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International Telecommunication Union

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== Relation with ICANN ==
In 2005, the ITU signed a MoU with [[ICANN]], which superseded and suspended an earlier MoU which ICANN had with the U.S. Department of Commerce ([[DOC]]). The main motive behind signing the MoU with ITU was that ICANN wanted to adopt some of ITU's proven practices, such as charging for access to documents and membership in order to make up for publication costs, which would ultimately help to ease budget pressures.<ref>[http://www.icannwatch.org/article.pl?sid=05/04/01/1423239 icannwatch.org]</ref>
 
==WCIT & ITU==
The ITU does not openly publish submissions from their meetings and leave it up to individual states to decide what material they wish to release.<ref name="bbcnews-2"></ref> In response, [[WCITLeaks]], a website similar to WikiLeaks but related exclusively to the ITU and [[WCIT|World Conference of International Telecommunications]], aims to bring transparency to the UN organization by encouraging those in possession of documents to publish them anonymously.<ref>[http://wcitleaks.org/ WCITLeaks.org]</ref>
==International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR)==
From December 3rd to December 14th, 2012, the The [[United Nations]]' [[ITU|International Telecommunication Union]] is holding a conference the [[WCIT|World Conference on International Telecommunications]] (WCIT) in Dubaifrom December 3rd to December 14th, where government 2012. Government representatives from 178 nations around the world will be working to renegotiate the ''[[ITR|International Telecommunications Regulations]]'' (ITR). The , an information and communications treaty, which that outlines rules for how traffic should flow between telecom networks and how to calculate charges for traffic between different international carriers interfacing with one another, . The treaty has not been updated since its signing in 1988.<ref>[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20429625 Google attacks UN's internet treaty conference], BBCNews.com. Published 22 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.</ref>
Of the goals of the updated treaty, the ITU has said that it hopes to ensure "the free flow of information around the world, promoting affordable and equitable access for all and laying the foundation for ongoing innovation and market growth".<ref name="bbcnews-1">[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20445637 European Parliament warns against UN internet control], BBCNews.com. Published 22 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.</ref> A change in the treaty could include a possible shift in internet governance structures, which may change them from regulation under a U.S.-based group like [[ICANN]] to a more global organization.<ref>[http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/22/google-says-itu-is-wrong-place-to-make-decisions-about-the-futu/ Google says ITU is 'the wrong place to make decisions about the future of the Internet'], Engadget.com. Published 22 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.</ref>
Google has been vocal about their opposition of ITU control of the internet and has launched a ''Take Action'' campaign in response. The ''Take Actio'' website states, "A free and open world depends on a free and open Internet... But not all governments support the free and open internet.." They note that forty-two countries filter and censor content, and says of the December ITU meeting that, "Some of these governments are trying to use a closed-door meeting in December to regulate the internet... Proposed changes to the treaty could increase censorship and threaten innovation." Google's main criticisms of the ITU are that it is a "secretive" organization with confidential conferences and proposals, which are open only to governments and not to the general public. Google states that, "Internet policy should work like the Internet -- open and inclusive."<ref>[http://www.google.com/intl/en/takeaction/whats-at-stake/ Take Action], Google.com.</ref>
Other opponents include the European Parliament, who published a resolution stating that such a change could "negatively impact the internet, its architecture, operations, content and security, business relations, internet governance and the free flow of information online",<ref name="bbcnews-1"></ref> as well as the U.S. government. The U.S. ambassador to the conference, [[Terry Kramer]], said in a statement that, "The US is concerned that proposals by some other governments could lead to greater regulatory burdens being placed on the international telecom sector, or perhaps even extended to the internet sector... The United States also believes that existing multi-stakeholder institutions, incorporating industry and civil society, have functioned effectively and will continue to ensure the health and growth of the internet and all its benefits."<refname="bbcnews-2">[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19106420 US resists control of internet passing to UN agency], BBCNews.com. Published 7 August 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.</ref>
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