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Contact: Rashmi Rangnath
For Immediate Release
July 12, 2012
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is currently entertaining several proposals to alter the International Telecommunications Regulations. Some of these proposals represent radical changes to the regulations, including increasing their power and extending their reach to issues of Internet governance.
Despite efforts by a number of countries to make publicly available proposals to change the international telecommunications regulations at the ITU, a working group of the ITU ultimately decided only to release one document, which was already leaked weeks ago.
The following quote is attributed to Rashmi Rangnath, Director of the Global Knowledge Initiative:
"It's disappointing that, despite calls for transparency by a number of member countries and the Secretariat of the ITU, countries such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates apparently want to keep these documents inaccessible. The proposals in these documents represent the countries' plans for the International Telecommunications Regulations—plans that can affect citizens of all nations, and the future of the Internet as an open, democratic medium. Denying public access to these proposals is no way to conduct such an important process.
“We are glad to see that at least a list of proposals has been released. However, the significance of this move is diminished by the fact that the ITU has decided to release only one set of proposals that relate to the revision of the ITRs. These proposals have already leaked on the Internet and members of civil society are analyzing them.
“If the ITU is serious about wanting to foster an open and transparent process it should provide access to all documents relevant to the ITR negotiation process.”