International Telecommunication Union   ITU
 
 
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Monday, February 16, 2009

A new report from ITU, highlights some harsh realities for the global ICT industry. The report, Confronting the Crisis: Its Impact on the ICT Industry, considers how the industry can position itself for recovery in the future.

Confronting the Crisis: Its Impact on the ICT Industry draws on analysis from leading industry experts and international institutions. As the established order is overturned, it says, convergence in the ICT industry will accelerate, with the emergence of new players with new business models. Firms’ ability to weather the economic storm will depend on their ability to invest for the future and explore new opportunities to benefit from the eventual upturn. For an industry founded on innovation, the current turmoil will create openings for nascent ICT companies.

Confronting the Crisis finds that although credit is now less abundant and more expensive, with financing costs for operators on average 3 − 4 per cent higher year-on-year, savvy operators can take advantage of the economic turmoil to reposition their services for the upturn. Funding is still available for players with sound business models, established demand and early projected cash flows. Alternative sources of financing are now needed, with a growing role for government financing and economic stimulus packages.

Many analysts contributing to Confronting the Crisis underlined the need for ICT as vital services and suggested that fixed-mobile substitution and consumers’ decision to switch to mobile telephony may gain momentum in developed markets during a prolonged recession. The report also notes that long project lead times for the satellite industry mean that it has been less affected in the short term, with strong recent growth in demand from developing countries. The financial difficulties facing the private sector could add to pressure for government intervention in the financing of national backbone infrastructure. Governments are already stepping in to diminish the impact on the transition to next-generation networks (NGN), which can carry voice, data and media services simultaneously. Several administrations have announced commitments to invest in their national backbone infrastructure, while others, such as the European Union, have included the roll-out of broadband networks in their economic stimulus packages. Although the financial crisis may delay investment in NGN, it has also led to a widespread reaffirmation of the importance of building advanced telecommunication infrastructure as part of an economic stimulus package.

See the full press release from 16 February 2009.
The report is available for download here.

Monday, February 16, 2009 1:49:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau launched the study report "ICTs for e-Environment - Guidelines for Developing Countries, with a Focus on Climate Change", which is intended to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to mitigate and adapt to environmental change, including climate change, through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Although ICTs require energy resources, they also offer a number of opportunities to advance global environmental research, planning and action. This includes monitoring and protecting the environment as well as mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. The report also looks extensively at the use of ICTs in many different aspects of work on the environment, including environmental observation, analysis, planning, management and protection, mitigation and capacity building.

In order to assess the adoptability of selected ICT applications for environmental management in developing countries in general, the report proposes a ranking system with parameters such as (a) environmental scope, (b) technology, (c) transferability, and (d) impact.

Furthermore, the ICTs for e-Environment report considers over 150 ICT applications in one of its annexes, including the name of the ICT applications, description, area of work, sponsor, region, active dates, and relevant web references.  

Not all countries have the capacity to take advantage of these technologies in order to use the full potential of ICTs for environmental action. The report states that there is a clear need for a more comprehensive and integrated approach to global environmental action through access to ICTs and the use of information technologies and management practices to eliminate duplication of efforts. This can be done by consolidating action at national levels on the many and varied environmental conventions and initiatives that developing countries have already agreed to in principle. ICTs provide a unique opportunity to do so while assisting in building local capacity to use these tools and practices.

There is also a need to assign the environment a more important profile in ICT strategic planning initiatives at the national level and, in particular, in e‑Governance and e-Goverment initiatives so that the use of ICTs for the environment is integrated into planning processes from the beginning, along with other national priorities and initiatives.

The report proposes a methodology to undertake rapid national e‑Environment assessments as well as to develop and implement national e‑Environment strategies. Among other proposals, the report recommends the preparation of an e‑Environment toolkit comprised of best practices as one practical method to assist developing countries to take advantage of ICTs for environmental research, planning and action. Strengthening ongoing research activities is another proposal as well as placing more focus on the environment sector in e‑Government initiatives. Working on a regional basis may be the best approach for smaller, landlocked or island jurisdictions, such as small island developing states.

Whatever approach is taken to support the use of ICTs for environmental action in sustainable development, it must be undertaken in close collaboration with key development partners at the national and international level and in consultation with actors in the public and private sectors as well as civil society.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008 3:42:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The ITU-D recruited an expert to produce a study report concerning "Electronic Government for Developing Countries", which is intended to help address challenges in formulating e-Government policies. The draft version as of August 2008 is now available online on the ITU-D ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division (CYB) website.

The purpose of this report is to examine the adoption of e-Government services in countries with developing economies. As the day-to-day business of a public administration is to build on data and information, using the latter is critical to help ensuring its accountability, managing its operations, and to allow its citizens to participate in the country's governance. With the revolutionary changes that ICTs are bringing to our global society, public administrations worldwide continue to develop more sophisticated ways to digitize their operations and practices so that they can offer the public access to government services in more effective and efficient ways.

The seven key recommendations outlined in this report are:

  • Developing a strategic plan to guide e-Government services;
  • Understanding the needs of citizens and of all public administration segments;
  • Using well established system development practices for e-Government services;
  • Creating a learning organization;
  • Developing effective ICT governance mechanisms;
  • Developing ICT capabilities, including human resources capacity building and suitable ICT infrastructure; and
  • Developing an e-Government security and disaster recovery plan.

To continue reading the report and its case studies, click here. More information on ITU-D activities related to ICT applications, click here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 2:52:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The International Telecommunication Union organised two Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change. The first was held in Kyoto, Japan 15-16 April 2008, hosted by MIC Japan, and the second was held in London, UK, on 17-18 June, hosted by BT.

These symposia brought together key specialists in the field, from top decision-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. Among others, the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau presented a summary of the study report on "ICTs for e-Environment - Guidelines for Developing Countries, with a Focus on Climate Change".

For more information on presentations, meeting summarie and the outcomes of the symposia, click here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 3:54:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 11, 2008

The first ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change (15-16 April in Kyoto, Japan, co-organized and hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) will be available as a webinar in order that remote participants can see and hear presentations from wherever they are in the world. Provision will also be made for remote participants to submit comments and questions. Space is limited.

Reserve your seat for

- Day 1 at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/862573173.

- Day 2 at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/540961252.

A live audio stream will be provided at: mms://stream.icckyoto.ne.jp/ict/.

Full Programme (times in JST, London -8, New York -13)

ITU Background Paper on ICTs and Climate Change

System requirements

Friday, April 11, 2008 1:29:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The impact of human activities on the environment – and on climate change in particular – are issues of growing concern confronting life on Earth. Concurrently, information and communication technologies (ICTs) are being rapidly deployed around the world. Although ICTs require energy resources, they also offer opportunities to monitor, learn about and protect the environment, reduce carbon emissions, and mitigate climate change.

A scoping study on using ICTs for environmental matters has been commissioned last year by the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. This ICTs for e-Environment report approaches the issues from a development perspective and is based on consultations with key actors and extensive online research. It documents current activities and initiatives and makes a set of recommendations for strengthening the capacity of developing countries to make beneficial use of ICTs to mitigate and adapt to environmental change, including climate change.

The draft report and an overview presentation are available at ITU's ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division dealing with e-Environment matters.

For more information about ITU activities relating to climate change, click here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 11:30:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Global Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF) today launched the project of "1000 Telemedicine Units for Africa". This eHealth initiative aims to support financing telemedicine units in Africa as well as to enable health professionals to obtain continuing education. The project consists of equipping district hospitals with diagnostic tools and internet connectivity to enable real-time or deferred exchanges with experts at a distance and to update medical knowledge of health professionals through e-Learning tools.

To date, DSF partners in this project are the Network of French-speaking Africa for Telemedicine (RAFT) of the University Hospitals of Geneva and the Africa Health Infoway (AHI) of the World Health Organization.

For more information on DSF, click here.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008 4:37:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) recently published its third annual Progress Report 2007. GeSI shares relevant information with its stakeholders and the civil society to support the economic and technological progress on information and communication technologies (ICTs) worldwide. This report highlights GeSI’s recent work on sustainability, specific accomplishments in climate change mitigation, managing supply chains, determining materiality, reducing e-waste, and leading public policy.

With support by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), GeSI is dedicated to the sustainable development of the ICT sector. For more information on GeSI's activities, click here.

Thursday, February 07, 2008 6:46:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A presentation on "ICTs and e-Environment - Overview of BDT Scoping Study for Developing Countries" has been posted online today on the ITU-D ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division (CYB) website. The presentation is based on the report "ICTs and e-Environment", which provides an overview on the contribution of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and related strategies as tools to assist developing countries in mitigating and adapting to environmental and climate change. The report will be available after final review on the division website.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008 5:32:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 04, 2008

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) extended its call for papers for the ITU Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change to 29 February 2008.

The first symposium will be held in Kyoto, Japan (15-16 April 2008, hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication) and will be followed by finalizing the initial proposals at a second symposium in London, UK (17-18 June, hosted by British Telecom). These symposia will bring together key specialists in the field, from top decision-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. To contribute to this work, stakeholders are invited to submit an abstract, of maximum 300 words, for a paper or presentation which is relevant to one of more of the topics above.

The topics of interest at the symposia include:

  • Climate change and the impact of ICTs
  • Use of ICTs in monitoring climate change
  • ICTs for mitigating the local effects of climate change
  • ICTs and concerted action against global warming
  • ICT standardization in the field of climate change

For more information on the ITU Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change, click here. For information on ITU's e-environment activities, click here.

Monday, February 04, 2008 1:12:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 13, 2007

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) highlighted the role played by information and communication technologies (ICTs) as both a cause and a potential cure for climate change at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia, on 12 December.

ICTs can be used for remote monitoring of climate change and the gathering of crucial scientific data such as using telemetry or remote sensing by satellite. Smart and emerging technologies can be integrated into energy-efficient products, notably in next-generation networks (NGN) where ITU's Standardization sector (ITU-T) is carrying out vital specialized work.

Activities at the ITU's Development Sector (ITU-D) refer to promoting a role for information and communications technologies in the protection of the environment, together with partners from other international organizations and the industry. ITU-D also provides assistance to developing countries in emergency telecommunications as well as in the area of e-waste.

At the UN Conference, ITU raised awareness on standby services of ICT equipment such as computers and PC screens, DVD players, TVs and battery chargers, which places a burden on energy consumption. "Always-on" services, like broadband or mobile phones on standby, have increased energy consumption compared with fixed-line telephones, which do not require an independent power source.

ITU underlined an active commitment to promote the use of ICTs as a positive force to reduce greenhouse emissions and to find ways to mitigate the effects of climate change. In this regard, ITU can support and facilitate scientific studies aimed at implementation of new measures against the negative effects of climate change. As part of a unified effort of the UN system, ITU can contribute in its areas of expertise to support Member States and to foster partnerships with the private sector to develop more energy-efficient technologies.

For more information, click here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007 12:59:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ITU, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Republic of Indonesia, is hosting a workshop on 28-30 November 2007 entitled ITU Regional Workshop on ICT Applications for Rural Communication Development. The workshop is held in Bali, Indonesia.

The description of the event, draft agenda, invitation letter, and practical information for meeting participants are available on the event website.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 1:52:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 01, 2007

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 28 September launched a new interactive web-based site, underscoring the important role information and communication technology (ICT) can play in promoting agriculture and rural development. Users can exchange experiences, opinions and good practices on the platform, http://www.e-agriculture.org/, which was developed by the FAO and its partners.

The platform is part of the Community of Expertise - a global initiative to boost sustainable agricultural development and food security through increased use of ICT –that includes policymakers, rural service providers, development practitioners, farmers, researchers and ICT specialists.

"We are confident that the e-agriculture Community of Expertise will help facilitate further global discussions and decisions facing farmers, Governments and the international community at large related to the role that ICT can have in agriculture and rural development," said the Director of FAO's Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building Division, Anton Mangstl.

More than 3,400 people from 135 countries participated in an online survey and in virtual forums to help develop the platform.

Although the digital divide is shrinking, only 18 per cent of the global population has access to the Internet. The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that one billion people worldwide - most of whom depend in some way on agriculture for their livelihoods - still lack connection of any kind to ICT.

To access the press release from the United Nations News Centre, click here

For more information on e-agriculture activities related to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), click here

Monday, October 01, 2007 11:32:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 10, 2007

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) accepted the role and responsibilities of facilitating activities related to the action line under C.7 ICT Applications - e-Agriculture at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) follow-up meetings held in February 2006 in Geneva.

In May 2007, a pilot web-based platform, www.e-agriculture.org was launched providing a dynamic space for those interested in shaping e-agriculture policies and practices to network, share information, experiences, and opinions, and to find out about new and useful systems, tools, and methodologies.

From 12 September to 3 October 2007, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) invites all e-Agriculture Community members to participate in its online consultation on "Opening Access to CGIAR Research and Knowledge: From Data, Information and Collaboration to Food" at the online forum. The objective is to make it easier for CGIAR staff, partners and potential partners to access, use and add value to the research and to the scientific outputs of the CGIAR.

With the objective to support the use of ICTs and knowledge management in the agricultural sector, a strategy has been drafted on global public goods.

  • Integrated access to global public goods stewarded by the CGIAR (technical standards/portal work);
  • Networking and capacity building to ensure the best possible linkages between CGIAR, NARS and other partners for public goods generation and sharing;
  • Value-added information products and services.
Monday, September 10, 2007 5:38:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, February 04, 2007

Under the "Shaping Tomorrow's Networks Project" and in line with the stated objectives of the WSIS Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (November 2005), that “… ITU and other regional organisations should take steps to ensure rational, efficient and economic use of, and equitable access to, the radio-frequency spectrum by all countries ….”, ITU and the Ugo Bordoni Foundation (Italy) jointly organized a workshop to identify global trends and good practice in radio spectrum management.

The Workshop on "Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management" was held from 22 to 23 January 2007 at ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.  

In preparation for the workshop a Background Resources Website on Spectrum Management was created. This website aims to provide a number of background resources on regional and national initiatives as well as some background information on spectrum management policy and regulation in general.

Background papers as well as Contributions to the workshop can be found here.

To download the Speaker's Presentations, please click here.

Link to Workshop Webcast Archives is available here.

More information about the Shaping Tomorrow’s Networks Project can be found here.

More information about the workshop can be found here.

See the full ITU Press Release for the event here.

We would like to inform all workshop participants that the Chairman's Report will be made available at the event website in the next few weeks.

Sunday, February 04, 2007 8:52:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 18, 2007

Several Internet-related Decisions and Resolutions were adopted at the ITU 2006 Plenipotentiary Conference. These include:

  • DECISION GT-PLEN/A (Antalya, 2006): Fourth World Telecommunication Policy Forum
  • RESOLUTION 101 (Rev. Antalya, 2006): Internet Protocol-based networks
  • RESOLUTION 102 (Rev. Antalya, 2006): ITU’s role with regard to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses
  • RESOLUTION 130 (Rev. Antalya, 2006): Strengthening the role of ITU in building confidence and security in the use of information and communication technologies
  • RESOLUTION 133 (Rev. Antalya, 2006): Role of administrations of Member States in the management of internationalized (multilingual) domain names
  • RESOLUTION GT-PLEN/7 (Antalya, 2006): Study on the participation of all relevant stakeholders in the activities of the Union related to the World Summit on the Information Society

The text of these resolutions and decisions can be found here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 11:09:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 15, 2007

The ITU has just published a Survey on Radio Spectrum Management, available for download here (.pdf format).

The survey was prepared by Marco Obiso, Cristina Bueti, Rochi Koirala and Lorenzo Mele of the Strategy and Policy Unit (ITU).

