Recognizing WSIS Impacts

Unless it acknowledges key characteristics of the Internet, the World Summit on the Information Society will easily undermine it

Cybersecurity, ICT Applications and IP-Based Network Issues: Understanding Impacts on the Internet

by Seth Johnson

Introduction
IP-Based Network Issues: The Core Framework Established in 2010
Cybersecurity
ICT Applications, e-Government, Mobile Services
IP Addressing, Disaster Response, e-Health, Climate Change

Introduction

  • None of the materials framing the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) provide a basis to recognize when the policies or technological solutions promoted as part of WSIS will affect the Internet. This basic oversight has critical implications as the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC) approaches in early 2014. The implications relate not just to impacts on the Internet, but to impacts on developing countries, and on the objectives of the WSIS itself.
  • The following is an analysis of the 2010 WTDC Resolutions to identify where they need to be adapted to enable recognition of how the WSIS project will impact the Internet. It is organized based on the framework of Study Groups and Programmes for the work of ITU-D outlined in the Hyderabad Action Plan, issued at the 2010 WTDC.
  • We preface our commentary by first providing a description of the distinctions between the terms Internet, IP-based Networks and Next-generation Networks (NGNs), and then noting the important role of a number of 2010 Plenipotentiary Resolutions that are shaping the ITU’s WSIS activities.
  • IP-Based Networks, the Internet and Next-Generation Networks IP-Based Networks, the Internet and Next-Generation Networks

    • Not all IP-based Networks represent Internet connectivity. The Internet Protocol enables interoperability between independent networks by transmitting IP packets in a way that allows the broadest flexibility in communications patterns to be supported. Among networks interoperating in this way, end users can expect that they will be able to connect to end users on other networks in a way that will support the broad diversity of applications that they may discover or create online. Networks throughout the world that have so chosen are part of a global network of networks that can be called “the Internet.”
    • The Internet empowers independent network providers to enter the communications arena and offer their users global connectivity, knowing that they can readily interoperate with other networks; and it empowers end users by providing them this global connectivity via a maximally flexible platform.
    • An individual network that uses the Internet Protocol among its own routers can be called an “IP-based Network,” but not an “Internet” made up of autonomous networks interoperating with each other. “Next-generation networks” generally use IP in a way that supports specialized functions within their own network that aren’t readily supported by general purpose interoperation between independent networks, and are thus in a subcategory of IP-based Networks that is distinct from the Internet.
    • NGNs open up the prospect of certain advantages for their network providers, including allowing them to perform network management and provide for levels of quality of service and product and price differentiation by shaping packet transmissions. However, these types of offerings will supplant the flexible, inherently neutral and general purpose Internet platform if they are not distinguished from it, or if competition in the communications arena is reduced to a few providers offering networks of this type.
  • WTDC Resolutions in the Context of Key 2010 Plenipotentiary Resolutions WTDC Resolutions in the Context of Key 2010 Plenipotentiary Resolutions

    • When we examine the 2010 WTDC Resolutions we find that they only occasionally make reference to the Internet, and generally use the broader and more indefinite terms ICTs or telecommunications/ICTs to reference the technologies under discussion.
    • Instead, a narrow set of resolutions issued at the 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference provides the frame for the ITU’s usage of the key terms Internet, IP-based Networks and NGNs, including PP 101, 102, 133 and 137. The first three of these are the resolutions that provided the frame for the 2013 World Telecommunications/ICT Policy Forum (WTPF) this past May. The last, PP 137, specifically promotes deployment of next-generation networks in developing countries, and was not referenced by the WTPF.
    • These resolutions do not offer a basis for understanding the differences between these terms, encourage a confusion between the terms Internet and IP-based Networks, and in fact emphasize IP-based Networks and NGNs, rather than acknowledging key characteristics of the Internet and addressing tradeoffs that other types of networks entail.
    • Because of their relationship to these core resolutions, the WTDC Resolutions covered by the programmes of the 2010 WTDC’s Hyderabad Action Plan support the same confusion of terms.
    • More broadly, the failure of the ITU’s resolutions and initiatives in support of the WSIS project to articulate these distinctions allows it to proceed in a way that will harm the Internet unless they are corrected.
    • Of particular concern is the specific emphasis on deploying NGNs in developing countries that we find in PP 137. In the confused context created by PP 101, 102 and 133, it becomes critical as we approach the WTDC to address the confusion in the ITU’s treatment of these key terms in its resolutions.

IP-Based Network Issues: The Core Framework Established in 2010

  • IP-Based networks; NGN deployment in developing countries; ITU’s role with regard to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet; ITU’s role in development of telecommunications/ICTs; ITU role in organizing the work on technical aspects of telecommunication networks to support the Internet; role of Member States in internationalized (multilingual) domain names; role of ITU, ITU-D and ITU-T in implementing the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society; evolving role of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly; effective coordination of standardization work in ITU-T and the role of TSAG; strengthening cooperation among the three ITU Sectors on matters of mutual interest
  • (Click to See Core Framework Resolutions) (Click to Hide Core Framework Resolutions)

    (Core Resolutions) Core Resolutions

    • PP Resolutions 101, 102, 133 and 137, issued at the 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference, are the resolutions at the core of the ITU’s treatment of the Internet in the WSIS project. Unfortunately, their usage of terms engenders confusion or directly emphasizes terms like IP-based networks or Next-generation networks without recognizing how they differ from the Internet. We find no basis anywhere in the resolutions framing the WSIS project for understanding the special characteristics of the Internet and how policies or technologies implemented by WSIS may affect it, or for understanding the implications for the goals of WSIS itself.
    • These resolutions, along with PP Resolutions 122, 123, 135, 139, 140, and 178, constitute a broad framework setting terms which are to shape and define the activities of the ITU as it develops its relationship to the WSIS and the Internet in the four-year period from 2010 to the next Plenipotentiary Conference in late 2014.
    • The ITU is helping in a process toward establishing a system to enable governments to address public policy concerns related to the Internet, and toward fostering development of infrastructure in developing countries, in part through preparations now underway for the WTDC in early 2014. We find that these preparations, including an open consultation on enhanced cooperation, regional planning meetings engaging developing countries in articulating priorities for the WTDC, and meetings of the ITU-D study groups, are proceeding within a framework that does not provide for recognition of when policies and technologies may affect the Internet or may undermine the key advantages of the Internet for developing countries.

