January 9, 2013
An FCC Commissioner says
recent ITU meeting "like the Star Wars
The proposal was passed despite vociferous objections by the US and other developed countries. In the end, 55 countries refused to sign on, while 89 did sign the resolution.
That was seen as a success for the US and its allies, but anyone celebrating the outcome might be doing so too soon.
In fact, several of the companies that sided with the US only ended up in that position because of an overreach on the part of Iran, according to one speaker at a Thursday CES panel.
Ambassador David Gross, who was the US representative to the ITU for several years, said that Iran decided to,
The twist is that this was a situation in which the "human rights" were granted to a government, not to actual humans.
The real goal was to strike a blow against sanctions. (Other behind-the-scenes accounts, including one published on Ars, suggest this proposal originated with Cuba. In any case, both countries supported it.)
Most European countries didn't support the final proposal because of the more controversial language inserted by Iran and Cuba.
The whole scenario was chaotic, with a lack of clarity over what would or wouldn't be voted on.
And the ITU is not likely to stop its attempts to increase its power, cautioned McDowell.
The Congressman who introduced the panel, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), said that as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, he was determined to stop the UN from messing with the current structure of Internet governance.
The debate had many different forces in the US working in the same direction.
Congress, after all, had passed a resolution sending a "hands off" message to the ITU which was overwhelmingly supported by both parties. Today, jokes abounded about the rarity of seeing both AT&T and Google with representatives on the same panel, actually agreeing with each other on policy.
Even though the leadership in developing countries are the ones pushing for the ITU to have more power, the idea that it will help their citizens was dismissed during today's talk.