The ITU and global Internet governance

Under the larger issue of The global Internet governance architecture

Since late 2012, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has come to play an increasingly important role as a platform for and driver of global debates around appropriate models for Internet governance. While some argue the ITU’s growing role merely signals an attempt by certain governments, or by the UN, to take over the Internet, others argue that the institution has a legitimate role to play in Internet governance. The Internet Democracy Project follows and sheds light on the debate as it unfolds, from a developing country perspective.   Read More

Landmark events to look out for:

  • World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), Dubai, 3-14 December 2012, where the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) are being reviewed by the governments of the world

  • World Telecom Policy Forum (WTPF), Geneva, 14-16 May 2013, where a range of draft ‘opinions’ will be considered, including some that look to carry forward the debate on government intervention in Internet governance that was started at the WCIT and that, thus, can have potentially far-reaching consequences

  • The ITU Plenipotentiary, Busan, 20 October to 7 November 2014, where debates on governments’ role in Internet governance might further culminate, as the Plenipotentiary has the power to change the ITU’s Constitution and Convention to extend its grasp over Internet governance issues.

For more information on the structure, functioning and importance of the ITU, read the relevant sections of our FAQ on the WCIT and the ITRs.


Posts & Reports

  • ITU Secretary-General response to members of civil society

    Last week, a large group of civil society organisations wrote to the ITU’s leadership, requesting them to ensure greater transparency and openness of the upcoming ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. Today, we received the below response from ITU’s Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun Touré to our call. Though our request to allow members of the public to participate as …   More

    15 Oct 2014

  • Pawns in a governments’ game? Civil society and evolving discussions on ‘multistakeholder’ Internet governance

    Ever since the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) brought out rather starkly disagreements among governments about governments’ role in Internet governance, this issue has received considerable attention. What is discussed far less, however, is that, in this ongoing tug of war, civil society is paying a high price: notwithstanding the extensive lip service both …   More

    10 Jul 2013

  • Closing statement from civil society to the WTPF

    During the recently concluded World Telecommunication Policy Forum, a small but tightly-knit group of civil society organisations followed the proceedings, either in-person or through remote participation. The Internet Democracy Project was one of them. Together, we wrote a statement to the meeting that was presented during the Closing Session by Matthew Shears from the Center …   More

    20 May 2013

  • Open letter to Secretary General Touré on WTPF

    With an aim to get the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to facilitate increased participation of civil society at the upcoming the World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF), various civil society groups from across the globe signed this open letter addressed to ITU General Secretary Dr. Hamaroun Touré. The Internet Democracy Project is one of the signatories. “21 February 2013 Open letter …   More

    25 Feb 2013

  • The WCIT’s outcomes: an Indian civil society perspective

    Rishab Bailey participated for the Internet Democracy Project in the ITU’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), as part of the Indian delegation. What follows are seven comments and observations by Rishab on what happened at the WCIT and on ITU processes more generally, based on attending the World Conference. For background information on the ITU, the WCIT, the ITRs, and their importance for Internet governance, read Rishab’s earlier FAQ on the WCIT and the ITRs, which complements this report.

    Report 16 Jan 2013

  • WCIT 2012: India sets an example

    This post originally appeared as a column in “Down to Earth” magazine, which did a cover story on Internet Governance in its January, 2013 issue. It comments on India’s stance on the new ITRs. My colleague Rishab Bailey represented the Internet Democracy Project at the WCIT in Dubai, as part of the Indian delegation. When …   More

    04 Jan 2013

  • The WCIT and the ITRs: An FAQ

    From 3 to 14 December 2012, the governments of the world will meet in Dubai, at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), to review the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs). Why should this be of concern to Internet activists? This briefing paper, authored by Rishab Bailey, answers the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) on why the ITU and the ITRs matter to the future of the Internet, and what the significance of current developments at the ITU could be for the Internet in a developing country like India.

    Report 03 Dec 2012

  • Concerns and suggestions for alternative language with regard to the Government of India’s draft proposal for the ITRs

    In preparation for the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, the Hon’ble Minister Mr. Kapil Sibal convened a meeting for all stakeholders, to take their input on India’s draft proposal for the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs). Following the meeting, the Internet Democracy Project submitted the comments below in writing, as per Mr. Sibal’s request. The inputs shared here were drafted by Rishab Bailey and Anja Kovacs and highlight our most important concerns on India’s draft as conveyed to the Minister, as well as responding directly to requests for input made by the Minister in the meeting. The Internet Democracy Project had earlier submitted to the Government of India a detailed, paragraph-per-paragraph comment on India’s proposal together with four other civil society organisations: the Society for Knowledge Commons, the Centre for Internet and Society, Delhi Science Forum and the Free Software Movement of India.

    Report 29 Nov 2012

  • Statement on the proposed ITRs by civil society members and groups participating in the ‘Best Bits’ pre-IGF meeting at Baku

    During the Best Bits pre-IGF meeting in Baku, the Internet Democracy Project collaborated with a group of civil society organisations and individuals from around the world to formulate a joint position on the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) that will be reviewed at the ITU’s upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai. The statement …   More

    05 Nov 2012

  • Saying no to ITU authority over the Internet

    The Internet Democracy Project has joined civil society organisations and academics from across the world in expressing concern over proposals currently in the ITU that will affect the Internet if accepted. Our joint letter expresses to member states and government delegates our concerns about the closed nature of the ITU process as well as about …   More

    08 Sep 2012

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