    (Core Treatment of Internet) Core Treatment of Internet

    • PP 101
    • Plenipotentiary Resolution 101 presents the Internet and IP-based networks in a way that allows confusion between the terms, making a few citations that might seem to promote the Internet while emphasizing IP-based networks in general and a migration to NGNs. In the present context of the WSIS, wherein there are no provisions for recognizing the basic nature of the Internet, PP 101 encourages a movement toward other kinds of networks, without recognizing the consequences of this movement.
    • In reference to the Internet, PP 101 calls for the ITU to clearly identify the range of Internet-related public policy issues that fall within its responsibilities based on its basic texts and the role the ITU plays in WSIS activities, notes that the ITU-D sector has made significant progress and carried out studies on the use of the Internet in developing countries, through human capacity building efforts including Internet training centers and through the outcomes of the 2006 WTDC, which called for ITU-D to assist in establishing access points and high-speed backbone networks for the Internet, and asserts the Internet’s special importance among the advances in the global information infrastructure that it observes are serving as an engine of growth in the world economy. It cites WTSA 69′s call for non-discriminatory access to Internet resources, and WTDC 23, which addresses the issue of charges for international Internet connectivity.
    • However, PP 101 addresses the terms IP-based networks and next-generation networks (NGNs) everywhere else. It resolves to embrace opportunities that derive from IP-based services in general, to collaborate and coordinate with other organizations involved in development of IP-based networks (along with the “future Internet”), and to ensure growth in IP-based networks (while taking into consideration traditional networks). The study topics it enumerates in the ITU-T sector are on IP-based network issues, such as their interoperability with other telecommunication networks, and evolution to next-generation networks (NGNs), including issues of numbering, signalling requirements, protocol aspects and security and infrastructure components; and it instructs all three sectors to consider future programs on IP-based networks and a migration to NGNs. PP 101 references a public interest in interoperability and quality of service in terms of the interaction between IP-based networks and other telecommunications networks. And it instructs the Secretary-General to produce an annual report to the ITU Council providing “a comprehensive summary both of the activities that ITU is already undertaking in regard to IP-based networks and any changes thereto, including the development of NGNs and future networks, and of the roles and activities of other relevant international organizations, describing their involvement in IP-based network issues.”
    • PP 101 refers to the global information infrastructure that is of crucial importance as an engine for growth in the world economy, the development of a widely accessible medium for global commerce and communication that elicits a need for the ITU to identify relevant global activities, and technologies that will introduce dramatic changes in the way we acquire, produce, circulate and consume information, all in terms of IP-based networks in general.
    • PP 101 calls for the Secretary-General to propose that the 2013 WTPF be convened to discuss all of the issues raised in PP 101 as well as PP 102 and 133, and instructs the ITU Council to take further steps to address all the issues in these three resolutions.
    • PP 102
    • Plenipotentiary Resolution 102 covers a range of concerns, addressing them much more continuously with reference to the term Internet, but we find in key provisions that it is also focused on IP-based networks and NGNs. In general terms, it addresses the role of the ITU in relation to the Internet, designates Internet-related policy topic areas to ITU-D and ITU-T, connecting a broad scope of policy topics to the ITU-D sector, adumbrates the topics of management of the Internet and Internet resources, the role of governments, enhanced cooperation, and the Internet Governance Forum, and instructs the ITU Council to upgrade the Dedicated Group on international Internet-related public policy issues to a Council Working Group (CWG).
    • PP 102′s numerous references the Internet include its instructions for the Secretary-General to take steps for ITU to facilitate the coordination of international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, to take a significant role in international discussions on the management of Internet domain names and addresses and other Internet resources more generally regarded as within the purview of ITU, and to take steps toward enhanced cooperation on international Internet-related public policy issues. PP 102 assigns a broader scope of policy topics related to the Internet to the development sector, directing the BDT Director to organize activities addressing policy, operational and technical issues for the Internet in general, as well as the management of Internet domain names and addresses and other Internet resources, to promote information exchange, fostering debate and the development of best practices on Internet issues, and to encourage involvement of developing countries in international Internet forums and issues. It directs the TSB Director to ensure the standardization sector performs its role in technical issues, contributing expertise and liaising with appropriate organizations addressing issues related to management of Internet domain names and addresses and other Internet resources, such as IPv6, ENUM and IDNs, facilitating studies on these issues, and to play a facilitating role in the development of public policy issues pertaining to Internet domain names and addresses and Internet resources.
    • Other direct references to the Internet in PP 102 may be found in its stipulations that management of the Internet is a valid subject of international interest, encompasses technical and policy issues, and should involve all stakeholders and relevant international and intergovernment organizations, in its references to Internet Governance and the Internet Governance Forum, with citations of Items 29-82 of the Tunis Agenda, and in its observations that the WSIS recognized the need for enhanced cooperation to enable governments to carry out their roles and responsibilities in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, that the ITU has established a Dedicated Group on international Internet-related public policy issues as part of its process toward enhanced cooperation, that the development of the Internet is market-led, and that the private sector plays a role in the expansion and development of the Internet through investments in infrastructure and services.
    • However, PP 102 also notably refers to the Internet in combination with other types of networks. Like PP 101, PP 102 refers to advances in the global information infrastructure as being of crucial importance as an engine for growth in the world economy, but notes that this includes IP-based networks and the Internet, treating the types more evenhandedly, while also mentioning that requirements, features and interoperability of next-generation networks and future networks are also to be taken into account. It notes that all governments should have an equal role and responsibility for international Internet governance and for ensuring the stability, security and continuity of both the Internet and its future development, and that the role of governments is to provide a legal framework favorable to interoperation between global ICT networks and Internet networks.
    • PP 102 observes that the ITU is dealing with both technical and policy issues related to IP-based networks, including the existing Internet and evolution to NGN as well as studies into the future internet. Like PP 101, PP 102 calls for exploration of means for greater collaboration and coordination with relevant organizations involved in the development of IP-based networks and the future internet, and also accords a greater recognition of a transition to other types of networks to the ITU-T sector than the ITU-D sector, instructing the TSB Director to play a facilitating role in coordination and development of public policy issues related to Internet domain names, including their possible evolution, and directing the Secretary-General to take into account future developments of the Internet while pursuing a significant role in international initiatives on the management of Internet domain names and other Internet resources.
