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International Telecommunication Union

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| linkedin = [http://www.linkedin.com/company/international-telecommunication-union ITU LinkedIn]
| twitter = ITU_News
| keypeople = [[Hamadoun ToureHoulin Zhao]], Secretary-General<br/>[[Houlin ZhaoMalcolm Johnson]], Deputy Secretary-General
}}
 '''ITU''' is the abbreviation for the '''International Telecommunication Union(ITU)'''. It is a leading agency of the United Nations, handling information and communication technology issues. It is also the most important agency for private sectors and governments all across the world in developing networks and services. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the ITU is dedicated to connecting the entire world through the various means of communications.<ref name="link1">[http://www.itu.int/net/about/index.aspx ituAbout], ITU.int].</ref>
== History ==
The ITU dates back to the nineteenth century. It was founded in 1865 in Paris as the International Telegraph Union. It took up its current name in 1934, and officially became a part of the United Nations (UN) in 1947. It is one of the oldest international organizations in the UN. Since its establishment, the ITU has facilitated the information and communications industry in many ways, from the invention of the electric telegraph in 1837, to organizing worldwide and regional exhibitions and forums, to bringing together government representatives from all around the world to share their knowledge, ideas and technology for the benefit of the global community, especially the developing world.<ref name="link1">[http://www.itu.int/net/about/index.aspx itu.int]</ref> <refname="link2">[http://www.itu.int/en/history/overview/Pages/history.aspx itu.intHistory]</ref> <ref>[http://www.itu, ITU.int/en/history/overview/Pages/dates.aspx itu.int]History</ref>
== Mission ==
 Ensuring the growth and sustainable development of the information and telecommunications network is the main mission of ITU. It also supports universal access to technology for all people, so that they are able to participate as well as benefit from the evolving information society and global economy.<ref>[http://www.itu.int/net/about/mission.aspx ituMission], ITU.int] Mission.</ref>
== Membership ==
The ITU welcomes governments as well as private organizations. Governments may join the ITU as Member States, whereas the organizations can join the ITU as Sector Members.<ref>[http://www.itu.int/net/about/membership.aspx ituMembership], ITU.int]Membership.</ref> Currently the ITU has 192 Member States and 535 Sector Members,<ref>[http://www.itu.int/members/index.html ituMembers], ITU.int].</ref> making the ITU a forum wherein governments and private sector players can come together and discuss policy frameworks as well as set agendas that would have substantial impact on the global business in the future.
== ITU Sectors ==
The ITU comprises of four sectors: Standardization, Radio Communication, Development, and ITU Telecom. Each of these sectors specializes in policy-related or technical issues in their area of interest. Each sector is led by a director who reports directly to the ITU Deputy Secretary General and the Secretary General.<ref name="link4">[http://www.tiaonline.org/gov_affairs/issues/intl_advocacy/itu.cfm tiaonlineInternational Telecommunication Union], TIAOnline.org.</ref>
'''Standardization:''' This sector of the ITU is responsible for the production of sophisticated and globally accepted telecommunication standards and related documents that are not under the purview of the ITU Radio-communication Sector.<ref name="link4">[http://www.tiaonline.org/gov_affairs/issues/intl_advocacy/itu.cfm tiaonline]</ref>
'''Radio-communication:''' This sector is charged with managing satellite resources and international radio-frequency spectrum.<ref name="link1">[http://www.itu.int/net/about/index.aspx itu.int]</ref> It also studies and provides necessary recommendations on issues related to radio communication, ensures effective allocation of radio frequency system bands, works towards eliminating the interference between radio stations of different countries, and enhances the use of geostationary satellite orbit.<ref name="link4">[http://www.tiaonline.org/gov_affairs/issues/intl_advocacy/itu.cfm tiaonline]</ref>
'''Development sector:''' This sector sees to it that there is equal, affordable, and sustainable access to information and communication technologies (ICTs).
