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0:03 The World Conference on International Telecommunications is a U.N. conference
0:06 hosted by the International Telecommunications Union
0:10 to renegotiate a 1988 treaty called the International
0:13 Telecommunication Regulations
0:15 The International Telecommunications Regulations are an old treaty, they first
0:19 were developed in the 1800s and have been re-negotiated
0:23 several times since then.
0:25 They were last negotiatied in 1988
0:27 and they are essentially put in place to facilitate the exchange of
0:31 international telecommunications traffic across borders
0:34 as a way to help interconnect the world
0:37 in terms of communications.
0:40 i think that what we should do is step back and look at what's worked since
0:43 1988 in the field of international telecommunications; what
0:47 has driven the growth of communications worldwide since then.
0:50 Things like competition among carriers,
0:53 transparency, regulatory independence
0:55 the evolution of networks: these are all things that have clearly driven
0:59 connectivity worldwide,
1:00 and that aren't currently reflected in the 1988 treaty,
1:04 so there are clear opportunities of positive things that could be included
1:07 into the treaty to bring it up to date
1:10 in a way that would be consistent with what we've seen work since then.
1:14 The impact on the internet could be either good or bad. We see proposals
1:19 currently to the treaty conference that would impact the way the internet
1:23 operates, the architecture of the internet, the security of the internet and the
1:28 content of the internet, and unfortunately some of the proposals that
1:31 we see would take the old
1:33 telephone model of regulation and simply apply it to new technologies like the
1:37 internet.
1:38 That would not be a good thing.
1:40 If we find proposals and find things like
1:43 promotion of competition or promotion of innovation,
1:45 or regulatory independence,
1:47 we could see this treaty really being another stepping stone to further growth
1:51 of connectivity around the globe.
1:53 So, really what it depends on is which direction member states decide to take
1:56 us.
1:57 The Internet Society is a member of the I.T.U., so at a global level we're allowed to
2:01 participate in the international conversations at the I.T.U. about
2:06 how the treaty should be modified.
2:08 in addition, ISOC is a global organization. We have chapters and
2:12 individual members,
2:13 regional bureaus all over the world working with policymakers, working with
2:17 the internet community
2:19 to raise awareness about the treaty,
2:21 to raise awareness about the importance of what's being proposed and discussed
2:25 and doing our part to inform policy makers on what we think are the
2:28 implications of some of these proposals.
2:31 Some of the things that individuals can do to get involved in the discussion about
2:34 the ITRs is to become informed,
2:36 look at the treaty, understand what's at stake. The second most important thing is
2:41 to reach out to policy makers in their country. This is an intergovernmental
2:45 treaty negotiation, so member states are the ones that will be at the table, but
2:49 it's incredibly important that they are in touch with their internet
2:53 community, that they understand and have the information available to them, and
2:57 that's what individuals can do to make their voices heard and to ensure that
3:01 their policy makers and their country understand how important this is to them.
3:05 To learn more about this treaty, go to and get
3:09 involved, make your voice heard.