Commerce Dept Releases Digital Valedictory

DOC Releases Digital Valedictory

official_photo_secretary_penny_pritzkerThe Department of Commerce has released a report “Enabling Growth and Innovation in the Digital Economy,” which it describes as a chronicle of the Commerce Department’s efforts in support of the digital economy over the course of the Obama Administration in areas of a free and open internet, privacy and intellectual property.

The report explains that:

the remarkable expansion of the digital economy in the U.S. did not happen by chance.  On the contrary, it is a direct result – first and foremost – of the ingenuity and inherent entrepreneurial spirit of the American people.  The United States continually produces the most innovative companies, founded by the most creative minds in business and engineering.  Yet the success of American entrepreneurship in the digital economy was not a foregone conclusion and did not occur in a vacuum.  Indeed, for the digital economy to thrive, governments, working in concert with other stakeholders, must create a legal, policy, and diplomatic environment conducive to creativity, competition, and investment.

Commerce Secetary Penny Pritzker stresses that the Department’s activities

have focused on a number of areas, from protecting and preserving a free and open Internet, to promoting trust online, to ensuring that workers, families,and companies have broadband access to the Internet. The Department has worked to enable American businesses to reach customers and markets abroad, and to ensure that the American consumer has the opportunity to access the most innovative, reliable, and affordable digital products and services available. And the Department has focused on advancing the next generation of exciting technologies, such as driverless cars, facial recognition technologies, and unmanned aircraft to ensure that America will remain on the cutting edge of revolutionary inventions.

The report explains that DOC’s efforts are guided by core principals that include

  • Multistakeholder Internet policymaking and standards development, in which all stakeholders may participate in open, transparent, and consensus-driven decision making processes;
  • Strong protections for intellectual property, balanced with appropriate exceptions and limitations, such as fair use, which encourage investment and content creation in the digital environment;
  • Open and voluntary technical standards, allowing for digital technologies and services to interoperate, and digital entrepreneurs to innovate more easily and to build off existing infrastructure;
  • Focus on the user, ensuring that users’ interests are paramount, and that users have the skills, education, and access necessary to reap the benefits of digital technologies;
  • Public/private partnerships, which bring the resources and reach of the government to supplement private sector investments and activities;
  • International engagement, recognizing that the Internet is truly global, and that for it to continue to serve as a source of economic growth and social development, the United States must actively promote a vision of the digital economy consistent with open and democratic values.

The full report is below.