Together with other background papers will form part of the input material for an international ITU/FUB Workshop on Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management to be held in Geneva (Switzerland) from 22-23 January 2007.

The Advance Programme for the workshop is now on-line, and will be regularly updated.

More information about the Workshop can be found here.

More information about the Shaping Tomorrow’s Networks Programme can be found here.

Monday, January 15, 2007 8:17:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A presentation entitled "Evolution of Digital Media in a Convergent Era" (PDF), was made by Cristina Bueti, Project Officer, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit,at the Festival International du Film et de la Télévision on 4 November in Geneva, Switzerland.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 12:05:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

As part of the Shaping Tomorrow’s Networks Programme and in line with the stated objectives of the WSIS Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (November 2005), that “… ITU and other regional organisations should take steps to ensure rational, efficient and economic use of, and equitable access to, the radio-frequency spectrum by all countries ….”, ITU (Strategy and Policy Unit and Radiocommunication Sector) and and the Ugo Bordoni Foundation will jointly host a workshop to identify global trends and good practice in radio spectrum management.

The Workshop on "Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management" will be held from 22 to 23 January 2007 in Room C at ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.

It will examine, inter alia, the use of market mechanisms for both primary allocation of spectrum (e.g., auctions) and for secondary trading. It will look at recent trends in ITU Member States, the increasing demand for spectrum and will examine future challenges in developing policies for access to radio spectrum.

ITU Member States, meeting participants and other interested parties are encouraged to send in their spectrum related contributions to the meeting. All contributions will be posted on the meeting website. Please send your contributions to spectrum@itu.int

More information can be found here.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 12:02:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In his remarks at the First Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Athens, Greece, 30 October 2006, ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi, encouraged meeting participants to "welcome open debate in the great spirit of Athenian democracy".

See the transcript of Secretary-General Utsumi's speech here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 2:45:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, October 21, 2006

The first meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will be held in Athens, Greece from 30 October - 2 November 2006.

The current programme is available here.

A couple of related websites have been unveiled:

CircleID has a related article asking What Will Be the Outcome of the Internet Governance Forum Meeting in Athens?

Saturday, October 21, 2006 8:28:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) is a composite index that has been developed by the ITU/Digital Opportunity Platform to measure countries' progress in ICTs and digital opportunity, as part of the endorsed methodology for WSIS evaluation and follow-up. It is a flexible methodology that has been used in many different ways. Every day this week, SPU will demonstrate a different application of the DOI, to show its flexible and versatile applications for policy analysis.

The urban/rural digital divide is one of the most obvious divisions in many countries (depending on their geography, degree of urbanisation and industrial development, among other factors). ITU has traditionally sought to monitor the urban/rural divide in telecoms using the indicators of % of main lines in urban areas and mainlines in the largest city. For example, in China, as recently as 2004, just over two-thirds of all mainlines were to be found in urban areas (World Telecommunication Indicators).

However, the urban/rural divide extends far beyond connectivity. Differences in digital opportunity between urban and rural areas are also evident in the price of access to ICTs (often more expensive in rural areas), speed and quality of access (what the Nigerian blogger Oro calls "plug and pray") and technology in e.g., coverage of population with a mobile signal. The Digital Opportunity Index measures all these different aspects to access to ICTs.

For most countries, detailed data on urban/rural differences for all these aspects are difficult to come by. However, at the recent Digital Opportunity Forum held in Korea, the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology presented its expert analysis of the urban/rural divide in Egypt (see figure below). Taking into account differences in price, coverage, Internet availability and usage, the Ministry calculated that the rural population in Egypt has one quarter less opportunity to access and use ICTs as in urban areas. This points to a measurable and significant urban/rural divide in connectivity in a country where the vast majority of the population (95%) live in the fertile Nile valley. The DOI provides a means not only of quantifying the extent of this urban/rural divide, but also of monitoring its future evolution.

The urban/rural divide in Egypt


Source: Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, presented to the Digital Opportunity Forum, 1 September 2006.

For more information about the Digital Opportunity Index, click here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 3:07:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 16, 2006

The ITU’s Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) is delighted to announce over 70,000 downloads of its major new report, the World Information Society Report (WISR) since July.

The World Information Society Report charts progress in building the Information Society and track the dynamics driving digital opportunity worldwide using a new tool—the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI). The Digital Opportunity Index can strengthen policy-making by monitoring the critical areas of the digital divide, universal access, gender and the promotion of broadband and universal service policies. The DOI has been cited by the US Federal Communications Commission to measure the state of broadband in the United States, monitored in Ireland to track the price of broadband and used by the Egyptian Government to measure the urban-rural divide in Egypt.

Every day this week, SPU will profile a different practical application of the Digital Opportunity Index, to demonstrate its genuine use for policy purposes and to show how it can monitor WSIS follow-up. The Digital Opportunity Index is relevant for policy-makers, regulators, academics, public and other stakeholders with an interest in telecommunications and development.

To find out more, please click here.

Monday, October 16, 2006 5:37:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006 5:53:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

‘Teledensity‘, or the number of phones per 100 inhabitants, is one of the more useful measures of an economy’s ICT infrastructure. In the early 1990s, ITU carried out research on the progress of Asia-Pacific economies in achieving the ‘teledensity transition‘ in their fixed-line networks (see left chart). The ‘teledensity transition‘ may be defined as passing from a teledensity of 10 lines per 100 inhabitants to 30 per 100. Below a teledensity of 10, access to telecommunications is restricted to a small part of the population and few businesses and therefore the impact of telecommunications on the economy and society is limited. With a teledensity above 30 per 100, access to telecommunications is available to a majority of households and virtually all businesses. Thus, the use of telecommunications can be expected to have a comparatively greater impact on the economy and society.

For the developed economies in the Asia-Pacific region, it took between 8 and 35 years (average 16 years) to make the transition between 1935 and 1995, with a progressive acceleration over time. However, for a sample of developing economies in the same region, it took only between 2 and 6 years (average 3 years) to make the transition between 1995 and 2006 (see right chart).

The main difference between the two charts is that the developed countries made the transition using fixed-line networks, whereas the developing economies have invariably made the transition using mobile networks. Mobile networks can generally be rolled out much more quickly, and more cheaply, and are more convenient for users (e.g., through pre-paid cards). Furthermore, mobile networks are relatively ‘development-neutral‘, in the sense that developed economies made the mobile teledensity transition only marginally more quickly (2.6 years) than developing ones (3.1 years).

For more insights from telecom transition and digital opportunity in the information society, please consult the World Information Society Report 2006.

Friday, October 06, 2006 5:16:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI), which is one of the two indices officially endorsed by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) (Geneva 2003-Tunis 2005), can be used as a practical tool to track the changing dynamics driving the Information Society worldwide.

Europe is the most advanced region with a DOI score of 0.55, considerably higher than the world average (0.37), followed by the Americas (0.4). DOI scores show that basic telecom access and affordability are the main areas of achievement for most countries.

European countries, which are mostly developed economies, provide good digital opportunity for most of their inhabitants, with extensive infrastructure, generally low prices and widespread use of new technologies. Poorer European countries generally have medium DOI scores (e.g. Albania, Belarus, Turkey and Ukraine). Poland and Russia are among the top 15 gainers in the DOI worldwide over the period 2000-2005, making significant progress in ICT infrastructure.

The economies from the region are also leveraging their investments in infrastructure well in order to widely introduce new technologies and yield more advanced forms of usage. One interesting aspect of mobile Internet usage is the wide variation in access among countries of similar economic or geographic circumstances. Almost a third of Slovenian households and one fifth of Finnish households use mobile phones to access the Internet, while in other countries, less than five per pent of households use mobile phones to access the Internet.

Despite the favourable global picture, disparities in connectivity within the region persist and many are concerned about the European digital divide, which is likely to result from the sometimes modest convergence between the economies.

For more analysis on this and other related to digital opportunity issues, please consult the World Information Society Report 2006.

Thursday, October 05, 2006 5:39:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI), which is one of the two indices officially endorsed by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) (Geneva 2003-Tunis 2005), can be used as a practical tool to track the changing dynamics driving the Information Society worldwide.

The map illustrates the strong lead taken by Asia, together with Europe and North America, in realizing digital opportunity. Two Asian countries top the world rankings – the Republic of Korea and Japan, and the average DOI scores for the region are higher than the world average of 0.37. Central Asian countries are catching up fast with large infrastructural investments and strong gains in mobile and internet subscribers, including 3G mobile technologies (CDMA 2000 1x and W-CDMA). It is worth noting that five out of the top 15 gainers in the DOI come from the Asian region: these are India, China, Indonesia, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

The Asian Tigers, together with Scandinavian countries lead in internet subscriptions, with around a third of their population subscribing to the internet, but only half of these subscribed to broadband services. This is in contrast to the Republic of Korea, where virtually all internet users are broadband subscribers, with access to faster, advanced services such as video, teleconferencing, multiplayer gaming and triple play. These different profiles of internet usage could result in the development of more varied skill sets and contrasting rates of innovation and, over the longer term, may shape the Information Society differently, according to the type, speed and capacity of internet access available. However, there are often large differences in the level of development within the region - the Asia-Pacific region contains both high-income and Least Developed Countries. In many economies fixed line telephony has been challenged by the worldwide growth in mobile phones.

However, there remains a strong need for basic connectivity in Asia, where connectivity is the main factor driving the digital divide and limiting access to ICTs.

For more analysis on this and other related to digital opportunity issues, please consult the World Information Society Report 2006.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 5:31:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI), which is one of the two indices officially endorsed by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) (Geneva 2003-Tunis 2005), can be used as a practical tool to track the changing dynamics driving the Information Society worldwide.

The Americas are the second most advanced region in terms of ICT development, following Europe. DOI scores show that basic telecom access and affordability are the main areas of achievement for most countries. In low income Latin American countries, digital opportunity mostly derives from access to cellular service and affordable telecoms. Meanwhile, high-income North-American countries are successfully realizing digital opportunity through high-performance infrastructure (e.g., broadband) and the use of advanced technologies.

In North America, the economies provide good digital opportunity for most of their inhabitants, with extensive infrastructure, generally low prices and widespread use of new technologies. From the Latin American countries, Chile is the highest-ranking Latin American country at 40th place in the DOI for 2005, followed by Argentina at 51st place.

Four of the Top 15 gainers in the DOI over the period 2001-2005 are from Latin America – Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Peru – the latter two are also among the very rare cases where Utilization exceeds Infrastructure. The strong gains in Utilization in Chile and Venezuela resulted from early policies for privatization and a vibrant private sector has successfully promoted telecommunications and the higher-margin broadband segment in these countries.

Caribbean states also generally do well in the DOI. This may be due to an ‘island effect’, where small islands may specialize in ICT intensive offshore industries reliant on telecommunications. Barbados, Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda all have high DOI scores.

The DOI registers a steady expansion in the number of mobile Internet subscribers, reflected in the steady increase in Utilization over time. Most notably, the DOI shows that mobile Internet and 3G services are no longer the preserve of high-income countries and are now offered in many developing countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in central and eastern Asia. The 2005 Mobinet study on global mobile usage reports an upward trend in the percentage of multimedia phone users in Latin America browsing the internet or using mobile e-mail at least once a month on their phones, which jumped from 32 per cent in 2004 to 64 per cent in 2005.

For more analysis on this and other related to digital opportunity issues, please consult the World Information Society Report 2006.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 4:56:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 02, 2006

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI), which is one of the two indices officially endorsed by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) (Geneva 2003-Tunis 2005), can be used as a practical tool to track the changing dynamics driving the Information Society worldwide.

The DOI scores for 2005 are sharply differentiated according to region. Africa, the region with some of the poorest countries in the world, is greatly impacted by the digital divide. Europe, the Americas and Asia all have average DOI scores higher than the world average of 0.37, while Africa has an average DOI score of 0.20, mainly due to limited Utilization and fixed line infrastructure. When compared to other regions, Africa ranks last with an average regional DOI score of barely one-third that of Europe (0.55). The African strong-performers are Mauritius, the Seychelles and North African countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt).

The DOI map of Africa here below shows a pattern of high scores among the North African economies (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) - Egypt is also the only African country in the Top 15 gainers in the DOI, having realized a gain of 32 per cent in digital opportunity over the period 2000-2005. By contrast, low-ranking economies are mostly inland, in the Sub-Saharan region, and also include economies such as Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Niger and Sierra Leone.

Nevertheless, despite the overall situation, many African countries are making progress in reducing their internal gaps. As a region, Africa has the highest growth rate in mobile cellular subscribers of any region, with a 66 per cent growth rate in 2005, with Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa accounting for 60 per cent of the new mobile subscribers added in the region. In 2005, Nigeria alone added 9.7 million subscribers, which represents about 7 per cent of its total population. Mobile phones provide more than three-quarters of all the phone connections in 19 countries in Africa. As Africa shows, the tendency of developing countries to promote mobile coverage and utilization over fixed services makes the DOI’s mobile components particularly useful for monitoring advances in regional markets.

From a telecommunication policy perspective, high-ranking countries illustrate the influence of liberalization and competition in promoting opportunity and infrastructure deployment. Most of the North African countries, as well as Senegal and South Africa, have opened their fixed and mobile markets to competition and are rapidly increasing high-speed network deployment. Competition is helping to reduce tariffs and introduce service packages that respond better to the needs of the population. In Algeria, for instance, the entry of a third wireless cellular provider triggered new strategies for prepaid services that had not previously been offered by the incumbents.

For more analysis on these and other issues related to measuring digital opportunity, please consult the World Information Society Report 2006.

Monday, October 02, 2006 5:55:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 28, 2006

The ITU has unveiled a new website Partnerships for Global Cybersecurity dedicated to moderation/facilitation activities related to implementation of WSIS Action Line C5: Building Confidence and Security in the Use of ICTs.

Background

The outcome documents from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) emphasize that building confidence and security in the use of ICTs is a necessary pillar for building a global information society (see extracts). The Tunis Agenda describes the establishment of a mechanism for implementation and follow-up to WSIS and requests ITU to play a facilitator/moderator role for WSIS Action Line C5: Building Confidence and Security in the Use of ICTs. In order to stress the importance of the multi-stakeholder implementation of related work programmes, ITU has named this the Partnerships for Global Cybersecurity initiative.

Here's how to participate and how to contact us if you would like to contribute to the work programmes.

Work Programmes

Based on the first facilitation meeting held in May 2006 and the related Chairman's Report, work programmes in three focus areas have been initiated:

For general information on WSIS implementation as a whole, including other action lines and themes, see here.

 

Thursday, September 28, 2006 11:34:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 22, 2006

As part of the ITU's work in follow-up to the WSIS, the World Information Society Report 2006 is addressed to all stakeholders and intended to provide insights as well as useful benchmarks for building the Information Society. The Report gives practical examples of how the DOI can be used, and highlights projects around the world that are working to meet the commitments made at the WSIS.

Chapter five, Beyond WSIS: Making a difference globally, focuses on WSIS implementation and follow-up in different countries. The WSIS called for governments to move from principles into action. There are many efforts underway, both large and small, to implement the WSIS goals, involving a range of stakeholders at the community level, regionally, nationally and internationally. This chapter of the report highlights some of these initiatives to implement the WSIS Plan of Action, from national strategies to grassroots projects. A variety of initiatives have been launched to promote digital opportunity, infrastructure and advanced ICT applications and these highlight fresh approaches and innovative new solutions to ICT development.

