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needs and interests. To date, individual consultative meetings have been held with over thirty-five countries in Europe, the Pacific and Asia, South America, Africa and North America. In some cases, several rounds of discussions have been held.

In addition to bilateral discussions, the United States has participated in multilateral discussions in forums such as NATO, CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) and CITEL (Inter-American Telecommunications Conference), an arm of the OAS. The schedule for future consultations in the first half of 1979 includes meetings with officials in Latin America. Africa and Asia as well as Europe.


Allocations issues

Low and medium frequencies.-In the low and medium frequency range in general terms we propose expansion of AM broadcasting to accommodate new broadcast stations. Coincident with this expansion, we are proposing a number of other changes in other services such as changes in radio-location and improved accommodation of amateur frequencies.

High frequency.-The United States proposes a significant increase in international broadcasting and maritime services plus some increased accommodation for amateur service.

UHF frequencies. In the UHF band the major thrust of U.S. proposals is to increase allocations for land mobile services to be shared with the broadcast service.

Also noteworthy in this frequency range is a provision for land mobile satellite and also for satellite sound broadcasting. In addition, we propose a variety of other provisions to accommodate increased needs for amateur, maritime mobile services and aeronautical.

SHF and EHF frequencies.-Above the UHF band we have a large variety of different service needs and proposals are being developed to accommodate them.

Also within the fixed satellite service we are proposing very significant change in allocations for both the fixed service and the broadcast satellite service frequencies at 12 GHz.

We also have a very important requirement for a mobile satellite service in 7 and 8 GHz band which we are proposing to meet.

As we move higher in the spectrum the controversy over allocations leads into a general uncertainty as to what is practically important and what is mere speculation. In general, the upper reaches of the spectrum should be far less controversial than the lower, since the technology has yet to demonstrate what is feasible. There are a handful of countries, of which the United States is one, which have the requisite technology to utilize the spectrum at the higher extremes, notably in the EHF range above 30 GHz. We are proposing a num-. ber of specific allocations for advanced or experimental services. Non-allocations issues

One of the most controversial, and most troublesome of all WARC issues centers on notification and coordination procedures.

The United States remains committed to the present system of flexible procedures, although we recognize that there is room for simplification and improvement in the application of these procedures. We are generally opposed to prefixed allotment plans which distribute frequencies to individual countries or regions without regard to present or demonstrated foreseeable need.

Despite our opposition to pre-fixed assignment plans or other proposals to abandon the present system of protection priorities, we do seek to provide reliable assurance to all nations that they can obtain access to the spectrum as and when their requirements develop. A number of concepts which would provide such assurances are being studied.

International climate

A detailed evaluation of the relationship of the U.S. position to that of other countries. will not be possible until after January, when their proposals will be filed with the ITU.


The primary United States interest is to insure that necessary changes in ITU regulations governing allocation and use of the radio spectrum are made in the light of evolving U.S. economic, social and technical needs. Overall U.S. policy emphasizes:

-Support of the ITU. The United States regards the organization, despite its imperfections, as the best long-term means of maintaining order in international telecommunications. -Incremental change. The United States does not believe its requirements or those of other nations, call for radical or wholesale changes in spectrum allocations or procedures. We seek many changes, but all are incremental changes as are required by present needs, and those that are reasonably foreseeable over the next twenty years.

-Flexibility. Closely tied to the policy of minimal change is the need for flexible management procedures regarding frequency allocations and regulatory controls.

-Accommodation of the needs of other nations. Consistent with our own essential requirements, the United States seeks accommodation of the needs of other developed and developing countries. In our view the WARC must, and can, achieve a broad consensus among different nations by adhering to flexible procedures and a spirit of international accord on technical requirements.



Point-to-point television has been transmitted via satellite for over fifteen years. This arrangement entails a program being carried by conventional means to a sending earth station, then via satellite to a receiving earth station, and finally by conventional means to over-theair broadcasting stations for dissemination to home receivers.


Direct broadcast satellite (DBS) technology is significantly different. In a direct broadcast system, television programs beamed from a sending earth station to the satellite will be received directly by a large number of receivers, using small antennas and equipment for converting frequencies (that is, types of home TV sets in use today could not be used without expensive conversion). The programs technically could be received directly by a home television set, or by a community receiver for distribution by cable to home sets or for display on a centrally located screen. The system whereby programs are received directly by home receivers (referred to as DBS) raises the

most troublesome issues.

The U.S. Government has no specific plans for establishing a DBS system. However, the technology will be operating on a domestic level in some countries by the 1980's. Japan has a domestic experimental DBS system (built in the United States). The Soviet Union is reportedly nearing an operating domestic DBS capability, and Canada plans a domestic operational DBS systém for the early 1980's.


The question of whether TV programs may be beamed via satellite from one country directly to the TV sets of another, without the approval of the "receiving" government, has been the subject of controversy in U.N. forums for the past six years. For the Soviets and many developing countries, "prior consent" means allowing the receiving state to examine and censor each program; for many Western states, "prior consent" would mean permitting the receiving state to license a DBS service before it commenced, with requests for such licenses evaluated on the basis of local standards.

