Abstract - The Information Society 2 (3)

Restrictions on Trade in Communication and Information Services

Geza Feketekuty and Jonathan David Aronson

Information and communication technologies, and the resulting flow of information through communications networks, are increasingly important sources of international trade and economic growth. However, many nations have erected obstacles to the free flow of trade in information services, including: 1. restrictions on trans-border data flows, 2. national monopoliesover telecommunications services, 3. discriminatory standards for telecommunications services which prevent foreign competition, and 4. restrictions on the use of foreign data processing facilities. Generally, national telecommunications regulations have been developed to protect individual privacy, cultural and social integrity, national security, and domestic industries. However, free information flows are necessary for global adjustment to the changes brought about by information technology. To realize the economic potentials of the information revolution, nations must undertake multilateral negotiations on information/telecommunications trade.

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