Western international broadcasters "cast a wary eye on ... efforts to control the Internet."

Posted: 21 Dec 2012   Print   Send a link
Deutsche Welle press release, 19 Dec 2012: "We, the representatives of Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France (AEF), Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) [Australia], British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) [United Kingdom], Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) [US], Deutsche Welle (DW) [Germany], Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) [Japan] and Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW), have met in Berlin to discuss common concerns.

"We find international journalism is facing unprecedented challenges from countries that seek to deny their own citizens access to information from outside their borders...

"[W]e note with dismay that certain governments continue to control the flow of information. For example, China routinely blocks the Web and social media sites of our broadcasters and jams our shortwave signals, or Iran and Syria interfere with the satellite signals that carry our programs. Governments in Eurasia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America also seek to control what their own citizens can see, hear and read.

"Many of these actions, including intentional jamming of satellites, violate international regulations. We condemn them without reservation.

"We also call attention to troubling new challenges to free expression. Some governments are seeking to enact far-reaching telecommunications regulations to stymie free speech.

"At the World Conference on International Telecommunication (WICT) in Dubai, representatives of the world’s nations have considered telecommunications rules that might explicitly apply to the Internet for the first time.

"We cast a wary eye on such efforts to control the Internet, and we denounce efforts to identify and track Internet users in order to stifle free expression, inquiry and political activity.

"We have agreed to increase, whenever possible, our support for efforts to circumvent Web censorship through the use of new and innovative hardware and software tools. We also agreed to increase our advocacy for Internet freedom."

CNET, 13 Dec 2012, Declan McCullagh: "In a stunning repudiation of a United Nations summit, an alliance of Western democracies including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada today rejected a proposed treaty over concerns it hands repressive governments too much authority over the Internet. ... 'We all agreed that content was not intended to be part of the [treaty], but content issues keep coming up,' the U.K.'s delegate said, adding that the ITU, a U.N. agency, is not the 'proper place' to address Internet-related issues. Canada said it was forced to reject the proposed treaty because of its commitment to an Internet 'in which people are free to participate, communicate, organize and exchange information.'"

Reporters sans frontières, 13 Dec 2012: "The Centre for Democracy and Technology (CDT), an American NGO, said the way the resolution was adopted was unprecedented. Government representatives who would probably have opposed it were caught on the hop and were unable to take a position before the session’s hasty closure."

The White House, 11 Dec 2012, Michael Daniel is Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator; R. David Edelman is Senior Advisor for Internet Policy andTom Power is U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Telecommunications: "[W]e should not confuse telecommunications infrastructure with the information that traverses it. The global consensus for a free and open Internet is overwhelming. Millions in the United States and around the world have already added their voices to this conversation, and their position is clear: they do not want the [World Conference on International Telecommunications] to govern the Internet or legitimize more state control over online content."