As a practical matter, a 1977 ITU Regional Administrative Radio Conference, which assigned the frequencies in the Broadcast satellite Services bands of 11.7-12.5 gigahertz on a nation-by-nation basis in the Eastern Hemisphere, would require prior technical coordination before beaming DBS programs at the TV sets of another nation.


The DBS issue surfaced in the 1960's as a Soviet initiative to censor individual programs in any future DBS system. Since then the UN and its subcommittees and working groups have been wrestling with the question. Over the past six years, the Outer Space Committee (now 47 members) has agreed to a number of relatively non-controversial principles on DBS and has now reached the prior consent issue. The present draft text in the UN does not explicitly call for a "prior consent", but rather "arrangements and/or agreements" between broadcasting and receiving states before the initiation of a DBS service.


In dealing with the DBS issue, the U.S. objectives are:

1. To prevent the United Nations or other bodies from approving political principles on DBS that would derogate from the right "to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers".

2. To work for international arrangements in the United Nations and ITU which promote in practice the free exchange of information and ideas via DBS.

3. To preserve the consensus procedure of the UN Outer Space Committee, which has thus far served broad and important U.S. interests in space.

4. To demonstrate sensitivity to Third World concerns about the imbalance in world communications, and to offer to help developing countries to use DBS for social and economic development.

The United States strongly supports the principle of free flow of information across national borders. Within the context of our free flow policy, the United States opposes a "prior consent" regime. We have thus refused to accept the language in the present draft UN text. The United States is, however, willing to accept a principle committing states to non-binding consultations, if requested, with receiving states before initiating a DBS service.



The term "transborder data flows" refers to the transmission of data from computer to computer, using telecommunications circuits across national borders.

The United States is by far the largest exporter of computers and communications equipment and the largest provider of data services. Computer systems are critical to multinational corporations and the data service industry. They store, process and transmit information, and transfer funds, for aviation, banking, and other industries. Transborder data flows are thus important.

Although the principle of free flow of information is also applicable to transborder data flows, in contrast to DBS and UNESCO, the information involved is essentially economic and technical data or personal records rather than news or other forms of public communications.


European countries are uneasy about the computerization of their Societies and the U.S. dominance of the computer and related markets. They are resisting the uncontrolled growth of the technology. Regulations, proposed or adopted, are directed at a number of social, economic, and security objectives.

Since 1973, Sweden, France, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Austria and Canada have enacted laws seeking to protect privacy by controlling the transmission of personal information across borders. Other European nations have draft laws awaiting parliamentary action. Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Switzerland are studying the issue. Some legislation protects the privacy of "legal persons", which would restrict the activities of multinational corporations.

The OECD Committee on Information, Computers and Communications Policy is now considering how differing national approaches to privacy legislation can be harmonized so that data flows will not be

restricted. Since European legislation is similar, harmonization is basically a problem of U.S. approach versus European approach.1 The Council of Europe (the United States is not a member) is drafting a privacy connection which follows the European model of privacy laws and probably will be a document to which we could not adhere. Harmonization, therefore, is a real issue for the United States. Other regulations have been proposed for security, job protection or other reasons. Many European concerns about computer dependency are similar to those expressed in the United States. We share European concerns for privacy, and we can understand why a nation may be concerned that data critical for its central economic planning is stored in computers in another country.


An interagency task force chaired by the Department of State, with NTIA providing primary technical support, is charged with developing policy on transborder data flows in consultation with the public, industry representatives, and Congress.

Within the OECD, the United States supports international arrangements on sensitive personal data that will assure adequate protection of such data with the least possible restriction of data flows. An OECD Group of Experts is now drafting international Guidelines for dealing with personal data flows, using the U.S. paper, prepared by the Task Force, as the principal basis for the Guidelines.


The Task Force has formulated some broad objectives.

1. To assure U.S. multinationals and others of nondiscriminatory access to low cost, efficient information systems.

2. To assure non-discriminatory commercial opportunity for U.S. firms that are marketing international data processing and data bank services.

3. To participate in developing international computer, data processing, software and encryption standards.

4. To protect the privacy of personal data of U.S. nationals.

5. To support general access to scientific and technical data bases. 6. To respond to international concern about U.S. domination of international computer and data processing and the reliability of access to U.S. data bases.

7. To encourage U.S. access to foreign advances in hardware and software technologies.

8. To encourage foreign governments to restrict their privacy laws to coverage of natural persons.

9. To provide a functional system for government-to-government exchange of data with due regard to national security and personal privacy.

1 European laws tend to rely on registration and licensing and apply to both the public and private sector but only with respect to automated systems. The United States Privacy Act applies only to information (automated and manual) held by the government. The Administration is developing legislation and guidelines tailored to specific categories of records held by the private sector. It is contemplated that legislation would be selfenforcing and would not require registration or licensing.

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