The Office of International Communications and Information Policy Newsletter (EB/CIP), Fall 2015

December 2, 2015


Inside this Issue

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Fall Highlights

Date: 12/02/2015 Description: From left to right: FCC Chairman Wheeler, ICT Minister of Colombia Luna David, Ambassador Sepulveda - State Dept Image
From left to right: FCC Chairman Wheeler, ICT Minister of Colombia Luna David,
Ambassador Sepulveda
  • Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Catherine A. Novelli announced “Global Connect” at the United Nations General Assembly on September 27th, 2015.
  • ICT Minister of Colombia Luna David met with Ambassador Sepulveda and FCC Chairman Wheeler to discuss how Colombia is building a digital foundation for shared prosperity on September 28, 2015.
  • Ambassador Sepulveda participated in the Social Media Week Miami panel on the Internet and digital technology in Cuba.
  • At the 2nd U.S.-Republic of Korea ICT Forum, the United States and the Republic of Korea signed a statement of intent to cooperate on research for Smart City and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) program

Ambassador Sepulveda: EB/CIP at a Glance

Colleagues, thank you for taking the time to read our first ever EB/CIP newsletter.
Date: 08/09/2013 Description: Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel A. Sepulveda - State Dept Image
Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy
in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

The upcoming year will be an important time in our office, and we want to ensure that you are informed on what is happening in the area of Internet Governance. We hope that this newsletter will be a good way to keep you aware of the work being done in EB/CIP.

Our team has been busy over the past five weeks. I attended the World Radio Conference in Geneva and spoke in Brussels on the Safe Harbor issue. I also participated in the 2015 Internet Governance Forum, in Joao Pessoa, Brazil. Here, I had the opportunity to connect with my counterparts and other stakeholders who care about the future of the Internet.

I was reminded while talking with people from across the globe that the work being done by the Communications and Information Policy Office is crucial not only to Americans, but also to those in every part of the world. At a time when technology is constantly evolving, improving, and broadening its scope, we must continue to work with stakeholder and government counterparts to ensure decisions on privacy, online connectivity, and Internet governance include views from everyone. In effect, our priorities and values are constantly changing to fit the needs of the developing technological world and the practical ways it influences lives.

I hope this newsletter keeps you up-to-date on our most important events, initiatives and progress we are making and allows you to stay engaged in the issues of Communications and Information Policy.

U.S. Opens New Engagement With ASEAN on ICT Issues

As part of expanding our economic engagement with ASEAN, the United States is joining the ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Senior Officials Meeting (TELSOM) as a dialogue partner this year. Ambassador Sepulveda led a U.S. delegation to an initial TELSOM in Jakarta, Indonesia, in July.  He was joined by U.S.-ASEAN Business Council President Alex Feldman, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN Nina Hachigan, and other U.S. interagency participants.

On November 24, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Kurt Tong led a U.S. delegation to the first regular U.S.-ASEAN TELSOM meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam. There the United States and ASEAN agreed on a cooperative ICT workplan to outline the areas of our cooperation on ICT issues going forward, in e-commerce, emerging technologies, bridging the digital divide, and capacity building.

Also while in Jakarta in July, Sepulveda participated in bilateral meetings with Indonesian officials and spoke about bridging the digital divide at the @America Center, and how the United States and Indonesia can work together.  His remarks are available here.

The Fifth Ministerial on the Information Society in Latin American and the Caribbean

“Internet connectivity helps bridge
the gap between talent and
opportunity in a manner
that is unlike anything
we have previously seen.”

- Ambassador Sepulveda

Ambassador Sepulveda traveled to Mexico City where he participated in the Fifth Ministerial on the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean. Please find his remarks on the opportunities and challenges for the digital economy in Latin America here.

In addition to participating in the ministerial, Ambassador Sepulveda also held a media roundtable where he discussed the importance of a hemisphere-wide policy based on Internet access and freedom of expression. He also visited the Benjamin Franklin Library and spoke to 20 students attending STEM Camp, where they use ICTs to learn English.


Meeting of the Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy

EB/CIP joined members of the Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy (ACICIP) on Friday, October 2nd to discuss priorities for the State Department. ACICIP is a committee of public and private representatives with an interest in Internet and IT Diplomacy. The committee is led by Chairman Robert Pepper and Richard Wiley.

