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					The world business organization

The Secretary General

By post & fax                                           Commissioner Viviane Reding
                                                        Member of the European Commission
Fax N°: + 32 2 299 9201
                                                        Information Society and Media DG
                                                        European Commission Rue de la
                                                        Loi, 200 B-1049 Brussels


                                                        28 September 2007 GS/AH/apn


ICC input on EU consultation on Strategy for International Cooperation on ICT


Dear Commissioner Reding,

       On behalf of members of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and its
Commission on E-Business, IT and Telecoms (EBITT), which is composed of business
experts from enterprises of all sizes and sectors in every part of the world, I am pleased to
provide you with input on the EU consultation on Strategy for International Cooperation
on ICT. Given ICC’s membership from around the world, and the importance our
members place on information and communication technologies issues, we believe that
comprehensive consultation on ICT policy matters is of critical importance.

       The European Commission’s questionnaire explores a broad range of issues. Our
members appreciate the need for broad issue coverage in the questionnaire; however
the short deadline for responses, despite its extension, has made it impossible to provide
individual responses to each of the questions. Therefore, ICC urges the European
Commission to follow up this questionnaire with further in-depth consultations with all
sectors involved, and believes that decisions regarding policies on these critical ICT
issues, should not be based solely on this short consultation.

        A key consideration should be the overarching objectives of promoting economic
growth and social development, in the European Union, and beyond. Many of these
objectives were captured by the European Union, in the forward looking Lisbon Agenda
which was launched by the European Council in March 2000. ICC believes that
stimulating innovation, fostering entrepreneurship and attracting investment particularly
in ICTs is an essential component in achieving these objectives. Flexible and appropriate
legal, policy and regulatory frameworks that promote competition, create incentives and
support for innovation, and remove obstacles in the paths of entrepreneurs should be
primary outcomes in this consultation’s report. Without a coherent, adaptable and
appropriate approach, resulting legislation can hinder the capacity of new technologies
and services to contribute to economic growth and social benefits.

International Chamber of Commerce
38, Cours Albert 1er, 75008 – Paris, France Telephone
+33 1 49 53 28 18 Fax +33 1 49 53 28 35 Web site
www.iccwbo.org E-mail sg@iccwbo.org
                                            -2-




Telecoms and trade issues


         Telecommunications liberalization is critical to the growth of national economies
and global development. Effective market-opening facilitates the supply of links between
company sites in different countries that offer guaranteed levels of security and
reliability. By allowing widely dispersed business units to work efficiently together in real
time, such “seamless” global connectivity plays a key role in promoting international
trade and investment. Any regulation or rules should be assessed as to their impact on
business users. Some rules which are aimed at consumers may not necessarily drive
business growth.

       The ICC telecoms toolkit sets out some of the key elements required to drive this
process. [see: http://www.iccwbo.org/policy/ebitt/id2298/index.html] Particular attention
needs to be given to removal of foreign ownership restrictions in the telecoms services
sector, and to widening the list of adherents to WTO telecoms commitments. Where
WTO commitments have already been made, it is also important to ensure effective
compliance.

        The European Commission presently plays a strong role in this global process but
could usefully intensify its efforts. In this context, ICC supports proposals that more
resources should be devoted to ICT issues in Commission delegations around the world,
and that the Commission should conduct an annual review of telecoms trade barriers
akin to the US “1377” process. ICC also agrees with the Commission on the value of
promoting exchange of best practice and experience between EU regulators and their
counterparts in third countries, and would welcome a more systematic effort to involve
business in ICT dialogues with third countries. With regard to this last point, it may be
particularly useful to include business telecoms users who are able to illustrate how their
foreign investments depend on the availability of high quality, low-cost communications
links to the rest of the world.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

      ICC believes that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has the potential to bring
benefits to business users and consumers in both developed and developing countries
by increasing competition and expanding ICT offerings. To ensure that VoIP can reach its
full potential and is not stifled by unnecessary or poorly tailored regulation, policy
makers will maximize the competitive and user benefits of VoIP by creating a policy
framework that encourages the continued development of an IP-enabled service
environment. VoIP offers real differences in services, which will result in consumer
benefits as well as some consumer challenges. For both the benefits and also the
challenges, these differences merit a flexible regulatory approach that is not tied
reflexively to the regulation of traditional circuit switched voice services. Consultations
with business play a critical role in ensuring that public interest considerations including
numbering, emergency services, universal service and cooperation with law enforcement
are addressed adequately and do not distort competition between PSTN and VoIP
services.
                                            -3-


