Events & Conferences

Trusting in the economic power of the Internet

The idea that the growth of economic activity is linked to investment in the Internet and other ICTs is now well-documented. The Internet is making economic activity more efficient, faster, more affordable, while at the same time, extending social interaction in unparalleled ways. Increasingly, the largest productivity gains for businesses come from using online networks.

E-commerce is perhaps the most concrete evidence of the power of the Internet to create new economic opportunity and to expand the dimensions of traditional business. Indeed, e-commerce has been one of the principal engines promoting the growth of the Internet itself over the last fifteen years.

GAC advice: new gTLD safeguards

Below is Annex 1 to the Governmental Advisory Committee's (GAC) communique to the ICANN Board delivered on 11 April 2013 in Beijing. It concerns a series of "safeguards" for new gTLDs.

Safeguards on New gTLDs

The GAC considers that Safeguards should apply to broad categories of strings. For clarity, this means any application for a relevant string in the current or future rounds, in all languages applied for. The GAC advises the Board that all safeguards highlighted in this document as well as any other safeguard requested by the ICANN Board and/or implemented by the new gTLD registry and registrars should:

Internet Governance Forum appeals for workshop newcomers

Advisory group responds to insider nature of annual meeting

Photo credit: Veni Markovski

A deadline for workshop proposals at this year's Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has been extended to 7 May.

The extension is an annual ritual but this time it will be limited to those that have not previously run a workshop - a decision taken "to encourage newcomers to submit workshop proposals", according to a message on the IGF website.

WSIS+10 Final Statement (25-27 Feb 13)




Ten years ago, the representatives of the peoples of the world, assembled in Geneva in 2003 and in Tunis in 2005 for the first and second phases of the World Summit on the Information Society adopted a common vision of the Information Society, identified its key principles and outlined the main challenges towards an Information Society for All based on shared Knowledge.

The highlights and low points of WCIT

It was both very fast and painfully slow. The key moments

Iran forces a vote, and presages the end of WCIT. Credit: ITU

One thing that everyone could agree on in the build-up to the World Conference on International Telecommunications was that anything could happen during the two weeks in Dubai.

The logic of forcing the world's governments into a box to rewrite a global treaty that has stood for 24 years in just 14 days may be questionable, but it definitely creates an event and along with that moments that stand out and set the general tone and atmosphere of the meeting itself.

Here are that main ones from WCIT 2012:


Opening ceremony

Beyond WCIT – WSIS+10 and the coming year in Internet governance

A great deal of ink has been spilt in recent weeks outlining threats to Internet governance from changes to a global telecommunications treaty negotiation that just concluded in Dubai at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), including an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal that inelegantly compared government bureaucrats to gorillas.

While important, the focus on WCIT has detracted attention from another set of United Nations deliberations that wrapped this week in New York, with potentially far greater consequences than the haggling of 1,500 delegates in the under-ventilated halls of the Dubai World Trade Center.

Waiting for WSIS

The UN General Assembly’s Second Committee has spent the last month quietly crafting the process that will lead to a ten-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10). The last WSIS concluded in 2005 and set the stage for many of the current debates around the role for government in Internet policy, including at WCIT.

Internet humbles UN telecoms agency

ITU forced to face modern realities as WCIT conference implodes

Having turned industries and governments upside down, the Internet has claimed its first organizational scalp, subjecting the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to a humiliating failure at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai earlier today.

No sooner had applause run out after a vote on what to include in the preamble to an updated global telecoms treaty than the United States took the floor and announced it would not sign it.

"It's with a heavy heart and a sense of missed opportunities that the U.S. must communicate that it's not able to sign the agreement in the current form," said Ambassador Terry Kramer. "The Internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefit during these past 24 years. All without UN regulation. We candidly cannot support an ITU Treaty that is inconsistent with the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance."

Internet power-grab looms large as world conference enters final day

Vote taboo broken at WCIT as chair asks for "feel of the room"

Moment of the non-vote vote at 1am. Credit: Dominique Lazanski

Fears that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will award itself a role in governance of the Internet, despite the promises of its Secretary-General, are looming large on the last day of the World Teleconference on International Telecommunications (WCIT).

At the end of a confusing and fast-paced day of discussions yesterday, the issue that has haunted for the conference for the past six months finally exploded into the open with discussion of a new proposed resolution that would see the ITU "play an active and constructive role" in deciding the evolution of the global communications network.

WCIT petition attracts 500,000 online citizens

Half a million and counting...

More than a half a million people have signed an online petition calling on the ITU to reign in proposals that would given governments greater control over the Internet.

The 500,000 benchmark was reached at 7pm local time while attendees to the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai reconvened for a night session where they hope to reach agreement on most changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs).

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