The agenda included items such as the World Summit on the Information Society Ten Year High Level Event, ACICIP’s International Disaster Response Sub-Committee’s recommendations and next steps, ACICIP ICT for Development Sub-Committee’s recent launch and status, the “Global Connect” initiative, diplomatic efforts with Cuba, the EU Digital Single Market Proposal, and the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference. The committee also provided advice regarding upcoming multilateral and bilateral meetings, and negotiations on communications and information policy issues.

The Committee meetings are usually held biannually and are open to the public. These meetings are announced in the Federal Register. Visit the State Department website here to learn more about ACICIP.

2nd U.S.-Republic of Korea ICT Policy Forum

Date: 12/02/2015 Description: Ambassador Sepulveda shakes hands with Vice Minister Choi Jae-You - State Dept Image

Ambassador Sepulveda shakes hands with Vice Minister Choi Jae-You

Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda and Vice Minister Choi Jae-You, Republic of Korea Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP), led the second U.S.-Republic of Korea ICT Policy Forum in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on October 7 and 8th. During the two-day forum, the U.S. and South Korean reached a broad consensus on a variety of issues, in order to further advance the two countries’ digital economies. Both the United States and Republic of Korea reaffirmed their support for the multi-stakeholder approach and for an open and inclusive system of Internet governance. NIST and MSIP also signed a Statement of Intent to Cooperate on research for Smart City and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) program. For more information on the outcomes of the second U.S.-Republic of Korea ICT Dialogue, read the joint fact sheet here.

Cuba, How a Nation Comes Online

Date: 12/02/2015 Description: Amb. Sepulveda spoke at Miami's Social Media week panel on Cuba and the internet. - State Dept Image

In September, Ambassador Sepulveda traveled to Miami for an event at the Media Hub of the Americas, where he engaged with major Spanish language and Latin American media outlets to discuss the economic benefits of ICTs in Latin America as well as policy changes affecting the U.S. – Cuba relationship. He spoke alongside Jean Manes, the Principle Deputy Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, to discuss what steps are being taken to expand Internet access and community engagement in order to support the free flow of information in Latin America. He also joined a bilingual panel for “Social Media Week,” to discuss how Cuba comes online.

To learn more about Ambassador Sepulveda’s trip to Miami, read his blog post here.

Global Digital Policy at the Brookings Institution

On July 20th, Ambassador Sepulveda spoke about global digital policy on a panel at The Brookings Institution with Republic of Korea (ROK) officials Min Wonki and Ambassador Ahn Ho-Young. Ambassador Ahn Ho-Young is the ROK Ambassador to the United States, and Min Wonki is the Assistant Minister for the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (MSIP) and was the Chairman of the 2014 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference.

All three speakers focused on the importance of innovation, ingenuity, and creativity on economies around the world. The discussion highlighted the economic and social benefits of the Internet economy, and also focused on outcomes of the U.S.-Republic of Korea bilateral engagement on ICT policy issues.

Ambassador Sepulveda also spoke on the WSIS +10 High Level meeting, and the 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in the Republic of Korea.

The audio recording of the panel can be found here. The uncorrected transcript can be found here.

Internet Governance Forum-USA

Date: 12/02/2015 Description: Internet Governance Forum for the United States logo © Internet Governance Forum for the United States

Last July, Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Catherine A. Novelli and Deputy Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy Julie Zoller were featured at the Internet Governance Forum for the United States. Their remarks focused on connecting the next billion, and multi-stakeholder participation and multilateral institutions. The event, held at The George Washington University, had over 300 participants to discuss a variety of Internet Governance and Policy issues. Topics included collaborative approaches to Internet Governance, the importance of the Internet Governance Forum, development as a priority, and open access and infrastructure sharing.

The event was a resounding success. Please find Undersecretary Cathy Novelli’s remarks on Connecting the Next Billion here and Senior Deputy Coordinator for International Communications & Information Policy Julie Zoller’s remarks on Advancing the Multi-stakeholder Approach here.

Global Connect

“...the Internet can only be an engine for inclusive growth
if it is available, accessible, and
affordable for everyone.”

- U/S Novelli

Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Catherine A. Novelli introduced the “Global Connect Initiative,” a proposal designed to bring an additional 1.5 billion people in developing countries online by 2020. Ultimately, State hopes to overcome the digital divide that still remains between developed and developing nations.

U/S Novelli along with EB/CIP and EB/IFD will work with every stakeholder to mainstream the view that Internet connectivity is as fundamental to economic development as roads, ports and electricity. State will use diplomacy and development to produce country-specific strategies that will prioritize Internet for development and Internet connectivity. This summer, for example, her team will focus on outreach to Internet, Technology, and NGO leaders on overall objectives of the Initiative. With support from the international community, the “Global Connect Initiative” will close the digital divide.