Traffic data storage

        ICC urges the European Union to co-ordinate toward a data retention regime
based on existing storage of end-user traffic data for legitimate business purposes and to
seek advice and opinions from key industry stakeholders. Insufficient public input and
multi-lateral harmonization is likely to result in policies that harm Communications
Service Providers (CSPs) and their end-users and impair a competitive and dynamic
communications and IT services market. The costs associated with data storage are
immense. Not only do these costs add to the overall costs of the business but the
additional privacy and security issues are created by the creation of enormous pools of
stored data. To address these concerns, any traffic data storage requirements introduced
must balance the needs of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), the capabilities and
interests of CSPs including Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and the interests and rights
of end-users.

Delivery of audio-visual content over the Internet

        ICC believes that the traditional broadcasting regulation as a whole should be
reviewed in order to determine its relevance vis-à-vis its underlying goals in an ever
changing technological environment. The ‘streaming’ of content over the Internet is
globally increasing; both with regards to download and upload. The Internet and the
users of the Internet are global in nature and the delivery of audio-visual content over
the Internet must be treated as such. We therefore recommend a strong reliance upon
‘self regulation’ and adherence to the principle of ‘country of origin’ for the purposes of
establishing jurisdiction.

       Specifically, the ICC believes that only self-regulatory tools can embrace the
dynamic and evolving nature of the Internet. Self-regulatory tools respond rapidly to
market and consumer concerns and result in lower costs for the industry and taxpayers.
ICC views the fact that the Internet, with its’ hundreds millions of users and millions of
content providers cannot and should not realistically be ‘regulated’ in the traditional
sense by traditional national regulators.

Security, authentication, data protection and privacy

       ICC members believe that the key questions on security and authentication,
which cannot be viewed as completely separate from some of the data protection issues,
need further dialogue between the Commission, and business. As a preliminary input,
ICC supports a high level of privacy protection in the use of RFID technologies, to the
extent that such technologies result in the processing of personal data. The safeguards
which we believe are important include industry guidelines and best practices covering
the use of RFID, which should be coordinated on a global scale.

        ICC believes that the European Commission’s support for the development of a
set of application specific guidelines is useful, and ICC supports the EU approach for
guidance on practical implementation of new technologies such as RFID at the
international level.

        Such guidance is not only desirable, but vital, since RFID will be used globally and
guidance which is only regional will not be sufficient. It would be premature to specify
the content of such guidance at this stage. Some RFID applications, like those related to
logistics and back-end applications do not raise privacy issues, while other applications
                                            -4-



may do so because they contain or are associated with personal information. The
technologies must therefore be examined within the context of how they are applied and in
the ecosystem in which they operate. Even those applications of technology that use or
create identification with an individual may operate within a systems of policies or in
conjunction with technological safe guards, or both, that minimize or eliminate risks
associated with the potential compromise of identifying information. This is an important
example of why business urges the Commission to take great care in fully assessing the
applications in the RFID context, and for all new technologies, as regulation without this full
assessment can stifle innovation and curtail growth. ICC cautions that careful consideration
should be given to analyzing the policy issues related to RFID to ensure that well-intentioned
legislation does not result in unintended consequences.

       ICC believes that the technology for the "Internet of Things" is still being
developed, and it would be premature to specify concrete actions at this stage. The
European Commission could call a hearing for concerned parties to express their views
on this topic.

        ICC believes that international cooperation regarding network and information
security is essential, and should take all appropriate steps to do so. A successful strategy must
include better coordination between the private and public sectors. Today, businesses view
government-imposed security measures as an additional risk to manage rather than as a
contribution to holistic security measures in a world where companies adopt a
“deperimeterization” strategy for protecting company data on multiple levels by using
encryption and dynamic data-level authentication. Companies have their hands full designing
and implementing security measures that are needed to protect their assets, their trading
partners and their customers. Having to manage the risk of non-compliance with poorly
coordinated government regulation does not help companies do their jobs as critical nodes
in the global networked society. The European Commission should promote greater
harmonization of data security requirements. While there is currently too much divergence of
Member State security requirements, the Commission should bear in mind that European
harmonization is worth little without equivalent safeguards being deployed worldwide. An
informal global forum could be established to increase cooperation with third countries.

