Victory! UN/ITU Internet power-grab thwarted at WCIT

The WCIT treaty has collapsed in in Dubai. The International Telecomms Union (ITU) failed to gain consensus for the controversial proposals, as many countries refused to sign it. The ITU is furiously backpedaling but is coming under increasingly heavy criticism.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers try to spell ' anachronistic.'

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

John Ribeiro reports:

The final treaty...retains a controversial proposal on fostering the growth of the Internet. ... Russia, China, and some Arab countries had proposed multinational control over the Internet [giving] an equal role to all ITU member states. ... Much of the control of the Internet...is currently in the hands of...ICANN, under contract with the U.S. government.

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Each country has to ratify the treaty, and it needs to be passed into each country's national legislature.  MORE

And Aunty adds:

The US, Canada and UK have refused to sign. ... It marks a setback for the...ITU, which had said it was sure it could deliver consensus. ... Negotiators from Denmark, the Czech Republic, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Kenya have said they...would also not be able to sign the treaty as planned on Friday.

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many attendees believed it was an anachronism that the US government got to decide which body should regulate the net's address system. ... However, the US said this allowed it to ensure that technical experts could make "agile, rapid-fire decisions" about the net's development. ... A proposal...calling for equal rights for all governments to manage [addressing] was eventually shelved.  MORE

The ITU's Dr Hamadoun I. Touré puts on a brave face:

This treaty contains many gains and achievements including increased transparency in international mobile roaming charges and competition...greater connectivity for people with disabilities...increased investment and roll out of broadband and mobile broadband...dealing with the growing scourge of e-waste and promoting greater energy efficiency.

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this conference [was] not about governing the Internet. [It] did NOT include provisions on the Internet in the treaty text. ... [It] does NOT cover content issues and explicitly states...that content-related issues are not covered by the treaty.  MORE

But Kieren McCarthy pours scorn on the ITU:

...the Internet has claimed its first organizational scalp, subjecting the...ITU to a humiliating failure. ... [It's] a severe embarrassment. ... [It] exposed the organization to modern realities that it was incapable of dealing with. ... The warning signs were apparent months before...the preparatory work was out-of-step with modern policy systems [and the] conference style and approach [was] stuck in the 1970s. ... This approach stunned attendees who were forced to sit for hours in huge meeting halls, listening to events unfold at a frustratingly slow pace.

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Mistake piled on mistake and yet the ITU seemed incapable of responding...and ignoring civil society, the technical community and even hundreds of thousands of...citizens that took to online petitions.

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In the end, the ITU...having backed themselves to the edge of a cliff, dared governments to push them off. They duly did.  MORE

And L.S. is saddened by events:

[The] ITU has always prided itself on being one of the most pragmatic organisations. ... Engineers, after all, speak a similar language, regardless where they come from. ...the outcome of the conference in Dubai will weaken the ITU—which may not be such a good thing. [It] does very useful work, for instance in managing the international radio-frequency spectrum.

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The most important result of the conference has been to demonstrate that the world now splits into two camps...one is comprised of more authoritarian countries, which would like to turn back the clock and regain sovereignty over their own national bits of the internet.  MORE

Meanwhile, Nonio worries about the rise of idiocratic, "fake socialism":

Nations like Venezuela, Brazil, Russia, China and Iran are all ruled by proto dictators, personalist cults or one sided non-democratic power blocks. ... Brazil, Russia and China alone amount to roughly two billion people. ...the very fact that this significant block managed to push the UN into voting mode is by itself terrible. Soon [these] uninformed sheeple will be driving the whole of us to the informational slaughterhouse again..

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Let's worry now, and spread the word. ... WAKE UP, lets fight this intelectual starvation with knowledge and cyber activism before it's too late.  MORE
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