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.

Thank you for sharing.
Follow us to receive the latest updates.

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter

Activist Post Newsletter