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

Posted on December 14, 2012  /  1 Comments

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 has legs. It will come again.

One way to assess the significance of who is signing and not-signing the ITRs is to look at in terms of actual Internet users. I have serious concerns about the numbers ITU produces in this regard (for example, it claims that 500 people use one Internet connection in Afghanistan), but readers are welcome to check the numbers at ITU eye.

An alternative is to look at Facebook users in a country. Below is the top 25, of which 1, 3, 6, 8, 17, etc are not signing:

1 United States 168594460
2 Brazil 63390320
3 India 61208100
4 Indonesia 50893840
5 Mexico 39960060
6 United Kingdom 33773300
7 Turkey 32038040
8 Philippines 30014180
9 France 25396840
10 Germany 25321620
11 Italy 23074180
12 Argentina 20562200
13 Canada 18577780
14 Thailand 17909180
15 Colombia 17661840
16 Spain 17504720
17 Japan 16800440
18 Malaysia 13556760
19 Taiwan 13168600
20 Egypt 12070000
21 Australia 11779000
22 Venezuela 9952000
23 Vietnam 9911540
24 Peru 9808960
25 Chile 9735380

Full statistics at Socialbakers.

Someone can do the numbers on what it means to ram through an international treaty that will not have the participation of such heavy Internet-user countries. What’s the appropriate analogy: Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark?

1 Comment

  1. Africa is absent from the top 25 (highest ranked are Nigeria and S Africa at 31 and 32). The entire population of Africa is smaller than that of India, but Africa has 52 votes at the ITU and India one.

    There are more Facebook users than the entire population of Africa. Yet Africa has 52 votes and Facebook users, none.