    • PP 133
    • Like PP 102, Plenipotentiary Resolution 133 references the Internet extensively, but its conclusions are actually drawn with reference to the general term IP-based network. It covers the topics of promoting regional root servers and internationalized domain names to overcome linguistic barriers to Internet access and directs the Secretary-General and Directors to promote the role of the ITU membership in internationalizing of domain names in their respective languages.
    • PP 133 cites PP 101 and 102 on 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, and notes the Tunis Agenda commitment to advance the introduction of multilingualism in various areas including domain names, e-mail, Internet addresses and keyword lookup. It instructs the Secretary-General and the Directors of the three sectors to prioritize ITU-T studies regarding non-Latin scripts, to take part actively in all international discussions and initiatives on the deployment and management of internationalized Internet domain names, to support Member States in meeting WSIS commitments for internationalized domain names, to make proposals as appropriate, and to report activities and achievements in this area annually to the ITU Council, while ensuring the sovereignty of Member States with respect to Internet resource numbering plans.
    • While PP 133 references the Internet in numerous ways, including with respect to Internet public policy issues, Internet addresses, multilingualization of Internet domain names, and linguistic barriers to and availability and accessibility of the Internet, it references PP 101 and 102 and follows their same pattern of referring to other types of networks when it resolves to collaborate and coordinate with relevant international organizations involved in the development of IP-based networks and the future Internet.
    • PP 137
    • Whereas PP 101, 102 and 133 present terms in ways that can easily allow other technical solutions to be identified with the Internet in an imprecise way as they are incorporated within the impetus for establishing a framework for Internet Governance and for addressing Internet-related public policy issues expressed by the WSIS project, Plenipotentiary Resolution 137 presents no such confusion and directly exhibits the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference’s commitment to establishing next-generation networks (NGNs) in developing countries in service of the goals of the WSIS and the UN Millennium Goals.
    • PP 137 instructs the Directors of the Standardization, Development, and Radio Bureaus to continue and consolidate efforts on NGNs and future networks, to coordinate their studies and programs under the ITU-T sector’s NGN Global Standardization Initiative (NGN-GSI) and the ITU-D sector’s Global Network Planning Initiative (GNPi), to assist the membership in deploying NGNs effectively, especially in conducting a smooth migration from existing telecommunication infrastructures to NGNs, and to expedite affordable NGN deployment in rural areas. It directs the Secretary-General to seek support for NGN deployment, highlighting the benefits of NGNs in overtures to other UN specialized agencies and financial institutions. It encourages Member States and Sector Members to support the ITU and develop their own initiatives in support of the resolution, and to strengthen cooperation among developed and developing countries in improving capabilities to plan, deploy, operate and maintain NGNs and to develop NGN-based applications.
    • Among reasons it presents for this thrust, PP 137 posits that NGNs are considered a potential tool to meet challenges facing the telecommunications industry, that NGN deployment and standards development are essential for developing countries, especially in rural areas, and that countries can benefit from NGNs through their facilitating delivery of a wide range of advanced ICT-based services and applications, resolving difficult issues such as development and implementation of systems for public protection and disaster relief. PP 137 notes that developing countries are being challenged by rapid change in technologies and service convergence trends, that developing countries have limited human and financial resources to cope with an increasing technology gap, and that the digital divide may be aggravated by emergence of new technologies including post-NGNs and by the prospect of failing to introduce NGNs fully and in a timely manner.
    • PP 137 cites § 22 of the Geneva WSIS Declaration of Principles as representing the proposition that a well-developed information and communication network infrastructure and the applications it enables can accelerate the social and economic progress of countries, and the well-being of individuals, communities and peoples, noting that these considerations are covered by Action Lines C2, on information and communications infrastructure as an essential foundation for the Information Society, and C6, on the enabling environment. PP 137 asserts that the challenge, as perceived by WSIS, is to harness the potential of ICTs and ICT applications for promoting the development goals of the UN Millennium Declaration.
    • PP 137 instructs the ITU Council to make appropriate linkages, based on inputs from the Secretary-General and the three ITU Bureaus regarding the implementation of PP 137, with the Action Plan in WTSA 44 for bridging the standardization gap.
    • PP 137 also applies at the international level the notion of the “IP Transition” which is familiar to telecommunications policy observers in the US, stating that “for countries, especially developing countries and many developed countries, that have already invested heavily in the traditional public switched telephone network, it is a pressing task for them to conduct a smooth migration from existing networks to NGNs.”
    • Among the resolutions enacted at the 2012 WTSA, we find that WTSA 17, on Telecommunication standardization in relation to the interests of developing countries, explicitly references PP 137, and WTSA 54, on creation of and assistance to regional groups, references NGNs and future networks as among the topics of certain study groups that are of considerable strategic significance for developing countries in the current study cycle.
    • What we see in PP 137 is a depiction of an “IP Transition” that is not to the Internet, but to NGNs that fit within the general class of IP-based networks but that do not necessarily represent networks of freely interoperating autonomous networks. To make functions possible that are not associated with the general purpose platform created between networks by the Internet Protocol, these networks must institute common policies governing IP transmissions across routers that they control, and thus they essentially act as localized intranets. These types of networks bring certain tradeoffs, chiefly in relation to the autonomy of independent networks and of end users to freely offer, access, use and create services on a platform that they are assured will support them across independent networks, and to the freedom of independent providers to enter the communications space as competing providers based on the assumption of ready interoperability via the Internet Protocol.
    • If we are to take the direction prescribed by PP 137, which treats the deployment and development of standards for NGNs as essential to developing countries, and which identifies NGNs as a type of solution that is specially tailored to serving rural regions, then we must also identify the tradeoffs of NGNs and of policies that may be implemented by means of NGNs in terms of impacts on the nature and advantages of the Internet, so that the full scope of empowerment of individuals and communities that the Internet makes possible can continue to be pursued even if tradeoffs are warranted in the nearer term.

