Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Civil Society Must Have Voice as ITU Debates the Internet

From the article: "In December 2012, the International Telecommunication Union will convene a meeting of the world’s governments to renegotiate the ITU’s underlying treaty, the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs).  Currently, the ITRs do not address Internet technical standards, infrastructure, or content. However, some states, notably China and Russia, are advocating for an expansion of the ITRs to include Internet regulation.  …CDT has issued a memo analyzing the threat posed by ITU entry into Internet regulation. In this Policy Post, we summarize the issues at stake….The first hurdle in ensuring that the ITU does not unduly extend regulatory authority over the Internet is to determine what is being proposed.  Currently, civil society participation in the work of the ITU is limited and the costs of membership are prohibitive for most civil society organizations – especially those from emerging markets and less-developed economies.  Most working documents and ITU products are only available to members and governments, including the proposed revisions that will feed into the renegotiation process.

So the first step for civil society is to press national delegations to insist that the treaty renegotiation process is transparent and open to participation from all stakeholders." Read more

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