Guest blog post by Lawrence E. Strickling , Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Over the past 20 years, the Internet has radically transformed the way Americans work and play. And it continues to be a key driver of innovation, job creation and overall economic expansion.
At the Commerce Department, we understand the importance of the Internet to America’s digital economy and the continued growth of the global economy. That’s why preserving a vibrant, open and free-flowing Internet is a core mission of our agency.
Today, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker addressed the 10th annual State of the Net conference , where she shared the Department’s commitment to promoting policies that support America’s digital economy. And she pledged to act as the champion of good Internet policy that supports entrepreneurs, businesses, and their workers.
At the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), we’re working to fulfill that pledge by continuing to work – both domestically and internationally – to champion the multistakeholder model for developing Internet policies. As I outlined in remarks at State of the Net today , the Internet is a diverse, multi-layered system that thrives only through the cooperation of many different parties. Solving policy issues in this space requires engaging these different parties – businesses, policymakers, civil society leaders, and others. They are all partners in the process, each with the ability to participate and have a voice in the outcome.
This past year, NTIA convened more than 300 stakeholders through a multistakeholder process to discuss privacy disclosures for mobile applications . Through this process, the stakeholders developed a voluntary code of conduct to provide greater transparency about the information mobile apps collect from users.
We are building on that work, beginning a new effort next week on the issue of commercial facial recognition technology . We encourage all interested parties to participate. We are also working in strong collaboration with our sister bureaus at Commerce – including USPTO , NIST , ITA , NOAA  – each day to protect and promote the ideas, infrastructure and platform that helps keep our nation the global hub of innovation and discovery.
And we’re continuing our work internationally to maintain a policy environment that embraces the multistakeholder model, ensuring that the Internet remains an open, dynamic platform for innovation, job creation, and economic growth.
NTIA is also championing the digital economy through our work to promote broadband and make additional spectrum available for commercial use.
Through our broadband grant program , NTIA is helping lay broadband in communities in every corner of the country. This program is bringing high-speed Internet where it simply didn’t exist before, helping to create opportunities for the Internet entrepreneurs of tomorrow.