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Global Internet resolution "adopted" amid confusion

UPDATE: The future of internet governance? I wouldn't start from here (Index on Censorship, 14 December 2012)

(RSF/IFEX) - 13.12.2012 - During last night's session of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), which ended very late, conference chair Mohammed Nasser Al Ghanim proposed a "Resolution to foster an enabling environment for the greater growth of the Internet" that would reinforce the International Telecommunication Union's role in Internet governance.

Ghanim proposed the resolution with the stated aim of obtaining a "sense of the room" and then declared that it had been "adopted" although no vote was taken. In theory, the ITU reaches decisions by consensus and holds a vote only when a consensus is impossible.

The resolution reversed Ghanim's previous position that the ITU should not meddle in Internet governance.

The Centre for Democracy and Technology (CDT), an American NGO, said the way the resolution was adopted was unprecedented. Government representatives who would probably have opposed it were caught off guard and were unable to take a position before the session's hasty closure.

Reporters Without Borders reiterates its appeal for more transparency and, like the CDT, calls for the resolution to be put to a formal vote. The resolution would indicate that the ITU intends to stick with its existing model of decision-making, effectively ruling out any participation by civil society and non-governmental entities, whose expertise is crucial.

A transcript of the session is available here.


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