ITU statement thread

Emma Llanso ellanso at
Wed Oct 17 16:40:11 EDT 2012

Hi all,

Apologies if I've missed discussion about this statement in another 
thread, but I thought it might be helpful to provide links to some of 
the existing civil society statements about the WCIT (which many of you 
are familiar with already!), including:

In terms of specific proposals that raise significant concerns, CDT has 
identified several categories of proposals that both raise human rights 
concerns and seem likely to be the subject of much debate at WCIT.  I've 
included some discussion and text of proposals below, and would be very 
curious to hear others' thoughts about what specific issues raise concerns.


1) Regulation of traffic routing - Some states have proposed a new 
provision that would give states the right to know where traffic has 
been routed, and the right to regulate routing of traffic for security 
and fraud purposes.  If this provision is applied to regulate the route 
of Internet traffic, it would require technical changes to the Internet 
that would give governments additional tools to block traffic to and 
from certain websites or countries.  Regulations on routing could also 
enable greater tracking of users by their IP addresses. This provision 
is put forward in the name of security and fraud, but their necessity, 
proportionality, and impact on the right to privacy and freedom of 
expression has not been fully assessed.

Exact text: Egypt and the Arab States regional group have proposed that 
"A Member State shall have the right to know through where its traffic 
has been routed, and should have the right to impose any routing 
regulations in this regard, for purposes of security and countering 
fraud." A similar proposal has been made by the Regional Commonwealth 
group of states (RCC) and is also supported by Russia.

2) Allowable limitations on public access and use of telecommunications 
- Russia and the Regional Commonwealth group of
states (RCC) have put forward a proposal that requires Member States to 
ensure access and use of international telecommunications services, but 
allows an exception for when telecommunications is used "for the purpose 
of interfering in the internal affairs or undermining the sovereignty, 
national security, territorial integrity and public safety of other 
States, or to divulge information of a sensitive nature."  The Internet 
has become an essential tool for the exercise of a range of human 
rights.  This proposal is inconsistent with human rights standards that 
articulate when governments may permissibly limit the right to freedom 
of expression under Article 19 of the ICCPR and Article 10 of the ECHR. 
  This proposal could be used to legitimize
restrictions on a range of human rights, including freedom of 
expression, association, and assembly.

3) Internet access and net neutrality - The European Telecommunications 
Network Operators Association (ETNO), a Sector
Member at the ITU, has proposed a series of changes to how networks on 
the Internet connect to each other. For example, ETNO proposes a 
"sending party pays" system, where content providers would have to pay 
fees to reach the user who wants to access that content.  Some civil 
society organizations believe this system would result in increased 
costs of Internet access for users, especially in less developed 
countries, since the fees companies pay would be then passed on to 
users.  The ETNO proposal also encourages ISPs to make special deals 
with content companies to prioritize their content, which undermines net 
neutrality online.  Taken together, the effect of the ETNO  proposal 
would be to increase the cost of Internet access and limit equal access 
to information online.  Again, the full impact of the ETNO proposal on 
Internet access and the ability of individuals to seek and receive 
information online must be fully assessed.

Emma J. Llansó
Policy Counsel
Center for Democracy & Technology
1634 I Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
202-407-8818 | @cendemtech <>

On 10/2/2012 6:20 AM, Jeremy Malcolm wrote:
> The original plan was to have two small drafting groups for our two 
> output documents, which a core of interested participants could join 
> to come up with some zero-draft text as a starting point for 
> discussions in Baku.
> As things haven't worked out that way so far, it has been suggested we 
> bring the discussion back onto the main list.  To that end, I am 
> starting two threads, for discussion of the two statements.  I'm 
> beginning with the ITU statement.
> I do not consider myself an expert on the ITU (certainly not compared 
> to some of you), so I am not going to propose any actual text.  But in 
> general terms, it is hoped that the statement would by a strong and 
> unified civil society position to which most of us subscribe, not only 
> pushing back against the ITU's mission creep and pointing out its 
> deficits with respect to the WSIS process criteria (openness, 
> multi-stakeholderism, etc), but being quite specific about the issues 
> on the table for WCIT.  What issues do we already know are the key 
> ones for our members or constituents?
> So, please use this thread to discuss ideas, and once they are more 
> progressed, some draft text could go into a (currently empty) pad at 
> -- 
> *Dr Jeremy Malcolm
> Senior Policy Officer
> Consumers International | the global campaigning voice for consumers*
> Office for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East
> Lot 5-1 Wisma WIM, 7 Jalan Abang Haji Openg, TTDI, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, 
> Malaysia
> Tel: +60 3 7726 1599
> *Your rights, our mission -- download CI's Strategy 2015:* 
> @Consumers_Int | 
> <> | 
> <>
> Read our email confidentiality notice 
> <>. Don't 
> print this email unless necessary.

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