Washington-- The World Conference on International Telecommunications ended today with many delegates frustrated at the outcome.
After nearly two weeks of contentious deliberations, the US, UK, Canada, Denmark, Australia and Czech Republic have declared that they will not sign the newly revised treaty of the International Telecommunication Union. A growing list of countries, currently including Poland, Kenya, Costa Rica, Serbia, Sweden, the Philippines, Japan and the Netherlands have announced they must consult with stakeholders in their countries to decide whether they will sign.
A range of issues left many delegates dissatisfied. The US expressed serious concern about treaty provisions on cybersecurity and a Resolution explicitly committing to future ITU involvement in Internet policy. Several countries objected to a reference to spam, on the grounds that such a provision could open the door to limitations on content.
These same issues have posed challenges for advocates, experts, the Internet industry, and policymakers at other national and international forums that are more equipped to take on complex matters -- it's no surprise that a bureaucratic treaty deliberation process failed to arrive at real solutions to hard problems.