ITU opens public consultation as they re-write the new TREATY shaping the Future of Internet Regulation

As I read all the posts and listen to videos one thought that comes to mind is “digital democracy”

Digital Democracy – is out the door with the upcoming WCIT conference. The double edge sword and the future of Internet … I have been following this global play as governments, elite and the big boys  will be gathering and all the advocacy groups, critics, tech blogging sites are  speak out that UN and ITU bold play may be to  regulate the Internet. How soon we all forget and what was stated  several months ago by Clinton…… ” Defending global Internet freedom is a foreign policy priority for the United States and “one of the grand challenges of our time,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her second major foreign policy speech on Internet freedom. Citing the role of protesters in recent political transitions in Tunisia and Egypt, Clinton said the political changes there are “about a great deal more than the Internet,” but that the Internet is a proven accelerant for change. She spoke at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.Maintaining an Internet that delivers stronger, freer and more prosperous countries requires a “shared vision”–a clearer stance on what behaviors should the encouraged or discouraged, and what is acceptable and unacceptable Internet behavior, said Clinton … the address she gave at George Washington University .

 

ITU & the Future of Internet Regulation

The United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has called for a public consultation on a draft document ahead of a December meeting to finalize a new treaty for regulation of the Internet. The ITU published on its website the draft version of the document that will be discussed during the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai. People can express their views and opinions on the content of the draft document or any other matter related to WCIT, the ITU said in a statement.The conference in Dubai is a global conference that will aim to sign a treaty to define the general principles for the provision and operation of international telecommunications networks around the world, the ITU said. The consultation will remain open until Nov. 3 and the inputs will be made available to all member states and ITU’s plan has  run into opposition by Internet Technology Groups fighting to keep the Internet Open for the growth of wealth and digital economy and innovation.  The U.S. House of Representatives for instance has raised concerns that the meeting in December will include proposals that aim to restrict the Internet. The draft document has for example a clause that proposes to grant all national authorities the right to impose taxes on all incoming and outgoing telecommunications traffic and Internet traffic termination fees. The House of Representatives unanimously voted against the ITU plan earlier this month and states the Internet does not need new international regulations, stating such regulations could be devastating to Internet freedom and economic development and Advocacy and Civil groups and liberties groups who  have  raised similar concerns.

Russia, backed by China and India as it pushs through a takeover of the internet by a UN supranational agency to make the web accessible and universal. The aim of the plan is to standardize the behavior of countries concerning information and cyberspace.

­Leading emerging economies supported by other United Nations members initiated the discussion around handing over internet regulation to a UN agency.  At present it is controlled by private shareholders. US House of Representatives prepares to vote on the proposal and the expectations are, there will be no great uphill struggle. Washington opposed UN regulation of the internet just weeks after the “international code of conduct for information security” was submitted to the General Assembly

Commander of US Cyber Command Army Gen. Keith Alexander said “I’m not for regulating, per se. I’m concerned about it, and this is a tough question.”

Gen. Alexander stressed that instead of expecting action from the UN, sovereign states should better secure critical infrastructure and government networks without official regulation.

The American side admits that the current multi-stakeholder system gives maneuver space to nonprofit organizations worldwide instead of governments. Nonprofits are the indispensable element of American “soft power” over the world and it is highly doubtful they could be sacrificed that easily.

The head of the US Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration Larry Strickling has been categorical, saying in the regulations supposed by the initiative “it is really the governments that are at the table, but the rest of the stakeholders aren’t.”

On April 19, US Congress adopted Resolution 628 “expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should preserve, enhance, and increase access… to an open, global internet”.

“It is the sense of the House of Representatives that if a resolution calling for endorsement of the proposed international code of conduct for information security or a resolution inconsistent with the principles above comes up for a vote in the United Nations General Assembly or other international organization, the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations or the United States representative to such other international organization should oppose such a resolution,” the bill announces.

