ITU: Internet policy still on its agenda

ITU is the best place to discuss issues on which there is no clear consensus, said its Secretary General 

By , IDG News Service |  Internet

Among the issues to be discussed are earlier resolutions relating to Internet Protocol based networks, ITU's role with regard to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses, and roles of administrations of member states in the management of internationalized (multilingual) domain names.

There was also concern at the WCIT on the effects of the treaty, with some observers and participants in the discussions worried that provisions on security and spam will give some countries cover to censor Web content. Some analysts though argued that countries that want to censor the Internet already do so within their own borders.

The U.S., U.K. and some other delegations to the conference did not sign the treaty as they were worried at the outset about provisions on Internet governance and content. The U.S. and its allies maintained that the ITU, a telecommunications body, should have no role in the regulation of the Internet.

89 signatory countries representing not just most of the world's people, but an even greater majority of the world's unconnected people have signed the treaty at the WCIT, Touré said on Wednesday. Other countries can accede to the treaty between now and when it comes into force in January 2015. "Indeed we already have a number of countries that have requested details on how they should go about acceding to the treaty," Touré said.

Much of the management of the Internet, including its numbering and naming system is currently in the hands of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) under contract with the U.S. government. There have been demands that the U.S. should cut its funding to the ITU.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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