& cplSiteName &

Is Internet Freedom in Danger?

Ray Le Maistre
11/27/2012
50%
50%

Tension in the global networking community is growing ahead of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12), which begins next week in Dubai, as claims about Internet governance conference proposals are published online.

The conference is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) , the United Nations body best known for its standards and spectrum frequency allocation work. The event, which runs from Dec. 3-14, has been organized to review the existing International Telecommunications Regulations (last negotiated in 1988!), consider revisions and debate proposals from the ITU's 193 member states.

The potential impact of some member state proposals, particularly those expected from Russia and some Middle Eastern and African states, are fueling the controversy. Those proposals have adopted the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) suggestions regarding a charging mechanism for Internet traffic and they call for national management of the public Internet and the regulated ability to individually identify all Internet users. (See this assessment of ETNO proposals by Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) for more details.)

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) decided that the conference could lead to Internet censorship and regulation and so started its free and open campaign, laying down its concerns in the What's at stake part of the campaign website and urging individuals to join its protest.

The ITU countered Google's campaign in a blog, THE GOOGLE CAMPAIGN – AN ITU VIEW, pointing out that the conference is not a "closed-door meeting," as Google claims, and that the process leading up to the conference has been open and transparent.

Google, as we all know, is a powerful company: Its campaign has spawned a multitude of blogs, articles, tweets and all manner of proclamations about the nature of Internet access.

Even the European Parliament got caught up in the furor, issuing a resolution noting its concern about the potential impact of some proposals on the "the internet, its architecture, operations, content and security, business relations and governance, as well as the free flow of information online." You can read the resolution by clicking on this hyperlink -- but you'll have to concentrate hard to get through the formal presentation of the Parliament's views.

The ITU wasn't too happy with the European Parliament: It published another blog, the title of which speaks for itself -- EU PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION ON WCIT FLAWED.

On Twitter and elsewhere, ITU representatives repeat over and over that the ITU is not a body that has any interest in governing the Internet and does not have the power to do so, throwing its hands up in the air in exasperation each time it counters a claim (OK, so that's just how I am visualizing it … but you know what I mean).

But the ITU isn't helping its own cause. It claims the process leading up the conference is entirely transparent, yet the proposals to be discussed in Dubai cannot be viewed by members of the public -- they are for the eyes of ITU members only. That membership, by the way, includes the part of Motorola that Google now owns, so the Web giant has had the opportunity to have a look at, for example, Russia's proposal.

In addition, the ITU's secretary-general, Dr. Hamadoun Touré, has told Reuters that "light-touch" regulation regarding cybersecurity could be agreed by ITU member states if there was a "consensus." Read the full Reuters article here.

It's that sort of comment that sets the alarm bells ringing for those worried about the Internet being controlled and regulated.

The ITU spoke with us on the issue. See Page 2 of this article for details.

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
digits
50%
50%
digits,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:02 PM
re: Is Internet Freedom in Danger?


This is a delicate situation and the ITU is required to behave in a certain way, so I do wonder if it is going to be dumped on whatever happens. 


The thing is, its track record and reputation as a very political, machiavellian organization (I'm thinking back to the 1990s and early 2000s) won't be helping...

jepovic
50%
50%
jepovic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:51 PM
re: Is Internet Freedom in Danger?


The title suggests that there is some kind of universal freedom on the Internet, which is suddenly threatened by ITU. This is highly questionable.


Practically all countries use the net to spy on their citizens. Most countries also block web sites, not due to national security but relatively small crimes such as copyright issues.


At the same time, corporations are assembling massive amounts of personal information about us. This information is shared with authorities, and will most probably eventually leak out. When will Google have their first Bradley Manning?


The question here is: What is the biggest threat to internet freedom - ITU regulation changes, or Google?

From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Grant Van Rooyen of Cologix

    4|18|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    ONS 2016 – Demonstration of Huawei's NetMatrix Multi-Vendor SDN Orchestrator

    4|15|16   |     |   (0) comments


    This demonstration shows how Huawei's NetMatrix SDN Orchestrator (SDN-O) addresses an operator's core service agility needs for services spanning multi-domain, multivendor networks: it includes a demonstration of:
    - Rapid New Service Design: using YANG to model a complex example of multi-domain, multivendor L3VPN network connectivity service that ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    AT&T Wants to Own North Carolina

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Venessa Harrison, president of North Carolina for AT&T, tells how the company will expand its GigaPower service beyond the seven N.C. cities it already serves.

  • This blog, sponsored by AT&T, is the second part of a ten-part series examining next-generation broadband technologies titled "Behind the Speeds."
  • Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    Mitel Asks: What Time of Day Do You Shower?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/25/2016
    GoT Fans Curse HBO (Not Right) Now
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.