Internet a Precious Asset in Modern Times
Saying that the Internet has become one of the greatest and most important change agents of today’s lives, the United States of America said harnessing its power can be essential, beneficial and central to modern life.
In his remarks in Tokyo, Japan, Asssistant Secretary Charles H. Rivkin for Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs stressed that it is also imperative that the international community must have the responsibility preserve this precious asset which we call the internet.
“We must all work together to make sure we don’t destroy humanity’s golden asset.” – Mr. Rivkin
Internet As The New Economy
According to Mr. Rivkin, the internet isn’t just an essential component of the new economy but it really is the economy.
Mr. Rivkin pointed out that as early as 2011, the global digital economy’s impact on GDP growth in G7 countries had already surpassed the energy and agriculture sectors.
The internet is rapidly transforming emerging markets and is the key to future growth and globally shared prosperity.
In addition, almost everything done in the economic, commercial and financial realms is either leveraged by, or dependent upon the Internet.
According to a recent survey, three billion people are connected to the Internet today. There are also some estimates that number will rise to five billion by 2020.
“More than two-thirds of us have mobile phones.” – Mr. Rivkin
According to recent studies, more than half the world’s population is offline where it is also estimated that 1.8 billion people around the world will enter the consuming class by the year 2025. The good thing is, almost all of them will be from emerging markets. Gradually, it will create increased demand and global production, which means economic opportunities for both our countries, as well as improved goods and services for emerging and developing country consumers.
In addition, digital technologies enable even the smallest companies and entrepreneurs to become “micro-multinationals” – selling products, services, and ideas across borders.
In emerging and developing nations in particular hilippines, small businesses are so often the backbone of their economies, improving lives of some entrepreneurs.
The Power Of Internet
According to Mr. Rivkin, the Internet is not only pervasive but it can cross borders and time zones at the click of a mouse. In fact, cross-border Internet traffic grew 18-fold between 2005 and 2012.
One more thing, the internet continues to flow, day upon day, hour upon hour, microsecond after microsecond.
“Clearly, the Internet is indispensable in everything we do.” – Mr. Rivkin
The power of the internet can be harnessed whether by communicating with those the loved ones, seeking economic opportunity, or addressing the greatest shared challenges of time, from the effects of climate change to finding cures for chronic diseases.
Preserving The Precious Asset
With its necessity and benefits in modern times, Mr. Rivkin stressed the importance of preserving and truly safeguard the viability of the Internet.
He highlights that the world community faces complex and difficult choices, such as whether states – and the intergovernmental institutions they control – should be in the drivers’ seat for managing how the Internet works.
Finding balance between protecting people’s privacy and preserving the free and open flow must be taken into consideration as well.
That is why US and Japan are collaborating to safeguard the importance and benefits of the internet as two of the Internet’s biggest producers and consumers
In fact, both countries are working to maintain a free and open Internet, focusing on another critical issue: developing and expanding the Internet to create opportunities for developed, emerging, and developing economies alike.
“We continue to promote and support the decentralized, multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance because it is in the best interest of continued innovation and broadly shared prosperity.” – Mr.Rivkin
In addition, Mr, Rivkin underscored that the internet impacts everyone, for better or worse, and therefore must stay free and open.
US Makes Internet Freedom a Foreign Policy Priority
The United States has made Internet freedom a foreign policy priority. In fact, the U.S. Congress has given the U.S. State Department $70 million to fund technology, training and policy advocacy for Internet freedom around the world.
The State Department provided a wide range of programs and trainings aimed at keeping activists in the most repressive environments safe.
In addition, the Obama administration has staked out a principled stand by arguing that the rights to free expression, assembly and association apply to online activity just as they do to offline activity.
The U.S. government wants to allow its tech industry a free reign for innovation, avoiding onerous regulations as much as they can. He added that the use of such technologies by repressive governments to suppress fundamental rights and freedoms is an ongoing concern.