’s a
little surprised yet my job he probably wouldn’t have been quite as surprised to
know that it government say one thing but getting to actually write checks is
a lot harder we’re very very supportive however of getting in law those things
out for the reasons we think the ability to have people communicate more I think
they’ve had a bit of a fight over the years with Intel but they’ve now settled
that Intel’s now on their board so that think that’s a positive development and
I think they just made an announcement last day or so that they’ll start
selling it to individuals as well with the sort of interesting caveat you buy
one you have to actually buy two one of them you get the other one goes to
someone deserving child somewheres else in the world which is a very interesting
concept I hope it has a big impact but I’m not I can’t predict it please oh
this is connect to the last question that was asked when did this initiative
was first coming out I remember that Bill Gates actually derided it as
stating that giving a cellphone rather than a laptop would be more effective
and you’ve been talking and a lot about the how how cell phone used to just
connect it directly to GDP and so what do you think that would be the case or
is the laptop still the better way to go and the question is so which do I think
is a better way to go laptops including things like one laptop
per child or cell phone uses actually I feel very strongly about this issue and
that is as a government official my official position is I don’t care
because and that is it’s actually it’s a really important position to have a lot
of governments believe very strongly that they should pick winners and losers
particularly with regard to technology a lot of countries do that we think that
is fundamentally wrong and it’s fundamentally wrong because government
it’s hard enough for anybody to pick win technologies it is really really hard
for governments which are by nature generally conservative conservative the
sense that they are reactive they’re usually don’t have the most information
alike to be able to pick new technologies in what otherwise is a very
competitive area so my view is in the US government’s view is we don’t get into
the business of predicting these things or trying to say one versus another we
let the marketplace determine that where we love them all I mean and I mean that
in the sense that we just want more access for more people cheaper
regardless of technology it’s all good and it very much individuals prefer one
than another one of the big impacts that we’re talking about a little bit earlier
is if you’re trying to help a lot of people who are illiterate cellphones are
fabulous its voice based if you’re trying to deal with children and trying
to increase literacy text is important whether it’s a laptop or a cell phone
that’s got web access and things like that the other hand those of us you know
have trouble reading you know I’ve got thick glasses
you know cell phones are not the best way to read text and still there’s a lot
of issues about you know when you’re trying to surf and how good or bad that
is I mean the iPhone is obviously a huge improvement there were a lot of other
phones in that area part of the reason why it’s so popular
it’s still not necessarily as good as some laptops are because the resolution
and size and probably power consumptions a different issue to so that it’s just a
lot of stuff we learned there to be a lot of stuff and most importantly I want
there to be something I don’t even know about that’s better than any of these
things and what we want is government is we want to make sure that we the United
States and other governments have a set of policies in place that will encourage
the development of that other new thing and will let it be disseminated
regardless of who has it no matter where it comes from if it’s better we should
have it okay please if it’s not too much of a personal question what type of
mobile device do you have and provider sure it’s it’s not too personal but just
don’t follow my lead cuz I don’t know anything more than you guys do I have
two that I carry with me which is unfortunate which is one more
than I should have the State Department gives me a blackberry because they want
to find me anywhere as I am anytime and it’s a it’s happens to be an 18th he
singular gsm-based why they got a good deal that’s why and it’s loaded up with
security features because this is state department so it I once made the mistake
of it was fit my old one was failing so the buttons were failing so I didn’t get
the password right and it’s set up so that it eats its own software so when
you get it so don’t buy mine my personal cell phone is I have a Verizon I used
Verizon I have a razor why my company that I worked for for many years
AirTouch Communications was bought out and the company that’s now known as
Verizon Wireless is 45% of my own 45% owned by my company so I had when I
first started this I had brand loyalty I don’t have an Al’s a government official
but I had it back then he didn’t want to change my phone service and why do I
have a razor it’s largely because my son told me to buy it so that’s it please I
was wondering what your thoughts were on how safe the u.s. from is from like a
technological attack now that so many things are technology-based
I mean how vulnerable are we to say a computer virus virus crashing our
financial system or something like that this is the question is about how safe
are we from a cyber attack and I and I think I’d love to be able to say we’re
