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Larry Irving

Internet Innovation Association Announces Return of Founding Co-Chair Larry Irving

in Broadband's Impact/FCC/IP Transition/NTIA by

January 23, 2014 – This press release come over the wire from the Internet Innovation Alliance:

Ten years after he founded the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) alongside still-Co-Chair Bruce Mehlman, Larry Irving this month returns to the coalition, the IIA today announced. In 2009, Irving stepped down from his role with IIA to join Hewlett Packard as vice president of global government affairs. Since 2011, he has provided strategic advice and assistance to international telecommunications and information technology companies, foundations, and non-profit organizations.

“Larry is ‘one of the greats’ when it comes to the tech world, having helped write our nation’s Internet success story,” said Mehlman. “We indeed are amidst the ‘fourth network revolution’, and IIA is excited to take advantage of Larry’s seasoned insight to help make the IP Transition yet another win for Americans in education, healthcare, business and rural development.”

Mehlman added, “High-speed broadband is essential for powering economic growth, maximizing investment and promoting America’s global competiveness.”

Irving and Mehlman teamed up in 2004 to help solve, through technology, many of the challenges facing our country. Today, they are joined by IIA Co-Chairman Jamal Simmons and Rick Boucher, honorary chairman of the organization, and are committed to helping achieve national priorities in areas such as education, healthcare, energy and environmental sustainability through the upgrade of America’s communications infrastructure.

A central focus for IIA, and identified by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a national priority, moving all Americans from 20th Century copper telephone lines to 21st Century IP-based networks will ensure faster broadband speeds and meaningfully expanded services. The IIA is dedicated to helping guide the IP Transition with recommendations to fast-track local IP demonstration projects while preserving core consumer values:

a) When the transition is complete, all consumers should be connected with services that are at least as good as what they have now.

b) Public safety must be upheld with access to first responders, as well as access for the vision or hearing impaired.

c) Competition should be encouraged, and consumers should have a place for ready resolution of complaints regarding services.

d) Putting in place a backup plan to keep networks working through power failures and natural disasters must be a chief objective.

Irving brings extensive knowledge and experience that will be invaluable to IIA as it supports the modernization of America’s telephone networks and anachronistic regulations. He played an integral role on the Obama-Biden Transition Team, served for nearly seven years as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information during the Clinton Administration, and as Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), advising the President, Vice President and Secretary of Commerce on domestic and international information technology issues. Irving is widely credited with coining the term the ‘digital divide’ and was the principal author of the landmark Federal survey “Falling Through the Net,” which tracked access to telecommunications across demographic lines. He also was named one of the 50 most influential persons in the ‘Year of the Internet’ by Newsweek.

“I’m thrilled to come home to IIA at such a critical point in time, when policymakers’ decisions truly will determine whether our nation continues leading the world in the broadband race. In addition to profiting America as a whole, getting it right with the IP Transition will enhance consumer benefits with new choices, greater functionality, and better products, services and devices.”


Privacy Experts Urge U.S. to Engage in Global Debate, but Get Own House in Order

in International/NTIA/Privacy/Transparency by

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2010 – The United States needs to act as a world leader by using its talents to help develop an innovative global privacy framework, but first it must get its own house in order, said privacy experts Friday.

At the Privacy and Innovation Symposium at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke opened the discussion by saying it’s time to acknowledge that the Internet, with more than 1 billion users worldwide, “is no longer in startup mode.”

Because of its reach and scope, it’s important to develop a new privacy framework that ensures consumer privacy while ensuring the nation’s prosperity, he said.

In the first panel discussion, Nicole Wong, vice president and deputy general counsel for Google, said it’s important as the United States ponders making a new framework, to consider that most data is moving onto servers not based in the content owner’s country of residence. “There is a premise in data protection authorities’ heads that their jurisdiction is about the location of data in a country,” she said. “We all know that things are moving to [cloud computing]. Any framework set on top of [geographical borders] will fail…We’re trying to get information across borders in a way that best serves users.”

Larry Irving, vice president of global affairs with Hewlett-Packard and a former head of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, said when he was at Commerce in the 1990s they discussed privacy issues and it was all about consumer trust and that still holds true today.

Lesile Harris, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, said: “Trust is what we need to continue building…but it’s important that we understand that privacy is more than just trust in the applications, it’s a core American value…and America runs on the internet” now.

