Tuesday, December 4, 2012

World Conference on International Telecommunications Underway in Dubai

Speaking at the I.T.U.'s World Conference on International Telecommunications is underway this week in Dubai to renegotiate the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs), a binding global treaty that facilitates global interconnection and interoperability of information and communication services.

The ITRs have not been revised since 1988.

ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. TourĂ© said the conference should not been seen as undercutting the freedom of expression.  In his opening speech on Monday,  TourĂ©  said "One of the most persistent myths [about WCIT-12] concerns freedom of expression, and it has been suggested that this conference might in some way act to restrict the open and free flow of information. In Article 33 of the ITU’s Constitution, however, Member States recognize the right of the public to correspond by means of the international service of public correspondence. And the ITRs cannot contradict that provision, or indeed any other article in the ITU Constitution."

The U.S. government has previously stated its opposition to significant changes to the ITRs, saying that ITR should apply only to “recognized operating agencies,” which are those entities providing telecommunications services to the public, and thus preventing the treaty from expanding to include private networks, data processing and other activities.

This week, Google launched  a public campaign to "Keep the Internet Free and Open."



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