It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The ITU will facilitate the The World Congress on International Telecommunications or WCIT, a treaty-level conference that addresses the international rules for telecommunications, including international tariffs.] The previous conference to update the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) was held in Melbourne in 1988. The next conference will be held in Dubai in December 2012.
The treaty itself consists of ten articles and 73 reservations from various of the 111 initial signatory countries. It covers both inter-country communications as well as maritime communications, governing privileged and emergency communications, accounting for services, and exceptions for bilaterally agreed communications.
In August 2012, ITU called for a public consultation on a draft document ahead of the conference. The proposal would allow government restriction or blocking of information disseminated via the internet and create a global regime of monitoring internet communications - including the demand that those who send and receive information identify themselves. It would also allow governments to shut down the internet if there is the belief that it may interfere in the internal affairs of other states or that information of a sensitive nature might be shared.
Telecommunications ministers from 193 countries will attend the conference.
The International Telecommunication Union, previously the International Telegraph Union, is the specialized agency of the United Nations which is responsible for information and communication technologies. ITU coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world and establishes worldwide standards.
ITU also organizes worldwide and regional exhibitions and forums, such as ITU TELECOM WORLD, bringing together representatives of government and the telecommunications and ICT industry to exchange ideas, knowledge and technology. The ITU is active in areas including broadband Internet, latest-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology, convergence in fixed-mobile phone, Internet access, data, voice, TV broadcasting, and next-generation networks.
ITU is based in Geneva, Switzerland, is a member of the United Nations Development Group and its membership includes 193 Member States and around 700 Sector Members and Associates.
The ITU's mission is to enable the growth and sustained development of telecommunications and information networks, and to facilitate universal access so that people everywhere can participate in, and benefit from, the emerging information society and global economy. The ITU assists in mobilizing the technical, financial, and human resources required to make this vision real.
For the last 20 years, ITU has been coordinating efforts of government and industry and private sector in the development of a global broadband multimedia international mobile telecommunication system, known as IMT. Since 2000, the world has seen the introduction of the first family of standards derived from the IMT concept. Since May 2007, there are more than 1 billion IMT-2000 subscribers in the world. IMT-Advanced provides a global platform on which to build the next generations of mobile services - fast data access, unified messaging and broadband multimedia - in the form of exciting new interactive services.
A major priority of the ITU is bridging the so-called "digital divide" by building adequate and safe information and communication infrastructure and developing confidence in the use of cyberspace through enhanced online security.
The ITU also concentrates on strengthening emergency communications for disaster prevention and mitigation, especially in less developed regions.
Virtually every facet of modern life – in business, culture or entertainment, at work and at home – depends on information and communication technologies.
Today, there are billions of mobile phone subscribers, close to five billion people with access to television, and tens of millions of new Internet users every year. Hundreds of millions of people around the world use satellite services – whether getting directions from a satellite navigation system, checking the weather forecast or watching television from isolated areas. Millions more use video compression every day in mobile phones, music players and cameras.
ITU is at the very heart of the ICT sector, brokering agreement on technologies, services, and allocation of global resources like radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbital positions, to create a seamless global communications system that’s robust, reliable, and constantly evolving.
The global international telecommunications network is the largest and most sophisticated engineering feat ever created. You use it every time you log on to the web, send an e-mail or SMS, listen to the radio, watch television, order something online, travel by plane or ship – and of course every time you use a mobile phone, smartphone or tablet computer.
ITU (International Telecommunication Union) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.
We allocate global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
ITU membership reads like a Who’s Who of the ICT sector. We’re unique among UN agencies in having both public and private sector membership. So in addition to our 193 Member States, ITU membership includes ICT regulators, leading academic institutions and some 700 private companies.
In an increasingly interconnected world, ITU is the single global organization embracing all players in this dynamic and fast-growing sector.
IDG News Service (Brussels Bureau) — Control of the Internet must be stopped from falling into the hands of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the European Parliament has warned.
The European Union's elected representatives loudly called for negotiators to block attempts by the ITU to gain ultimate control over the Internet at a conference in Dubai next month.
The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) will attempt to revise international telecommunication regulations, which have not been updated since 1988. A resolution approved by an overwhelming majority of Members of the European Parliament on Thursday warned that some of the proposals presented ahead of WCIT could result in the ITU itself becoming "the ruling power of the Internet," something the parliament is determined to prevent.
"The ITU, or any other single international institution, is not the appropriate body to assert regulatory authority over the Internet," said the resolution, drawn up by Dutch parliamentarian Marietje Schaake.
Google has jumped headfirst into the debate surrounding an upcoming United Nations telecommunications summit, launching a campaign Tuesday to encourage Web users to sign a petition advocating for a “free and open Web,” while at the same time decrying the conference as a “closed-door meeting,” involving proposals from world governments to “increase censorship and regulate the Internet.”
Google declined to comment further on the record than the following statement issued by its spokesperson: “More than 100 organizations from 50+ countries have raised concerns about an upcoming closed-door meeting in December in Dubai, where governments will consider proposals to increase regulation and censorship of the Internet. People can learn more about the issue on our website — and if they choose to do so, can pledge their support for a free and open Internet.”
Internet freedom advocates are braced for a fight ahead of a key meeting of a major UN body that governs global telecommunications regulations.
The question of who controls the web has been an ongoing debate, and the issue is top of the agenda at a secretive meeting of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) - a branch of the United Nations - next month.
There's considerable confusion over exactly which countries are behind which proposals to add the internet to the ITU's list of regulatory responsibilities, something campaigners have told PC Pro equates to a land grab that could make it easier for countries to impose restrictions on web traffic.
"The UK, US and Canada and most of Europe don't want these high level controls," said consultant Dominique Lazanski, who will be attending the conference as part of the UK delegation, at an Open Rights Group meeting earlier this week. "The UK and Europe are the good guys in this case.
The proposals up for discussion were first spotted on the ITU website by Australia's News Limited, which reported how the draft proposals "would allow government restriction or blocking of information disseminated via the internet and create a global regime of monitoring internet communications".
The site's analysis found the proposals "included the demand that those who send and receive information identify themselves ... it would also allow governments to shut down the internet".
There’s a meeting between the world’s governments in a just a few weeks, and it could very well decide the future of the internet through a binding international treaty. It’s called the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), and it’s being organized by a government-controlled UN agency called the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
If some proposals at WCIT are approved, decisions about the internet would be made by a top-down, old-school government-centric agency behind closed doors. Some proposals allow for access to be cut off more easily, threaten privacy, legitimize monitoring and blocking online traffic. Others seek to impose new fees for accessing content, not to mention slowing down connection speeds. If the delicate balance of the internet is upset, it could have grave consequences for businesses and human rights.