Pentagon opposes UN regulation of the Internet

The commander of the U.S. Cyber Command says he opposes allowing the United Nations (UN) to regulate the Internet.

However, Army Gen. Keith Alexander emphasized that some regulation may be needed to protect critical domestic networks from digital attacks.

”[Still], I’m not for regulating, per se. I’m concerned about it, and this is a tough question,” Alexander said in a statement quoted by the Washington Times.

“I would say, generally speaking, I’m not into that portion of regulating as you would espouse.”

Alexander’s comments come just weeks after Russia, China, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan submitted a resolution to the U.N. General Assembly calling for “an international code of conduct for information security.”

The resolution also requested “international deliberations within the United Nations framework on such an international code, with the aim of achieving the earliest possible consensus on international norms and rules guiding the behavior of states in the information space.”

According to Alexander, rather than seeking action by the UN, individual
countries need to step up and determine how securing critical infrastructure can be implemented without official regulation.

“I do think that there may be some things for critical infrastructure and government networks that we’re going to have to direct out to the government. These are things that you must do to secure your networks for government survivability.

“But for my grandchildren and my daughters out there, they have a great time on the [Internet]. I would not want somebody to say you cannot let your 2-year-old grab the iPad and launch [an application]… I think down the road we have to figure out how do we ensure that your platforms do not create a public hazard, but I’m not sure I would put that in regulation,” he added.