Wong agreed that trust is a key issue and said that today smart engineers and technologist are able to provide consumers with “meaningful choices” on a granular level that can give them more control over their privacy, which in turn will build their trust in e-commerce.

She added that because a unique technology is coming around the corner every minute, it’s extraordinarily difficult to regulate technologies and their use, especially when privacy cultures differ greatly by country.

For example, she said Google’s StreetView technology allowing pictures of street scenes proved very unpopular in Germany but was embraced in other countries. “It’s important to start a dialogue,” she said.

To engage in a meaningful dialogue globally, “we’ve got to get our own house in order,” said Harris. “We can’t just suddenly announce we need a global framework.”

Wong said it’s important to make sure that a consumer privacy experience is interactive and meaningful, adding that technology has moved on from simple “notice and choice” policies, which she called “two dimensional.” That type of privacy policy tells the user a company’s privacy policy, for example, and then allows the consumer to agree or not agree to it.

Wong said technology now exists to allow consumers to edit their privacy preferences and reveal to them how they are being tracked.

Internationally, Harris said, there’s a perception that because the United States doesn’t have a data commissioner “we are viewed as outliers.”

However, she said most of the innovation in privacy happens in the United States and lauded that many firms have chief privacy officers on staff today.

Policymakers, she said, should be careful not to “get into the kind of granular codification [on privacy] so that we freeze where we are now” and not enable companies to continue innovating.

“If we can innovate at that level, we should be able to innovate at the policy level,” she said. “We are at point where a global framework makes sense…but it takes government leadership not just companies.”

Wong told the discussion moderator, NTIA chief Larry Strickling, that the Commerce Department should recognize itself as a global leader whose policymakers, technologists and entrepreneurs have developed an unbelievable platform.

However, there needs to be some sort of enforcement agency looking out for Americans’ best interest, said Irving, acknowledging that the Federal Trade Commission has a role there.

Harris suggested that the department should work with companies that might not be leaders in privacy practices and design and help them take some of these initiatives and apply them to their own smaller firms.

Conference Participants: Media and Internet Must Target Minorities

in Broadband's Impact by

By William G. Korver, Reporter, BroadbandCensus.com

WASHINGTON, June 17 – Black and Hispanic Americans need to be more prominent and “in positions of authority” within the media in order to appeal to a growing multicultural society, a former Clinton administration telecommunications official said Tuesday.

Addressing the Center for Social Media’s conference here at American University titled “Beyond Broadcast,” Larry Irving, former chief of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, said that blacks and Hispanics consume more media than do white Americans.

The media needed to embrace the opportunity to reach out to all racial and ethnic groups and to become “more of a brotherhood,” said Irving, currently president of Irving Information Group.

He said conference participants should engage in helping to set a well-articulated political agenda readily understandable to non-techies like their parents and grandparents. Only with a well-informed society, Irving argued, can a transformation be wrought in America’s businesses, culture, and media.

Irving also said that the president elected in November must find ways to ensure that new technology benefited all Americans , regardless of race, sex and class.

Besides Irving, afternoon sessions speakers included Ernest Wilson, dean of the University of Southern California’s communications school; Henry Jenkins, director of the comparative media studies program at MIT; and Persephone Miel, fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Because of changes in technology have led to turmoil within the media and media is essential to a healthy democracy, democracy in America is now imperiled, said Wilson.

Wilson, who also holds the Walter Annenberg chair in communication at USC, also blasted the public service media, like public radio and public television, for remaining “way behind the curve” for years.

Although Henry Jenkins of MIT could not attend the conference in person, attendees were still able to listen to his words due to the advances in technology.

Speaking remotely over the auditorium’s speakers, Jenkins stated that participatory journalism has caused information to originate not only from the top-down, but also from the bottom-up.

Jenkins said that the Internet, and participatory journalism specifically, must cease to be a luxury of the upper and middle classes. Lower classes of society must feel empowered and be able to acquire the skills needed for participatory journalism, he said.

Persephone Miel said that old media, though not dead, is “broken” because journalism is no longer scarce, but abundant. Although bloggers are often blamed for the decline of the old media, Miel said that bloggers are neither the source of the change nor the answer for how to fix the media.

Instead, Miel said that Network Neutrality – or policies that keep Bell and cable operators from engaging in discriminatory conduct – is needed so that “wealthy, wired, white people” are not the only individuals reached and affected by the Internet and participatory journalism.

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