For some months now, there have been intense discussions on the threats raised by the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT). In December, the 193 Member States of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations, will gather in Dubaï for this important conference aimed at amending the ITU's founding treaty, the "International Telecommunication Regulations" (ITRs).
ISOC and the Center for Democracy and Technology have analyzed the dangerous amendments proposed by many countries, which would expand the ITU mandate to cover issues such as IP addressing and routing, cooperation in cybercrime and further undermine global Internet governance1. These are very serious sources of concerns, but because several important Members States of the ITU (in particular the US and the EU) and many civil society actors oppose an "ITU take-over of Internet governance", it is unclear whether they could actually pass.
There is another proposal that have been made by a major European actor which, although it might seem technical and unrelated to freedoms online, could have a disastrous impact on Net neutrality2. It was detailed last week by ETNO - the lobby representing incumbent EU telecoms operators in Brussels - in its "contribution to WCIT". And so far, policy-makers, in the EU and beyond, have remained silent, refusing to react to ETNO's proposed changes to the ITRs. This suggests that ETNO's proposal may actually have key political support.