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9 December 2012

Sunday December 9

The weekend was spent in a plethora of ad hoc groups the result of which is many  square brackets (see the last report for a description of the process and of square brackets).

As described in earlier posts, the plenary session on Friday was a difficult discussion amongst Member States both in regards to a perceived lack of progress as well as a persisting disagreement about the scope of the treaty – will the treaty extend beyond telecom to include the Internet or not?  As of Sunday, this question is unresolved.   
There have been references to a "compromise text" which aims to reflect the views of a few member states and/or regions.  This was mentioned in Friday's plenary and has led to many corridor discussions, rumors and a few press articles.  As of Sunday evening, this proposal has not been formally tabled at the Conference. 
Despite the fact that the threshold issues of scope and application have not yet been solved, the ad hoc groups continued negotiation over the weekend.  Below is a brief summary of those discussions: 
  • Security: divergence of views on whether security/robustness/resiliency are appropriate topics for the ITRs.
  • Routing:  How/whether to include text to allow countries to know how their traffic is being routed.  
  • Accounting Rates:   Basic question of the extent to which the ITRs should regulate commercial agreements between carriers, including pricing.  
  • Spam: question of how to reconcile the concerns of countries that spam is an economic/consumer protection issue and the concerns of countries that content issues are not appropriately addressed in the ITRs.
Ad hoc groups met all weekend on these topics to try to consolidate text.  There continues to be lack of consensus on these topics, reflected in the square bracketed text going to committee. 
Tomorrow is going to be a busy day – the ad hoc groups will report back to the Working Groups. Those, in turn, will report up to Committee 5.  Finally, the plenary will meet tomorrow night for 3 hours.  We expect most of the work to continue in plenary after tomorrow evening rather than returning to committees.
Once again, some sessions are being webcast.  Best we can tell, these are Committee 5 meetings and full plenaries.  
For the you can watch a webcast of the WCIT proceedings here.  
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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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