- On October 2, 2012, International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure spoke at the Global Symposium For Regulators 2012 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, addressing the controversy that has surrounded the upcoming December 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai. He stressed that “[c]ontrary to some of the sensationalist claims in the press, WCIT is definitively not about taking control of the Internet or restricting people’s freedom of expression or freedom of speech.” Rather, he stated, WCIT will promote broadband expansion and “a harmonious and conducive international environment that drives innovation.” WCIT has been criticized as a possible forum where autocratic governments may attempt to enact international regulations that would provide the ability to restrict freedom of speech. Even the U.S. Senate recently passed S. Con. Res. 50, a joint resolution against any changes to the current model. FCC Commissioner McDowell also has been vocal about his concerns regarding the upcoming WCIT as well, writing in a February 2012 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that the process “could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet.”
Mr. Toure’s speech is available here.
The Senate resolution is available here.
Commissioner McDowell’s op-ed is available here.