US Ambassador On WCIT: “ITU Is Not The Problem”

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By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch

United States Ambassador Terry Kramer, head of the US delegation to the upcoming UN-led World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT) in Dubai, in a press call today warned against proposals that would invite the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to get into the business of internet governance, be it routing interventions, content control issues, or changes in accounting for internet traffic. Yet reacting to an earlier call by ex-White House official Andrew McLaughlin at a New America Foundation conference to “dismantle the ITU”, Kramer said: “I do not think the ITU is the problem.”

The ITU is doing great work with regard to networks in developing countries, Kramer said, and the calls for greater control over the internet in the ITU and for WCIT are just a reflection of the positions of some non democratic nations.

Kramer called the recent proposal by Russia “most shocking,” as it would open the door to content control and censorship. The Russian proposal would also revert what the ITU Secretary General, Hamadoun Touré, who had underlined that the WCIT was not about internet governance at all.

The much-debated proposals about a potential sender party pays and quality of service regimes still had its fans in the African Telecom Union and the Arab States, while India was still making up its mind on this. The US delegation to WCIT will vigorously oppose these proposals and push for a treaty with high-level principles for telecom networks only.

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