    (Broad Framework) Broad Framework

    • The 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference issued a set of resolutions which established a core framework for the ITU’s WSIS activities in the four-year period after 2010. Understanding how this frame has functioned helps illuminate how the ITU’s processes have failed to incorporate consideration of the nature of the Internet in the present four-year phase of the WSIS project.
    • In addition to the above-mentioned set of resolutions presenting the ITU’s treatment of the key terms Internet, IP-based Networks and NGNs, these core framework resolutions include a second set delimiting the ITU’s WSIS activities in the ITU-T and ITU-D sectors. This includes PP Resolutions 178 and 122, which frame the standardization activities of the ITU-T sector, including the activities and outcomes of the 2012 WTSA. It also includes PP 140 and PP 135, which correlate with WTDC Resolutions 30 and 52 and which address development activities in the ITU-D sector, including the upcoming 2014 WTDC.
    • Another set of resolutions contributing to this core framework includes PP 123 and PP 139, which describe commitments of the ITU-T sector to bridging the standardization gap between developed and developing countries, and of the ITU-D sector to bridging the digital divide through development initiatives. These two plenipotentiary resolutions correlate with WTSA 44 and WTDC 37 respectively, where the two sectors cover the same topics.
    • We can see how this framework has come into play in relation to the ITU’s treatment of the Internet by looking at the resolutions issued by the 2012 WTSA. The ITU-T sector did not clarify the distinctions between the key terms Internet, IP-based Networks and NGNs in the course of its standardization activities as it updated its framing resolutions at the 2012 WTSA. While the WTSA resolutions refer to the terms more often than the 2010 WTDC Resolutions do, they chiefly cite PP 101, 102 and 133 rather than elucidating what these terms mean.
    • For instance, WTSA 75, on the ITU-T sector’s role in implementing WSIS, makes numerous references to the Internet, mostly in connection with Internet-related public policy, Internet governance and management of Internet resources, but it does not explain how Internet is distinct from IP-based networks or NGNs while it cites most of the PP resolutions that make up the core framework. WTSA 69, on non-discriminatory access to Internet resources, makes a single reference to “technical and policy issues related to IP-based networks, including the Internet and next-generation networks,” but otherwise it simply cites PP 102 from the core framework and proceeds to make numerous references to Internet everywhere else, including references to governance of the Internet being a core issue of the information society agenda, to a UN Human Rights Council resolution on human rights on the Internet, to other WTSA resolutions and ITU-T activities for implementing WSIS as having to do with Internet-related issues, to the Internet as a driving force in development, and to discrimination in access to the Internet affecting developing countries. Neither WTSA 69 nor PP 102 address whether these numerous references to the Internet have special implications for the Internet as contrasted with NGNs or IP-based Networks in general.
    • We can understand this oversight better if we examine the structure of the core framework. PP 178 indicated ITU-T should conduct open consultations in preparation for the 2012 WTSA, on how to restructure the ITU-T sector to make it more responsive to changing conditions and new technologies, while focusing on more technical topics more often identified as within the ITU’s mandate. At the same time, PP 122 indicated that the activities by the ITU-T at WTSA would be delimited by strategic priorities. Given the focus of the WTSA on restructuring, and given the strategic context set by the WSIS project, which offers no bases for distinguishing between the Internet, IP-based Networks, and NGNs, it stands to reason that the WTSA would produce outcomes that simply reflected the same indefinite frame.
    • A similar framework is in place for the 2014 WTDC. PP 140 and WTDC 30 outline how open consultations are to be conducted to prepare inputs for the WTDC, while according a broader scope of Internet-related policy topics to the ITU-D sector than are accorded to ITU-T. At the same time, PP 135 and WTDC 52 place this activity into the broader context of the UN Development Program and the UN Millennium Goals. Neither the WSIS framework nor the broader UN frame provide for articulating how to understand impacts the WSIS project may have on the Internet.
    • It is thus critical that the question of how to recognize impacts on the Internet be raised in the course of preparing for the WTDC. This is particularly important if the assessment of the status of the WSIS project that will also be conducted in 2014, including the WSIS+10 proceeding that will coincide with the WTDC, is to reflect this concern.
    • In the meantime, PP 137, on next-generation network deployment in developing countries, represents a clear commitment by the Plenipotentiary Conference, set in 2010, to rolling out next-generation networks in developing countries, placing this goal in the context of the ITU-T sector’s Next-Generation Network Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) and the ITU-D sector’s Global Network Planning Initiative (GNPI). In combination with the lack of any basis for recognizing impacts on the Internet in the WSIS’s core documents or the resolutions framing the ITU’s work on the WSIS, PP 137 clearly indicates the ITU’s impetus toward establishing other types of networks in support of the WSIS, in a process that combines this with the development of governance structures that may depend on those technologies, without confronting the consequences this would have for the real Internet.

