Monday, December 10, 2012

Telecommunications Conference Negotiations on Digital Governance Stalled

Susanne Posel, Contributor
Activist Post

Terry Kramer, US Ambassador attending the World Conference on International Telecommunications(WCIT) in Dubai, claims that China and Russia are pushing for the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to have oversight extensions to include the Internet – as of now, they are solely governing broadband telephone communications and international calls.

Kramer wants the ITU to be constrained to its original charter and keep the Internet separate to “stay pure to the focus on this conference which is telecom service providers.” Kramer goes on to say: “Fundamentally, the conference should not be dealing with the Internet sector,” and, more bluntly, that they’re interested in “Keeping the Internet out of this conference.”

According to second-hand accounts of the conference by Kramer, Russian representatives propose that telecommunication and Internet security be merged into one issue to be overseen and governed by the ITU.

The goal of this conference is to set an international guidance mandate with the UN at the helm with respect to trans-border communications. Because the Internet falls under this obscure definition, the UN sees it as a global asset of which they should have authority to regulate.

Canada, Australia, Europe and Japan have joined the US in propositioning the WCIT to limit the range of totalitarian controls the UN can impose on the Internet. This alliance and their ideas are being met with harsh criticism from the ITU. There has been a surprising alliance formed with some Arab nations with Russian and China in allowing the UN to take over the Internet.

Nashwa Gad, department manager at Egypt’s Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT) retracted their previously admitted involvement with the secret draft supported by Russia. Gad stated: 
Our name was associated to this proposal by mere misunderstanding. Egypt has always been supporting the basic Internet principles that … the Internet should remain free, open, liberal. We do not see that the ITU mandate deals with the Internet.

Other suggestions discussed at the WCIT:
  • Proposal would wrest control of Web addresses from US body
  • Egypt says included on multi-country proposal by mistake
  • Talks on new telco treaty appear deadlocked
  • U.S., allies oppose the extension of treaty to Internet
The UN and the ITU have kept their new coalition under wraps; as well as the new draft of the global governance treaty that is expected to usurp sovereign nation’s ability to control their own Internet. It is expected to also facilitate stringent censorship and impose all-encompassing surveillance measures on Web users. As of now, it is being reported that the United Arab Emirates will unveil the coalition’s proposals.

The secret draft for new recommendations entitled “Requirements for Deep Packet Inspection in Next Generation Networks” explains that certain issues must be addressed and dealt with at the ITU, such as:
  • Application identification
  • Flow identification
  • Inspected traffic types
  • Signature management
  • Reporting to the network management system (NMS)
Under the direction of Secretary-General Hamadoun Tour, the ITU has moved incrementally toward Internet-centered issues such as cybersecurity, censorship and digital content issues as well as managing the traffic on the Web.

At the WTIC, new regulatory rules are being discussed that provide more stringent restrictions as well as creating a money-making scheme for the UN.

Because all “calls” are ultimately digital, transmission control protocol (TCP) are used to oversee the beginning, middle and end of all transmissions; including the data that passes through in the middle. Internet users do not have control over TCP sessions because IP providers generate the system and apply the communications under their own authority. The ITU could intercept this process, instill a charge and the payment would be passed down to the customer. Remote connections would obviously become more costly, although it takes the same amount of data exchange to make all digital connections.

In addition, the UTI could have backdoor peering abilities as most ISPs do because the exchange of traffic on the Internet occurs without exchange in the physical world, the UTI could be watching all movement on the Web without detection and claim fees based on observations that are not confirmable or verifiable.

It is expected that the ITU would begin a sort of taxation that international telecommunications corporations would be expected to pay for the ITU’s handling of Web traffic as it flows across the world. ITU members would be privy to the new-found cash flow that would be in the hands of international governance; which could begin to line the pockets of the UN in record time.

At the inception of the infrastructure of the Internet, the US government funded the project which has now been redirected to private sector corporations. ICANN is contracted with the US Department of Commerce. They are responsible for making sure that websites are searchable, yet also are involved in backdoor attempts to regulate digital data. Policies outlined by ICANN are dictated by private communications giants.

Kramer asserts that the ITU’s new controls over the Internet would cause investors to stop pouring money into digital infrastructure which would result in higher Internet-access costs and keep millions of people from having access to the Web.

Last week, the CIA-sponsored hacker group Anonymous preformed accordingly with a controlled denial-of-service (DNS) attack against the ITU website. They did not actually cause damage to the website, just simply engaged enough traffic to overwhelm the servers temporarily.

In a statement, the ITU said:
The incident blocked civil society, media and other interested parties from following the proceedings, and prevented access to the wealth of online information on the ITU’s WCIT home page and newsroom. Some hacker groups are claiming responsibility.
Susanne Posel is the Chief Editor of Occupy Corporatism. Our alternative news site is dedicated to reporting the news as it actually happens; not as it is spun by the corporately funded mainstream media. You can find us on our Facebook page.


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Anonymous said...

Russia and China...two military dictatorships trying to control free exchange of ideas that threaten their hold on power...big surprise.
The UN is useless, and controling the internet is just a way for them to steal more money from real working people.
The idiots are scared to death of the internet because they can't hide their crimes and corruption for long.
Maybe Russia the mafia state and China the triad state should relinquish more control to their people...but that will never happen so long as the sun shines.
Internet to the UN on the behest of Russia and China?? Insanity!


