ITU statement thread

Anja Kovacs anja at
Fri Oct 26 14:30:58 EDT 2012

Dear all,

I like Gene's proposal about identifying key concerns in a clear manner,
provided we add to each point a reference to all the sections in the ITRs
that are relevant to that particular point. There are already quite a few
documents around that convey general concerns. If we want governments to
pay attention to our recommendations at this late point in time, I think it
is crucial that we guide them as precisely as possible to all the sections
that we believe either deserve support or need to be thrown out.

Regards content, my own concerns mirror Parminder's points 1-4, but I feel
discomfort about the suggestion to include "operating agencies". What
exactly is it that we would gain by including them here also (rather than
only in national legislation); what would we lose by not doing so?

Thanks and best,

On 26 October 2012 21:16, Gene Kimmelman <genekimmelman at> wrote:

> For the purpose of maximizing the likelihood of support from many
> participants, I suggest a SHORT narrative that identifies key concerns
> (which could capture what might otherwise be done article by article),
> which is both respectful of the proposals but also clear about concerns.
> And for the most important civil society concerns which the ITU
> cannot/should not seek to address, we may want to highlight the need for
> member states to commit to taking these up in a timely manner in the most
> appropriate jurisdictions (including multistakeholder processes).
> On Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 11:33 AM, William Drake <william.drake at>wrote:
>> Hi
>> Thanks Parminder for the detailed response, very helpful.  We can plunge
>> into debating the details of these and other points, but shouldn't we first
>> try to agree on the basic architecture?  Some options might include
>> 1.  A narrative treatment of priority issues, per the below (one
>> risk—could get long winded, and the more detailed we are, the greater the
>> scope for disagreement amongst us on particulars)
>> 2.  An article by article concise statement of positions, like 1-2 para
>> each, maybe bullets
>> 3.  A CS Proposal for the Work of the Conference, i.e. in the form of an
>> ITR edit?
>> 4.  An ITR edit with like one para parenthetical explanations
>> 5.  Something else…
>> I suspect 3 or 4 might elicit giggles in the tower and perhaps elsewhere,
>> if we care…
>> At present I think I tend toward the 2nd option, sticking close to
>> positions rather than getting too much into analytical reconstructions of
>> each issue-area, and per previous
>>  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.
>> or maybe the sensibility behind that could just be stated once in a
>> chapeau...  In any event, I hope we can avoid a tone that sounds overly
>> righteous and finger wagging in order to avoid playing into the caricatures
>> that have been deployed to delegitimize criticisms etc.
>> Just my two cents, let's hear from others and see if we can start leaning
>> toward a shared framework.
>> Best,
>> Bill
>> Begin forwarded message:
>> *From: *parminder <parminder at>
>> *Date: *October 26, 2012 2:34:55 PM GMT+02:00
>> *To: *bestbits at
>> *Subject: **Re: ITU statement thread*
>>  Hi Bill/ All
>> Thanks for flagging off this discussion. A bit busy right now, but will
>> put forward some ideas from my emerging, and yet tentative, views on the
>> current draft of ITRs, which I will have to go through again in a properly
>> through manner.
>> I see four sets of issues that are most important, and they are as
>> follows:
>> *1. State control over Internet routing system*
>> This is perhaps the single most controversial issue in the ITR debate,
>> even more than the ITU-ICANN issue discussed above. It is rightly feared
>> that ITRs will be used by authoritarian countries like China and Iran to
>> develop strict state control over the routing of Internet traffic which
>> today is globally ordered to a large extent. Earlier inputs of these
>> countries into the ITR draft were rather more explicit in this regard. Even
>> though rendered relatively bare-bone in the current draft, there is
>> significant text still there that can be used for a tightly controlled
>> Internet routing system, which if taken to its logical end can lead to
>> nation-wise balkanisation of the Internet.
>> In the current draft, it is the text pertaining to section 30 which deals
>> with this issue. Options range from 'states right to know which routes are
>> used', to 'states determining which routes are used', to 'imposing any
>> routing regulation in this regard'. My proposal is to go with one of the
>> listed options which is to suppress section 30 altogether; so, no language
>> on this issue at all.
>> *2. ITU and CIRs management*
>> One of the most important issues is whether ITU is seeking to, and vide
>> the ITRs be enabled to, take up the functions being performed by the
>> distributed CIR management system as it exists at present.  In the current
>> draft, section 31 A is of crucial import in this regard of ITU's feared
>> encroachment of the remit of the ICANN plus system . The options in the
>> current draft regarding this section range from 'naming, numbering,
>> addressing and identification resources will not be mis-used' and 'assigned
>> resources would only be used for the agreed purposes' to 'all ITU
>> recommendations will apply to naming, numbering, addressing and
>> identification resources' (existing or also future ??) to 'nation states,
>> if they elect to, can control these resources within their territories for
>> the sake of international communication'.
>> If ITU recommendations are made vide the new ITRs to apply to names and
>> numbering systems, this may tend towards a creeping encroachment on ICANN's
>> remit. One option in the current draft lists a set of specific ITU