One of the biggest challenges for the uptake of ICTs and for building a people-centered and development-oriented Information Society is the affordability of the services. The Digital Opportunity Index monitors the mobile communications that promise to bridge the digital divide in many parts of the world, as well as more recent technologies such as broadband and mobile Internet access. The price of broadband continues to fall worldwide, by as much as twenty per cent a year over the last two years according to ITU’s analysis, while broadband speeds continue to increase. The lower cost of ICTs greately facilitates their diffusion and utilization, and contributes to increased digital opportunity.

Internet affordability (cost of 20h internet connection as a % of monthly GDP per capita)

Note: 1 means affordable; 0 means that the price of lower-user basket is in excess of average GNI per capita.

These positive trends are not restricted to developed countries, and many valuable multi-stakeholder initiatives are underway to further promote ICT development worldwide in the wake of WSIS. 

The DOI has been developed by a multi-stakeholder partnership, the Digital Opportunity Platform, comprising ITU, UNCTAD and KADO (the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion) and which is open to new partners. It will be reported annually in order to track progress in reaching the WSIS targets, and building a diverse and inclusive Information Society, by 2015.

Friday, September 22, 2006 5:11:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Dear Subscribers,

We regret to inform you that as a result of scheduling complications it has been necessary to postpone the Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management Workshop from the 2nd and 3rd of November 2006 to the 22nd and 23rd of January 2007.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Those directly affected will be contacted by us individually.

More information about the workshop and related activities can be found here.

Friday, September 22, 2006 3:11:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Chapter Four: From Measurement to Policy-Making" considers the changing telecommunications policy landscape, in areas of universal access/service, affordability, digital inclusion, broadband and wireless, amongst others. It shows how policy-makers can use the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) to inform policy-making and policy design to achieve the WSIS goals. The DOI is not an abstract mathematical construction, but has real ‘hands-on’ applications for policy-makers, particularly in the context of the commitments made by governments at the World Summit on the Information Society.

Chapter Four uses the DOI for analysing digital gaps between regions at the national and international levels, for assessing gender gaps and for monitoring digital inclusion. The DOI is a useful policy tool that can be adapted to assess all of these data requirements. Chapter four of the World Information Society Report uses the DOI to analyse digital opportunity throughout the continent of Africa; perform a benchmark comparison of India’s performance relative to its neighbouring countries (see Figure below); examine regional disparities in digital opportunity in Brazil; and examine the gender gap in the Czech Republic. The chapter also outlines the next steps in ICT measurement for policy-making that the Digital Opportunity Platform plans to undertake.

Using the DOI for Policy Purposes

To find out more about the World Information Society Report, please click here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006 2:22:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"Chapter Three: Information Society Trends" tracks the shifting dynamics of the Information Society worldwide. It monitors the changes in digital opportunity across different countries and regions, and investigates those that have made the strongest gains in digital opportunity.

The Asian economies of the Republic of Korea and Japan continue to lead in digital opportunity, mainly due to their pioneering take-up of broadband and 3G mobile services. Nearly all Internet subscribers in the Republic of Korea are broadband subscribers, whilst Japan is the only market where Internet subscribers are most likely to access Internet over their mobile. Dramatic progress has been achieved by developing countries, however, which made the greatest progress in digital opportunity - notably India, where digital opportunity nearly doubled between 2001 and 2005, and China, which experienced remarkably strong gains in infrastructure. Some countries are leveraging their investments in infrastructure more successfully than others, however.

Major Gainers in digital opportunity (2001-2005)

Note: Component indices of the DOI are represented by O = Opportunity; I = Infrastructure; U = Utilization.

Chapter three analyses trends in digital opportunity, broadband speed and price, as well as the price of other telecommunication services. Find out more about the WISR here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 3:11:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Chapter Two: Measuring the Information Society" introduces the structure and methodology of the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI). It explains why the component indicators were chosen and how they measure different aspects of digital opportunity, in: opportunity to access telecommunications (including basic access to telecommunications and affordability, with detailed price information); the basic infrastructure available in a country; and actual utilization of ICTs, in the use of the Internet and broadband technologies (fixed and mobile).

This chapter reviews trends in the individual indicators making up the DOI, including: the growth of mobile coverage (both 2G and 3G); a comparison of Internet and mobile prices; household penetration of ICTs and broadband and mobile Internet. It illustrates these trends with a wealth of country information and regional comparisons, to show how the DOI captures the growth in digital opportunity around the world.

The DOI is a flexible and forward-looking index, which includes measurement of the promising technologies of tomorrow in broadband and mobile Internet subscribers (as a proportion of total Internet subscribers and total mobile subscribers). It is the major index to date that includes up-to-date and current price information for both mobile and Internet access. Find out more and download the DOI as part of the World Information Society Report here.

Structure of the DOI:

The DOI is currently being updated for 2006 information, as part of the ongoing work programme of the Digital Opportunity Platform.

 

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 1:04:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 18, 2006

"Chapter One: A Summit for Building the Information Society" outlines the background to the World Information Society Report (WISR). It sets out the background to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in the origins, aims and achievements of the Summit. In particular, it considers the call by member governments for an effective means and methodology for follow-up to monitor progress in building the Information Society through implementation of the Summit's recommendations.

The Geneva Plan of Action calls for a composite ICT Development (Digital Opportunity) Index to be published annually, or every two years, in a report on ICT development to clarify the magnitude of the digital divide in both its domestic and international dimensions.

Chapter One of the WISR reviews WSIS implementation since the Summit concluded in Tunis in November 2005, and explains why composite indices give a more complete picture of the development of the Information Society in any given economy than a single indicator. It gives an overview of the main composite Indices for measuring Digital Opportunity, and how they differ. It concludes by explaining the main virtues of the Digital Opportunity Index, especially for developing countries: it evaluates digital opportunity in 180 countries, the most of any index published to date; it is based on standard indicators (as defined by the Partnership for Measuring ICT for Development); it uses objective data rather than survey data; it can be split into its fixed and mobile components, so developing countries can be measured on the basis of their strengths; it uses household penetration data (which favour developing countries, on the basis of their large average household size); and it is simple and easy-to-use.

"Chapter One: A Summit for Building the Information Society" of the World Information Society Report can be downloaded for free here.

Monday, September 18, 2006 11:38:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 15, 2006

The ITU’s Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) is delighted to announce over 17,000 downloads of its major new report, the World Information Society Report (WISR), over the two months since its publication.

As part of the ITU’s follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the Report charts progress in building the Information Society and track the dynamics driving digital opportunity worldwide using a new tool—the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI). The DOI is part of the agreed evaluation methodology endorsed during the WSIS and will be published annually in the World Information Society Report to track progress in reaching the WSIS targets and building a diverse and inclusive Information Society by 2015.

The WISR shows how the Digital Opportunity Index can be used to strengthen policy-making by monitoring the critical areas of the digital divide, universal access, gender and the promotion of broadband and universal service policies. The Report is addressed to policy-makers, regulators, academics, public and other stakeholders with an interest in telecommunications and development.

Starting next week, SPU will profile a different chapter of the World Information Society Report each day, to show how the Information Society is evolving and how you can contribute to WSIS follow-up. 

For more information, please see the WISR website

Friday, September 15, 2006 1:13:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 20, 2006

Implementation of the outcomes of the recently concluded World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) gathered momentum with the launch of the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS). High level representatives of twenty-two UN agencies met on Friday, 14 July 2006 at ITU Headquarters in Geneva under the chairmanship of ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi to facilitate the process.

UNGIS will serve as an interagency coordinating mechanism within the UN system to implement the outcomes of WSIS. The Group will enable synergies aimed at resolving substantive and policy issues, avoiding redundancies and enhancing effectiveness of the system while raising public awareness about the goals and objectives of the global Information Society. UNGIS will also work to highlight the importance of ICTs in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

See ITU Press Release for full text. 

Thursday, July 20, 2006 4:00:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Secretary-General of the United Nations has announced the convening of the Internet Governance Forum, to be held in Athens on 30 October - 2 November 2006.

The Secretary-General's message is available in all UN languages: [English] [Français] [中文] [عربي] [Русский] [Español]. The message in English reads:

"The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Tunis on 13-15 November 2005, invited me to convene a new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue -- called the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The Summit asked me to convene the Forum by the second quarter of 2006 and to implement this mandate in an open and inclusive process.

The Government of Greece made the generous offer to host the first meeting of the IGF and proposed that it take place in Athens on 30 October - 2 November 2006.

I have asked my Special Adviser for Internet Governance, Mr. Nitin Desai, to assist me in the task of convening the IGF and I have also set up a small secretariat in Geneva to support this process. Two rounds of consultations open to all stakeholders held in Geneva on 16-17 February and 19 May have contributed towards a common understanding with regard to the format and content of the first IGF meeting. I have also appointed an Advisory Group with the task of assisting me in preparing the IGF meeting.

The Advisory Group held a meeting in Geneva on 22 and 23 May 2006 and made recommendations for the agenda and the programme, as well as the structure and format of the first meeting of the IGF in Athens.

As the IGF is about the Internet, it is appropriate to make use of electronic means of communication to convene its inaugural meeting. The document adopted by WSIS -- the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society -- calls on me "to extend invitations to all stakeholders and relevant parties to participate at the inaugural meeting of the IGF". Therefore, it is my pleasure to make use of the World Wide Web to invite all stakeholders -- governments, the private sector and civil society, including the academic and technical communities, to attend the first meeting of the IGF in Athens. The overall theme of the meeting will be "Internet Governance for Development". The agenda will be structured along the following broad themes.

  • Openness - Freedom of expression, free flow of information, ideas and knowledge
  • Security - Creating trust and confidence through collaboration
  • Diversity - Promoting multilingualism and local content
  • Access - Internet Connectivity: Policy and Cost

Capacity-building will be a cross-cutting priority.

The meeting will be open for all WSIS accredited entities. Other institutions and persons with proven expertise and experience in matters related to Internet governance may also apply to attend.

In its short life, the Internet has become an agent of dramatic, even revolutionary change and maybe one of today's greatest instruments of progress. It is a marvelous tool to promote and defend freedom and to give access to information and knowledge. WSIS saw the beginning of a dialogue between two different cultures: the non-governmental Internet community, with its traditions of informal, bottom-up decision-making; and the more formal, structured world of governments and intergovernmental organizations. It is my hope that the IGF will deepen this dialogue and contribute to a better understanding of how we can make full use of the potential the Internet has to offer for all people in the world.

(Signed) Kofi A. Annan" 

[via the Internet Governance Forum]

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 10:46:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The high cost for developing countries in accessing the Internet backbone was a hot-topic at a recent, Geneva held meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 3 focusing on tariff and accounting principles including related telecommunication economic and policy issues.

Study Group 3 will submit a paper, outlining its activities and future work plan on international internet connectivity (IIC) to the first meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to be held in Athens, Greece in October 2006

It has been claimed that some charging arrangements for IIC disadvantage smaller networks and developing countries. In June 2004 an amendment to ITU-T Recommendation D.50 was made to set out general considerations for parties to negotiate Internet interconnection. These considerations can be used to assist two parties to an interconnection agreement to negotiate in a more harmonized way.

"27.  We recommend improvements and innovations in existing financing mechanisms, including:
 Providing affordable access to ICTs, by the following measures:

i.  Reducing international Internet costs charged by backbone providers, supporting, inter alia, the creation and development of regional ICT backbones and Internet Exchange Points to reduce interconnection cost and broaden network access; 

ii. Encouraging ITU to continue the study of the question of the International Internet Connectivity (IIC) as an urgent matter to develop appropriate Recommendations."

See the ITU-T Study Group 3 website for more information.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 10:55:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 01, 2006

Jefferson Rebuffed - The United States and the Future of Internet Governance by Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger and Malte Ziewitz, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Over the last several years, many have called for an internationalization of Internet governance in general, and Internet naming and numbering in particular. The multi-year WSIS process that culminated in November 2005 was intended to create momentum in such direction. The United States has long resisted such internationalization, fearing in particular the growing influence of China and similar nations.

The proposal put forward by the European Union in September 2005 would have offered a constitutional moment for Internet governance by suggesting internationalization based on fundamental values of the Internet community. The swift rejection of the proposal by the US was surprising, both from a tactical as well as – in light of its own constitutional history – a substantive viewpoint.

In this article we have described the main features of the European proposal and what it might have created. We evaluated four possible arguments explaining US rejection: delegation of power, objective rights, public choice, and de-legitimization of international regimes.

We conclude that a combination of domestic pressures and aversion of international regimes caused the US government delegation to reject the proposal. As a result, WSIS concluded without a constitutional moment for Internet governance. It may turn out, though, to be a Pyrrhic victory for the United States. The calls for internationalization of Internet governance will not subside and the US will have to continue to fend off demands for a transfer of power. The opportunity for Internet governance to be based on the values of the Internet community, however, will likely not return.

Thursday, June 01, 2006 1:36:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Continued Transition of the Technical Coordination and Management of the Internet Domain Name and Addressing System

SUMMARY: The United States Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) seeks comment on the continuation of the transition of the technical coordination and management of the Internet domain name and addressing system (Internet DNS) to the private sector. In June 1998, the Department issued a statement of policy on the privatization of the Internet DNS, which among other things articulated four primary functions for global Internet DNS coordination and management, the need to have these functions performed by the private sector and four principles to guide the transition to private sector management of the Internet DNS. On June 30, 2005, NTIA released the U.S. Principles on the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System further elaborating on these issues. The Department of Commerce seeks comment regarding the progress of this transition and announces a public meeting to be held on July 26, 2006, to discuss issues associated with this transition.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 4:18:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 23, 2006

On 1-2 June 2006 the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) in collaboration with London Business School (LBS) will hold a joint conference on the measurement of ICTs and the macro-, micro- and meso-impact of ICTs in the Information Society.

The conference will explore the impact of ICTs in industry, firms, growth and productivity. What is the real meaning of the digital divide? Can investment in ICTs help to reduce the productivity gap? Are countries really at a disadvantage through falling behind in take-up of ICTs?

For more details on this event please click here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 6:02:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 22, 2006

The US Department of Commerce has announced that it intends to renew the IANA contract for up to 5 years with ICANN. Also see this Washington Post article and the official presolicitation notice.

Monday, May 22, 2006 11:26:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 19, 2006

On 17 May, World Information Society Day, ITU together with other partners (including UNCTAD and the KADO) launched a new series of reports entitled World Information Society Report. The summary of the report is available on the website at www.itu.int/wisr. The report itself will be published in June 2006.

The partners involved have created the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) to measure digital opportunity for 180 economies. It is a composite index created from a set of eleven internationally agreed core ICT indicators (established by the Partnership on Measurement of the Information Society). The DOI has a flexible and versatile structure, based on three categories: opportunity, infrastructure and utilization.  This classification is intended to help policy-makers in determining where countries are strong and weak in order to focus attention on priority areas. The top ten economies for Digital Opportunity are shown below on the left with Korea and Japan leading the rankings. The top major gainers in the DOI during the period 2001-2005 is shown on the right with India and China leading with the most gains. The rankings of all measured economies is shown on page 17 of the World Information Society Report summary.

  

Friday, May 19, 2006 2:59:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 18, 2006

In a press release today, ITU announced a global opinion survey to assess trust of online transactions and awareness of cybersecurity measures. The survey was conducted by ITU in conjunction with World Telecommunication Day, celebrated on 17 May to commemorate the founding of ITU in 1865. The theme chosen this year — Promoting Global Cybersecurity — aims to highlight the serious challenges of ensuring the safety and security of networked information and communication systems.

