Public Not Eager To Be Consulted By ITU On Telecom Regs

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By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch

The global public consultation started by the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on the draft future International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR) has elicited few responses on the consultation website since it opened to comments on 15 August.

The website for comments is here.

Reacting to member states’ and stakeholders’ requests to publish proposals for the ITR, the ITU published the main draft document and invited comments to be included in the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) to be held on 3-14 December.

Reasons for the lack of attention to the consultation offer besides the more obvious one of timing – many organisations laying low during summer time – might be the reluctance of the majority of ITU members to make a bolder step in transparency and also publish country proposals and additional documentation, some of which are highly controversial.

Interested parties still have to rely on alternative sites – including WCITleaks – to look for information. A group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) addressed the ITU membership and the WCIT delegations in a new letter, urgently requesting open, public consultations on the WCIT, informing citizens about national or regional positions, and the publication of all documents. In the letter posted on the website of the US-based Center for Democracy and Technology, NGOs from Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa and North-America asked delegates to “rigorously examine proposals for their impact on human rights, Internet openness, innovation, and ICT access and development” and “oppose proposals that would diminish the rights of users or limit Internet openness.”

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