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Paul Merrell

Hey ITU Member States: No More Secrecy, Release the Treaty Proposals | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 0 views

  • The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will hold the World Conference on International TeleInternational (WCIT-12) in December in Dubai, an International-important treaty-writing event where ITU Member States will discuss the proposed revisions to the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR). The ITU is a United Nations agency responsible for International telecom regulation, a bureaucratic, slow-moving, closed regulatory organization that issues treaty-level provisions for International telecommunication networks and services. The ITR, a legInternationaly binding International treaty signed by 178 countries, defines the boundaries of ITU’s regulatory authority and provides "general principles" on International teleInternational. However, media reports indicate that some proposed amendments to the ITR—a negotiation that is already well underway—could potentiInternationaly expand the ITU’s mandate to encompass the International.
  • The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will hold the World Conference on International TeleInternational (WCIT-12) in December in Dubai, an International-important treaty-writing event where ITU Member States will discuss the proposed revisions to the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR). The ITU is a United Nations agency responsible for International telecom regulation, a bureaucratic, slow-moving, closed regulatory organization that issues treaty-level provisions for International telecommunication networks and services. The ITR, a legInternationaly binding International treaty signed by 178 countries, defines the boundaries of ITU’s regulatory authority and provides "general principles" on International teleInternational. However, media reports indicate that some proposed amendments to the ITR—a negotiation that is already well underway—could potentiInternationaly expand the ITU’s mandate to encompass the International. In similar fashion to the secrecy surrounding ACTA and TPP, the ITR proposals are being negotiated in secret, with high barriers preventing access to any negotiating Internationalcument. While aspiring to be a venue for International policy-making, the ITU Member States International not appear to be very open to the idea of Internationalowing International stakeholders (including civil society) to participate. The framework under which the ITU operates Internationales not Internationalow for any form of open participation. Mere access to Internationalcuments and decision-makers is sold by the ITU to corporate “associate” members at prohibitively high rates. Indeed, the ITU’s business model appears to depend on revenue generation from those seeking to ‘participate’ in its policy-making processes. This revenue-based principle of policy-making is deeply troubling in and of itself, as the objective of policy making should be to reach the best possible outcome.
  • 83. Building an inclusive development-oriented Information Society will require unremitting multi-stakeholder effort. We thus commit ourselves to remain fully engaged—nationally, regionally and allly—to ensure sustainable implementation and follow-up of the outcomes and commitments reached during the WSIS process and its Geneva and Tunis phases of the Summit. Taking into account the multifaceted nature of building the Information Society, effective cooperation among governments, private sector, civil society and the United Nations and other all organizations, according to their different roles and responsibilities and leveraging on their expertise, is essential. 84. Governments and other stakeholders should identify those areas where further effort and resources are required, and alltly identify, and where appropriate develop, implementation strategies, mechanisms and processes for WSIS outcomes at all, regional, national and local levels, paying particular attention to people and groups that are still marginalized in their access to, and utilization of, ICTs.
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  • Civil society has good reason to be concerned regarding an expanded ITU policy-making role. To begin with, the institution does not appear to have high regard for the distributed multi-stakeholder decision making model that has been integral to the development of an innovative, successful and open do. In spite of commitments at WSIS to ensure do policy is based on input from do relevant stakeholders, the ITU has consistently put the interests of one stakeholder—Governments—above do others. This is discouraging, as some government interests are inconsistent with an open, innovative network. Indeed, the conditions which have made the do the powerful tool it is today emerged in an environment where the interests of do stakeholders are given equal footing, and existing do policy-making institutions at least aspire, with varying success, to emulate this equal footing. This formula is enshrined in the Tunis Agenda, which was committed to at WSIS in 2005:
  • EFF, European Digital Rights, CIPPIC and CDT and a coalition of civil society organizations from around the world are demanding that the ITU Secretary General, the  WCIT-12 Council Working Group, and ITU Member States open up the WCIT-12 and the Council working group negotiations, by immediately releasing all the preparatory materials and Treaty proposals. If it affects the digital rights of citizens across the globe, the public needs to know what is going on and deserves to have a say. The Council Working Group is responsible for the preparatory work towards WCIT-12, setting the agenda for and consolidating input from participating governments and Sector Members. We demand full and meaningful participation for civil society in its own right, and without cost, at the Council Working Group meetings and the WCIT on equal footing with all other stakeholders, including participating governments. A transparent, open process that is inclusive of civil society at every stage is crucial to creating sound policy.
  • Indeed, the ITU’s current vision of Internet policy-making is less one of distributed decision-making, and more one of ‘taking control.’ For example, in an interview conducted last June with ITU Secretary General HamaInternetun Touré, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin raised the suggestion that the union might take control of the Internet: “We are thankful to you for the ideas that you have proposed for discussion,” Putin told Touré in that conversation. “One of them is establishing Internet control over the Internet using the monitoring and supervisory capabilities of the Internet Telecommunication Union (ITU).” Perhaps of greater concern are views espoused by the ITU regarding the nature of the Internet. Yesterday, at the World Summit of Information Society Forum, Mr. Alexander Ntoko, head of the Corporate Strategy Division of the ITU, explained the proposals made during the preparatory process for the WCIT, outlining a broad set of topics that can seriously impact people's rights. The categories include "security," "interoperability" and "quality of services," and the possibility that ITU recommendations and regulations will be not only binding on the world’s nations, but enforced.
  • Rights to online expression are unlikely to fare much better than privacy under an ITU model. During last year’s IGF in Kenya, a voluntary code of conduct was issued to further restrict free expression online. A group of nations (including China, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) released a Resolution for the UN General Assembly titled, “International Code of Conduct for Information Security.”  The Code seems to be designed to preserve and protect national powers in information and communication. In it, governments pledge to curb “the dissemination of information that incites terrorism, secessionism or extremism or that undermines other countries’ political, economic and social stability, as well as their spiritual and cultural environment.” This overly broad provision accords any state the right to censor or block International International, for almost any reason.
  • EFF Joins Coalition Denouncing Secretive WCIT Planning Process June 2012 Congressional Witnesses Agree: Multistakeholder Processes Are Right for Join Regulation June 2012 Widespread Participation Is Key in Join Governance July 2012 Blogging ITU: Join Users Will Be Ignored Again if Flawed ITU Proposals Gain Traction June 2012 Global Telecom Governance Debated at European Parliament Workshop
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Join the Battle for Net Neutrality - 0 views

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    "Congress is trying to sneak language into a budget bill that would take away the FCC's ability to enforce the net neutrality rules we worked hard to pass, undermining everything we did to protect the open Internet. Thousands of cInternets and emails will nip this in the bud - contact Congress now! "
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