ITU statement thread
william.drake at uzh.ch
Thu Oct 25 10:21:01 EDT 2012
Thanks for getting us started, Emma, very helpful.
A couple weeks ago Jeremy and I were going around on possible ways to boot up this process. One option considered was to have some of the folks that most closely follow the issues around the two statements get started with some drafting of bits for collective consideration, but we ultimately decided this was a bad idea. With a diverse group, some of whom may not have worked together before, it seemed better to move in a completely inclusive bottom up way from the beginning so that anyone who wants to follow or weigh in can do so at the most formative stages. Setting up these lists seemed a good way to get that started, and we might want to try pushing as far as we can before meeting so the F2F bit is less stressed. So let's see what we can do?
I guess the first and foundational question is what style of letter with what principal focus. I've stated my views previously,
On Oct 16, 2012, at 2:32 PM, William Drake wrote:
>> On the other hand, if we just want to give a list of preachments to the ITU on how should be conduct its business, I am game for it. That is much more doable.
> I certainly hope this is not what we'll do in the WCIT statement. Statements critiquing the ITU's MO proved useful earlier in the process, e.g. by pressing governments to agree to the landmark, watershed, historic (quoting the press office) release of a document that had already been leaked and widely accessed. If you know the zeitgeist in tower, this was news. And more generally, those statements made senior staff who'd previously declared they'd be unaffected by any muttering among the riff raff launch an unprecedented counter-offensive perception management gambit, complete with a Twitter "storm" (tee hee) and website telling critics that their concerns are all myths. So all good.
> What's needed now though is something different—less meta, more focused on specific aspects of Dubai. There's a proposal that the conference chair declare some sessions open to the public. One imagines there will be push back from the usual suspects; it'd be good to briefly make the case. Beyond this, I'd hope we can focus on the concrete proposals that could be problematic for the Internet and offer substantive counterpoints. Ideally, these should acknowledge that in some cases governments may have real legitimate concerns, but point out the downsides of overreach and that there are other, more effective ways to deal with them than via a multilateral treaty on telecom. In other words, be positive in tone and content. If we do that, at least some delegations might have a look before tossing the responses to the ITU's public comment call into the trash, and that would establish another reference point for delegates carrying similar messages. BTW, such a statement could also feed into the CIR main session in Baku, which will discuss WCIT issues.
So my pref would be that as a starting point, we divide up the main topics/bad proposals potentially impacting the Internet and each prepare a tight paragraph or two response, perhaps with bullet point conclusions, that sort of a) respectfully acknowledges the concerns behind the proposals, b) says why the proposed solution is overreaching and likely to have unforeseen negative consequences, c) indicates a better way to go about addressing the problem, and d) offers preferred language. Maybe not in that order, but you see what I mean. Aggregation of and editing for consistent style a bunch of such mini-statements would be fairly easy to do in Baku, then we'd just need a chapeau and closing, and voila, we'd have the sort of input document delegates are used to reading, and perhaps one that wouldn't head straight to the circular file.
Speaking of circular files: I would not in the text make references to civil society thinks this or feels that. Many delegates read that as "fifth column for Western domination thinks this or feels that." They know who we are, basically. Let's not stand around calling attention to it, and just stick to the issues at hand.
At least, that's what I'd do.
Does anyone have a different preferred plan we could start in on?
On Oct 17, 2012, at 10:40 PM, Emma Llanso wrote:
> 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 http://igcaucus.org:9001/p/ITU.
>> Dr Jeremy Malcolm
>> Senior Policy Officer
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