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Tag Archives: WCIT

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Internet balkanization, courtesy of NSA

One of the reasons we opposed the ill-considered efforts by ETNO and others to impose sending-party-network-pays charging on Internet traffic was the danger of balkanization: differential access to the Internet from different countries or splinternet. We beat back that effort in a temporary alliance with the US State Department, but little did we know that […]

Who killed Internet freedom?

The title of an article in The Diplomat is “Has Snowden killed Internet freedom?” Whatever one thinks of Mr. Snowden’s actions or motives, one of his most lasting legacies in ousting these programs is likely to be severely setting back the cause of Internet freedom in the international community. Although the U.S. and the U.K. […]

Reflecting on international telecom/Internet policy after the Dubai debacle

I spent more time than I had on working to fend off bad proposals to impose the sending party network pays principle on data as part of the revision of the International Telecom Regulations of the ITU. We succeeded, but I did not really think there were any winners in Dubai, really. Now that some […]

Media pluralism in post-WCIT Internet world

Few days back I was asked to speak on the above subject at a workshop held at the Center for European Political Studies in Brussels. I discussed what effects the continuing efforts by ETNO and likeminded groups to introduce some form of government mandated rent extraction from Over the Top players such as Google and […]

How to prevent the breaking of the Internet

We just beat back a misguided attempt to break the Internet on the basis of some retrograde conception that equated the Internet with circuit switched telephony. But there is no debate that the Internet is under strain. We’ve been working with UN ESCAP, among others to address some of the problems. But the more fundamental […]

Nuanced and progressive: An assessment of India’s stance at WCIT

Asia is said to the last redoubt of belief in the Westphalian state. The Internet is fundamentally incompatible with the notion of a national state (legislature, executive and judiciary) having untrammeled authority over all that went on within its boundaries. It is therefore understandable that government officials have trouble dealing with Internet policy. But as […]

WCIT: The debate continues in India

Many countries left the final decision on the ITRs to officials. In some case like Kenya, the officials applied their minds. In too many developing countries, it was a knee-jerk response based on maximizing national control and/or loyalty to the ITU. India is different. “ITU should only focus on telecom sector and not get into […]

20 km away with your freedom: A government servant who does not believe in concentrating power in government

It’s a rare government servant who does not believe that his prime directive is not that of giving all possible power to his government. Refreshing. But Dr Ndemo had indicated he would not support the inclusion of internet in the ITU regulations even before he left the country for the conference. “Why would we want […]

Another agrees: Not enough consensus building occurred prior to Dubai

I trace the failure of Dubai back to the decision to cut corners on the expert group that was to prepare for the conference. A delegate who was a participant-observer reaches a similar conclusion. Consensus-based decisions take time. Principles must be understood, positions presented, compromises made. Throughout the process, enlightenment occurs at various times and […]

Who signed ITRs and who did not?

In the morning there was a report that the great Asian democracy, India, had not signed the ITRs. Now it looks like it did. Looks like poetic babus played a double game. Kenya’s brave lone stand is extraordinary and can be explained by what it has to lose if the Internet ceases to be seamless, […]

One way to assess to impact of who is signing/not signing the ITRs

The Internet was born inside US universities and spread out across the world. The same has been true for Google, Facebook and many other currently wildly popular applications. These were the applications that ETNO and its allies unsuccessfully tried to tax, by inserting language in the ITRs. Thankfully, that ended in failure, but as avarice […]

Dubai is a win for LIRNEasia

WCIT over the shoulder

The photo on the left, an over-the-shoulder picture kindly sent us by an observer sitting in the back rows of WCIT 2012 in Dubai, illustrates. While the heavy-duty wrangling is going on, a delegate from an African country is going through the LIRNEasia website. We have yet to analyze the user data from the WCIT […]

Who is responsible for the Dubai Debacle?

Many talk about the collapse of WCIT as a natural phenomenon; something that just happened, rather than something that specific individuals were responsible for. I disagree. This was something that could have been avoided. The process leading up to the Dubai fiasco could have been handled better. ITU likes to claim that the 1988 WATTC […]

Half-time report on WCIT: Nothing resolved

The most important work will get done in the early hours of the last night, as was the case in Melbourne. Lots of countries are lining up to speak on Article 6, the one that has been our focus. Also unresolved are some important economic issues. Perhaps the most potentially game-changing aspect here involves language […]

WCIT access-charge proposals are anti-poor says RIA’s Alison Gillwald

I keep being asked by journalists why well-meaning people like ITU Secretary General Hamadoun Toure are supporting the “access charge” proposals, that are warmed over ETNO rejects. I really do not know. I can only speculate. It may be that he has spent too much time in the rarefied climes of Geneva talking to CEOs […]

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