ITU to EU: We don't want to control the internet... honest
But who's listening when Google says otherwise
The ITU has reiterated that it does not want control of the internet, this time refuting a motion passed by the EU, which has joined the bandwagon fighting to preserve Google's future.
The resolution, submitted by the Pirate Party among others, and passed last week, objects to the ITU trying to control the internet, at its meeting in two weeks, while ignoring the inconvenient truth that the ITU isn't trying to control the internet as the body explains in a blog posting on the subject.
The EU motion makes the usual claims about the ITU's lack of transparency and inclusiveness, only slightly undermined by the way the ITU publishes all proposals and invites businesses as well as governments to attend its meetings and debate the issues around governance of telecommunications, but that's not enough for Google and its lobbying fronts, which argue that the internet is too important to be left in the hands of democratically elected representatives when there are American techno-utopians who'd be happy to do the job.
"It is important to note that ITU’s mandate in the internet is laid down by the  Plenipotentiary Conference Resolutions ... Nothing can be agreed at WCIT-12 to change or negate this mandate," says the blog posting from ITU rep Richard Hall, which also reminds us that "no proposals exist to give more power to ITU as an institution, which does not have any regulatory authority over any networks whatsoever".
But this isn't anything the ITU hasn't said before, many times, but despite the repetition, the complaints keep coming and even the least-paranoid start to wonder if all this smoke can really exist without fire, or at least someone lurking with a primed smoke machine, which is where we find Google with a can of fog juice and the kind beneficent expression usually seen on those whose god has told them they are right.
Despite launching Take Action and having its ex director of global public policy running Access Now, which is behind whatistheitu.org, the site which hosts our favourite video on the subject, Google hasn't bothered joining the ITU. Unlike hundreds of other IT companies, including Apple and Microsoft, Google would prefer to spent its money speaking directly to governments; lobbying Washington the tune of more than $5m in the first three months of 2012; and helping the UK formulate Google-friendly laws without having such things debated in a public forum.
Which is ironic really, given the call for more openness and transparency, but the great thing about a campaign like this one is that when the ITU doesn't grab the internet then Google et al can claim a victory, defending the internet from the shadowy forces which make up our own governments and which, in the majority of cases, we voted for. ®
It's not the ITU that's trying to control the internet
It's a bunch of governments that want to control the internet by any means necessary. This includes, curiously, the USoA, though they use tricks a little different from the rest. They already do control the internet and only need to maintain the status quo to keep it. China, Russia, India, and so on, think it time for themselves to own a piece of that pie, and if they can't get at it individually, well, why not use a toothless proxy like, oh, the ITU maybe.
That is to say, the problem is real but the remedy isn't working.
Pot and Kettle
So now the EU states that the ITU lacks transparency ?
HA, now that's a good joke if I ever heard one. Look where that statement is coming from, sjeesj. The same EU which one one hand claims that it won't further provide economic support for certain countries, only to easily 'lower' debts or actually provide millions, if not billions, of extra cash a few months later. For no other reasons other than "it was required".
Sure; the EU members can now expect an increase in costs for approx. 70 million but hey!
Yeah, a VERY open and transparent body this EU is. One which really sets the right example.
Re: It's not the ITU that's trying to control the internet
All this started when a few US politicians suggested that the USA could use its position to exert control over the Internet by taking control of bodies like ICANN. Although the idea didn't get off the ground in the USA, the mere suggestion was enough to worry countries like Russia and China. The problem now is that some countries may choose to segment their section of the Internet if they feel that the the governance of the Internet is not impartial. Such fragmentation of the Internet would be a disaster.
The ITU has managed to establish agreements on things like international telephony between countries which are normally unable to agree on anything, so they may be the correct institution to broker any agreements about keeping the Internet together.