by Brett D. Schaefer, James L. Gattuso
The Heritage Foundation
November 28, 2012
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations specialized agency, will host the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 3–14. The purpose of this conference is to reach consensus among the 193 ITU member states on updating the 1988 International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) governing international telecommunications. Some countries have proposed granting the ITU more authority over the Internet and making other changes purportedly for such goals as enhancing cybersecurity, reducing costs for developing-country consumers, and increasing investment by telecommunications providers. However, many of these seemingly benign proposals could undermine the Internet freedoms that are essential to spurring economic development and protecting human rights. The U.S. should oppose these efforts.