    (Identifiers) Identifiers

    • Among the key issues that arises in connection with questions regarding impacts on the Internet and types of networks in the context of public policy, is the role of identifiers. This general topic heading covers many issues, but the overall concern might be summarized as follows: Numerous types of policies can be associated with identifiers, whether as unique signifiers or digital signatures, and these policies may be enforced in various ways, including by means of cryptographic validation. These policies may be enforced privately, by independent participants, or they might be enforced within a network by the provider. The latter arrangement can have clear impacts on the flexible nature of the Internet platform, in its foundational support for interactive and collaborative uses of information online. Questions such as those related to jurisdiction, authority, sovereignty, appropriate uses and others also arise in relation to allocation of canonical identifiers. If the key characteristics of the Internet are not clearly recognized, then the implementation of Internet-related public policy by technical means can easily undermine the most significant characteristics of the Internet platform. This effect would be heightened if public policy concerns were addressed by means of technical infrastructure prior to acknowledging the tradeoffs they might bring.
    • Four WTDC Resolutions touch on this concern: WTDC 45, on cybersecurity, addresses public key infrastructures, identity management, and digital signatures; WTDC 63, on IP address allocation and the IPv6 transition, and WTDC 22, on alternative calling procedures and origin identification, both interact with numerous other resolutions addressing identifiers in various areas; and WTDC 47, on conformance and interoperability, references counterfeiting.
    • ITU Resolutions in the following areas address policy issues with reference to identifiers:
      • Cybersecurity: WTDC 45′s citing of ITU-T Study Group 17′s work on public key infrastructures, identity management, and digital signatures
      • Addressing-related ICT Applications (IPv6, ccTLDs, IDNs, ENUM): References in WTDC 63, WTSA 64, 47, 48, 49, and PP 180, 102 and 133 to IP addresses as fundamental resources key to development of IP-based ICT networks and the world economy, a belief by many countries that there are historical imbalances between developed and developing countries in IPv4 allocation, a desire by many developing countries for ITU-T to become a registry of IP addresses, issues persisting regarding delegation of ccTLD names to entities designated by national authorities, a need for further discussion of the political, economic and technical issues related to IDNs arising from the interaction between national sovereignty and the need for international coordination and harmonization, current unresolved issues concerning administrative control of the highest level Internet domain which will be used for ENUM, invitations for Member States to adapt their national legal frameworks to resolve issues delegating ccTLDs and ensure implementation of ENUM, instructions to ITU-T Study Groups 2 and 16 to study how ITU could have administrative control over the international telecommunication resources used for ENUM and to cooperate with appropriate international or inter-governmental entities working on IDNs, and resolutions to assist Member States in managing and allocating IPv6 resources and to monitor current allocation mechanisms, including in terms of equitable allocation.
      • Enabling Environment: References in WTDC 22, WTSA 20, 29, and PP 21 to the necessity of identifying the origin of calls for national security, the need for ITU-D and ITU-T to cooperate on origin identification and misuse of numbering, addressing and naming resources, ITRs on integrity of numbering resources, resolutions relevant to stability of numbering plans such as ITU-T E.164 (ENUM), including pp 133′s reference to ensuring the sovereignty of ITU Member States, ITU-T E-, ITU-T F-, ITU-T Q- and ITU-T X-series Recommendations on international numbering, naming, addressing and identification (NNAI) resources and related codes, non-identification as among alternative calling procedures that may be harmful or impact the revenue of operating agencies authorized by Member States and hamper development of telecommunication networks in developing countries, and the ITU workshop on alternative calling procedures and origin identification held in Geneva on 19-20 March 2012,
      • Capacity Building: References to counterfeiting in conformance and interoperability resolutions WTDC 47, PP 177 and WTSA 76 could develop into a basis for a legal framework supporting the use of cryptographic validation to uphold policies associated with identifiers.

Cybersecurity

  • Cybersecurity, countering spam, child online protection, national computer incident response teams; ITU’s role in relation to building confidence and security in use of ICTs, and in public policy issues related to illicit use of ICTs
  • (Click to See Cybersecurity Resolutions) (Click to Hide Cybersecurity Resolutions)

    (Overview of WTDC Resolutions) Overview of WTDC Resolutions

    • WTDC Resolution 45 recognizes cybersecurity as one of the priority activities of the WTDC, and resolves to address the issue of securing and building confidence in ICTs by raising awareness, identifying best practices and developing training materials to promote a culture of cybersecurity, and to continue to collaborate with relevant international and regional organizations on cybersecurity-related initiatives. It instructs the BDT Director to collaborate with the TSB Director in organizing meetings among Member States, Sector Members and relevant stakeholders to discuss ways to enhance cybersecurity, to support Member States’ initiatives for mechanisms to enhance cooperation on cybersecurity, to assist developing countries in enhancing their states of preparedness for securing critical telecommunication/ICT infrastructures, to conduct studies on strengthening cybersecurity of developing countries regionally and universally, based on identifying their needs, particularly as relates to telecommmunication/ICT use, including protection of children and youth, to assist Member States in establishing a framework among developing countries for rapid response to major incidents, and to report outcomes of cybersecurity efforts to the next WTDC. It invites the Secretary-General and the Directors of ITU’s three bureaus to prepare a document on the prospect of a memorandum of understanding among Member States to protect those who accede to it, including legal analysis of the MoU and its scope of application, and to support global or regional cyber security projects including IMPACT and FIRST, and requests the Secretary-General to report the results of cybersecurity activities to the Council and the 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference.
    • WTDC Resolution 67 invites Member States to participate in the Council Working Group on Child Online Protection (WG-COP), for comprehensive discussion of legal, technical, organizational and procedural issues as well as capacity building and international cooperation, and to educate and create consumer-awareness campaigns targeting parents, teachers, industry and the general population to make children aware of the risks online, and invites Sector Members to participate in WG-COP and other ITU activities, particularly in ITU-D, to inform the ITU membership of technological solutions for protecting children online. It instructs the BDT Director to collaborate closely with WG-COP, and with other initiatives being undertaken at national, regional and international levels, to continue Child Online Protection activities through Programme 2 and in collaboration with Question 22-2/1 of Study Group 1, with a view to providing guidance to Member States on strategies, best practices and cooperative efforts that can be promoted, and to submit a report on the results of implementation of the resolution to the next WTDC.
    • WTDC Resolution 69 invites Member States and Sector Members with relevant experience to establish national Computer Incident Response Teams (CIRTs) where needed and to collaborate closely with ITU-T in this area. It directs ITU-D Question 22-1/2 to contribute to the implementation of the resolution, taking into consideration the work of ITU-T, and instructs the BDT Director to promote best practices at national or regional levels for establishing national CIRTs, to promote training programmes for this purpose and provide support to developing countries that so wish, and to facilitate collaboration between national CIRTs, for purposes such as capacity building and information exchange, by encouraging participation in the IMPACT, FIRST and other relevant projects at regional and global levels.

