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[bc-gnso] Secretary Pritzker's Best Quote today

  • To: "bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx" <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [bc-gnso] Secretary Pritzker's Best Quote today
  • From: Steve DelBianco <sdelbianco@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:40:09 +0000

In today’s opening ceremony, US Commerce Secretary Pritzker said:


Yep, she said DIRECTLY ACCOUNTABLE TO THE COMMUNITY.   That’s our point exactly.

With her full remarks below


Monday, October 13, 2014

News Media Contact:
Office of Public Affairs, 202-482-4883<tel:202-482-4883>


Remarks As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Steve Crocker, for your introduction and for your leadership as the 
Chairman of ICANN. I also want to thank you, Fadi Chehade, and the entire Board 
of ICANN for bringing together so many leaders in the global internet community 
and for taking the lead in advancing the multistakeholder process. And I want 
to acknowledge Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling and our entire team at the 
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for their 
daily work on Internet policy issues, domain name system issues, and protecting 
the Internet as an engine for innovation and prosperity.

We come together at a time when Internet governance is as important as ever. 
The fact is that we must do everything we can to protect and preserve this 
revolutionary platform that is the essential connector of people, economies, 
and communities across the planet. I do not have to tell anyone in this room 
that more people are working, shopping, interacting, and learning online than 
ever before – all because of the work so many of you have done throughout the 
years to build and strengthen this system.

I hope all of you will read my friend Walter Isaacson’s wonderful new book, The 
Innovators.  In it, Walter says that collaborative creativity is what drives 
technological advancement -- and I quote -- that “innovation comes from teams 
more often than from the light bulb moments of lone genius.” Walter is 
absolutely right. Of course, we owe much to those light bulb moments, but 
innovators are by nature collaborators. That is, no one person alone can turn a 
cutting-edge discovery into a world changing product or a service without a 
team. History makes that clear: it is that same collaboration that has enabled 
the Internet to become what it is today. Facilitated initially by U.S. 
government investment through DARPA, the Internet as we now know it was built 
off of one inventive leap on top of another -- And through the amazing genius 
ranging from Vint Cerf to Bob Kahn to Steve Crocker to Tim Berners Lee to Marc 
Andreessen to so many others. Their work has given us the most dynamic 
communications and connective platform that the world has ever seen.

The Internet indeed improves quality of life for millions and enables people 
from all over the globe to achieve greater economic opportunity. Without the 
Internet, a teenager from a remote village in southern India would not have 
been able to create his own business.  Abin Jose Tom was 19 years old when he 
was given a school assignment to create a website. Five years later, Abin’s 
project is now a global web solutions and design company named Webandcrafts, 
with more than 550 clients worldwide. We live in an era when all an 
entrepreneur needs to start, build, and promote a business is a mobile device 
and a Wi-Fi connection. Put simply, the Internet is a fundamental gateway to 
new growth for developing nations and continued prosperity for developed 

The Internet is also a vital platform for free expression and the exchange of 
ideas.  And that is why I stand before you today to make this fundamental 
promise: the United States will protect and preserve a free, vibrant and open 

At the Department of Commerce, we are proud to call ourselves America’s 
innovation and data agency. As someone who comes from the private sector and 
started five companies, I know first-hand the essential role the Internet plays 
in making sure businesses are able to compete globally. I have the privilege of 
being President Obama’s point person on entrepreneurship.  In leading our 
Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship, I get to work with some 
of America’s most successful CEOs to inspire the next generation of 
entrepreneurs at home and abroad. In my 15 months as Secretary, I have visited 
more than 20 countries.  And everywhere we travel—from Ghana to the 
Philippines—the innovators we meet make clear that the web is a critical tool 
needed for success. That is why we must all work together to protect the 
Internet, and to keep it open and free. Our global economy and the young 
entrepreneurs of the world are counting on us.

Indeed, the Internet has become a fixture of modern life, not just in the 
United States and the West, but in big cities, rural villages, and small towns 
across the globe. Consider the transformations of recent years:

·         Twenty years ago, there were 16 million Internet users. Today, that 
number is over 2.5 billion.

