Many questions loom as ITU meets to discuss how to handle control of cyberspace
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/14/2013 -- There was extensive discussion worldwide regarding the concern the meeting of International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The collective is a United Nation agency that few members of the public have had a chance to hear of, let alone learn about. The ITU works in unison to coordinate the worldwide use of radio spectrum, as well as promote international cooperation in order to improve telecommunications infrastructure. This is done by promoting the development of technical standards within the industry.
A portion of the discussion involved the ITU discussing rumors that a maneuver would be made to transform the present “stakeholder” internet governance model to one controlled by the United Nations. The national governments would then play a greater role through the ITU. While there has not been such a revolution in internet governance, global reaction to the possibility replicated the significance of the internet within the modern structure of society.
Moreover, as more countries enter the age of information, and the impact of technology affects these countries, many will see increased attention allocated to the issues of governance, transparency, as well as controlled
Anneliebe Moens and Anne Fitzgerald, in their report “Regulating E-commerce, Emerging Principles for the Regulation of Internet Transactions," identify four primary principles that characterize the evolutionary growth of the internet: the equivalence of money and electronic transactions, establishing trust within the latter transaction type, participation of non-governing bodies in regulation, and openness of channels for electronic commerce.
Both Fitzgerald and Moens stated that up to now, major focus has been toward the first two talking points; however, evidence shows that the latter issues are gaining ground in discussions.
The question remains: What is the best governance model for the internet? Is it a landscape that has grown so vastly important that it must be governed by bodies that are in such positions already? Are they too big for non-government bodies?
Coming up with answers is a complex and monumental task, and many questions within the larger-scoped questions still remain. What is abundantly clear is that society has gone beyond the idyllic vision of earlier libertarian thinkers who called for a “Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace” and for the internet to be a “law free” zone. The reality is that the internet has become so vital in the transformation of society, government, and for stakeholders in various industry, that there must be governance. The question of who or what shall preside over that governing body is what is yet to be seen.
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