>> recommendations that will apply (these need to be studied individually
>> which I havent). Other options are more open ended, which means future ITU
>> recommendations may also apply, which, may mean that ITU can formally enter
>> into doing and/or supervising ICANN's work. This becomes more problematic
>> when seen along with draft options that make ITRs obligatory and not
>> just a set of general principles. We should speak up against all such
>> efforts to take over, or even substantially affect, the current distributed
>> system of CIRs management.
>> *3. Definitional issues in the ITRs, telecom or Internet*
>> Resolving this issue might take a good amount of out time. The issue is
>> really tricky. Putting Internet under telecom, and thus under ITRs and ITU
>> has its problems and a completely new kind of global regulatory system may
>> then be built over it, which would hurt the way Internet has developed and
>> needs to develop. However, it is also difficult to just argue that, when we
>> are in times we are in, Internet traffic will be excluded from telecom
>> definition, because that would beg the question - what then remains of
>> telecommunicaiton in the era of increased IP based convergence. Is then ITU
>> to close down as traditional telephony disappears. Perhaps more
>> importantly, correspondingly, does this new definitional approach also mean
>> that national level telecom regulatory systems like FCC and TRAI wind up
>> sooner or later.
>> I dont think we can afford to be co-opted into the efforts seeking
>> complete deregulation of the entire communications systems that, for
>> instance,  are at present being made in the US, which employ definitional
>> logics of a highly dubious kind (like classifying Internet not as a
>> telecommunication but as an information service and thus not subject to
>> common carriage or net neutrality provisions, and similarly rescuing VoIP
>> services from universal service obligations.) At the same time, it is
>> necessary to resist providing constitutional basis to the ITU which can be
>> used to for control of content and application layers. This is the dilemma.
>> What would the implications of putting Internet under telecommunications in
>> the definitional and other sections? What does adding 'processing' signals
>> to just sending, transporting and receiving  signals does to what happens
>> in the future vis a vis ITU's role? (These are all existing optional
>> language in the current draft.)
>> This is something we really may have to spend a lot of time on. My
>> tentative suggestion is that we find a way whereby the transport /
>> infrastructural layer is included in the definition of telecommunication
>> (which also is closest to reality) and thus in ITR's remit. At the same
>> time content and application layers are explicitly excluded. Contributing
>> the right language in this respect may be one of the most important things
>> that we can do. But as I said, this requires a lot of thinking and
>> discussion among us.
>> In trying any such definitional separations, the issue of 'security'
>> would become a sticking point. In fact, 'security' may be an issue we may
>> have to separately treat in our submission, becuase there is also a lot of
>> tricky language in the current draft around this issue.
>> *4. Net neutrality or an open Internet
>> *We would certainly speak against the ETNO proposal of a 'sender pays'
>> arrangement. However, we should seek to go beyond it. Everywhere it is
>> recognised that net neutrality is a regulatory issue. Net neutrality cannot
>> survive with regulatory intervention, or at least some kind of normative
>> soft pressure from regulatory quarters. So if there is an issue called
>> 'global net neutrality' (CoE's experts report) then there is perhaps some
>> role for a global regulatory system - if not of enforceable rules, at least
>> for providing normative frameworks and general principles. And net
>> neutrality concerns the transport layer, net neutrality concerns can be
>> accommodated even while we do the above mentioned 'definitional
>> separations' about what part of the Internet is telecom and which not.
>>  While even US telecoms are opposed to the ETNO proposal (for reasons one
>> can appreciate) what they themselves propose in the US is the sender pays
>> principle. Is it possible to use the ITR text in some way to promote a
>> normative framework for net neutrality or an open Internet - or even more
>> specific things like open peering and the such.
>> I read in the CDT's document about problems with use of QoS term which
>> can become the normative indication for violation of net neutrality and it
>> should be opposed.
>> *5. Some sundry issues
>> *Apart the issue of 'security' mentioned above, which may require
>> separate treatment, I can see two other important issues. One, whether ITRs
>> should stay as general principles or they should become mandatory. These is
>> alternative language in the current draft on these option. I think we
>> should seek that ITRs stay as general principles. Second, if the
>> principal parties that are subject to ITRs should remain 'administrations'
>> or be changed to 'member states and operating agencies'. I think the
>> telecom environment has become complex and diverse enough to require the
>> more flexible term 'operating agencies' to be included.
>> Thanks, and look forward to listen to other people's views on this.
>> parminder
>>  On Thursday 25 October 2012 07:51 PM, William Drake wrote:
>> Hi everyone
>>  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?
>>  Best,
>>  Bill
>>  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.
>> Best,
>> Emma
>> 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.

Dr. Anja Kovacs
The Internet Democracy Project

+91 9899028053 | @anjakovacs
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