Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Gathering Storm: WCIT and the Global Regulation of the Internet

From the report: "At the upcoming International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, to be held from December 3-14, delegates will consider proposals to amend the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs,) binding rules that govern telecommunications network practices around the world…. If any change needs to be made at all in the ITRs with respect to the Internet, it should be limited to creating a firewall between the authority of ITU and the operation of the Internet. The Internet’s organic governance system has proved to be quite effective, in no small part due to its close proximity to the Internet’s technical standards and business practices. 

Technologies that enable rapid rates of change need the ability to adapt to changing conditions quickly; an international treaty organization that convenes once every fifteen years does not fit the bill. The ITU is facing obsolescence as we begin to retire the telephone networks that have been its sole focus since the phase-out of the telegraph, but this existential crisis does not justify a wholesale restructuring of Internet governance." Read more