The ITU and the Internet's Titanic Moment
Patrick S. Ryan
Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Interdisciplinary Center for Law and Information Technology (ICRI); Google Inc.; University of Colorado at Boulder, Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program
July 13, 2012
Stanford Technology Law Review, Vol. 2012, No. 8, 2012
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is making moves to get into the world of Internet governance. Many haven't heard of the ITU, and this essay provides some historical background by first looking at the events that took place 100 years ago at the time of the sinking of the Titanic. We'll use this as an illustration of how the ITU first became relevant in the area of spectrum management. We will then turn to other areas of engagement of the ITU as it seeks entrée into the world of security, privacy, and standardization. Finally, in spite of its recent overtures to openness and participation, we’ll conclude that the ITU is not fit to enter into the world of Internet governance and regulation, because the Internet’s open, freely developed market. The ITU’s experience, on the other hand, is steeped in 150 years of closed, non-transparent state-run systems.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: international telecommunication union, ITU, WCIT, internet governance, spectrum management, ICANN, IGF
JEL Classification: K20, K23, L96, N10, O30, O38, F13, N70Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 18, 2012
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