Anonymous said...

Russia is a dictatorship? Why do you say that?
Their elections are more democratic than ours.

Russia has seen doubling of average income since 2006. In that same times, US median wages have fallen 7% (30% decline in past 30 years, owing to weakening of collective bargaining (union-busting).

Where and unions are strong, wages rise for everyone! Where unions are weakened, as in Right to Work states, wages fall, benefits are cut, rights are abolished. The middle class is hollowed out.

In China, with a form of authoritarian capitalism, 300 million people have moved from abject poverty to a decent standard of living.
Wages have tripled, as ours have fallen by 1/3.

How dictatorial is China: there are widespread protests, strikes, etc demonstrating the existene of the freedom to dissent.

As rights in China have expanded, they have shrunk in the US, including due process and collective bargaining.

China, with 4 times more people than the US, has 50% fewer prisoners. One objective way to judge how repressive (or dictatorial) a government is to to find out how many people are NOT free, ie imprisoned. The US has a lower rare of free individuals (ie not locked up) than nations like Iran, North Korea--in fact the US has the most (by sheer volume and percent) unfree citizens of any other nation. Dictatorships are characterized by imprisoning masses of people (the ultimate stripping of rights), and by this criteria, which is central if not exclusive, the US is the most dictatorial nation, with both Russia and China much less dictatorial.

Both Russia and China have seen freedom expanded over the past several decades; in the US, freedom has been curtailed with the Patriot Act, etc.

I believe in a free internet but it is not free. It was created by the Department of Defense and has created tens of millions of new jobs, increased productivity by amazing levels, and created many trillions of new wealth. But it is not free: it is dominated, to a lesser degree, just as the ink press, tv, and radio are dominated by 5 huge corporations.

To me the question is not should the internet be free or not, but rather how can the grip of corporations AND government be loosened. Facebook and other popular websites spy and collect more information than the government.

The internet should be free of both government intervention (except in cases of fraud or libel) and corporate domination by a handful of companies.

I think a free internet is a condition to be won by battling the corporations and the government.

When 5 corporations (not all American) control 90% of the media, including the internet, we have neither a free media (5 is not competition but a cartel, which acts like a monopoly .
(Cartel Definition\\\\\The legal definition of Cartel is An agreement between two or more merchants to create or control a monopoly, to lessen or prevent competition."

Examples would be oil and drugs and computer OS and the corporate media, as well as healthcare.

It is indeed commonly known that oil companies manipulate supply to jack up prices and agree to cut back extraction in order to generate high prices and maximize profit. OPEC does it; BP/Exxon/Shell do it. For decades the private healthcare industry (like only baseball) was legally allowed to ignore anti-trust laws and parcel out monopoly markets mafia style. This is your area; this is mine: with no competition, we can charge whatever we want.
Dale, pt 1

Anonymous said...

Dale, pt 2

Do I want to see more freedom in Russia and China? Yes! Do I think people in the US are in a glass house famous for its stolen elections and unlimited secret bribes to politicians (thru superpacs and lobbyists) and it undemocratic Electoral College and the extreme malrepresentation of small states, which in some cases with 1/70th the population (Wyoming to CAli) have the same number of Senators and votes
The US is not a democracy (rather it is a plutocracy with a democratic facade) and therefore it is no position to criticize Russia or China, both of which are much much freer than they were one generation ago, while the US is less free.

So the battle against tyranny is not a national issue (US vs China) but a long war against both the corporations who monopolize the media (incl the internet) and government interventions.

A free media,in whatever form, should not be beholden to advertisers, rich donors, or concentrated in a handful of corporations and all toeing the same line in a crisis (all corporate media supported the war crimes of invading Afghanistan and Iraq, for instance. All corporate media left the best healthcare idea--the proven single payer system of all other advanced nations at half the cost--off the table.

A study showed that 97% of commentators on the corporate media tv were pro-war in the build up to the invasion of Iraq. Powerful anti-war voices like Noam Chomsky were (and are) banned from the corporate media, as is anyone who challenges the corporate control of the economy and the political process, as well as the media world. When our leading public intellectuals, honored all around the world, are not allowed on the corporate media, that is an example of unfreedom, or tyranny, in this case by corporations.

Therefore, we must battle both private and public attempts to take away our rights to free communication and legal protection of our basic rights of speech.

Even where govt curtails internet freedom, it does so with the help of the large corporations.

It's not either/or but both. Most dangerous of all is when corporations and the state merge interests, which Mussolini defined as "fascism."

That is what we have in the US, isn't it.

A basic condition of democracy is a free and diverse media. Our is neither free nor diverse.
Diversity is pushed to the sidelines, banned from the major debates, with no political representation due to winner take all election laws. And another essential condition of democracy is an informed citizenry. Well the corporate media has dumbed down the public to the point where in a recent poll, 47% of Republicans blamed Acorn for the Republican loss.

hermes said...

International Telecommunications conference can save lots of money of our company. I learned a lot of information about it.

Beckham said...

Big surprise about Russian and china free info exchange. That is too bad for US.

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