Today, CDT is releasing a letter drafted and signed by an international group of NGOs calling on governments to reject expansion of ITU regulatory authority to the Internet. Addressed to member states and government delegations to the ITU conference, the letter also calls on governments to open their preparatory processes so that technical experts, academics, and human rights advocates may voice their concerns and ideas about the proposals, along with business and government entities.
With signatories hailing from Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, and the US, among other countries, the letter reads:
Advocates have pushed for [greater transparency] not only because we believe that transparency and participation are the best approach…but also because we feared that certain countries’ proposals would pose grave threats to human rights on the Internet. Leaked documents detailing proposals for the WCIT have confirmed these fears. Thus, we both continue to call on member states to provide full transparency and open participation to all relevant stakeholders as they prepare for the WCIT, and urge all delegates to reject proposals that would threaten openness and human rights online.
CDT believes the government-dominated structure of the ITU is ultimately inadequate for making Internet policy – by its nature, the ITU cannot provide the open, voluntary, decentralized, and inclusive processes that good Internet policymaking requires.
Today’s letter represents a continued push for transparency in the WCIT process and for governments attending international fora to represent the common interest not only of government or industry, but of all those who have a stake in the future of the information society.
Civil society organizations and academics from all countries are invited to join this call. To sign the letter or learn more, contact [email protected]. For more background on the ITU, visit CDT’s ITU Resource Center.