·         In 2008, roughly 1.5 billion devices were connected to the Internet. 
Today, there are an estimated 7.5 billion. By 2018, experts predict that figure 
to exceed 18 billion.

·         And the people largely driving this growth are living in developing 
countries, where the number of households with Internet access has more than 
doubled in the past five years.

All of this means that we are at a critical moment for ICANN and the important 
work you do. This means that how we govern and use the Internet is of global 
importance. This means that consensus decisions related to the Internet domain 
name system made today in Los Angeles can shape lives and livelihoods in 
Africa, Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere not just today but long into the 

All of us are stakeholders in a strong and vibrant, global Internet. The 
Internet has thrived precisely because citizens around the world have a voice 
in how the Internet is governed. That is why we -- the United States government 
-- support multistakeholder processes. This is our bedrock principle for 
Internet governance. Let me be clear about this. The United States will not 
allow the global Internet to be coopted by any person, entity, or nation 
seeking to substitute their parochial worldview for the collective wisdom of 
this community – you, the community of stakeholders represented so well here 

As such, that is why six months ago NTIA announced the decision to transition 
its stewardship role over the Internet Domain Name System to the global 
multistakeholder communities. From the inception of ICANN in 1998, the United 
States government envisioned that its role with respect to the IANA functions 
would be temporary. Over the years, many stakeholders took comfort in the fact 
that the United States provided some level of stewardship over ICANN. I have 
been encouraged by the way the global community and ICANN have stepped up to 
develop the transition proposal. We rally our allies and will continue to build 
international coalitions to support multistakeholder governance of the 
Internet. And we are strong supporters of an ICANN that is committed to the 
idea of individual voices coming to consensus decisions.

We must all recognize, however, that this was not inevitable, and we should not 
take it for granted. We all know that multistakeholder governance, and 
institutions like ICANN, are under intense and unprecedented pressure and 
scrutiny. Yet we are confident that the multistakeholder model offers the 
greatest assurance that the Internet will continue to thrive. And we must work 
together to ensure that the Internet remains an engine for economic growth, 
innovation, and free expression. We must continue to work hard to sustain 
multistakeholder governance, because it has enemies who want to reduce Internet 
governance to a meeting of governmental technocrats promoting narrow national 

We must make clear this approach is the best tool to secure the openness and 
the vibrancy of the Internet. We must ensure that ICANN can build on its 
efforts to strengthen the multistakeholder process and can become directly 
accountable to the customers of the IANA functions and to the broader Internet 

Next week, at the International Telecommunication Union Conference in Korea, we 
will see proposals to put governments in charge of Internet governance. You can 
rest assured that the United States will oppose these efforts at every turn.
We know that those interested in government control tend to be countries that 
censor content and stifle the free flow of information. We will be clear that 
these steps are contrary to our belief in the value of free speech – whether on 
the Internet, in society, in the public sphere – both here at home and abroad. 
We will remind all players – in each instance – that the multistakeholder model 
will preserve and protect a strong and resilient Internet.

In closing, the world is watching ICANN, and some are waiting for us to fail. 
But we cannot – and must not – let that happen. We have to get this transition 
right. Make no mistake: I stand by ICANN. I am “all in” when it comes to the 
global debate over Internet governance.  And we will preserve and protect a 
free and open internet. From the birth of the Internet through the present day, 
this community has stood together on the cutting edge of the drive to extend 
access to and the reach of the Internet – a key path for growth and success in 
the 21st century. And in every forum, the United States will remain a steadfast 
champion of the Internet, working to ensure that it remains an open platform 
for economic opportunity, innovation, and free expression.

But moving forward, all of us need to step up – like my friend Walter likes to 

·         We must collaborate to protect and expand the global Internet;

·         We must collaborate to ensure that the Internet continues to flourish;

·         And we must collaborate to guarantee that the Internet remains a 
gateway to prosperity and free expression the world over.

Thank you all for gathering together today and every day to advance our shared 
vision of a more open, more free, and more accessible Internet.


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