Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Digital Europe position on the ITU discussions around internet governance

Following up from my last blog post on the Dubai meeting of the ITU where the proposals are discussed that ITU should play a stronger role around regulating the internet and around internet standardisation, I would like to point at the statement from Digital Europe issued in a press release recently.

Digital Europe urges the governments - who are the members of ITU with voting rights - to refrain from taking, as it were, a grip at the internet and to support the distributed multi-stakeholder approach that has been successful for years, instead. Along these lines Digital Europe drew up 8 concrete recommendations for the governments to take into account:
  • "DIGITALEUROPE deems it critical to preserve the global multi-stakeholder, market-based and decentralized nature of internet governance. This will ensure that the substantial benefits already gained will be maintained and reinforced.
  • "DIGITALEUROPE believes the revision of the ITRs is an opportunity to enshrine high-level principles of international telecommunications which have underpinned the success of telecommunications liberalisation.
  • "The ITRs should emphasise policy approaches that promote telecommunications liberalisation by introducing competition overseen by independent regulators, focusing on private sector leadership and relying upon market based agreements for telecommunications services.
  • "DIGITALEUROPE believes the scope of the ITRs should not be expanded to cover more entities or organisations.
  • "DIGITALEUROPE believes the ITRs should not be revised in a way that grants the ITU authority over the internet or develops an international regulatory treaty for the internet.
  • "DIGITALEUROPE does not support mandating ITU Recommendations in the ITRs; rather ITRs should enshrine a commitment to open, voluntary industry standards.
  • "DIGITALEUROPE believes proposals or mandates that would effectively mean regulating internet interconnect should be rejected: they run the serious risk of fragmenting the internet, cutting off the developing world from internet content and thereby widening the digital divide.
  • "DIGITALEUROPE recognises that genuine concerns about online criminal activity are being raised within the ITU. However, DIGITALEUROPE believes it would be more effective for governments to take these concerns through more targeted actions and on-going initiatives to promote international cooperation on cyber-security, rather than through an international telecommunications treaty. "
  Meanwhile also the press is full of articles on the Dubai meeting of ITU and on the discussion around control of the internet. Just use your favourite search engine and type in "ITU Dubai internet" and you will get a long list of links for articles and comments available online. Not all of them are good and neutral - but I am sure all of you will be able to apply a text critical approach. Definitely an interesting discussion that deserves to be followed by all of us who use the internet on a daily basis - and who benefit from it in multiple ways.

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