The announcement of the results of the survey coincides with the launch of an ITU Cybersecurity Gateway portal. The portal is a global online reference source of national cybersecurity initiatives and websites around the world and provides an integrated platform for sharing cybersecurity related information and resources. Presenting information tailored to four specific audiences: citizens, businesses, governments, and international organizations, the portal also provides information resources on topical cybersecurity concerns such as spam, spyware, phishing, scams and frauds, worms and viruses, denial of service attacks, etc.

With thousands of links to relevant materials, ITU intends to constantly update the portal with information on cybersecurity initiatives and resources gathered from contributors around the globe. For example, a number of countries are now ramping up national critical information infrastructure protection (CIIP) programmes and sharing information on these initiatives through the portal can assist both developed and developing economies in promoting global cybersecurity.

These efforts highlight work being carried out as follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Action line C5 dealing with "Building confidence and security in the use of ICT", for which ITU is the facilitator/moderator.

Update: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has made the following statement in conjunction with World Telecommunication Day giving his perspectives on promoting global cybersecurity.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 9:52:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

17 May 2006 On 17 May, World Information Society Day, ITU together with other partners (including UNCTAD and the KADO) launched a new series of reports entitled World Information Society Reports. It is intended to be an annual report, tracking progress in implementing the outcomes from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The reports will include a new benchmarking tool, the Digital Opportunity Index, which is a composite index for measurement of the information society, endorsed by the Tunis Phase of the WSIS. The summary of the report is available on the website at www.itu.int/wisr. The report itself will be published in June 2006.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 11:46:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 17, 2006

UN Press Release: The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today established an Advisory Group to assist him in convening the Internet Governance Forum, a new forum for a multi-stakeholder dialogue on Internet governance.  The Group includes 46 members from Government, the private sector and civil society, including the academic and technical communities, who represent all regions of the world (see list below).  It is chaired by Nitin Desai, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), who may also select special advisers to assist him.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 9:56:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The World Information Society Day ceremony is being webcast live (audio and video) in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish by ITU's internet broadcasting service. The related press release is available here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 10:10:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 10, 2006
 Tuesday, May 09, 2006

ITU Press Release: First World Information Society Day focuses on WSIS implementation & ITU World Information Society Award presented to President Wade of Senegal and Professor Yunus of Bangladesh

Geneva, 9 May 2006 — The first World Information Society Day will be commemorated on 17 May 2006 to mark the inception of the International Telecommunication Union in 1865, over 140 years ago.

On this important occasion, the first ITU World Information Society Award will be presented to two distinguished and eminent personalities whose outstanding personal contributions have furthered the cause of building a more inclusive and equitable Information Society and helped close the digital divide. The inaugural ITU Award will be given to President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and Professor Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director of Grameen Bank, Bangladesh.

The award ceremony will begin at 11h00 on 17 May 2006 at the International Conference Centre Geneva (CICG). There will be an opportunity after the ceremony for the laureates to meet the press.

For more information, see here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 11:58:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Now underway is the ITU/UNESCO Global Symposium on Promoting the Multilingual Internet which is a follow-up to Phase 2 of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, adopted at the Tunis Phase of WSIS, highlights the importance of multilingualism for bridging the digital divide. It identifies ITU as taking the lead role in the implementation of information and communication infrastructure (WSIS Tunis Agenda Action Line C2), ITU/UNESCO for access to information and knowledge (WSIS Tunis Agenda Action Line C3), and UNESCO for cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content (WSIS Tunis Agenda Action Line C8).

The event is being audiocast live in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The programme is available here and contains links to all the presentations and speaker biographies.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 9:59:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 05, 2006
 Thursday, May 04, 2006

The "Survey on Industry Measures taken to comply with National Measures implementing Provisions of the Regulatory Framework for Electronic Communications relating to the Security of Services" conducted by the Technical Department of ENISA, Section Security Policies is available here.

Thursday, May 04, 2006 1:33:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"As the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) prepares to celebrate this year's World Telecommunication Day, Nigerian experts on information communications technology, mobile telecommunication firms and industry regulators will converge in Abuja to brainstorm on the strides the nation had taken in the sector over the last couple of years and take stock on the level at which the government and the citizenry have embraced the new technologies as a tool for economic and social development."

"In keeping with the theme of this year's celebration - 'Promoting Global Cybersecurity'- an international symposium has been scheduled to held (in Abuja) where issues such as internet governance, financing of ICT development and universal access to the information superhighway will be discussed."

"Experts and technocrats will also compare notes on the theories and realities of Information Communication Technology in terms of achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria. The symposium is also expected to explore avenues of strengthening bilateral and multilateral development and economic cooperation for ICT expansion in Nigeria."

For the full story featured in This Day Online  and shared through All Africa.com, click here.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006 7:27:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler, Yale University Press.

Information, knowledge, and culture are central to human freedom and human development. How they are produced and exchanged in our society critically affects the way we see the state of the world as it is and might be; who decides these questions; and how we, as societies and polities, come to understand what can and ought to be done. For more than 150 years, modern complex democracies have depended in large measure on an industrial information economy for these basic functions. In the past decade and a half, we have begun to see a radical change in the organization of information production. Enabled by technological change, we are beginning to see a series of economic, social, and cultural adaptations that make possible a radical transformation of how we make the information environment we occupy as autonomous individuals, citizens, and members of cultural and social groups. It seems passé today to speak of "the Internet revolution." In some academic circles, it is positively naïve. But it should not be. The change brought about by the networked information environment is deep. It is structural. It goes to the very foundations of how liberal markets and liberal democracies have coevolved for almost two centuries.

A series of changes in the technologies, economic organization, and social practices of production in this environment has created new opportunities for how we make and exchange information, knowledge, and culture. These changes have increased the role of nonmarket and nonproprietary production, both by individuals alone and by cooperative efforts in a wide range of loosely or tightly woven collaborations. These newly emerging practices have seen remarkable success in areas as diverse as software development and investigative reporting, avant-garde video and multiplayer online games. Together, they hint at the emergence of a new information environment, one in which individuals are free to take a more active role than was possible in the industrial information economy of the twentieth century. This new freedom holds great practical promise: as a dimension of individual freedom; as a platform for better democratic participation; as a medium to foster a more critical and self-reflective culture; and, in an increasingly information dependent global economy, as a mechanism to achieve improvements in human development everywhere.

The rise of greater scope for individual and cooperative nonmarket production of information and culture, however, threatens the incumbents of the industrial information economy. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we find ourselves in the midst of a battle over the institutional ecology of the digital environment. A wide range of laws and institutions—from broad areas like telecommunications, copyright, or international trade regulation, to minutiae like the rules for registering domain names or whether digital television receivers will be required by law to recognize a particular code—are being tugged and warped in efforts to tilt the playing field toward one way of doing things or the other. How these battles turn out over the next decade or so will likely have a significant effect on how we come to know what is going on in the world we occupy, and to what extent and in what forms we will be able—as autonomous individuals, as citizens, and as participants in cultures and communities—to affect how we and others see the world as it is and as it might be.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 11:55:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 01, 2006
 Friday, April 28, 2006

In a press release, the European Commission has indicated its views on follow-up to the international policy commitments made at WSIS:

To keep up the momentum of the successful World Summit on Information Society (Tunis, 16-18 November 2005), the European Commission has set out today its priorities for implementing the international policy commitments made at the Summit. These priorities include safeguarding and strengthening human rights, in particular the freedom to receive and access information. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) should be used to contribute to open democratic societies and to economic and social progress worldwide. The Commission calls for continuing international talks to improve Internet governance through the two new processes created by the Summit: the multi-stakeholder Internet Governance Forum and the mechanism of enhanced cooperation that will involve all governments on an equal footing.

The EC has also issued a FAQ on Internet Governance.

Friday, April 28, 2006 11:01:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 24, 2006

Looking back, 2005 saw a rise in profit-driven attacks. These were reflected by phishing, which now represents as much as one percent of the global e-mail traffic and is far more effective than spamming.

Viruses, worms, and malicious software are becoming part and parcel of information and communications technology. According to Trend Micro's report, called Virus and Spam Roundup 2005 and Predictions for 2006, this year will see more spy phishing and spear phishing on the Internet.

More information can be found here.

Monday, April 24, 2006 5:08:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Though the United States is making progress in the war on unsolicited commercial e-mail, or spam, it still generates more than any other nation in the world, according to recent statistics from Sophos, a provider of anti-malware solutions.

Sophos ranked spam outputs of the top 12 countries and top six continents based on messages it received in its “global network of spam traps” between January and March, according to the group’s release.

More information can be found here.

Monday, April 24, 2006 5:01:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) joined 29 other countries in calling for increased cooperation between nations in combating spam. The FTC signed off on a set of anti-spam recommendations by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a coalition of 30 countries organized to promote economic growth and trade.

More information about OECD activities on  countering spam can be found here.

Please clik here to read the article.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 4:50:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 18, 2006

ITU's Strategy and Policy Unit has just released a new issue of SPU Flash.

The electronic version of the flash is available here

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 3:51:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 27, 2006

The Economist one said: "if the Net does have a God, he is probably Jon Postel."  David Maher, Senior Vice President, Law and Policy at PIR has published his memoirs of the early day attempts to revamp the internet's domain name system, which he has entitled Reporting to God. Ten years later, it appears that decisions surrounding the DNS remain as equally controversial as in the mid-1990's.

Monday, March 27, 2006 12:49:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 17, 2006

In light of the consultations on the convening of the IGF, the United Nations Secretary-General will set up a multi-stakeholder Advisory Group to assist him in this task. The Group will consist of about forty members, representing governments, private sector and civil society and include members of the academic and technical communities. The members of the group will be chosen in their personal capacity. All stakeholders are invited to submit recommendations for members of the Advisory Group to the IGF secretariat by 18 April (igf@unog.ch). Relevant intergovernmental organizations are welcome to attend the meetings of the Advisory Group. The first meeting of the Advisory Group will be held after another round of consultations open to all stakeholders. A date for these meetings will be communicated as soon as possible. The first meeting of the IGF will be held in Athens from 30 October - 2 November 2006. More details on the venue and the logistics of the meeting will be made available on the host country's website.

Update: A new round of consultations on the convening of the IGF will be held at the United Nations in Geneva on 19 May 2006. They will be open to all stakeholders and will focus on the substantive preparation of the inaugural meeting of the IGF. The consultations will be followed by a meeting of the IGF Advisory Group on 22 - 23 May 2006.

[via IGF news]


Friday, March 17, 2006 10:33:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The « Direction du Développement des Médias (France), l’Agence Nationale de Réglementation des Télécommunications (Morocco), l’Institut Francophone des Nouvelles Technologies de l’Information et de la Formation (Francophonie) et le Service Public Fédéral Economie, PME, Classes moyennes et Energie (Belgium) » are jointly organizing a workshop on the « Fight against Spam ».

The workshop will be held in Rabat (Morocco) from 22 to 23 March 2006.

More information can be found here.

Click here to see the agenda.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 11:47:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 14, 2006

ITU hosted a consultation meeting on WSIS Action Line C2 (Information and Communications Infrastructure) on 9 March 2006, from 2-5 pm, in Doha, Qatar, during the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference 2006 (WTDC-06). The meeting was chaired by ITU Secretary-General, Yoshio Utsumi.

The summary record of the meeting is available here. For more information, see the WSIS implementation page for action line C2 at: http://www.itu.int/wsis/implementation/c2/index.html.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 2:14:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

"The case for promoting a global culture for cybersecurity was strongly emphasized at the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) during an information session for participants conducted by ITU on Friday.

ITU pointed out that in an increasingly interconnected and networked world our societies are vulnerable to a wide variety of threats, including deliberate attacks on critical information infrastructures with debilitating effects on our economies and on our societies. In order to safeguard our systems and infrastructure, we need to strengthen our collective cybersecurity.

As this depends on the security practices of each and every networked country, business, and citizen, we need to develop a global culture of cybersecurity. According to ITU, cybersecurity is critical in the use and development of ICT. The lack of adequate security is an obstacle for using ICTs that rely on the protection and confidentiality of sensitive data. Unless these security and trust issues are addressed, the benefits of the Information Society to governments, businesses and citizens cannot be fully realized.

The information session was aimed at raising awareness on this very important subject and to contribute to bridging the information and knowledge divide between and within countries.

At that session, ITU launched a new reference guide on Cybersecurity for Developing Countries and informed delegates of ITU’s initiative in Promoting Global Cybersecurity as the theme for World Telecommunication Day on 17 May this year. ITU will also assist developing and least developed countries in increasing cybersecurity and will conduct workshops and seminars to enable countries to exchange ideas and discuss common issues." [Via WTDC 2006 Highlights]

For more information about the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC), please click here

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 11:27:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At a workshop on ICT Indicators for performance benchmarking, held in Delhi 1-3 March, under the auspices of LIRNEasia and TRAI, representatives from the region's national statistical offices and regulatory agencies committed themselves to developing a set of ICT Indicators for the region based around "core set of ICT Indicators" defined by the Partnership for Measuring ICT for Development. This methodology means that they will be able to apply the composite "Digital Oppoportunity Index", which has been developed by a multi-stakeholder partnership, including ITU, KADO and UNCTAD, for the measurement of the digital divide within the region and within individual countries.

The proceedings of the conference, which included presentations from TRAI, LIRNEasia, ITU, OECD and NRRI, are avaialble on the LIRNEasia website.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 8:49:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 09, 2006

ITU and UNESCO are organizing a Global Symposium on Promoting the Multilingual Internet in Geneva from 9 - 11 May 2006.

Participation in the meeting is open to any organization or individual from ITU or UNESCO member countries. Written contributions are invited on the themes of the event and should be sent to multilingual (at) itu.int before Tuesday 25 April 2006.

The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, adopted at the Tunis Phase of WSIS, highlights the importance of multilingualism for bridging the digital divide. It identifies ITU as taking the lead role in the implementation of information and communication infrastructure (WSIS Tunis Agenda Action Line C2), ITU/UNESCO for access to information and knowledge (WSIS Tunis Agenda Action Line C3), and UNESCO for cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content (WSIS Tunis Agenda Action Line C8).

The symposium will examine issues highlighted in paragraph 53 of the WSIS Tunis Agenda, including:

  1. Options for advancing the process for the introduction of multilingualism in a number of areas including domain names, email addresses and keyword look-up; 
  2. Options for implementing programmes, also in cooperation with other appropriate organizations, that allow for the presence of multilingual domain names and content on the internet and the use of various software models in order to fight against the linguistic digital divide and ensure the participation of all in the emerging new society;
  3. Options for strengthening cooperation between relevant bodies for the further development of technical standards and to foster their global deployment; In addition, the event will review technical solutions and current experiences, identify open issues and discuss a roadmap for further steps in the direction of promoting internet multilingualism.

The draft agenda of the symposium, background information and other information are available on the event website.

Thursday, March 09, 2006 11:14:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, March 04, 2006

According to a press release from the UN, the UN Secretary-General has decided to establish a small Secretariat in Geneva to assist in the convening of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).  The Secretary-General was asked by the World Summit on the Information Society, held in Tunis in November, to convene such a Forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue.

Nitin Desai, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for the Summit, held open consultations on 16 and 17 February in Geneva aimed at reaching a common understanding on how the Forum should function.  Those discussions produced a consensus that the IGF should have a strong development orientation.  It was also felt that the Forum should be open and inclusive, and allow for the participation of all interested stakeholders with proven expertise and experience in Internet-related matters.

