Now it’s official. ITU’s Secretary-General, Hamadoun I. Touré, explicitly supports the governments’ plan to hijack the Internet. His article titled “U.N. Must Lead Internet Regulation Effort” in WIRED says it all. Amending the ITR and creating a lever for the governments to confiscate the control of Internet is a major objective.
Governments are looking for more effective frameworks to combat fraud and other crimes. Some commentators have suggested such frameworks could also legitimize censorship. However, Member States already have the right, as stated in Article 34 of the Constitution of ITU, to block any private telecommunications that appear “dangerous to the security of the State or contrary to its laws, to public order or to decency.” The treaty regulations cannot override the Constitution.
Many authorities around the world already intervene in communications for various reasons – such as preventing the circulation of pornography or extremist propaganda. So a balance must be found between protecting people’s privacy and their right to communicate; and between protecting individuals, institutions, and whole economies from criminal activities.
It’s a wolf under a sheep’s skin. ITU’s Article 34 (Stoppage of Telecommunications) serves its control freak members that brutally respond to descents in the name of “public interest” and “national security”. Hamadoun Touré wants to further weaponize the infamous Article 34 by threatening the independence of Internet, “The treaty regulations cannot override the Constitution.”
The article of Hamadoun Touré bears no footnote about the ownership of opinion. Therefore, it can be considered as ITU’s official statement. It was published two days after the European Internet Exchange Association (Euro-IX) urged CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) to brush aside ITU from all the affairs pertaining to Internet.
History will remember WCIT 2012 as the clash between puritan and progressive forces.