'''ITU Telecom:''' This sector works towards bringing together the top names among the ICT industry.<ref name="link4">[http://www.tiaonline.org/gov_affairs/issues/intl_advocacy/itu.cfm tiaonline]</ref>
== Relation with ICANN World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT)==In 2005From December 3rd to December 14th, 2012, the ITU signed a MoU with is holding the [[ICANNWCIT|World Conference on International Telecommunications]], which superseded and suspended an earlier MoU which ICANN had with (WCIT) in Dubai. Government representatives from 178 nations around the world will be working to renegotiate the U.S. Department of Commerce (''[[DOCITR|International Telecommunications Regulations]]'' (ITR), an information and communications treaty 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 main motive behind treaty has not been updated since its signing in 1988.<ref name="bbcnews-3">[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 MoU with ITU was has said that ICANN wanted it hopes to adopt some ensure "the free flow of ITU's proven practicesinformation around the world, such as charging promoting affordable and equitable access for access to documents all and membership in order to make up laying the foundation for publication costs, which would ultimately help to ease budget pressuresongoing innovation and market growth".<refname="bbcnews-1">[http://www.icannwatchbbc.org/articleco.pl?sid=05uk/04news/01/1423239 icannwatchtechnology-20445637 European Parliament warns against UN internet control], BBCNews.com. Published 22 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.org]</ref>
==WCIT & ITU==The Any changes to the treaty must have unanimous support, as the ITU does not openly publish submissions from their meetings traditionally use a voting system, and leave it up to individual states to decide what material they wish to releasethat, "Whatever one single country does not accept will not pass.<ref name="bbcnews-2"></ref> In response, [[WCITLeaks]]However, a website similar to WikiLeaks but related exclusively to the ITU and 's Secretary-General [[WCIT|World Conference of International TelecommunicationsHamadoun Toure]], aims to bring transparency noted to the UN organization by encouraging those in possession of documents to publish them anonymouslyBBC that if there were serious disagreements a majority vote may be required.<refname="bbcnews-3">[http://wcitleaks.org/ WCITLeaks.org]</ref>
==International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR)==The [[United Nations]]' [[ITU|International Telecommunication Union]] is holding One major aspect of the [[WCIT|World Conference on International Telecommunications]] (WCIT) treaty could include a possible shift in Dubai internet governance structures, which may change them from December 3rd to December 14th, 2012regulation under a U.S. Government representatives from 178 nations around the world will be working to renegotiate the ''-based group like [[ITR|International Telecommunications RegulationsICANN]]'' (ITR), an information and communications treaty 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 1988a more global organization.<ref>[http://www.bbcengadget.co.ukcom/2012/11/news22/technologygoogle-says-itu-is-wrong-place-to-make-decisions-about-the-20429625 futu/ Google attacks UNsays ITU is 'the wrong place to make decisions about the future of the Internet's internet treaty conference], BBCNewsEngadget.com. Published 22 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.</ref> Of the goals of the updated treaty, Toure also stated that it was the ITU has said that it hopes 's goal to ensure "the free flow of information around the world, promoting affordable and equitable access for work with [[ICANN]] rather than take all and laying the foundation for ongoing innovation and market growth"responsibilities from it.<ref name="bbcnews-12">[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>
One major aspect ===ITU & Google===[[Google]] has been vocal about their opposition of ITU control of the treaty could include internet and has launched a possible shift ''Take Action'' campaign in response. The ''Take Action'' website states, "A free and open world depends on a free and open Internet... But not all governments support the free and open internet governance structures.." They note that forty-two countries filter and censor content, and says of the December ITU meeting that, which may change them from regulation under "Some of these governments are trying to use a Uclosed-door meeting in December to regulate the internet.S.-based group like [[ICANN]] . Proposed changes to the treaty could increase censorship and threaten innovation." Google's main criticisms of the ITU are that it is a more global "secretive" organizationwith 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.engadgetgoogle.com/2012intl/11en/22takeaction/google-says-itu-is-wrong-place-to-make-decisions-aboutwhats-theat-futustake/ Google says ITU is 'the wrong place to make decisions about the future of the Internet'Take Action], EngadgetGoogle.com. Published 22 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.</ref>