    (Usage of Key Terms) Usage of Key Terms

    • The term Internet arises in the cybersecurity resolutions chiefly in relation to spam and child online protection, with a couple of general references to PP Resolution 102 and Council Resolution 1305 identifying cybersecurity and public policy issues related to the Internet as being within the scope of the ITU. The resolutions generally speak in terms of “ICTs” and “telecommunications/ICTs,” and in two cases refer to a “national IP-based public network security centre” being developed within ITU-T Study Group 17.
    • PP 130 cites ITU Council Resolution 1305 as designating security, safety, continuity, sustainability and robustness of the Internet as public policy issues that fall under ITU’s scope. PP 174 cites ITU Council 1305 as listing issues of use and misuse of the Internet as among the main tasks of the Dedicated Group (now Council Working Group) on Internet-related public policy issues, as well as PP 102, which addresses ITU’s role in internet-related public policy issues and in the management of Internet resources such as domain names and addresses.
    • PP 130 , 174 and 181 and WTSA 50 reference Programme 2, on Cybersecurity, ICT applications and IP-based network-related issues, noting its prioritizing of cybersecurity, and citing it in association with ITU-D Question 22/1′s reference to best practices for a culture of cybersecurity, WTDC 45′s reference to mechanisms to enhance cooperation in cybersecurity and to combat spam, WTDC 69′s national Computer Incident Response Teams (CIRTs), and Study Group 17′s research on National IP-based Public Network Security Centers.

    (Comments on Resolutions) Comments on Resolutions

    • So long as the term Internet designates a network created by protocols that enable autonomous networks to interoperate while supporting the creativity of independent providers and end users through an open, general purpose platform, then the addressing of the problems of spam and child online protection with reference to the Internet in WTDC 45, 67, WTSA 52 and PP 179 can proceed without losing sight of impacts on the Internet. But if the term Internet is not distinguished in this way, or if for instance it is identified with all IP-based networks, then we may see policy decisions supplant technical consensus standards enabling general purpose interoperability, with many associated costs.
    • Spam, child online protection, and general categories of concerns such as security, safety, continuity, sustainability, robustness, and misuse of the Internet, whether related to Internet resources such as domain names and addresses or more general concerns related to the Internet, can arguably be addressed by approaches that accord responsibility to end users or individual networks. Enforcement of a policy by a central authority within an intranet or across networks will have effects on the autonomy and liberty of end users and network providers and the flexibility and end-to-end connectivity of the platform produced when they interoperate.
    • If the Internet is distinguished properly, then the question of what constitutes misuse of the Internet can be understood properly, and solutions or policy decisions instituted to provide for security, safety, continuity, sustainability and robustness, can be addressed in a variety of ways without misunderstanding the implications for the Internet.
    • In prioritizing cybersecurity, identifying best practices for a culture of cybersecurity, developing mechanisms to enhance cooperation in cybersecurity, and researching national Computer Incident Response Teams (CIRTs), and National IP-based Public Network Security Centers, the Internet should be distinguished from other IP-based networks in order to assure that these approaches to cybersecurity do not interfere with the Internet platform without recognizing their effects. Areas falling within references to IP-based networks such as we find in the title of Programme 2 should be analyzed in this light.
    • National IP-Based Public Network Security Centers
    • WTSA Resolution 50 and PP Resolution 130 both refer to work being undertaken by ITU-T Study Group 17 on “National IP-based Public Network Security Centers.” IP-Based networks constituted of routers that are under a core policy or authority can implement security measures in ways that are very different from the types of approaches that are entailed among independent, autonomous, competing providers interoperating through the use of IP. The studies by ITU-T Working Group 17 should reflect this distinction, recognizing that different contexts and different political cultures may favor different approaches.
    • Identifiers
    • In addition, some approaches to concerns in this area may involve associating policies with IP addresses or other identifiers, and if we do not recognize the nature of the Internet in terms of its design to transmit communications without regard for application, then support for this kind of policy can affect the flexibility and openness of the Internet.

    (Impacts) Impacts

    • Pursuing the Cybersecurity initiative without recognizing the nature and advantages of the Internet will have impacts on the Internet and WSIS objectives.
    • Impacts on the Internet:
    • Measures to assure confidence and security that may be established on an IP-based intranet are very different from the kinds of measures that would apply on an Internet among competing and independent interoperating providers. If confidence and security policies depend on forms of oversight like those available within a managed service framework, the platform that results will be subject to those policies rather than relying on the participants in the network to provide for the same purposes themselves.
    • In addition, the nature and advantages that accrue to the Internet, both for those using and for those developing applications for it, have reflected a context more reliably governed by fundamental rights of speech, press and association than we find in the international arena. If we fail to recognize the flexibility of the platform created by general purpose interoperation between independent networks, we will more easily accommodate, without due consideration, international frameworks and associated policies that will have critical effects on the nature of the platform and the process of standards-making.
    • The WSIS project contemplates some form of framework for international Internet-related policy including in the area of cybersecurity, and the difficulties associated with that prospect are exacerbated by the nature of the international arena. First, whereas within many individual countries the governments have been established by acts of the people, in the international arena governments have a priority of status. Where the people have asserted their priority through founding acts, the legal systems of the governments they establish are bound to uphold the priority of fundamental rights based on recognition of this original historical foundation. In the international arena, no such foundation exists and rights are secured at best by treaty agreements among governments.
    • In this type of context, rights are very easily traded off against the claims of governments, including claims for national security, and international courts are not bound to a recognition of the same kind of priority of standing of the people. This will have major impacts on the nature of the platform for those using it, as fundamental rights of speech, press and association (and against unreasonable searches and seizures) do not have the same force.
    • Overlooking the nature of the Internet in the Information Society’s cybersecurity context will also impact standards-making for much the same reason, as within national government contexts, participants in standards-making for communications may conduct their activities largely on the basis of technical merits, given a context governed by fundamental rights of speech, press and association that national governments cannot invade without facing strong recourse to the courts. The international context cannot afford this same environment for standards-making.
    • Impacts on WSIS Goals:
    • Geneva Action Line C5, on “Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs” through cybersecurity measures, seeks to prevent and respond to cyber-crime and misuse of ICTs, to combat spam, to support electronic documents and transactions, to support real-time incident response, and to promote rights to privacy, data and consumer protection. A failure to acknowledge the characteristics of the Internet will affect these goals.
    • While some of these concerns may benefit in some ways from uniformity and consensus among nations, if the nature of the Internet is not recognized the types of policies and approaches that result may be of a type only possible within centrally-managed intranet environments, and they will not be as well subject to the claims of fundamental liberties as they are in free national contexts.
    • Confidence and Security in Cybersecurity: A failure to recognize the characteristics of the Internet in the pursuit of the cybersecurity initiative will affect what confidence and security mean in that context. Both confidence and security can be understood in terms of government enforcement of policy to prevent crime or harm, or in terms how well we may rely on fundamental liberties as limits on the government’s actions in the name of cybersecurity.
    • Openness and flexibility of the platform: The openness and flexibility of the Internet platform is supported by competitive access at the physical layer, since competing providers must transmit packets in a general purpose manner in order to interoperate and provide global connectivity to their users, and as a result our confidence that the platform will support our freedoms of press, expression, and association as well as our ability to innovate can be affected deleteriously if other types of networks are employed to serve public security purposes by means of oversight made possible through a core authority without recognizing the impact those means would have on the Internet.
    • Support for rights of the public: If the telecommunications environment is vertically integrated, the implication is that infrastructure will be treated in terms of the private interest of those who install it across the public right of way, and as a result fundamental liberties related to the communications of citizens, understood as limits on the government, might be characterized as inapplicable. Indeed public oversight of the public right of way in the form of regulation of infrastructure might be characterized in that framework as a violation of the rights of those who installed the infrastructure, rather than recognizing that oversight as a natural reflection of the nature of the public right of way as a shared resource that must be governed to foster competition and oversee access. In the latter context the government is barred from abridging the fundamental liberties of the general public, not of those who install infrastructure, and incumbents naturally may incur obligations, including limitations that reflect those that apply to the government, in return for privileged access. So security in the sense of reliable support for fundamental liberties may be affected when the foundation of the Internet in competitive access at the physical layer is overlooked and infrastructure is treated as private assets vertically integrated with the products and services of incumbent providers.
    • Action Line C5: The impacts on the goals of Geneva WSIS Action Line C5 include understandings of the nature of the roles of the government and of network providers in areas such as real-time incident response, and of the implications of centralized or decentralized approaches to concerns such as spam. Failing to recognize the nature of the Internet may similarly affect the types of information that are shared regarding network security practices in accord with Action Line C5.
    • And the conflicting understanding of the roles of public oversight and private parties derived from the telecommunications policy and regulatory environment as described above, can affect the nature of user education regarding privacy online, and of the initiatives and guidelines for rights of privacy, data and consumer protection encouraged by C5, depending on how well the Internet’s nature is recognized.
    • Policies associated with document identifiers and electronic authentication of transactions can interfere with the openness and flexibility of the Internet platform if those attributes are not properly appreciated. This kind of oversight can also affect what becomes understood to be misuse of ICTs or cybercrime more broadly.