safe and of course you would laugh if I said we were safe because none of your
computers are safe so the answer I think is we’re safer now than we’ve been
before because we spend a lot of time and by we I don’t mean me personally but
other parts of the US government particularly at Homeland Security and
others all the time worrying about these issues private industry spends a lot of
time worrying about these in these issues both in terms of software
hardware and how since 9/11 this was not a very interesting issue before 9/11
obviously since 9/11 a lot of people worried about the catastrophic aspects
that are potential vulnerabilities on the international side we work very
strongly on this issue and it’s really one of our highest priorities I was just
named actually to be on what’s known as a high-level Committee of the
International Telecommunications Union which is you know this very senior group
to be to study the issue of cybersecurity and somebody who works for
me is the Rafah tor which means the guy who has to put it all together of one of
the study groups that’s technically looking at the issue of cybersecurity
from a network security perspective for telephone companies and the like where
the world comes together and we share best practices and ideas we were very
nervous when I was in Vietnam I spend a lot of time they were very worried about
this issue I spent a lot of time with with them as I do with others I just use
them as the most recent example which shows everyone is concerned about
these things talking about it there’s a lot of things we need to do awareness is
obviously a big part of it we are I think ahead of many countries both
technically in this area but also in terms of our loss we were early to
criminalize actions you know one of the things we found with a lot of the early
viruses and still to some degrees true today is a lot of governments have not
criminalized bad acts on the internet so that even when you found the person who
did it and sometimes the I love you virus coming out of the Philippines a
number of years ago was a good example they found the guy who did it
couldn’t process it prosecute him because there was no law against it in
the Philippines because it was in cyberspace so we work with governments
through law enforcement otherwise both define people to help them build laws to
criminalize bad acts but I’m not here to tell you that it’s all safe you know I
just switched to an apple recently because I found it less buggy but not
100% sure the house safe that really makes me you know it is something we
were working on very hard take very seriously but it’s a very interconnected
world which means part of the my responsibility is to work with other
governments because we’re only as safe as we make ourselves and others allow us
to be right please I’m curious last week we had a speaker that talked a little
bit about internet bloggers and you know abroad and how they’ve had an effect now
that they can get their information out and just kind of what your thoughts
would be on on that it’s great the question is my my views on internet
bloggers and like it’s great it is it’s so exciting to see that I mean see it in
the United States no matter where you stand politically I think it’s a very
exciting phenomenon it’s a way in which individuals can feel they have a voice
don’t they’re not anybody reads it is a different matter but that’s a you know
that’s that’s just an issue the fact that we see more and more of that
internationally one of the big issues we’ve grappled with
goes back to our free flow of information issue we have the President
Bush established something called the digital freedom initiative a few years
ago which is basically to help the public/private partnerships we work
closely with across the US government USAID Department of Commerce Department
of State Peace Corps others to work together with
private industry to find ways in which we can help countries build greater
access pretty last mile access and the like because Internet freedom issues are
not very interesting unless you have internet access that’s one set then
Secretary Rice established about two years or so ago something called the
gift which is the global Internet freedom task force it our responsibility
there and I’m very active on this is to promote Internet freedom around the
world by monitoring what’s going on in terms of potential repression reporting
it through our Human Rights reports the State Department issues and then access
issues try to promote access and the like so blogging is a good way of seeing
what’s going on you know if you see blogging that’s usually a good sign of
there’s activity interesting there’s some blogging going on in Iran that’s
very interesting sometimes how reflected that is you know time will tell them
what impact it has we see it in a number of countries around one of the things
associated with the gift which is global Internet freedom task force was
concerned that in China for example that they were oppressing that free flow of
information and in fact there’s the famous yahoo case that Yahoo I think
sincerely regrets having done what they did which is they gave the Chinese
government information about one of their users who had tried to act
anonymously online for what we believe was clearly political speech and after
outing him he was sentenced to prison he still I believe he’s still in prison
today I’ve had I know yes that’s a very serious problem in our view so what we
want to do is work very closely with governments and with industry and others