To learn more about the initiative, read U/S Novelli’s remarks here.

Coming Up: WSIS +10

Date: 12/02/2015 Description: UN General Assembly's ten-year review of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) © World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) 2015

The U.S. Government is preparing for the UN General Assembly’s ten-year review of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in December.

The High Level meeting will be a review of progress towards achieving the WSIS vision and goals. The review will bring together all WSIS stakeholders. The United States hopes to use the meeting to celebrate our achievements, recognize that all stakeholders have been instrumental in the process, and recommit ourselves to furthering multi-stakeholder implementation of the WSIS outcomes. While we expect that some countries will attempt to use the meeting to renegotiate outcomes on topics like Internet governance, or introduce new topics that are already being addressed in other venues, we hope it will not stand in the way of a consensus outcome that ensures the WSIS continues to advance the future development of ICTs around the world.

The U.S. has already been contributing to the WSIS process—read here to learn more about the United State’s participation. To learn more about the U.S. government’s preparations for the UNGA ten-year review, we encourage you to read the United States contribution to the WSIS High Level Meeting, and Ambassador Sepulveda’s Dipnote on the review process.

What’s Next for: Safe Harbor

The United States is concerned about the repercussions of the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) decision on companies that have relied on the Safe Harbor Framework to transfer personal data to the United States. We believe the decision is based on mistaken assumptions about U.S. privacy law and practices. We value privacy as much as Europeans and we have robust legal protections in place.

The United States and the European Commission are focused on resolving the uncertainty that the ECJ decision has created for companies and consumers. This uncertainty is bad for business and for privacy protections.

For the last two years, we have worked with the Commission to strengthen the Safe Harbor Framework in ways that address the concerns the ECJ has now expressed. We are discussing with the Commission the implications of the ECJ decision, and hope soon to have in place an enhanced Safe Harbor Framework that meets the standards of both the United States and the European Union.

ITU World Radiocommunication Conference

Date: 12/02/2015 Description: Ambassador Anstrom, Head of U.S. Delegation to WRC-15 - State Dept Image

Ambassador Anstrom, Head of U.S. Delegation to WRC-15

The upcoming International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) took place in November and highlighted important issues regarding innovation and Internet connectivity. Ambassador S. Decker Anstrom led the United States delegation to update the international Radio Regulations, which governs the use of the radio frequency spectrum, including satellite applications.

The U.S. delegation discussed designating new radio frequency spectrum, providing a safe method to use satellite links to command and control remotely piloted aircrafts, finding a way to track airliners anywhere in the world through satellite reception of data broadcast, and setting an agenda for the 2019 conference. To read more about the ITU WRC-15, read Ambassador Sepulveda’s DipNote here.

Event Recap: Post-TPP, What’s Next for U.S.– Japan Economic cooperation?

Date: 12/04/2015 Description: Amb. Sepulveda speaks on shared prosperity with Japan at CSIS event. - State Dept Image

On October 13th, Ambassador Sepulveda participated in a CSIS panel entitled, “Post-TPP, What’s Next for U.S.-Japan Economic Cooperation?” Hosted by the CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy, the event focused on a variety of U.S.-Japan economic cooperative efforts including Internet governance, space, infrastructure, and regional and global economic governance.

About: EB/CIP

The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) is led by Assistant Secretary Charles Rivkin. EB's mission is to promote economic security and prosperity at home and abroad. The Bureau's work lies at the critical nexus of economic prosperity and national security. As the single point where international economic policy tools and threads converge, we help promote a coherent economic policy across the U.S. Government. 

Date: 11/17/2014 Description: Image showing the U.S. Department of State seal. - State Dept Image

Here you will find links and resources for all of these tools and the ways the U.S. Department of State and EB are engaged to implement U.S. foreign economic policy.

The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs’ office of International Communications and Information Policy (EB/CIP) is responsible for the formulation, coordination, and oversight of policy related to information and communication technology (ICT). Congressional mandate gives responsibility to the State Department on information and communication technology international policy. EB/CIP is the interagency lead.

EB/CIP is divided into three offices: Bilateral and Regional Affairs, Multilateral Affairs, and Technology and Security Policy. These offices lead interagency delegations to international meetings (frequently with private sector participation), work with Advisory Committees, coordinate Executive Branch views on related policies, provide for input from private sector and consumer organizations, and maintain close liaison with U.S. embassies and other missions around the world to advocate U.S. interests.