ICT Applications, e-Government, Mobile Services

  • ICT Applications; more effective adoption of e-government services; more effective utilization of mobile communication services
  • (Click to See ICT Applications, e-Government, Mobile Services Resolutions) (Click to Hide ICT Applications, e-Government, Mobile Services Resolutions)

    (Overview of WTDC Resolutions) Overview of WTDC Resolutions

    • WTDC 54 instructs the BDT Director to continue detailed studies on the range of application types listed as playing roles in sustainable development in Action Line C7 of the Tunis Agenda, including e-government, e-business, e-learning, e-health, e-employment, e-environment, e-agriculture, and e-science, considering the types of technology available (wireline, wireless, terrestrial, satellite, fixed, mobile, narrow-band or broadband) and giving a priority to e-government; to make these applications a major strand while focusing on implementation of Question 17 of Study Group 2 in relation to e-government; to support projects related to these applications through strategic partnerships; to increase technical support and training for them; and to give priority to international and regional initiatives, taking into consideration security and confidence in these applications and the protection of privacy in some of them. It instructs the BDT Director to circulate outputs for these applications to Member States regularly and inform subsequent WTDCs on lessons learned.
    • WTDC 74 instructs the BDT Director to take actions to overcome challenges in implementing e-government projects and to allocate necessary resources, to expedite the definition of a model for Member States to monitor the status, usage, quality and impact of e-government, to promote sharing of Member States’ best practices, strategies, and technologies, and to create and update guidelines, tools, strategies and mechanisms conducive to organizational and administrative simplification, collaboration between government authorities, implementation of user-friendly services, integration and personalization of services, use of multiple channels, improvement of the quality of services on the basis of user requirements, marketing of e-government services, protection of personal data and security of e-government transactions.
    • WTDC Resolution 72 cites a need to facilitate development and utilization of mobile communications for many practical tasks, including with a view to ensuring more equal access to telecommunication/ICT services for all, observes that new mobile technologies may help bridge the digital divide between both developing and developed countries and urban and remote or rural regions, notes that performing practical tasks with mobile and broadband technologies opens up new prospects including affording access to new technologies to developing countries, and that many countries are interested in mobile services in areas such as e-health, e-government, money transfer and transactions, near-field communications, banking and mobile marketing. Affirming the role of ITU-D in coordinating rational use of resources in efforts to establish more widespread deployment of mobile telecommunication/ICT services in different countries of the world, WTDC 72 resolves that the BDT should play a key role in implementation of regional and national projects for mobile telecommunication systems to provide services such as the above, in cooperation with interested ITU Member States and the private sector, and should develop a programme to develop proposals and recommendations for mobile telecommunication services at regional and national levels.
    • Both WTDC 74 and 72 reference WTDC Resolution 15, which concludes that transfer of technology in the area of telecommunications/ICT is of benefit to developing countries and should be enhanced as much as possible in respect of both conventional and new technologies, and instructs the BDT Director to promote the exchange of information on transfer of technology and to assist in setting up cooperative networks between telecommunication research institutes in developing and developed countries, to assist in articulating terms of reference guaranteeing technology transfer, to develop handbooks on technology transfer and ensure their dissemination in developing countries, to encourage the admission of academic and research institutions as Sector Members or Associates of the ITU-D sector, at reduced requirements for financial contribution and particularly from developing countries, to encourage the organization of specialized workshops in developing countries by research institutes of developed countries, to give financial support to research institutes for developing countries to attend research meetings and workshops, and to establish a model contract for use by research institutes specifying partnership arrangements between them.
    • WTDC Resolution 20 concludes that access to telecommunication and information technologies, facilities, services and applications established on the basis of ITU-T and ITU-R Recommendations should be non-discriminatory, instructs the BDT Director to engage in partnerships or strategic cooperation with parties who respect non-discriminatory access to telecommunication/ICT facilities, services and applications, requests the Secretary-General to transmit the resolution to the 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference, and invites the Plenipotentiary Conference to consider it with a view to taking measures to foster global access to modern telecommunication and information technologies, facilities, services and applications.