       In addition to questions relating to the use of authentication techniques and
electronic signatures, ICC is interested in further international cooperation in spam,
malware and spyware. As the voice of global business with members in over 130
countries, ICC stands ready to provide input as it is useful on these issues. Countries
need to work toward greater harmonization of laws in these areas both within the
different jurisdictions within the European Union and also outside of it.

        ICC’s policy statement on Information Compliance “ICC Framework for consultation
and drafting of Information Compliance obligations”, attached to this letter, provides useful
policy suggestions on international cooperation in a number of fields including privacy and
security. ICC encourages international coordination on IT, e-business and telecom policy, but
note that this is a major undertaking and we urge the Commission to take a pragmatic
approach, to tackle the issues that can be addressed through international cooperation,
rather than launching an ambitious programme that will be costly both in terms of time and
money.
                                            -5-



We believe that the European Commission should invest in the resources required to
play a lead role in defining the scope of these areas, and carefully plan realistic
international coordination of them. ICC encourages the Commission to refine previous
experiences, where the Commission published visions have only been partially carried
out in day-to-day policy development.

Internet governance and post-World Summit on the Information Society issues

        ICC launched its initiative, Business Action to Support the Information Society
(BASIS), in May 2006, following its active involvement in and leadership of business
participation in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS Geneva 2003, WSIS
Tunis 2005).

       BASIS provides a vehicle for companies and business associations, both ICC
members and non-ICC members, to contribute to the important forums and follow-
up/implementation activities that have emerged from the WSIS commitments and since
the Summits. BASIS activities include business representation and contributions to the
Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the UN Global Alliance on ICT and Development
(GAID), the WSIS action lines, and the overall follow-up of the Summits in the ECOSOC,
and the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD).

       ICC and BASIS members believe that ICTs are an important tool for social growth
and economic development, in all regions of the world. The substantive dialogue
between policy decision-makers, and business and other stakeholders at national,
regional and international levels is critical to ensuring that the necessary conditions are
appropriately put in place to attract investment, foster entrepreneurship and stimulate
innovation. The European Commission’s efforts to encourage the multistakeholder
dialogue that is necessary at these levels, is essential to EU policy approaches, and
furthering international cooperation on ICT related issues.

        ICC’s fundamental values are the promotion of trade liberalization and open
markets. As the Internet and ICTs create cross-border opportunities, they also create
cross-border challenges. In order to promote a people-centred Information Society,
these opportunities need to be maximized, but the challenges have to be addressed with
all relevant stakeholders, in all forums.

       ICC and BASIS members have been actively engaged in all aspects of the
preparations for the IGF in Athens, and now the second IGF in Rio de Janeiro. The
attached document ‘ICC BASIS feedback on the first Internet Governance Forum’,
outlines ICC/BASIS thoughts on the IGF in Athens, and priorities for the structure and
substance of the IGF.

       ICC/BASIS supports initiatives such as the GAID, and IGF that emphasize the
importance of human and institutional capacity building in increasing the participation of
more people from around the world in ICT and Internet governance related issues, and
also increasing access to them.
                                             -6-



Other issues

       ICC’s EBITT Commission has produced substantive policy statements, and
practical tools on a range of the other issues addressed in the EU questionnaire such as


IPv6, Telecoms liberalization, trade related services issues, to name a few. The short
timeframe, and period of the year in which this consultation has been launched, present
challenges to ICC to respond specifically to each of the detailed questions in the
questionnaire. We refer you to the EBITT Commission website at
http://www.iccwbo.org/policy/ebitt/ and call attention to the range of policy statements,
guidelines and model contracts, and toolkits that have been produced by business
experts from around the world.

       ICC’s EBITT Commission is finalizing an inventory of its policy positions and
practical guidance, which will be distributed in November 2007. This inventory will be
sent to you and should provide a comprehensive and succinct reference for global
business positions on many of the issues under consideration in this questionnaire.

     ICC and its members look forward to further consultations with the European
Commission on these important matters, and remain available to be of further assistance.


                                               Yours sincerely,




                                               Guy Sebban




Enclosures:
- ICC Information Compliance policy statement
- ICC-BASIS feedback on IGF Athens 2006
- Telecoms Liberalization toolkit (first edition) (only by post)




c.c.:   Peter Zangl, Deputy Director-General, DG Information Society and Media (fax
        32-2 299 4527)
        Michael Niebel, Head of Unit, Directorate A.3: Internet; Network and Information
        Security (fax 32-2 229 6922)