Communication, information, exchange, control

The ITU has recently held a meeting in Dubai about international telecommunication.

CDNet writes: “The US, UK, Canada and Australia walked away from negotiations on Thursday, over fears that the finalised text of the new ITRs could be interpreted as giving the ITU, a UN agency, control over elements of the internet. This was in turn seen as a way of giving governments greater powers of censorship.”

The ITU is a UN unit and here is what they say about themselves:

“ITU (International Telecommunication Union) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.

We allocate global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
ITU is committed to connecting all the world’s people – wherever they live and whatever their means. Through our work, we protect and support everyone’s fundamental right to communicate.”

Another organisation ICANN is doing the specifics of the internet.

They say about themselves: ”What Does ICANN Do? How Does ICANN Work?


Through its By-laws, processes, and international meetings, ICANN provides the arena where all advocates can discuss Internet policy issues. Almost anyone can join most of ICANN’s volunteer Working Groups, assuring broad representation of the world’s perspectives. Hearing all points of view, searching for mutual interests, and working toward consensus take time, but the process resists capture by any single interest – an important consideration when managing a resource as vital as the global Internet.

Multi-stakeholder model.

ICANN’s inclusive approach treats the public sector, the private sector, and technical experts as peers. In the ICANN community, you’ll find registries, registrars, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), intellectual property advocates, commercial and business interests, non-commercial and non-profit interests, representation from more than 100 governments, and a global array of individual Internet users. All points of view receive consideration on their own merits.ICANN’s fundamental belief is that all users of the Internet deserve a say in how it is run.

To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer — a name or a number. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination, we wouldn’t have one global Internet.

In more technical terms, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) coordinates the Domain Name System (DNS), Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. These services were originally performed under U.S. Government contract by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and other entities. ICANN now performs the IANA function.

Besides providing technical operations of vital DNS resources, ICANN also defines policies for how the “names and numbers” of the Internet should run. The work moves forward in a style we describe as the “bottom-up, consensus-driven, multi-stakeholder model”

It is time for some reflection on the internet and global communication.

Recent issues have been

  • formal government control, the right to check what is going on
  • repression of exchange of opinion, debate
  • cybercrime
  • cyber-security for business, government
  • sensorship on many levels, mediacontrol
  • the influence of private interests of many kinds
  • corporate control of the internet, owning the internet, pricing the internet
  • diversification of the price structure, fast lanes, distance costs
  • allowing anonymous presence
  • access to the virtual territory of a country, working from outside a country for political or commercial reasons
  • several systems

The internet is clearly a common pool resource and should be worked like one. This means that the users, of which there is a multitude, should decide the future development of the internet. The ITU must be seen as part of the political system and they can have their say, but the diversity is too great for a political body to run this,  and the interests of freedom and independence should prevail. Many must be heard and many must have their individual ways.

Politics must therefore clearly be kept out as this is about the right to communicate, to have effective interchange. Nobody dictates where air is, where water is, who can use the roads, and everybody can have electricity etc. It is important to establish a long term, even permanent, will to make this a truly open and common resource.

Nobody should be allowed to interfere with an equality-based free internet. ICANN or a similar unit should supervise the net.

We must not lose what it has become, and it must progress further to the benefit of all stakeholders.

One Response to “Communication, information, exchange, control”

  1. Evan says:

    inc@ballots.means” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good info!!…

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