===OppositionITU & Individual Governments===Google has been vocal about their opposition of ITU control of 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 has launched a ''Take Action'' campaign in response. The ''Take Actio'' website statessecurity, business relations, "A free internet governance and open world depends on a the free and open Internetflow of information online",<ref name="bbcnews-1"></ref> as well as the U.S.government. But not all governments support the free and open internetThe U.S." They note that forty-two countries filter and censor contentambassador to the conference, [[Terry Kramer]], and says of the December ITU meeting said in a statement that, "Some of these The US is concerned that proposals by some other governments are trying could lead to use a closed-door meeting in December greater regulatory burdens being placed on the international telecom sector, or perhaps even extended to regulate the internetsector... Proposed changes to the treaty could increase censorship and threaten innovation." Google's main criticisms of the ITU are The United States also believes that it is a "secretive" organization with confidential conferences existing multi-stakeholder institutions, incorporating industry and proposalscivil society, which are open only to governments have functioned effectively and not will continue to ensure the general public. Google states that, "Internet policy should work like health and growth of the Internet -- open internet and inclusiveall its benefits."<refname="bbcnews-2">[http://www.googlebbc.co.com/intl/enuk/takeactionnews/whatstechnology-at-stake/ Take Action19106420 US resists control of internet passing to UN agency], GoogleBBCNews.com. Published 7 August 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.</ref>
Other opponents include On December 2nd, 2012, the European ParliamentUS government issued a statement in support of [[ICANN]], who published a resolution stating that such a change could signed by [[Larry Strickling|Lawrence E. Strickling]] of [[NTIA]], Julius Genachowski of the [[FCC]], and Phillip L. Verveer of the State Department. They stated: "negatively impact The Internet’s decentralized, multistakeholder processes enable us all to benefit from the internet engagement of all interested parties. By encouraging the participation of industry, its architecturecivil society, operationstechnical and academic experts, content and securitygovernments from around the globe, business relations, internet governance multistakeholder processes result in broader and more creative problem solving. This is essential when dealing with the free flow of information online"Internet,<ref name="bbcnews-1"></ref> as well as which thrives through the U.S. governmentcooperation of many different parties. The U.S. ambassador Our commitment to the conferencemultistakeholder model is based on the fact that transparency, inclusion and participation are the 21st century standards governing discussions related to modern communications. This is a view shared by many around the world and was most recently reiterated by a statement of civil society members and groups from around the world who participated in the “Best Bits” pre-[[Terry KramerIGF|Internet Governance Forum]], said (IGF) meeting held earlier this month in a statement thatBaku, "Azerbaijan. 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 sectorU.S.. The United States also believes that existing multi-stakeholder institutions, incorporating industry and civil society, have functioned effectively and will continue Government wishes to lend its support to ensure the health and growth spirit of the internet and all its benefitsrecommendations contained in the statement."<ref name="bbcnews-2">[http://www.bbcthedomains.co.ukcom/2012/12/news02/technologyon-eve-of-start-of-the-itu-meeting-in-dubai-the-us-makes-issues-a-statement-in-support-of-19106420 icann/ On Eve Of Start of The ITU Meeting In Dubai, The US resists control Makes Issues A Statement In Support of internet passing to UN agencyICANN], BBCNewsTheDomains.com. Published 7 August 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2 December 2012.</ref>
===Support===
Proponents may include the Russian government, who stated in a November 17th, 2012 letter that, "Member states shall have equal rights to manage the internet, including in regard to the allotment, assignment and reclamation of internet numbering, naming, addressing and identification resources and to support for the operation and development of basic internet infrastructure."<ref name="bbcnews-1"></ref><ref>[http://files.wcitleaks.org/public/Russia%2040.pdf Russian Federation], WCITLeaks.org.</ref>
 
===ITU & WCITLeaks===
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]], 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>
 
== Relation to ICANN ==
In 2005, the ITU signed a MoU with [[ICANN]], which superseded and suspended an earlier MoU which ICANN had with the [[DOC|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 ICANN, ITU merge], ICANNWatch.org.</ref>
== References ==
 
{{reflist}}
[[category: Organizations]]
[[Category: Acronym]]
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