The Secretariat will be headed by Markus Kummer, who has been the Executive Coordinator of the Secretariat of the Working Group on Internet Governance, which was established by the Secretary-General at the request of the first phase of the Summit, in Geneva in 2003.  The first meeting of the Forum is expected to take place later this year in Athens, Greece from October 30 - November 2 2006.

On a separate issue, the Secretary-General has also decided to ask Mr. Desai to consult informally on how to start a process aimed at enhancing cooperation on international public policy issues related to the Internet.  The Summit had requested the Secretary-General to start such a process in paragraphs 69-71 of the WSIS Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.

Saturday, March 04, 2006 9:14:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 28, 2006

This publication, with a foreword by Nitin Desai, provides an overview of the key debates on Internet governance. It presents the work of the Open Regional Dialogue on Internet Governance, an Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP) initiative that has collected perspectives from regional experts and end users.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 11:21:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 24, 2006

  The Golden Book — a record of work undertaken to implement the goas of the World Summit on the Information Society and build the future Information Society — was launched on 24 February 2006 during the Consultation Meeting of WSIS Action Lines Facilitators/Moderators, convened by ITU, UNESCO and UNDP in Geneva.

This Golden Book highlights some of the valuable work being done around the world to promote ICTs in projects, large and small, by governments, individuals or team effort, for the benefit of all. It provides illustrative examples of new and innovative projects to build infrastructure, promote ICTs in education, health and governance, ensure fair access and enhance online security.

The Golden Book has been published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as a permanent record of the new commitments and resources pledged by stakeholders during the Tunis Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). All WSIS stakeholders at the Summit were invited to submit an online questionnaire with details of their activities announced during the Tunis Phase. These activities have been planned or are already being undertaken to implement the WSIS Plan of Action. The Golden Book also serves as a tool helping to coordinate the action taken to implement the 11 Action lines and avoid duplication.

More than 375 submissions were made to the Golden Book by governments, international organizations, NGOs, companies and individuals, describing their work towards promoting ICT activities. ITU estimates that the activities announced during the Tunis Phase to promote WSIS goals represented a total value of at least € 3.2 billion (US$ 3.9 billion). Governments committed to implement projects for some € 1.9 billion, representing nearly two-thirds of estimated total value of all commitments, while international organizations pledged to carry out activities for around half that amount, i.e. 0.83 billion Euros. Business entities announced plans to realize projects for around 0.35 billion Euros and civil society projects amount to least 0.13 billion Euros.

Amount of financial commitments by stakeholder

Breakdown by anticipated expenditure

For more information on the Golden Book, please see here.

Friday, February 24, 2006 6:22:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 23, 2006

In line with paragraph 108 and the Annex of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, a consultation is being held on 15-16 May 2006, at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, on WSIS Action Line C5: Building Confidence and Security in the use of ICTs. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the WSIS multi-stakeholder implementation process for Action Line C5.

The meeting is open to all WSIS stakeholders that are interested and involved in the implementation process in the field of building confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

A draft agenda for the consultation on WSIS Action Line C5 Facilitation and the invitation letter to the meeting from ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi can be viewed on the WSIS C5 Implementation website.

More information on the activities related to WSIS implementation and follow-up can be viewed here.

Thursday, February 23, 2006 10:59:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 14, 2006

In line with para 108 and Annex of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, a consultation on WSIS Action Line Facilitation for WSIS action line C2, i.e. information and communication infrastructure will take place in conjunction with WTDC-06 in Doha, Qatar, on 9 March 2006, in the Convention Center, Room Al Majlis, to benefit from the presence of many WSIS stakeholders present at WTDC-06. The meeting will run from 14.00 – 17.00 hours. The meeting is open to all WSIS stakeholders that are interested and involved in implementation process in the field of information and communication infrastructure. The meeting will be held in English.

The purpose of the meeting is for information exchange and to discuss the WSIS multi-stakeholder implementation process in field of information and communication infrastructure.  ITU, UNESCO and UNDP are holding a consultation meeting to establish the nature of the coordination process, its outputs, modalities and logistics, of the work to be undertaken on WSIS implementation on 24 February 2006, in Geneva, and the outcome of this meeting will be reported. A draft annotated agenda is attached, together with a registration/badge request form for those not registered for WTDC-06. Further information is available from the implementation website.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 10:08:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 31, 2006

WSIS E-Flash No 30 dated 30 January 2006 has been published and includes news on:

  • WSIS Executive Secretariat maintained
  • Meeting on WSIS Action Lines Moderators/Facilitators on 24 February 2006
  • Internet Governance Forum - consultations on 16 - 17 February 2006
  • WSIS Golden Book
  • WSIS Stocktaking
  • The ITU development initiative "Connect the World"
  • WSIS Outcome documents
  • New general WSIS contact e-mail address
Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:44:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A possible timeline for convening of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has been published on the consultations website on the convening of the IGF.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:36:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 24, 2006

ITU Press Release: World Telecommunication Development Conference 2006 to agree on telecommunication development priorities to bridge the digital divide

Geneva, 24 January 2006 - The first world development conference following the landmark World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is due to open in six weeks in Doha, Qatar.

The purpose of the conference is to focus on development priorities in telecommunications and agree on the programmes, projects and initiatives to implement them. It will take into account the WSIS Geneva Plan of Action and Tunis Agenda, which aim at bridging the digital divide. A key objective is to promote international cooperation, regional initiatives and partnerships that can sustain and strengthen telecommunication infrastructure and institutions in developing countries. The Doha Action Plan will set out ways to implement these goals over the next four years.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 7:35:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The official website of the 1st Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be convened later this year in Greece has been launched.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 11:52:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 23, 2006

This UN study on the construction of knowledge societies puts forward "the idea that if societies desire to follow the path of knowledge-based growth and development, a very thorough reconstruction of their institutions must occur. It suggests to political leaders, public administrations and the public at large that a broad, well-informed debate about this institutional shift should be undertaken. The magnitude of such a shift would require the cooperation of all segments of society and their sharing not only of the risk and cost of change, but first and foremost, of common goals and values. It is hoped that this study will inform this debate or at least sketch its parameters."

In an experimental Index of Knowledge Societies, it rates the following countries the highest:

Country Name IKS Index

1  Sweden 0.776
2  Denmark 0.763
3  Norway 0.719
4  Switzerland 0.706
5  Finland 0.704
6  Japan 0.696
7  Germany 0.696
8  Austria 0.692
9  New Zealand 0.692
10 United Kingdom 0.688

Monday, January 23, 2006 1:01:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 11, 2006

At the second phase of WSIS in Tunis, the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society called for the establishment of an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in paragraphs 72 - 79. The first meeting of the IGF will take place in Greece in 2006.

The first consultations on the convening of the IGF will take place in Geneva, Switzerland on 16 and 17 February 2006. The meeting will take place at the United Nations and be chaired by Mr Nitin Desai, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser for WSIS, who will assist the Secretary-General in preparing the convening of the IGF. Additional information can be found at www.intgovforum.org.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 12:48:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The internet as we know it is set to transform radically, according to a new ITU Internet Report entitled The Internet of Things, specially prepared to coincide with the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis in November 2005. From an academic network for the chosen few created in the late 1960s, the internet is now a mass-market, consumer-oriented network being accessed by over 900 million people worldwide, through personal computers, mobile phones and other wireless devices. But this is only the beginning. According to ITU’s report, we are standing on the brink of a new ubiquitous computing and communication era, one that will radically transform the Internet, and with it, our corporate, community, and personal spheres. The new ITU report looks at key enabling technologies for ubiquity (e.g. RFID, sensors and sensor networks, telematics, robotics, nanotechnology) and how they might impact the future human and technological landscape.

At WSIS, the report was launched at a Press Conference and Panel Debate moderated by Kenn Cukier of The Economist. The lively debate included the following speakers and panelists: Nicholas Negroponte - MIT Media Lab, Olivier Baujard - CTO of Alcatel, Hitomi Murakami - VP General Manager of KDDI (Japan), Jonathan Murray - VP and CTO, Microsoft EMEA, Walid Moneimne, Senior VP and Head of EMEA Networks - Nokia, John Gage, Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office - Sun Microsystems, and from the ITU, Lara Srivastava, lead author of the report.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 4:59:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 25, 2005

Internet governance: A tale of community structure and individual initiative by David Allen.

On one side, the Internet community argues for the informality and flexibility necessary for innovation – that is, for individual initiative – to flourish. On the other side, some governments call for more formality and the stable base – that is, for community structure – upon which ongoing operations and change can both occur.

Friday, November 25, 2005 3:26:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Development Gateway is launching a new special report - Information Society: The Next Steps.

The Information Society has produced a tantalizing array of new information and communication technologies (ICT) that have transformed today's approach to development. Access to these technologies is spreading rapidly. This year, the number of Internet users in developing countries is crossing the 500 million mark, surpassing industrial nations for the first time. By some estimates, more than 75% of the world's population now lives within range of a mobile network. Yet the long-heralded promise of ICT remains far out of reach for most of the developing world. For the information poor, economic and social gaps are in fact widening - both within and between countries. Following on the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) of December 2003, WSIS Phase II in November 2005 will assess progress and prompt further global action to capture the promise of ICT for all. This Special Report "Information Society: Next Steps" looks at how the ICT landscape is changing in the developing world and what lies ahead. Experts from governments, donors, NGOs and the private sector speak out about effective policies, promising applications and innovative business models.

The online report includes:
- Interviews with experts on how to create an effective enabling environment for ICT for development and how to finance it;
- collections of documents, research and statistics on tools and applications that can benefit developing countries, found on the Development Gateway portal and other websites; and
- a unique section devoted to the "voices" of those developing and using ICT from both the North and South, relating stories contributed through a recent Development Gateway survey of our members.

Interviews with the following people, among others, will be featured:
- Charles Geiger, Executive Director, WSIS Executive Secretariat
- Pierre Guislain, World Bank Group
- Aimal Marjan, Afghan Ministry of Communication
- Sam Pitroda, Indian Knowledge Commission
- Danilo Piaggesi,  Inter-American Development Bank

Read this Special Report.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 3:29:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 18, 2005

Today the French Goverment has organized a workshop on Spam at the World Summit on Information Society with the support of the European Presidency and the European Commission. At this occasion, France, Marrocco and the Francofone Institute of New Information and Formation Technologies (INTIF - OIF) have annonced the organisation of the first francofone anti-spam workshop in Rabat to be held at the begining of 2006.

Presentations will be available soon at the ITU/SPU website on Spam.

 

Friday, November 18, 2005 2:22:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 17, 2005

Eli Noam has written a piece for the Financial Times entitled A First Amendment for the internet.

Thursday, November 17, 2005 5:35:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The WSIS Stocktaking Report has been officially launched during the World Summit on the Infrmation Society in Tunis. The report has been prepared on the basis of activities entered to the WSIS Stocktaking Database that by November 2005 contained more then 2500 entries. 

For the launch presentation see Stocktaking.pdf (1.47 MB).

For the WSIS Stocktaking Database see here

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 10:50:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Yesterday the Honourable Anne McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, introduced legislation on the lawful interception of communications. The Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act (MITA) will ensure that the law enforcement community and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) maintain their ability to investigate crime and terrorism in the face of rapidly evolving communications technology.

“Currently, under the law, police and CSIS can only intercept communications with authorization. This Act will not change that,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. “However, that authorization may be of no effect if companies do not have the technical ability to intercept new communications technology. This legislation will ensure that criminals can no longer take advantage of new technologies to hide their illegal activities from the law.”

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 8:13:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The final documents submitted to the second phase of WSIS being held 16-18 November 2005 in Tunis have been posted. They are:

In The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, paragraphs 3-28 related to Financial Mechanisms for Meeting the Challenges of ICTs for Development, paragraphs 29-82 relate to Internet Governance, and paragraphs 83-122 relate to Implementation and Follow-up.

 

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 7:24:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 11, 2005

An article on BBC News discusses the new UNCTAD Information Economy Report 2005 and says the costs of fast net access and linking up to the internet's global infrastructure hits poorer nations much harder than developed countries. Chapters in the report include:

  1. ICT indicators for development; Trends and measurement issues
  2. International Internet backbone connectivity: Issues for developing countries
  3. E-credit information, trade finance and e-finance: Overcoming information asymmetries
  4. Taking off: E-tourism opportunities for developing countries
  5. Information technology and security: Risk management and policy implications
  6. Protecting the information society: Addressing the phenomenon of cybercrime
Friday, November 11, 2005 2:50:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 10, 2005

The latest edition of ITU News has a commentary from Yoshio Utsumi, ITU Secretary-General on the expectations beyond the upcoming Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society.

We started on the long journey to Tunis in 1998, when the government of Tunisia proposed to the ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference in Minneapolis to hold a World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). We have accomplished much during this journey. At the first phase of WSIS in Geneva in December 2003, we developed a common vision of the information society. In particular, we declared our common desire and commitment to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented society where the potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) is used to promote sustainable development and improve the quality of life. It is a society where everyone, anywhere should have an opportunity to participate and no one should be excluded from the benefits the information society offers.

At the second phase of the Summit in Tunis on 16-18 November 2005, we will be closing one chapter, but we will be opening a new and much bigger chapter on the implementation of that vision. In this endeavour, we should really recognize the true value of ICT as a central theme in national development policies. ICT is changing our society in ways which are as fundamental as the changes wrought by steam engines in the 19th century or motor cars in the 20th century. As those machines did, ICTs help us to be more productive and efficient than ever before to fulfil our natural desire for a better life....

Nowhere are the challenges to the conventional sovereign State greater than in the realm of cyberspace. And Internet governance has dominated our discussions since the conclusion of the Geneva phase.

The traditional principles of “national sovereignty” that have been applied to telecommunications —namely that each State regulates its telecommunication sector as it sees fit — are not working for the Internet. The Internet, which started in one country, has rapidly penetrated everywhere. Now that the Internet has become a basic element of infrastructure for every nation, it is natural that nations wish to claim sovereignty over the Internet as they do over traditional telecommunication infrastructure.

However, the value of the Internet lies in the value of information created and consumed by users rather than in the infrastructure itself. So, Internet governance requires a multi-stakeholder approach in which users and consumers of information alike agree, at a global level, to cooperate on a basic set of guidelines on such issues as security, privacy protection and efficient operation.

That is why our discussion of Internet governance has been so difficult: because the existing models do not work well. We need to embrace a new model, which I will call “new communication sovereignty.” In this model, we must fight to defend the “right to communicate” rather than the “right to govern.”

Communication is a basic human need and the foundation of all social organization. What matters is whether you have guaranteed access to information or the means to communicate with others, rather than the ability to control the means of communication. The “right to communicate” is a fundamental human right in the information society.

As the Secretary-General for the World Summit on the Information Society, I feel truly honoured to have been given the opportunity to serve the international community at this key moment of change in its history. As the wheel of change continues to turn, we must work together to create a more just and equitable information society.

Thursday, November 10, 2005 2:50:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Computer Business Review Online is reporting that the US government is said to be planning to open the IANA contract to manage the internet's addressing systems, currently held by ICANN, for competitive bidding. But a US official yesterday denied a report that such a move has been discussed publicly.

Thursday, November 10, 2005 2:31:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The debates on internet governance have highlighted conflicting statements and visions on how the internet's domain name system (DNS) root server system should be managed.

From ICANN's statement on What is ICANN?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for .... root server system management functions.

From the Root Server FAQ by Daniel Karrenberg

ICANN does not control root name server operations?

A: No. Neither the IANA nor ICANN have any executive authority over the operation of root name servers. The establishment of such authority has been on ICANN's agenda from the start. It is mentioned in various guises in the MoU between ICANN and the US DoC. However none of this has ever been implemented. I do not believe ICANN, or anyone, should have control over the operation of all root name servers. So this goal should be removed from ICANN's agenda.

From the Working Group on Internet Governance

WGIG identified and included in the Background Report the public policy issues that are relevant to Internet governance. The issues of highest priority, including related issues and problems, are set out below for the attention of the WSIS...

Administration of the root zone files and system

Lack of formal relationship with root server operators

  • The root zone operators perform their functions today without a formal relationship with any authority.

From the U.S. Principles on the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System

As such, the United States is committed to taking no action that would have the potential to adversely impact the effective and efficient operation of the DNS and will therefore maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file.

 

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 10:30:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A book written by members of the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) will be launched at WSIS in Tunis and made available on the WGIG website on 16 November 2005. The preface, introduction and conclusions are already available.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 10:08:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 07, 2005

For the upcoming Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) to be held in Hammamet, Tunisia, 14-15 November 2005, just before the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the ITU has released a paper by Tracy Cohen, Olli Mattila and Russel Southwood, entitled VoIP and Regulation, which will be presented at the GSR:

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is generally viewed as a “disruptive technology”. All the current market indications show that IP networks and services like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) will replace traditional PSTN networks and services. ITU estimates that by 2008, at least 50 percent of international minutes will be carried on IP networks and that many carriers will have all-IP networks. Recent trends are certainly headed in this direction. For example, in the United States, residential VoIP subscriber numbers have increased from 150,000 at the end of 2003 to over 2 million in March 2005. It is predicted that subscribers in the US will exceed 4.1 million by 2006, generating over USD 1 billion in gross revenues for the year. In March 2005, the Chilean broadband operator VTR launched the first telecommunication network for residential services based on IP technology. The operator expects to expand its platform and reach 2 million customers in five years. There are approximately 35,000 residential telephones that use IP technology in Chile, either through Chilean operators or through Vonage...

This paper examines how VoIP services will affect future regulation. Due to the starkly contrasting global perceptions of VoIP however, it is difficult to present a unified approach to regulatory treatment of VoIP and this paper aims to reflect regulatory experiences from a wide range of countries that are grappling with the transition to VoIP. The three sections of this paper are structured to answer both the broad and specific questions raised by VoIP services, including the overall approach to regulating VoIP as a mainstream service; how VoIP has changed voice business models and the various ways of classifying the services it has created; and finally, other related issues frequently raised in connection with VoIP, such as quality of service; network integrity; emergency calling, numbering, communication security and lawful interception.

Monday, November 07, 2005 11:23:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, November 06, 2005

The U.N. isn't a threat to the net: an op-ed piece by Kofi A. Annan on internet governance.

Sunday, November 06, 2005 3:36:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

For the upcoming Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) to be held in Hammamet, Tunisia, 14-15 November 2005, just before the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the ITU has released a paper by John Palfrey entitled Stemming the International Tide of Spam: a Draft Model Law, which will be presented at the GSR:

This discussion paper primarily takes up the question of what – beyond coordinating with technologists and other countries’ enforcement teams and educating consumers – legislators and regulators might consider by way of legal mechanisms. First, the paper takes up the elements that might be included in an anti-spam law. Second, the paper explores one alternative legal mechanism which might be built into an anti-spam strategy, the establishment of enforceable codes of conduct for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Third, this paper also examines a variant of the legal approach where ISPs are formally encouraged by regulators to develop their own code of conduct. ISPs should be encouraged to establish and enforce narrowly-drawn codes of conduct that prohibit their users from using that ISP as a source for spamming and related bad acts, such as spoofing and phishing, and not to enter into peering arrangements with ISPs that do not uphold similar codes of conduct. Rather than continue to rely upon chasing individual spammers, regulators in the most resource-constrained countries in particular would be more likely to succeed by working with and through the ISPs that are closer to the source of the problem, to their customers, and to the technology in question. The regulator’s job would be to ensure that ISPs within their jurisdiction adopt adequate codes of conduct as a condition of their operating license and then to enforce adherence to those codes of conduct. The regulator can also play a role in sharing best practices among ISPs and making consumers aware of the good works of the best ISPs. While effectively just shifting the burden of some of the anti-spam enforcement to ISPs is not without clear drawbacks, and cannot alone succeed in stemming the tide of spam, such a policy has a far higher likelihood of success in the developing countries context than the anti-spam enforcement tactics employed to date.

Sunday, November 06, 2005 3:19:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 04, 2005

Two recent papers from academic institutions have been released on internet governance in preparation for the upcoming negotiations just prior to the World Summit on the Information Society to be held November 16-18 2005:

Friday, November 04, 2005 11:46:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 21, 2005
The ITU runs High-Level Panel on The Information Society 2015: Building the Way Forward. The panel will take place during World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, 15 November 2005 .
 
The ITU High-Level Panel at WSIS will discuss the implications of the convergence of telecommunication, media and information technology sectors as well as the impact of rapid innovations on the achievement of the 2015 connectivity goals.
 
The WSIS Geneva Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action set ambitious goals for bridging the digital divide by 2015. They will require strong commitments from all stakeholders at national, regional and international levels.
 
Chair: Mr. Yoshio Utsumi, ITU Secretay General

Moderation: Ms. Aiko Doden, NHK, Japan Broadcasting Corp. presenter, WSIS Goodwill Ambasador of Japan

Panelists
  • H.E. Dayanidhi Maran, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technologies, India
  • H.E. Pedro Cerisola Weber, Minister for Information and Communication Technologies, Mexico
  • H.E. Philippe Mvouo, Minister for Post, Telecommunications and New Information and Communication Technologies, Republic of the Congo
  • Dr. Yeongi Son, President of the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion
  • Dr. Sabiletso Mokoe-Matabane, CEO of Sentech, South Africa
  • Mr. Simon Beresford Wylie, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Networks, Nokia
  • Dr. Stephen Collins, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Skype
  • Mr. Peter Bladin, Vice President,Grameen Foundation, USA and Director of Technology Center

For more information on panel, please click here.

For more information on ITU activities related to WSIS, please click here

Friday, October 21, 2005 7:21:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 13, 2005

The ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Communications, the Ugo Bordoni Foundation and the Aosta Valley regional authority, organized a Workshop on “Tomorrow’s Network Today” on 7-8 October 2005.

The workshop considered five broad themes:

• International Visions of Ubiquitous Networks and Next Generation Networks
• National Visions of Ubiquitous Networks and Next Generation Networks
• Creating an Enabling Environment
• The Italian Path Towards Ubiquitous Networks
• An example of Italian best practice: "Being Digital in the Aosta Valley"

Now available on the workshop website  are the agenda, with links to presentations as they were delivered and the two Case Studies on Italy – “Bridging the Gap: Taking Tomorrow’s Network Today” presented by Marco Obiso and “Ubiquitous Networks Societies: The Case of Italy” presented by Cristina Bueti - as well as background papers and voluntary contributions produced for the workshop.

During the event, Tim Kelly, Head of the Strategy and Policy Unit (ITU) presented “Tomorrow’s Network and the Internet of Things”, showing some of the outcomes of the forthcoming ITU Internet Reports publication that this year will be dedicated to the theme of the “Internet of Things “.

A final report of the workshop will be available in the next few weeks at the workshop website.

Thursday, October 13, 2005 3:46:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Countering Spam, PDF, Cristina Bueti, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, 11 October 2005, presented to ITU-T Study Group 17 Meeting (Geneva, Switzerland).

Thursday, October 13, 2005 1:48:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The WSIS Executive Secretariat has announced that under the Chairmanship of the President of PrepCom of the Tunis phase of WSIS, a Negotiation Group will meet in two consecutive sessions from 24 to 28 October 2005. In its first session, on 24 and 25 October 2005, its objective will be to finalize the negotiation on the Political Chapeau and on the paragraphs remained in brackets of Chapter two of the Operational Part.

In its second session, from 26 to 28 October 2005, the Negotiation Group will aim to finalize the negotiations on Chapters one and four of the Operational Part of the final documents of the Tunis phase. It will be an intergovernmental negotiation process, to be held every day from 10.00 - 13.00 and from 15.00 - 18.00 hours in the Palais de Nations, Room XX, Gate 40. Interpretation in the six UN working languages will be provided. After each session, the President of PrepCom will inform the observers on the advancement of the work. Participants without badges should contact the Executive Secretariat with a completed badge request form by Friday 21 October 2005 at the latest.

The resumed PrepCom-3 will be held back to back to the Tunis Summit. The Prepcom Bureau decided that PrepCom-3 of the Tunis phase of WSIS will be reconvened on 13 November 2005, at 10.00 hours, in Tunis, for a three-day session (13-15 November 2005). Information about the venue will be provided at a later stage. The resumed PrepCom-3 will start with a short organizational Plenary meeting. The modalities of work of the resumed PrepCom-3 will follow the Rules of Procedure of the PrepCom, including the participation of observers in Plenary and Subcommittee meetings. Interpretation in the six UN working languages will be provided.

More information will be made available here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 11:38:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 10, 2005

A debate on the emerging agenda for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was staged in Geneva on 30 September 2005. An invited audience of ICT movers and shakers fired questions at a distinguished panel of experts. The resulting programme, Digital Dividend, will be broadcast on BBC World Television on 22 and 23 October 2005, in advance of Phase II of WSIS, which will take place in Tunis, Tunisia on 16-18 November 2005.

The transmission times for BBC World Television are as follows:

Saturday 22 October 2005 - 12:10 GMT
Saturday 22 October 2005 - 19:10 GMT
Sunday 23 October 2005 - 07:10 GMT
Sunday 23 October 2005 - 17:10 GMT

These times are all in GMT. For you local time, please check the BBC website.

 

Monday, October 10, 2005 1:54:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 07, 2005

Promoting Global Cybersecurity, PDF, Robert Shaw, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, 6 October 2005, presented to ITU-T Study Group 17 Meeting (Geneva, Switzerland)

Friday, October 07, 2005 10:10:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The October 2005 English edition of ITU News is now available. Headlines include:

  • ITU at a Glance
  • ITU's Connect the World Initiatives
  • Eye on development
  • SPAM
  • Pioneers Page
  • In Brief
  • Industry Watch
Friday, October 07, 2005 9:39:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 06, 2005

Links to documents from WSIS Prepcom-3 (19-30 September 2005) Sub-Committee A, which dealt with the topic of Internet Governance, can be found on the WSIS website. The key documents from Prepcom-3 include:

According to the Report of the Work of Sub-Committee A, in order to complete the work in time for the Summit, document DT/10 Rev. 4 is offered as basis for further negotiations. The following documents elaborated during PrepCom-3 are offered as a further input to future negotiations:

Thursday, October 06, 2005 5:02:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Update on ITU and WSIS Activities Related to Spam and Cybersecurity (PDF) presented at OECD Spam Task Force Meeting, Paris, France on 3 October 2005, Robert Shaw, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit

Tuesday, October 04, 2005 3:32:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 28, 2005

PrepCom-3 Highlights: 26-27 September 2005

Internet governance discussions kicked off this morning with delegations getting down to the business of drafting text that will eventually become part of the outcome documents of November’s World Summit.

PrepCom-3 Highlights: 28 September 2005

The European Union signaled a radical shift of position on its support for maintaining the Internet governance status quo, tabling a bold new document (Word) on Wednesday night that proposed a new public-private governance model, including an international multi-stakeholder forum.

Taking the floor half-way through Wednesday evening’s meeting of Sub-Committee A, the UK delegate’s placid delivery belied the ground-shaking import of the proposal, which represented a clear departure from the “status quo” camp led by the US.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005 6:58:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 26, 2005
 Friday, September 23, 2005

The Chair of WSIS Phase 2 Prepcom-3 Sub-Committee A dealing with Internet Governance has released a chair's draft of Chapter 3: Internet Governance for consideration of Sub-Committee A.

Friday, September 23, 2005 10:19:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Highlights from the discussions at WSIS Prepcom-3 19-21 September 2005 can be found here.

Friday, September 23, 2005 8:42:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 22, 2005

From TPRC 2005: Internet Governance: Theories and First Principles by Johannes M. Bauer, Michigan State University.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 5:06:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From TPRC 2005: DNSSEC and Hardening Security in the Internet Infrastructure: The Public Policy Questions by Amy Friedlander, Stephen Crocker, Allison Mankin, W. Douglas Maughan, Douglas Montgomery, Shinkuro Inc.

This is a paper from the practitioner community. We are engaged in an effort to strengthen security in the Internet infrastructure. Our immediate task is to deploy a new Internet protocol, DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC), which promises to harden features of the Domain Name System (DNS), a key element in the infrastructure of the Internet. In our work, we find ourselves at the intersection of the following questions:

  1. How do we stimulate innovation in infrastructure services when those services are provided in a competitive, largely private commercial environment and the returns are likely to occur in the long term and will also be shared?
  2. What is the appropriate role of government in fostering infrastructure development when we are committed to largely privately-owned and operated infrastructure facilities and services?
  3. What is the balance among national and homeland security interests and global Internet management - or governance?
Thursday, September 22, 2005 2:55:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The video archives (Real Video) of yesterday's (20 September 2005) opening discussions on Internet governance in WSIS Prepcom-3 Sub-Committee A which is handling Internet Governance have been made available. They are available in English and in the original language from the Floor.

Access to the all real-time Prepcom-3 streams and archives can be found here.

Update: The archives of the 21 September 2005 discussions on Internet Governance in Sub-Committee A can be found here in English and in the original language from the Floor.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 8:30:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 20, 2005
 Monday, September 19, 2005

SwissInfo is reporting that data-protection commissioners from 40 countries have called on the United Nations to prepare a binding legal instrument to enhance data protection.

A related press release and the final Montreux Declaration are available.

Monday, September 19, 2005 3:26:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 15, 2005

WSIS Press Release, 15 September 2005: World Summit on the Information Society - Tunis Phase Preparatory Committee 3 (PrepCom-3): The final preparatory meeting for the forthcoming Tunis Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society will take place at the Palais de Nations, Geneva, from 19-30 September 2005. The meeting, which is expected to welcome some 1'500 participants from UN agencies, the private sector, civil society and the media, will work to finalize the working documents of the Summit, scheduled to take place in Tunis from November 16-18. For full text see: 

Thursday, September 15, 2005 2:04:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is organizing a lunchtime parallel session on Developing a Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) that will take place in Geneva on Thursday 22 September 2005, from 13.30 – 14.45 hours at the UN Palais des Nations, Room IX, during PrepCom-3.

The Digital Opportunity Index is specifically mandated in the WSIS Plan of Action (para 28a). In this session, ITU will present a proposed methodology for the DOI, tested on 40 economies. The initial results are shown in the report Measuring Digital Opportunity, which was presented at the recent WSIS Thematic Meeting on Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships for Bridging the Digital Divide, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. More information on the methodology is available on the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) website.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 1:37:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 05, 2005

The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) takes place this November in Tunisia. The third meeting of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom-3 of the Tunis phase) will be held in Geneva from 19-30 September under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and is certain to attract many high-level participants from the world of ICTs (information and communication technologies).

With support from SDC, GKP, and UNDP-APDIP, dev.tv intends to take advantage of this gathering to stage a one-hour televised debate on whether ICTs can effectively help lift people out of poverty. The debate will be broadcast on BBC World to 275 million homes worldwide, and will also be streamed over the internet during the week of the WSIS.

Monday, September 05, 2005 7:34:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 05, 2005

The Chairman's report (PDF) from the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity held June 28 - July 1 2005 has been released.

The event was organized in the framework of the implementation of the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action adopted on 12 December 2003, at the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and in preparation for the Tunis phase of WSIS, to be held from 16 to 18 November, 2005. The event website provides links to the final agenda, all background papers, presentations, electronic contributions, the Chairman’s Report and audio archives.

The four-day meeting was structured to consider and debate six broad themes in promoting international dialogue and cooperative measures among governments, the private sector and other stakeholders as well as promotion of a global culture of cybersecurity. These include information sharing of national and regional approaches, good practices and guidelines; developing watch, warning and incident response capabilities; technical standards and industry solutions; harmonizing national legal approaches and international legal coordination; privacy, data and consumer protection; and developing countries and cybersecurity.

The first day of the meeting focused on countering spam as follow-up to the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam, held in July 2004.

Friday, August 05, 2005 12:38:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At a recent ITU cybersecurity event, Bruce Schneier, Founder and CTO, Counterpane Internet Security, Inc. gave a keynote speech entitled Negotiating for Security.

A Real Audio archive is available of Mr. Schneier's talk (speech starts 4 minutes from start of archive).

Mr. Schneier states that security is one of the fundamental building blocks of the information society as everything we now do with information requires some kind of security—sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, may it be personal, corporate or government related. He said that to a very real extent the limits of the information society can be seen as the limits of security. In other words, if we cannot do it securely, we will not do it with computers and on the internet. Therefore, this means that security is a fundamental enabling technology of the global information society. Moreover, he noted that society as a whole is increasingly moving onto computers and networks and therefore things that had previously nothing to do with computers suddenly do: whether airplanes or the national power grid, these now have an important information security component to their secure functioning. This means that information security therefore has become our general security, which is almost everything. This fact explains our need for an increased focus on security and why the things we are trying to achieve here at this meeting are so important.

Friday, August 05, 2005 11:16:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At the recent ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity, Maria Cristina Bueti, Policy Analyst, Strategy and Policy Unit, ITU, presented a background paper entitled ITU Survey of Anti-Spam Laws and Authorities Worldwide. The survey was conducted in April 2005 and sent to ITU’s 189 Member States. The survey results, based on 58 responses received, showed that there are a number of countries that have already implemented anti-spam legislation. In some cases, countries use data protection laws or consumer protection laws to cope with spam issues. A number of countries do not have anti-spam legislation or any laws applicable to spam. A slide from her presentation is shown below.

Friday, August 05, 2005 10:58:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 02, 2005
 Friday, July 29, 2005

The final version of a paper commissioned by the ITU entitled A Comparative Analysis of Spam Laws: The Quest for a Model Law (PDF) has been released. The paper was authored by Derek E. Bambauer, John G. Palfrey, Jr., and David E. Abrams, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School, for the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity held in Geneva, 28 June - 1 July 2005.

Executive Summary

Spam presents a significant challenge to users, Internet service providers, states, and legal systems worldwide. The costs of spam are significant and growing, and the increasing volume of spam threatens to destroy the utility of electronic mail communications.

The Chairman’s Report from the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam in July 2004 emphasized the importance of a multi-faceted approach to solving the problem of spam and named legal governance as one of the necessary means. Our paper focuses on the potential nature of the legal regulation of spam, specifically the importance of harmonizing regulations in the form of a model spam law. We agree with the Chairman that the law is only one means towards this end and we urge regulators to incorporate other modes of control into their efforts, including technical methods, market-based means, and norm-based modalities.

Spam uniquely challenges regulation because it easily transverses borders. The sender of a message, the server that transmits it, and the recipient who reads it may be located in three different states, all of which are under unique legal governance. If spam laws are not aligned in these states, enforcement will suffer because the very differences between spam laws may mean that a violation in one state is a permissible action in another. Moreover, spammers have an incentive to locate operations in places with less regulation, and the opportunity to states to create a domestic spam hosting market may engage them in a race to the bottom.

Harmonizing laws that regulate spam offers considerable benefits, insofar as a model law could assist in establishing a framework for cross-border enforcement collaboration. To those enforcing the regulation of spam, harmonization as a model law effort offers: clear guidelines, easy adoption, enhanced enforcement, stronger norms, fewer havens for spammers, and the increased sharing of best practices. If such regulators then agree that harmonization can aid legal regimes intent on curbing spam, they must initially address four critical tasks: defining prohibited content, setting default rules for contacting recipients, harmonizing existing laws, and enforcing such rules effectively. This legal approach must be concurrently matched by efforts that employ other modes of regulation, such as technical measures, user education, and market-based approaches.

Our analysis of existing spam legislation gathered by the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit evaluated these laws’ elements to determine whether they were commonly included or not, and whether provisions were uniformly implemented or varying when present. Our research documents seven instances in which extant laws strongly converge: a focus on commercial content, the mandatory disclosure of sender/advertiser/routing, bans on fraudulent or misleading content, bans on automated collection or generation of recipient addresses, the permission to contact recipients where there is an existing relationship, the requirement to allow recipients to refuse future messages, and a mix of graduated civil and criminal liability. Also documented are five key areas of disagreement which are vital to a harmonized spam law but which have evaded consensus thus far: a prior consent requirement for contacting recipients, a designated enforcer, label requirements for spam messages, the definition of spam (whether it is limited to e-mail communication, or includes other applications, such as SMS), and the jurisdictional reach of the system’s spam laws. Naturally, a harmonization effort must tackle and narrow these zones of divergence in order to succeed.

Spam laws, whether harmonized or not, are at best only part of the solution to the spam problem and must be developed in concert with technical, market, and norms-based tools if the scourge of spam is to be substantially reduced. Efforts to harmonize the legal regulation of spam can serve as one effective means to solving the unique challenges spam presents. A model spam law is possible to develop, despite the many differences among the world’s spam laws.

Friday, July 29, 2005 10:00:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Announced today on the WSIS web site is that the second Informal Consultation Meeting on Internet Governance (open to all stakeholders) will take place at the United Nations (Palais des Nations), Geneva, on 6 September 2005. Further details will be available in due time here.

Friday, July 29, 2005 9:44:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 28, 2005

Presentations in a July 2005 ICANN GAC roundtable discussion:

  • Root Server Anycast System (root server operators) provides an update of DNS root-server anycast status (103-worldwide with more planned for 2005) and the statement that root server anycast deployment is a "tremendous success".
  • Assorted Slides (Daniel Karrenberg, RIPE NCC) provides views on deploying DNSSEC on the root server system and the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) final report comments that the "Lack of formal relationship with root server operators" is a public policy issue relevant to Internet governance. It is stated that this is "wrong" and "not a way to solve the issues about who edits the [root] zone file."
Thursday, July 28, 2005 2:51:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Internet Governance Project, an interdisciplinary consortium of academics with scholarly and practical expertise in international governance, Internet policy, and information and communication technology, has published a concept paper entitled The Future US Role in Internet Governance: 7 Points in Response to the U.S. Commerce Dept.’s “Statement of Principles”.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 9:26:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The ITU Council has approved that the theme for World Telecommunication Day 2006 (May 17) be Promoting Global Cybersecurity.

Here is the background of this decision as contained in the proposal to ITU Council:

The United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 2002, a resolution entitled UNGA Resolution 57/239: Creation of a global culture of cybersecurity, calling for international organizations to consider measures to foster a global culture of cybersecurity and invited Member States to develop throughout their societies a culture of cybersecurity in the application and use of information technologies. The General Assembly also stressed the necessity to facilitate the transfer of information technology and capacity-building to developing countries, in order to help them to take measures in cybersecurity.

The ITU Plenipotentiary in 2002 adopted Resolution 130: Strengthening the role of ITU in information and communication network security, instructing the Secretary General and the Directors of the Bureaux to intensify work within existing ITU study groups and inviting ITU Member States and Sector Members to participate actively in the ongoing work of the relevant ITU study groups.

In 2004, a second resolution, UNGA Resolution 58/199: Creation of a global culture of cybersecurity and the protection of critical information infrastructure, was adopted by the United Nations on the global culture of cybersecurity and the protection of critical information infrastructure. The General Assembly, through this Resolution, encouraged Member States, regional and international organizations that have developed strategies to deal with cybersecurity and the protection of critical information infrastructures to share their best practices and measures that could assist other Member States in their efforts to facilitate the achievement of cybersecurity; it also stressed the necessity for enhanced efforts to close the digital divide, to achieve universal access to information and communication technologies and to protect critical information infrastructures by facilitating the transfer of information technology and capacity-building, in particular to developing countries so that all States may benefit fully from information and communication technologies for their socio-economic development.

In 2004, the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) adopted Resolution 50 on Cybersecurity, requesting the ITU-T to continue to raise awareness, of the need to defend information and communication systems against the threat of cyberattack, and continue to promote cooperation among appropriate entities in order to enhance exchange of technical information in the field of information and communication network security.

In accordance with PP Resolution 130 and WTSA Resolution 50, it was proposed that ITU should take a lead role in promoting a global cybersecurity campaign. The vehicle of World Telecommunication Day can be used to build an awareness campaign in support of this objective. In implementing this campaign, ITU would work in close cooperation with organizations involved in global cybersecurity issues, including the European Network and Information Security Agency, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as other national, regional and international interested entities.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 9:48:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 22, 2005

Following the release of the report from the Working Group on Internet Governance, according to a Decision of PrepCom-2 all governments and other stakeholders are invited to submit written comments and proposals on Internet Governance to wsis-contributions@itu.int by 15 August 2005. Thereafter, a compilation of these contributions will be forwarded to PrepCom-3, which will be held 19-30 September 2005, together with the report of the WGIG.

Friday, July 22, 2005 5:09:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, July 16, 2005

On 15 July 2005 WSIS Executive Secretariat released the Advanced Draft of Stocktaking Report (WSIS-II/PC-3/DOC/3). The Report is available here.

This advanced draft of the stocktaking report has been prepared on the basis of activities received up to 10 July 2005. It is posted for comments and additional inputs, which should be sent to wsis-stocktaking@itu.int before 15 August 2005. The draft will then be revised and translated for PrepCom-3.

For more information on WSIS process click here.

Saturday, July 16, 2005 4:17:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Working Group on Internet Governance has released its final report (Word, PDF).

The Report has been translated in all UN languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish (all Word format).

A Background Report (Word) is also made available. It will be translated into French and posted on this website in due course.

Click here (PDF) to view the Press Release.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 8:42:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Via Africa: Creating local and regional IXPs to save money and bandwidth has been released by The ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) Regulatory Reform Unit.

This booklet has three sections that seek to look at how national and regional Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) might be created, particularly in the African context but it also draws on lessons from elsewhere:

  • Section One looks at the African policy context out of which IXPs came and outlines the practical reasons for implementing them on the continent.
  • Section Two describes how national IXPs have been set up and deals with both the people and technology issues that have to be addressed. It also identifies ways in which the regulatory framework can be made more favourable to encourage their successful operation.
  • Section Three looks at the next logical step: how it might be possible to connect national IXPs so that data can flow between countries without needing to leave the continent. It summarizes: the discussions to date about the best approach to this task; the option chosen by AfrISPA; and what needs to happen to make it a reality.

There is also a discussion of the regulatory issues that may need to be considered and the appendices of the booklet contain a list of useful documents and references.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 3:16:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 30, 2005

The US government has released a significant evolution in its policy stance in a newly released U.S. Principles on the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System in the run-up to the second phase of WSIS in Tunis and the upcoming release of the Working Group on Internet Governance's report on Internet Governance.

  • The United States Government intends to preserve the security and stability of the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System (DNS).  Given the Internet's importance to the world’s economy, it is essential that the underlying DNS of the Internet remain stable and secure.  As such, the United States is committed to taking no action that would have the potential to adversely impact the effective and efficient operation of the DNS and will therefore maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file.
  • Governments have legitimate interest in the management of their country code top level domains (ccTLD).  The United States recognizes that governments have legitimate public policy and sovereignty concerns with respect to the management of their ccTLD.  As such, the United States is committed to working with the international community to address these concerns, bearing in mind the fundamental need to ensure stability and security of the Internet’s DNS.
  • ICANN is the appropriate technical manager of the Internet DNS.  The United States continues to support the ongoing work of ICANN as the technical manager of the DNS and related technical operations and recognizes the progress it has made to date.  The United States will continue to provide oversight so that ICANN maintains its focus and meets its core technical mission.
  • Dialogue related to Internet governance should continue in relevant multiple fora.  Given the breadth of topics potentially encompassed under the rubric of Internet governance there is no one venue to appropriately address the subject in its entirety.  While the United States recognizes that the current Internet system is working, we encourage an ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders around the world in the various fora as a way to facilitate discussion and to advance our shared interest in the ongoing robustness and dynamism of the Internet.  In these fora, the United States will continue to support market-based approaches and private sector leadership in Internet development broadly.

A corresponding news article from AP is U.S. Won't Cede Control of Net Computers.

Thursday, June 30, 2005 10:54:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 29, 2005

During this morning's session at the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity on Information Sharing of National and Regional Approaches, Good Practices and Guidelines, Myriam DUNN, Head, International Relations and Security Network (ISN), Center for Security Studies (CSS), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland presented a background paper (PDF) on A Comparative Analysis of Cybersecurity Initatives Worldwide.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 12:14:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The final presentation at yesterday's session on spam at the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity, John LEVINE, Chair, IETF Antispam Research Group (ASRG) made a presentation entitled the Limits of Security Technology: Lessons from the Spam Wars.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:46:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Yesterday, at the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity, during the day focused on spam, a session was dedicated to discussing national policies and legislative approaches to spam. As part of this session, a Background Paper commissioned by ITU, entitled A Comparative Analysis of Spam Laws: the Quest for Model Law, was presented (presentation) by Derek BAMBAUER, Research Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society. The authors of hte paper are Derek BAMBAUER, John PALFREY, Executive Director, and David ABRAMS, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School, United States. From the introduction to the report: 

The goal of this paper is to help policymakers understand the potential benefits and challenges of model spam legislation as a tool to improve the security of and user confidence in information and communications technology (ICT), as well as the potential that model spam legislation holds for Internet users worldwide. First, it sets forth a framework for understanding spam and identifies key issues confronting regulators. Next, the paper examines the set of options for spam laws based on existing and proposed legislation gathered by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU). It analyzes the level of consensus among these extant laws and the degree to which a particular component is included in most legislation and in the degree to which provisions addressing this component are similar or harmonized. The paper points towards zones where there is considerable consensus while simultaneously illuminating the most fundamental differences, so that policymakers can tackle the hard issues and choices involved in spam laws. Finally, the paper makes preliminary recommendations for spam law efforts and considers both the potential for and the likely efficacy of a model spam law.

During the same sessions, there were presentations from:

  • Panellist: Jonathan KRADEN (biography), Staff Attorney, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), United States
      o  Presentation
  • Panellist: Miguel MONTERO (biography), Spam Ruling Administrator, Radiografica Costarricense (RACSA), Costa Rica
      o  Presentation
  • Panellist: Liang LIU (biography), Assistant Director, Anti-Spam Coordination Team, Internet Society of China, People’s Republic of China
      o  Presentation
  • Presentation: Maria Cristina BUETI (biography), Policy Analyst, Strategy and Policy Unit, ITU
    ”ITU Survey of Anti-Spam Laws and Authorities Worldwide”
      o  Presentation
Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:10:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Luc Mathan from the relatively new Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) is giving a presentation on MAAWG's efforts to align the messaging industry stakeholders along three directives: Collaboration, Technology and Policy. The working group will address collaborating on cross-operator communications, best practices and technology to combat messaging abuse, as well as developing a cohesive point of view on public policy.  More information about MAAWG.

MAAWG members are developing a feedback loop mechanisms to deal with spam complaints between ISPs. They are also creating a contact database for service providers to be able to contact the appropriate person to deal with a messaging abuse situation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 9:29:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Steve Linford of the Spamhaus Project is speaking at the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity on the first day which is concentrating on countering spam. Some of his remarks:

  • Spamhaus blocks approximatley 8 billion spam messages per day
  • They estimate there are 4 million infected zombie machines which have been compromised with 60-100,000 newly infected per week
  • These are used to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Attacks
  • This is increasingly a criminal activity with "spam supermarkets"
  • Mostly American and Russian spammers using Chinese hosting. These are technically smart users who firewall their sites from their hosting companies.
  • Spammers in Russia are more criminal than US counterparts. They are involved in
  • The largest Russian ISP, Rostelecom says they cannot terminate accounts as Russian law does not permit it.
  • Australian spam laws are best in the world, penalties are high enough to make a dent in spam
  • Consumer confidence in the Internet is dropping every day
  • Spam is a cancer and it is fast killing the Internet

Some of Steve's conclusions include:

  • You must ban and not regulate spam
  • Governments must give resources to law enforcement agencies
  • Make it criminal for ISPs to host spammers
  • Require a 24 hour point of contact for all ISPs to terminate problems
  • Educate users to not reply to spam

The meeting is also being audiocast live over the Internet. Mr. Linford's talk is the beginning of Session 2.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 9:06:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At the start of the 21st century, our societies are increasingly dependent on information and communications technologies (ICTs) that span the globe. The ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity opens today and takes place from 28 June – 1 July 2005 at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. This conference will examine the recommendations in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) first phase's Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action that relate to building confidence and security in the use of ICTs and the promotion of a global culture of cybersecurity. Now available on the meeting web site is the agenda (with links to presentations as they are given) and meeting background papers and contributions. The meeting is also being audiocast live over the Internet.

The meeting will specifically consider six broad themes in promoting international cooperative measures among governments, the private sector and other stakeholders, including:

  • information sharing of national approaches, good practices and guidelines; 
  • developing watch, warning and incident response capabilities;
  • harmonizing national legal approaches and international legal coordination;
  • technical standards;
  • privacy, data and consumer protection;
  • developing economies and cybersecurity.

The first day of the meeting will focus on countering spam as follow-up to the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam held in July 2004.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 6:09:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 10, 2005

There are lots different indices which rank the world's countries according to their level of penetration of ICTs, or their e-readiness. But until now there has been no agreement on what indicators to include, or what methodology to use. Now, in the framework of the implementation of the WSIS Plan of Action, a new methodology, prepared by Michael Minges of TMG Inc on behalf of ITU, has been released for developing a composite "Digital Opportunity Index". This new methodology is based on the core list of indicators agreed by the "Partnership for Measuring ICT for Development" of UN agencies at their meeting on 7-9 February 2005.

The draft methodology is structured around eleven indicators in four clusters:

  • Affordability and coverage: Mobile phone coverage and tariff baskets for mobiles and Internet access.
  • Access path and device: Penetration of fixed-lines, mobile phones and PCs.
  • Infrastructure: Fixed and mobile Internet subscribers and international Internet bandwidth per inhabitant.
  • Quality: Penetration of fixed and mobile broadband subscribers.

The index has been developed according to a modular methodology, so that it can be easily extended, adpated for national use, or used alongside other indices, such as the UNDP's Human Development Index. As a proof-of-concept, the methodology has been applied to 40 leading economies, with Sweden, Denmark, Republic of Korea, Switzerland and Hong Kong-China appearing in the top five. The index will be further discussed at the WSIS Thematic Meeting on "Multi-stakeholder partnerships for bridging the digital divide", to be held on 23-24 June 2005, in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

More

Friday, June 10, 2005 9:31:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"Preparations for the second World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis (16-18 November 2005) have entered a crucial phase. This summit should reach an international consensus on two key unresolved issues from the first phase: Internet governance and financial mechanisms for bridging the digital divide between developed and developing countries. The European Commission has now adopted a communication outlining the EU's priorities for the Tunis meeting. To promote an Information Society for all, respectful of human rights and of freedom of expression and cultural and linguistic diversity, the EU wishes to preserve and strengthen the sound foundations laid during the first summit in Geneva."

For more details click here.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 2:17:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 03, 2005

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has recommended the introduction of a uniform intellectual property (IP) protection mechanism designed to further curb unauthorized registration of domain names in all new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). This came in a report by WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) on the IP implications of introducing additional generic Top-Level Domains (new gTLDs). The report, "New Generic Top-Level Domains: Intellectual Property Considerations", which is available at http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/reports/newgtld-ip, said that such a preventive mechanism would complement the curative relief provided by the existing Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

Friday, June 03, 2005 11:57:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The BBC has an article on the adoption of open source software in Brazil.

Mr Cerqueira Cesar is a leading light behind the newly-created Global Organisation for Free Software, which has been set up by a broad coalition of Brazilian businesses and NGOs. More details are being released this week at an International Forum on Free Software, in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre.

The government here has its eye on a UN summit on information technology, to take place in Tunisia in November.

Already, Brazilian diplomats are pushing for a final declaration that would stress the advantages of open-source software.

They have won the backing of India and are now canvassing broader support from the developing world.

Friday, June 03, 2005 11:35:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 27, 2005

At an ITU/EU (ENISA) Regional Seminar on Cybersecurity for CEE, CIS and Baltic States in Riga, Latvia, Robert Shaw of the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit has given a presentation (PDF) on the upcoming ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity which will be held June 28-July 1 2005 at ITU headquarters.

Other presentations on available on the event web site, including an update by Pernilla SKANTZ on the establishment of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA).

Friday, May 27, 2005 1:32:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 25, 2005

2005 marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of the report of the Independent Commission ("Maitland Commission") on Worldwide Telecommunication Development, entitled "The Missing Link". To mark the anniversary, ITU has published the original report on its website, in English, French and Spanish.

The "missing link" of the title's report refers to the gap in telecommunications development, within and between nations. Although the term "digital divide" is now more common, the original arguments presented in the report are still quite valid. In particular, the report calls for "decisions at the highest political level" to bring "all of mankind within easy reach of a telephone by early part of the next century". Research by ITU (see the 2003 World Telecommunication Development Report) indicates that, by the start of this century, just over 80 per cent of the world's population were within reach of phones (increasingly mobile phones rather than fixed line telephones). Although this falls short of the original target, the "decisions at the highest political level" that the report calls for is now closer to fruition with the holding of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which is the first time this issue has been discussed at the Heads of State and Heads of Government level. The WSIS Declaration of Principles, adopted by the first phase of the WSIS in December 2003 contains the following commitment (para 10):

"We are also fully aware that the benefits of the information technology revolution are today unevenly distributed between the developed and the developing countries and within societies. We are fully committed to turning this digital divide into a digital opportunity for all, particularly for those who risk being left behind and being further marginalized". 

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 11:21:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

H.E. Ambassador Janis Karklins (Latvia) has invited WSIS stakeholders to take part in an informal consultation on implementation and follow-up of the Plan of Action for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to take place in Room 26 of the United Nations in Geneva, on 13 June, from 10-13 and 15-18 (see invitation letter). The consultations will take place just ahead of the meeting of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance.

These consultations will concern, in particular, paras 10-11 of the draft Operational document for the Tunis phase of the Summit, and the compilation of comments on that draft. The deadline for further comments is 31 May 2005.

The consultations follow-on from those hosted by ITU's Working Group on WSIS (WG-WSIS) that were held on 2 May

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 10:51:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 19, 2005

South Africa's ITweb in an article says: "There is an opportunity for SA to lead the open source explosion, as we are a combination of first and third world, with various cultures, so we can understand and reach various markets. [via Information Policy]

Thursday, May 19, 2005 12:26:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 17, 2005
 Monday, May 16, 2005

The following is the message by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on World Telecommunications Day, 17 May 2005:

"We live in an age in which communication between people is essential to achieving our shared goals of development and peaceful coexistence. Innovations in information and communication technologies have increased exponentially our capacity to connect with each other. It is up to us to use to harness the potential of these technologies in our work to extend the benefits of education, health care, trade and environmental protection to all.

The theme of this year’s World Telecommunication Day, "Creating an Equitable Information Society: Time for Action", calls on us to give shape to the vision adopted at the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003. I urge Member States and all other stakeholders to reaffirm their commitment to that process, and to participate at the highest levels when the Summit reconvenes in Tunis in November of this year.

Efforts to build an equitable and accessible information society depend on the strength of partnerships between Governments, civil society and businesses, underpinned by the support of international organizations such as the United Nations. On this World Telecommunication Day, which marks the 140th anniversary of the founding of the International Telecommunication Union, let us pledge to bridge technological differences and promote interconnectivity for all. Together, we can create a truly global information society that will benefit all the world’s people."

Monday, May 16, 2005 5:03:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2005

From Engadget: A Bangalore-based company is the latest to get in on the recent trend of cheap computers, following Nicholas Negroponte’s $100 PC, VIA’s $250 PC, and AMD’s cheap Personal Internet CommunicatorEncore Software, with the backing of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, has developed three different PCs ranging in price from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 (between $230 and $460US).  The basic model is the Softcom, a desktop with a 15-inch monitor, moving up a bit is the Mobilis, a Linux-based mobile desktop with a 7.4-inch LCD screen, and at the top of the heap is the Mobilis Wireless, which adds a built-in GPS receiver and GPRS wireless modem.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 10:17:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) is discussing how to improve current Internet governance arrangements in order to bring them more in line with the WSIS principles. In the light of these discussions, this questionnaire has been developed to allow for a structured feed-back. 

The WGIG has also opened a public discussion forum with instructions on how to use the associated Plone software.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 4:34:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 09, 2005
 Wednesday, May 04, 2005
 Monday, May 02, 2005

The Economist Intelligence Unit has published its annual e-readiness ranking of the word's largest economies. Currently 65 countries are assessed on their ability to promote and support digital business and information and communications technology (ICT) services. A country's e-readiness is essentially a measure of its e-business environment, a collection of factors that indicate how amenable a market is to Internet-based opportunities. The ranking allows governments to gauge the success of their technology initiatives against those of other countries. It also provides companies that wish to invest in online operations with an overview of the world's most promising investment locations. The 2005 rankings

  1. Denmark
  2. US
  3. Sweden
  4. Switzerland
  5. UK

A more comprehensive method is ITU's Digital Access Index (explanation here in English, French and Spanish).

[via Information Policy]

Monday, May 02, 2005 10:39:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

This article by Ian Peter looks at competing views of the historical origins of the Internet and gives his views how this relates to Internet governance.

Monday, May 02, 2005 12:20:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 29, 2005

The latest EU Competition Policy newsletter has an article on pages 8 - 15 entitled State aid rules and public funding of broadband:

  • In the recent months, the Commission had the opportunity to assess several projects involving public support to broadband  development. The considerations developed in this article reflect the Commission's conclusions in the ensuing decisions and aim at providing guidance on how to design forms of intervention that do not raise competition concerns. A word of caution is, however, necessary. These are the first decisions on State aid relating to broadband projects: the present views might evolve in the light of further experience and in view of the quick pace of economic development and technological evolution in the sector.

[via EuroTelcoblog]

Friday, April 29, 2005 3:47:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 28, 2005

The information society: Measurements biased by capitalism and its intent to control-dependent societies—a critical perspective, Sara Hyder

  • The brief communication examines the definition of the information society from economic, political, technological, and social conceptions, which reflect a single model of world development. International organizations use development rankings that naturally position developed nation-states at the top of world development models. The criteria used in current rankings to measure information's effect on societies are inadequate.
Thursday, April 28, 2005 3:56:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ZDNET Australia is reporting that Australian regulators have signed an agreement with Asia-Pacific nations to step up the war against spam.

Twelve Asia-Pacific communications and Internet agencies have joined the Australian Communications Authority in signing a memorandum of understanding -- the Seoul-Melbourne Anti-Spam Agreement --on cooperation in countering spam.

ACA acting chairman Bob Horton said the memorandum was "focused on sharing knowledge, information and intelligence about known sources of spam, network vulnerabilities, methods of spam propagation, and technical, educational and policy solutions to the spam problem".

Other agencies involved include:

  • the Internet Society of China;
  • Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau, Hong Kong (CITB);
  • Philippines Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT);
  • Philippines Computer Emergency Response Team (PH-CERT);
  • the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC);
  • the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan (METI);
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan (MIC);
  • New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development (MED);
  • Taiwan Computer Emergency Response Team / Coordination Centre (TWCERT/CC) and;
  • the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Kingdom of Thailand (MICT).

The new document is based on an agreement signed in late 2003 between the ACA, the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) -- since renamed the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) -- and the Korea Information Security Agency.

Furthering cooperation among international initiatives in countering spam will also be discussed at the ITU's upcoming WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity which will begin with a countering spam day as a following up to ITU's meeting in July 2004 on countering spam.

Thursday, April 28, 2005 9:44:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 22, 2005

The World Summit in Reflection: a Deliberative Dialogue on WSIS brought to you by the journal Information Technologies and International Development and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School.

Friday, April 22, 2005 8:16:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 21, 2005

WorldSummit2005.org in an article entitled Internet Governance Debate Moving to Next Stage reports that the Working Group on Internet Governance just completed its third meeting in Geneva at the United Nations.

"The discussion is now moving from mapping the internet governance landscape of institutions and stakeholders towards assessments and recommendations. Monday’s session was conducted as an open consultation, yesterday and today the group was meeting in private. Expectedly, a few conflicts surfaced again, which mainly circled around the role of different stakeholders, the question of a new organisational framework, and the multilateralization of the core Internet resources. But progress can be observed."

More...

Thursday, April 21, 2005 10:34:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 19, 2005
The Working Group on Internet Governance opened its third meeting yesterday at the United Nations in Geneva. Output of the real-time captioning for the Open Consultations held on April 18 2005 are available [morning session] and [afternoon session] on the WGIG website.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005 8:09:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 18, 2005

Identifying key regulatory and policy issues to ensure open access to regional backbone infrastructure initiatives in Africa by Paul Hamilton and TeleGeography. This report was commissioned by the Global Information Communication and Technologies Policy Division (CITPO) of the World Bank in June 2004. It provided inputs into a conference convened by the NEPAD e-Africa Commission in Johannesburg (South Africa) from 28–30 July 2004 to review the status of all current telecommunications infrastructure initiatives within the Southern and East African subregions, as well as the interrelated regulatory, policy and funding issues and to plot the way forward with stakeholders. From World Bank via my weblog

Monday, April 18, 2005 4:14:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 14, 2005

ITU Session on Internet Governance (PDF) was presented by Robert Shaw, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, on 17 February 2005 in a session before the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG's) open consultations held at the United Nations. The subject of the talk was Internet Governance in context of evolution of telecommunications technologies and policies.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 11:50:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The ITU Council Working Group on WSIS held a meeting on 13-14 December 2004 discussing ITU activities relevant to the World Summit on the Information Society. The Working Group is to prepare, based on inputs of ITU Member States and Sector Members, as well as those of the Secretary?General and the Directors of the Bureaux and submit to ITU Council proposals on  necessary ITU actions to help accomplish the goals and objectives articulated in the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action.

Some of the input documents to that meeting relate to Internet governance including:

Tuesday, March 01, 2005 11:51:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |