[At-Large] a take on the ITU-ITR controversy

Carlton Samuels carlton.samuels at gmail.com
Mon Dec 24 17:02:58 UTC 2012

Hi Parminder:
I can agree with the major premise of your op-ed; the devil lies in the
details of the goings-on at WCIT 2012.  We know a few things for certain.

Telecommunications systems, the wires and the spectrum, overhead and under
the seas, landing places and connectors, optical and copper, the switches
and interfaces, protocols and processes, known and largely unknown, form part
of what we loosely refer as the Internet infrastructure that undergirds the
Internet as we know it.  Some of all this is regulated. And, thusly,
subject to statist controls.

The ITU as an inter-governmental entity is quite peculiar in it
manifestation; not just governments but also non-governmental interests,
including private interests, are close to its heart.

Every single protagonist at WCIT 2012 purports to speak for and negotiate
in favour of the 'public interest'.  And when the details surrounding the
failures of WCIT 2012 are examined, the playbook so assiduously advanced by
a significant section of the chattering classes just don't add up.

Maybe the human rights clause was advanced purely for the 'thumb in the
eye' effect on the 'other side', the set piece defense against what the
'usual suspects' had to know was the red line laid down by the stout U.S.
position against 'content regulation' and for 'freedom of expression'.

Everybody knows that statecraft is often advanced by 'other necessary
means', some would say even to kill and murder.

Maybe the U.S. 'took the bait', in full knowledge that for them, there are
no permanent principles in the practice; fungible ones for sure, prorated
purely by permanent interests.

Watching this 'pas de deux' from afar, I'm convinced that consensus on ITRs
was never the end game for both 'sides' at Dubai.

Seems a few notable commentators, yourself included, have laboured to
advance the - IMO - more rational as opposed the more emotional view. You
should read Milton Muellar - a sometime sparring partner and fellow
polemicist - on this as well.


Carlton A Samuels
Mobile: 876-818-1799
*Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Turnaround*

On Sun, Dec 23, 2012 at 1:01 AM, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net>wrote:

> Another, post WCIT, take  on the controversy
> http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/a-false-consensus-is-broken/article4222688.ece
> parminder
> On Saturday 01 December 2012 11:17 PM, McTim wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > On Sat, Dec 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM, Carlton Samuels
> > <carlton.samuels at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> Parminder:
> > <snip>
> >> I am unanimous  that a balanced multistakeholder approach and process to
> >> matters Internet is best positioned for successful stewardship.
> >>
> >> You mentioned two major actions - unbundling software from hardware and
> >> common carriage concepts for telecommunications - as major actions that
> >> inured to the global public interest. Further examination will show one
> was
> >> initiated by a state actor in a metropolitan country, the other by
> >> commercial actors. So on the balance of the facts, I am not yet
> persuaded
> >> that state actors are the best if not the only guarantors of the global
> >> public interest.
> > +1
> >
> >> I have a difficulty with the supposition of the public interest as alien
> >> and mutually exclusive turf to commercial and civil interests.
> > Very well said Carlton!!
> >
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