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The Promise Of The Internet

With Internet use growing around the world, the United States is active in efforts to foster the free flow of information over the Internet while also maintaining cyber-security.

"The United States is deeply concerned about cyber-threats," said U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, Ambassador David Gross, at a meeting of the ITU in Geneva. "Therefore we ... are active in many international fora ... to address all the various aspects of ongoing cyber threats."

"But equally important is the responsibility of governments ... to ensure that the Internet is ... a domain ... in which information can be accessed and exchanged without hindrance," continued Ambassador Gross. "That is why we put so much effort into policies and practices that ensure freedom of expression and the free flow of information over the Internet."

Eight years ago, globally less than 400 million people were using the Internet. Nearly all of them lived in the developed world. Today, the number is 1.5 billion, and the Internet is an increasingly important resource. This means that more people now have access to this revolutionary technological tool that enables efficient transfer of information on a global scale; information that could be used for international trade, online education and digital libraries, telemedicine, and many other applications that would solve problems, especially in the developing world.

"Since the year 2000, a billion more people can now use the Internet to learn and speak more freely, if allowed by their governments," said Ambassador Gross. "And so we must continue to work together toward ensuring the Internet is a place where information flows freely. ... It will continue to be a priority for the United States ... to find new, effective, and innovative ways to help all the people of the world have access to the Internet, and to the information and opportunities it provides."

Recognizing that children are the most vulnerable users of the Internet, the International Telecommunications Union, one of the agencies of the United Nations, launched a Child Online Protection initiative. Its goal is to create a safe and secure online experience for children everywhere.