Yesterday the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) have been updated behind the closed door after fortnight-long extensive intergovernmental debates in Dubai. Dubbing it the possible “Digital cold war” the Economist said:
The most important result of the conference has been to demonstrate that the world now splits into two camps when it comes to the internet: one is comprised of more authoritarian countries, which would like to turn back the clock and regain sovereignty over their own national bits of the internet; the other wants to keep the internet and its governance as it is (bearing in mind that some of its members’ motives may not always be as pure as they pretend).
This sounds much like a digital version of the cold war. The funny thing is that the leading countries in the two camps are the same two that were at loggerheads until the iron curtain parted. One must hope that the failure of the WCIT is not a first step towards raising a digital one.
Meanwhile, the New York-based policy advocacy outfit, Access, has analyzed the bright and dark sides of the revised ITRs. They are: