As of this writing, representatives of 193 countries are in Dubai from December 3-14 for meetings to discuss whatever new rules to implement regarding the Internet.
The most controversial would be the proposal from Russia who wants to control internet traffic entering its networks while citing cyber attacks as the reason. In its proposal, it stated that member states of the International Telecommunication Union shall have the sovereign right to regulate the national internet segment which was met with sourness by the U.S. and the EU as restrictions and fees would only limit innovation and trade among others.
Aside from Russia, levy in internet traffic and the tracking of users’ activities are supported by some of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
With all the brouhaha, what should the ITU actually address, and how?
Security and Privacy. Every entity has the right to privacy whether as an individual, group, or government. Thus before governments or companies complain of hacking, they should respect privacy, and improve theirs and every entity’s security system as well. Calling ICANN. Google. Facebook. And the others. Let’s continuously work for the good of all – the world is counting on you.
Access Rates and Taxes. Being one of the main agendas, these representatives should understand that this issue could only be favorably resolved if governments and organizations work together for the people and not simply for profit.
Free Speech. Anyone should never be hindered of this right. However, online ethics should always be reminded of, and not instead impose laws limiting freedom of speech unless involving national security. Now although there may be instances of vulgar or libelous conduct (which the complainant could take necessary legal action), free speech helps regulate governmental, organizational, and individual behavior which should actually be appreciated – after all, such entities exists for the people, right?
Child Porn. Children should never be abused specially in this manner. Yet it’s happening, why? Because authorities and agencies have just been reactive. In this case, they should get to the root, to how things start and how to avoid such. Coordinate with parents, schools, and churches in educating, nurturing and strengthening character values while increasing penalties and punishments to offenders.
Terrorism. Violence, for whatever reason, would do more harm than good; therefore, the focus should be on monitoring propagandas, recruitment, and funding. Nonetheless, suspicion alone does not give one the reason to invade privacy for you might pick on the wrong person. Instead, you just have to be highly aware of postings as well as unusual people and money movement. Mind you, policing should be a coordinated effort among governments, agencies, and tech companies to truly succeed.
Discrimination. Remember the said “blasphemous” Islam video that resulted to chaos around the world? That’s indirect discrimination. If people would only learn to wholeheartedly respect others then there would be less to no trouble around us. See discrimination of any form, whether race, religion, gender or opportunities (business, professional or career), is really the major obstacle to lasting peace and real progress. Technology should be able to help correct this.
Governance. It’s understandable that other countries want to share internet governance with the U.S.; for one, it’s a form of discrimination to monopolize such position. However, as a Leader, it would be easier to share delicate control if the world could be assured that those who want such would not have critical issues against people, would be fair and just, would implement all of the above premises, and would exercise utmost tolerance and responsibility in governing the Internet.
Information is Power. Use it for the betterment of mankind.
What’s your take?