[governance] European Parliament report on Internet governance

Jean-Louis FULLSACK jlfullsack at orange.fr
Fri Mar 19 17:39:39 EDT 2010

Dear members of the list

There is at least a forth reason to the "desastreous ITU transparency", curiously forgot in the forwarded message : the absence of CS in the ITU's bodies !

This is a serious paradox since multistakeholderism is the mainstay of the WSIS and the ITU, who is in charge of its organization, is all but MS ! Unfortunately, this paradox wasn't seriously challenged by the CS, neither during the WSIS itself, nor during its follow-up. The reason is probably because there are a handful of (very) rich NGOs who can afford to pay the expensive membership fares for being an "ITU associate member", a species specially and recently created inside of the ITU for a cosmetic purpose : "look, how the ITU is open to CS" ! 

Another reason -and a major one- ignored in this mail, is that the payment of its 650 or so "sector members" is a bare necessity for the ITU, since its financial resources are critical and its budget is in the "red zone". However, it is true that the "sector members" are all heavily involved in the ICT market and use the ITU for buying influence, mainly through the standardization process.

Best regards 

Jean-Louis Fullsack 
CSDPTT - France  

> Message du 19/03/10 10:14
> De : "Jeremy Malcolm" 
> A : governance at lists.cpsr.org
> Copie à : 
> Objet : [governance] European Parliament report on Internet governance
> I'm forwarding the important message below, with permission from the author who is Advocacy Coordinator for the European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRi).
> Begin forwarded message:
From: "Joe McNamee" 
> Date: 19 March 2010 5:09:17 PM GMT+08:00
> To: "'Jeremy Malcolm'" 
> Subject: RE: [EDRi-members] Internet governance

Dear all,
The European Parliament is currently preparing a non-legislative report on Internet governance. 
The Committee responsible (Industry) is going fairly slowly, but the MEP in charge has produced a fairly ill-informed document (in my humble opinion) which includes rather unwelcome, confused and contradictory thoughts, such as these:
6. Bearing in mind that problems involving the Internet worldwide will continue to appear in forthcoming years, it is important that the EU institutions continue to work – as they are already doing on many fronts – on everything that may affect Europe’s values and fundamental rights’ heritage to ensure these are accepted in the global management of the Internet. Progress must therefore continue to be made on the following: 
–guaranteeing plural and non-discriminatory access to the Internet,
–defending the European view on Internet neutrality,
–aspects connected with security in the face of threats or attacks,
–protection of citizens’ right to privacy and resolution of questions as to who has jurisdiction and which law is applicable in deciding where cases are heard (given that the Rome II agreement expressly excludes non-contractual conflicts connected with the right to privacy),
–protection of intellectual property rights and guarantees regarding access to users’ culture,
–guaranteeing free competition,
–combating crime and, specifically, protection of minors’ rights.
The “Opinions” from other committees are generally bland and repeatedly call for “more transparency” from ICANN. My fear is that this chipping away at ICANN will lead us slowly in the direction of the ITU (lets not forget, without having nightmares, that the ITU and WIPO made a bid to fulfil the tasks now undertaken by ICANN!). To that end, I would like to draw MEPs’ attention to the fact (?) that there aren’t major problems with ICANN’s transparency, while the ITU would be a disaster for transparency, at least for the following 3 reasons.
Companies pay to participate in ITU discussions:
This payment is actively sold by the ITU as a way of buying influence: They get “access to various meetings at which decision-makers and potential partners are engaged in discussions” (http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/membership/sector.html)
Even more surprisingly, the documents adopted by the ITU are not widely available and must be purchased. See, for example:
As a result, I’m sure that there are members that know this issue far better than I do, particularly with regard to whether or not there are significant transparency issues in ICANN. I therefore need your feedback on a. if EDRi should be taking a view on this, b. if we should be taking the view described above or c. if we should be taking another view?
Best regards,
Joe McNamee
Advocacy Coordinator
European Digital Rights
39/3  Rue Montoyer
B-1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 550 4112

-- Jeremy Malcolm
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