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"The International Telecommunication Union, previously the International Telegraph Union, is the specialized agency of the United Nations which is responsible for information and communication technologies. ITU coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world and establishes worldwide standards. ITU also organizes worldwide and regional exhibitions and forums, such as ITU TELECOM WORLD, bringing together representatives of government and the telecommunications and ICT industry to exchange ideas, knowledge and technology. The ITU is active in areas including broadband Internet, latest-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology, convergence in fixed-mobile phone, Internet access, data, voice, TV broadcasting, and next-generation networks. ITU is based in Geneva, Switzerland, is a member of the United Nations Development Group and its membership includes 193 Member States and around 700 Sector Members and Associates". - Wikipedia
ITU work is treaty based (and in terms of the USA must be ratified by the US Senate).
International Telecommunications Regulations enacted 1988 (ITRs) .
Art. 9: Interconnection of information services.
See WTO agreement on Internet Interconnection
Is the ITU looking to expand its authority over the Internet (or ICTs) in the areas of
- Internet Governance
- Internet number assignment (RIR)
- Domain Name System
- Backbone Interconnection (see also Internet eXchange Points IXP)
European Network Telecommunications Organization (ETNO) Proposal ITRs (Sending Party Pays for Internet Interconnection)
- Proposal (version posted to Wikileaks) of the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association
- Art. 2
For the purpose of these Regulations, the following definitions shall apply. These terms and definitions do not, however, necessarily apply for other purposes.
2.11 IP interconnection: IP interconnection refers to technical and business solutions and rules to ensure the delivery of IP traffic through different networks.
2.12 End to end quality of service delivery and best effort delivery:
- End to End quality of service delivery refers to the delivery of PDU (Packet Data Unit) with predefined end-
to-end performance objectives.
- Best-effort delivery refers delivery to of a PDU without predefined performance targets.
3.1. Members States shall ensure that Operating Agencies cooperate in the establishment, operation and maintenance of the international network to provide satisfactory quality of service. Member States shall facilitate the development of international IP interconnections providing both best effort delivery and end to end quality of service delivery.
3.2 Operating Agencies shall endeavour to provide sufficient telecommunications facilities to meet requirements of and demand for international telecommunication services. For this purpose, and to ensure an adequate return on investment in high bandwidth infrastructures, operating agencies shall negotiate commercial agreements to achieve a sustainable system of fair compensation for telecommunications services and, where appropriate, respecting the principle of sending party network pays.
International Telecommunication Services
4.4 Operating Agencies shall cooperate in the development of international IP interconnections providing both, best effort delivery and end to end quality of service delivery. Best effort delivery should continue to form the basis of international IP traffic exchange. Nothing shall preclude commercial agreements with differentiated quality of service delivery to develop.
- ETNO response to the Commission Public Consultation on specific aspects of transparency, traffic management and switching in an open Internet, October 16, 2012 ("ETNO does not call for regulation of IP-Interconnection, be it at global, EU or national level. IP-Interconnection should be covered by commercial agreements, including on the provision of enhanced quality of service, allowing the development of new sustainable models of traffic and payment flows in the internet value chain, and supporting sustained investment in network infrastructure.")
- ETNO paper on Contribution to WCIT ITRs Proposal to Address New Internet Ecosystem ("The aim of the ETNO proposal is to contribute to the achievement of a more sustainable model for the Internet. ETNO is not asking for increased regulatory intervention but aims to establish a reference for commercial negotiations. The current interconnection model has some shortcomings that need to be addressed. Today there is a huge disproportion amongst revenues and a clear shift of value towards players (Over the Top players - OTT) who are not contributing to network investment. Traffic and revenue flows need to be realigned in order to assure the economic viability of infrastructure investment and the sustainability of the whole ecosystem. The revision of the ITRs offers a unique opportunity to propose high-level principles for IP interconnection.")
- News and Blogs
- Leslie Harris, My Dinner with ETNO, CDT Sept 24, 2012 ("if ETNO's proposal becomes treaty law, it would put countries seeking to preserve a neutral Internet in violation of their treaty obligations and likely increase the cost of Internet access for users, especially in less developed countries.")
- Cynthia Wong, Radical Proposal Now on Table at the ITU, CDT June 21, 2012
- Internet Interconnections Proposals For New Interconnection Model Comes Up Short Internet Society
- Larry Downes, EU Telcos Defend UN Internet Takeover Plans, CNET September 23, 2012 ("Instead, ETNO simply reiterates its view that "Perpetuating an 'unpaid peering' approach for IP interconnection that developed when traffic patterns were largely symmetric can hamper the incentive to invest in transport capacity and network quality." The group argues that over-the-top video providers including YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu are extracting more and more revenue from the network but "are not contributing to network investment." ")
- Declan McCullagh and Larry Downes, UN Could Tax US Based Web Sites, Leaked Docs Show, CNET June 7, 2012
- Declan McCullagh, European ISPs defend UN Internet Tax, CNET August 20, 2012
- Declan McCullagh, UN Takeover of the Internet must be stopped, US Warns, CNET May 31, 2012
- Geoff Huston, A Report on the OECD/BEREC Workshop on Interconnection and Regulation, CIRCLEID June 28, 2012 (discussing ETNO position)
- USG Delegation
- Ambassador Terry D. Kramer, Head US Delegation to WCIT
- Eli Dourado, Research Fellow, Mercatus Center GMU Law
- August Submissions
- Review of ITRs should be at a high level
- Recommendations are voluntary
- Ensure focused on telecommunications services
- Not open to redefining telecom service to include the Internet
- Not open to redefining "operating entities" (telecom networks)
- October Submissions
- Liberalized markets successfully drives broadband deployment
- Cybersecurity - a problem - but where is the best solution. Solution must have technical expertise and participatory inclusive process
Seek to block spam. Want ability to mandate traffic routing.
Significant economic problem. Highly competitive market has permitted dramatic reduction in transit costs. Consolidating traffic over few routes increases ability of the government to engage in surveillance.
- Equinet (Equality in Network Builds)
- Information Security
African Region Proposals
- A Giant Step Backward or the Way Forward An Analysis of some Proposals before WCIT Rohan Samarajiva| Chair and CEO, LIRNEasia| September 2012 ("The Region’s proposal aims to impose broad regulations on the economics and content of the Internet, and seeks to redefine once-narrow ITR telecommunications definitions to encompass the much-larger ecosystem of the digital economy, including Internet service providers (ISPs), content providers and Internet standards-making bodies.")
- Russia Submission released by wikileaks
- Russia Calls for Internet Revolution, RT.com May 28, 2012 ("Russia backed by China and India is pushing through a takeover of the internet by a UN supranational agency to make the web truly universal. The aim of the plan is to standardize the behavior of countries concerning information and cyberspace.")
Internet Society Submission
- Affim multi statekeholder model
- ITR not about Internet, they are about PSTN
- Voluntary standards for ITU-T
- ETNO would disincentivize creation of IXPs - people will not want to interconnect capacity to places where will have to pay to send the traffic
Res 101 IP Based Networks Res 102 Management of Internet Domains and Addresses Res 133 Role of administrations of Member States in the management of internationalized (multilingual) domain names ITU: Political Leaders Must Address Information Society Issues - Global Governance Framework for 'Cyberspace' to be issue at World Summit ITU 11/12/02
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Article 19: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
- UN Report Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue* May 16, 2011
- "The Special Rapporteur underscores the unique and transformative nature of the Internet not only to enable individuals to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression, but also a range of other human rights, and to promote the progress of society as a whole. Chapter III of the report underlines the applicability of international human rights norms and standards on the right to freedom of opinion and expression to the Internet as a communication medium, and sets out the exceptional circumstances under which the dissemination of certain types of information may be restricted. Chapters IV and V address two dimensions of Internet access respectively: (a) access to content; and (b) access to the physical and technical infrastructure required to access the Internet in the first place. More specifically, chapter IV outlines some of the ways in which States are increasingly censoring information online, namely through: arbitrary blocking or filtering of content; criminalization of legitimate expression; imposition of intermediary liability; disconnecting users from Internet access, including on the basis of intellectual property rights law; cyber- attacks; and inadequate protection of the right to privacy and data protection. Chapter V addresses the issue of universal access to the Internet. The Special Rapporteur intends to explore this topic further in his future report to the General Assembly. Chapter VI contains the Special Rapporteur’s conclusions and recommendations concerning the main subjects of the report. "
- United National Report: Internet Access as a Human Right, LATimes June 3, 2011 (Copy of Report at LA Times)
- Internet Access is a Human Right, United Nations Report Declares, HUFFPO June 8, 2011("The report, which the Atlantic describes as reading "like a hat tip to WikiLeaks and its campaign for transparency," was met with strong praise from groups like the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).")
ITU ICT Free Statistics
ITAC: US International Telecommunication Advisory Committee
The Department of State announces a request for comments on the report of the Working Group on Internet Governance, which is scheduled to be released to the public on July 18, 2005. The UN Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG), created by Phase 1 of the WSIS, was tasked ``to investigate and make proposals for action, as appropriate, on the governance of Internet by 2005.'' The text of the report will be available at http://www.wgig.org or on the Department of State's World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Web site at http://www.state.gov/e/eb/cip/wsis2005. The Department of State will be accepting comments from the public on the WGIG report through August 1, 2005. Comments should be sent to Sally Shipman, International Communications and Information Policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, according to the decision of PrepCom II, all governments and other stakeholders are invited to submit written comments and proposals on the issue of Internet governance to the WSIS Executive Secretariat (to email@example.com) by August 15. Thereafter, a compilation of these contributions will be forwarded to the WSIS PrepCom III, together with the report of the WGIG. Fed Reg Notice.