I’m glad the United States still has a few champions for freedom of information. We need to continually remind ourselves that we are in fact the shinning beacon in an ever dimming world.
Brett Solomon, executive director of Access, a digital rights group, is livid that the debate will be done largely in secret, with limited input from stakeholders.
“The ITU (International Telecommunications Union) and its member states have attempted to respond to our criticisms and other challenges about the WCIT, but they fail to address the critical flaw: It’s a closed, government-controlled agency that should not be making decisions about internet policy,” he said. “Such decisions necessarily require the participation of governments and the private sector and civil society.”
The United States is battling plans to treat the internet like the telephone when it comes to transmission agreements. Some European and Middle Eastern members are calling for so-called termination fees, in which networks where a web session begins must pay the routing cost for the session’s destination — like phone companies work with phone calls.
“That model, in general, lends itself to fewer providers, higher prices, slower take-up of internet, slower economic growth,” said Terry Kramer, the head of the U.S. delegation.
Llanso said termination fees, which would obviously be paid for by consumers, also opens the door to more internet monitoring.
“You can also read it as a campaign,” she said, “to make all internet communication more traceable and more trackable, invading users’ privacy.”
The dot-nxt site has published a clearinghouse of leaked documents regarding member proposals.