But the International Telecommunication Union is far from giving up. The United Nations agency prepares to hold a vast World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) in December in Dubai where ITU member states will discuss the proposed revisions to the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR) that might expand the ITU’s mandate to encompass the internet.

The ITR is a legally binding international treaty signed by 178 countries  more information  source posted @ RT

­

Updated November 25th2012

Understanding what is taking place in the scope of digital evolution, the  future of Internet and digital freedom from what ?  by blocking all voices? or is it a global domination taking place human cost vs monetary cost @ WCIT –

“Some of the proposed amendments would bring the internet under ITU’s jurisdiction, forever changing the structure and governance of the internet”

“Other proposals would, if adopted, give countries including Russia, China, and Iran UN sanctioned-authority to monitor and censor incoming and outgoing internet traffic under the guise of improving ‘security,'” writes Forbes.

Currently, there is no centralized control of the internet and the engineers and developers who built and operate the networks that make up the internet belong to committees and task forces that are coordinated by an international nonprofit called the Internet Society. This umbrella group houses the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board and the Internet Research Task Force, as well as Icann, which assigns addresses and domain names.

Some critics worry that opening the possibility of the ITU controlling the internet would allow countries with more restrictive internet policies such as China, Iran and the Gulf Arab states to legitimize closer monitoring and restriction of the web under the guise of national security.

Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, which represents 175 million workers worldwide, said, “Repressive governments will have a UN treaty which allows them to control freedom of expression, to monitor everything any targeted individual is saying on the Net, and to stop social movements and human rights defenders demanding respect for basic rights,” according to TIME.com

The European Parliament has also spoken out against the idea of a UN agency having control over the internet, according to the BBC and Members of the European Parliament backed a resolution which urged rejection of changes to the treaty, which would “negatively impact the internet, its architecture, operations, content and security, business relations, internet governance and the free flow of information online.”  source @ Wall Street Journal &  PC World

THE big picture  -updated – November 25  a post written on  Toronto Star by Michael Geist  :  ”

Should the Internet be treated like traditional phone services when it comes to the regulation and pricing?  That is the contentious question as the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency with roots dating back to 1865 and the interconnection of telegraph services, meets in Dubai next week for the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT). The WCIT is a treaty-writing event that has attracted growing attention given fears that the ITU and countries such as Russia plan to use it to press for greater control over the Internet”   Michael Geist holds a Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.

for a quick update catch the Road Runner stay informed….

  1. Quite simply, the ITU is the wrong body to be involving itself in Internet-related issues. It should step back and retain its focus on areas where it has provided value in the past

  2. Operating in a highly competitive environment, largely without regulation or central organisation, the Internet model of traffic exchange has produced low prices, promoted efficiency and innovation, and attracted the investment necessary to respond to rising demand.

  3. Several proposals now on the table … would cast a devastating blow to the internet by blessing the efforts of individual countries to build their own closed and controlled national web 3.0 internet spaces today.

  4. But not all governments support the free and open internet

    “Perhaps the main reason why the internet has become such a huge success is that is operations have been developed by non-governmental agencies and groups  Inquisitr.  and  thought provoking words from Wall Street Journal as it  lights another interesting matchstick and explains …  why international governmental regulation of the internet is a bad idea:   “Having the Internet rewired by bureaucrats would be like handing a Stradivarius to a gorilla. The Internet is made up of 40,000 networks that interconnect among 425,000 global routes, cheaply and efficiently delivering messages and other digital content among more than two billion people around the world, with some 500,000 new users a day … The self-regulating Internet means no one has to ask for permission to launch a website, and no government can tell network operators how to do their jobs.”   and  Forbes websites  states the  conference will consider revisions to a treaty….Internet’s future is in the hands of  some powerful people  this includes governments and operators – who may not care much about  your or my freedom as long as they making “money”  or  they be aiming for a ” global domination play ”

    Google Inc.United NationsUnited Nations

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