to try to promote free flow of information including that for bloggers
and so it’s actually very near and dear to our hearts in a lot of respects think we have a question from off campus
student they’re listening out there they are the world they are there is a lot of
conversation going on from this end one of the questions that came up was one of
our students believes that the u.s. is really setting a lot of standards right
now in technology and we’d like you to comment just on what you think about
that and he asks that with this and that idea in mind with globalization trends
the way they are what are the possible roles for China and India and Russia and
other countries with regard to catching up or if you might think that some of
them might already be caught up okay we see if I could remember both is quite on
the standardization we have a very clear policy this is on technical
standardization and related issues we think that first inform of
standardization this area should be done by industry not by governments we also
feel very strongly that government should not as we talked about a little
bit earlier establish industrial policies that favor one technology
versus another we think that’s a mistake for our whole host of reasons including
the fact that usually means that country ends up being behind even where
initially it’s quite successful the GSM system which I think was MIT was MIT was
mandated throughout Europe very successfully initially I think was in
fact a mistake before mandated not it’s anonymous take the technologies of fine
technology but rather the mandate was because basically made it harder for
some to develop technologies that would be used for third generation wireless
and the like we want to make sure that innovation happens innovation happens if
there’s a market we want to make sure that there’s an adequate market no
matter where that innovation comes from hopefully comes from the United States
but even if it comes from other countries that’s a good thing
we’ve had very serious discussions with China and South Korea over the past few
years about their industrial policy of mandating standards particularly
homegrown standards rather than international standards we think that is
by and large a protectionist policy that is adverse to their interests
in turn the other question besides standardization was what was there I’m
sorry so he was just suggesting the idea that US isn’t the u.s. is in the lead
and with that idea yes right other countries how they could get caught up
yeah whether or not we’re in the lead or not I think is probably in the eye of
the beholder I think I think we are very good position you can quibble about one
thing versus another we’re very very excited about new technologies no matter
where they come from because they benefit us as well and that’s one of the
things that is so important remember my Black Swan discussion we need to be
aware and adaptive enough to take advantage of that which is good no
matter where it comes from we then just have the responsibility of trying to do
it better take greater advantage of whatever that
it is so as to make sure that our people well served in terms of jobs social
benefits and the like in terms of those sort of China and Russia and India and
where do they go I think it many times people sort of missed the point of this
which is what is probably the most important or the things that are most
important are creating economic better future for people no matter where they
live because it affects not just themselves but us as well and the social
and the political benefits that come from there but lives being better so it
is not a zero-sum game it is not one of those situations where they benefit at
our expense or we benefit at their expense rather and this is true of all
networking the benefits to all of us go up the more people are online because
it’s a very simple proposition but a very important proposition so that’s
part of the reason why we want more people online creating more content
particularly local content not only because it benefits them because it
benefits you and me and everybody else so we want more people in India online
and they’re doing a great job particularly the wireless side we want
more Chinese online and China you know by all metrics in terms of
Wireless is way ahead of everybody else and certainly way ahead of us because
they’ve got many more people online rather bizarre not online we have many
more people using Wireless phones in China than we have people in the United
States almost double it’s really quite extraordinary and that will continue to
grow and that’s a good thing for the reasons we talked about before
same thing Russia Russia is growing very rapidly in terms of cell phone
particularly there’s some very talented software people in Russia of course US
companies are taking advantage of that as well in terms of development and
trying to make sure that they have 24-hour processing and like so I think
those things are quite positive very important doesn’t mean we rest on our
laurels doesn’t mean it quite the opposite it means we can’t rest on our
laurels because there’s an awful lot of people doing an awful lot of interesting
good things and growing very fast but ultimately I think it’s to our great
advantage on that note unless there are any other questions I think we’ll give
you the opportunity to a few minutes if you have quick questions you can talk
with ambassador Gross individually would like to thank you very much for coming
to Iowa State sharing your insights with us

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