    (Usage of Key Terms) Usage of Key Terms

    • With one exception, the resolutions under this heading make no references to the Internet, IP-based networks or next generation networks, speaking entirely with reference to the general terms “ICT” or “telecommunication/ICT.”
    • WTSA 69, on non-discrimination in access to and use of Internet resources, notes that ITU-T is dealing with technical and policy issues related to IP-based networks, including the Internet and next-generation networks, and references the Internet in citations of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet, § 48 of the WSIS Declaration of Principles, on the governance of the Internet as a core issue of the information society agenda, and Opinion 1 of the Fourth WTPF and the 2009 Lisbon Consensus on Internet-related public policy matters. It notes the global and open nature of the Internet as a driving force in accelerating progress towards development, that discrimination in accessing the Internet could greatly affect the developing countries, and the fact that the 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference entrusted ITU-T with a number of Internet-related activities, including those under PP 102, on ITU’s role in international Internet-related public policy issues and management of Internet resources.

    (Comments on Resolutions) Comments on Resolutions

    • Technology Transfer and Non-Discrimination
    • Neither WTDC 15 nor 20 contain problems in their usage of key terms related to the Internet. However, it may be helpful to draw attention to the reference to technology transfer in WTDC 15; and WTDC 20′s call for non-discriminatory access to telecommunications technologies can lead to overlooking the advantages of a communications environment that is open to competition at the physical layer.
    • Technology transfer: WTDC 15′s advocacy for transfer of technology for telecommunications/ICTs occupies a significant position in connection with these general resolutions on ICT Applications. It is also cited in connection with resolutions for the Enabling Environment and Capacity Building/Digital Inclusivity.
    • “Technology transfer” has been assigned a variety of meanings since the notion was introduced by Brazil at the UN in the 1960′s, but in the US since the 1980′s it designates mechanisms for privatizing publicly-funded research, and the ITU’s resolutions are consistent with that sense of the term, focusing on transfers by research institutions, and instructing the BDT Director to set up networks between telecommunication research institutes in developing and developed countries, to encourage admission of academic and research institutions into ITU-D, to give financial support to research institutes in developing countries, and to establish a model contract for partnership arrangements between research institutions.
    • While fostering development should involve developing countries’ gaining the advantages of technology that may currently reside within developed countries, policy regimes for privatizing the outcomes of publicly funded research can bring important changes in basic conceptions of public information in relation to public policy, and of the nature of academic and research institutions and their role in and contributions to society. It may be constructive to note that if the WSIS project, or its implementation by agencies such as the ITU, tends to carry a particular conception of the term, as it does here, some might wish to examine that conception rather than have it conveyed without due consideration in the course of pursuing the goals of the Information Society.
    • Non-discriminatory access: WTDC 20 addresses non-discriminatory access to telecom facilities and applications and encourages the establishment of partnerships with parties that respect non-discriminatory access to telecommunication/ICT facilities, services and applications. It too is referenced not only in the significant general context of ICT Applications, but also under the topics of the Enabling Environment and Capacity Building/Digital Inclusivity.
    • While non-discriminatory access is an important value, competition among autonomous providers can also serve the purposes under these topics on a stronger basis, supporting sustainability and diversity of applications, infrastructure development, and empowerment of communities. Non-discrimination policy may be more applicable to intranet offerings or within a vertically integrated telecommunications context, but it should not be applied in a way that overlooks recognition of the advantages of real competition among independent providers producing an Internet platform at the physical layer.
    • WTSA 69 contains many references to the Internet, unlike WTDC 20. WTSA 69 may benefit from a review of these references with an eye for adding provisions to recognize the nature, key characteristics of and advantages of the Internet.
    • Partnerships: Both WTDC 15 and 20 reference partnership arrangements. In the framing of policy, telecommunications contexts that support vertical integration have the characteristic of treating physical layer infrastructure to a great degree as private. The use of public-private partnerships in this type of context can reinforce this treatment of infrastructure, helping to condition public oversight on the application of greater private privileges, rather than addressing public oversight and obligations as inherent aspects of the public right of way at the physical layer. Without specific attention to the nature of partnerships in this light, the support for technology transfer and non-discrimination policy by the Information Society will be embedded in this same dynamic.

    (Impacts) Impacts

    • Attempts to establish ICT Applications in a process that fails to acknowledge the nature of the Internet, will have impacts on the Internet as well as on the WSIS objectives under Action Line C7, on “ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life.”
    • Impacts on the Internet:
    • ICT applications in a managed service framework, including e-government, would be very different and have very different implications from those developed in an open Internet context of competng providers, and unless specialized services are distinguished from the general purpose nature of the Internet platform, managed service frameworks such as are used for mobile communications could easily serve as a misleading model, supplanting the key characteristics and advantages of the Internet as they become associated with policy solutions and as modalities for Internet governance become established.
    • A communications environment constituted of competing providers interoperating in a general purpose manner supports greater diversity of applications and openness to development of applications than the type of environment that exists within a managed service framework subject to a common policy administered by a core authority, whether public or private. And if governance were established in a manner that mandates or depends on such a framework, this policy frame would have direct effect on the Internet’s flexibility and openness for both independent networks and end users. Any effects undermining the flexibility of the platform also represent impacts on its sustainability for ICT application development.
    • Impacts on WSIS Goals:
    • Geneva Action Line C7, on “ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life,” seeks to support sustainable development and diverse applications for public administration, business and numerous areas of life that may be benefited by the Information Society. Proceeding to implement ICT applications without recognizing the basic nature of the Internet platform will have critical implications for the goals expressed for all the types of applications in Action Line C7.
    • Transparency, accountability and efficiency of e-government are served most reliably by a competitive telecommunications environment populated by independent providers who will agitate for accountability when their ability to use the Internet platform in the maximally flexible way it was designed for is impeded. Accountability also relates to the relationship between a government and its people, which supports the rights of the people as well as the openness of the Internet platform.
    • The effects on e-business and e-employment in terms of economic growth, opportunities, productivity, well-being, poverty, international trade, investment and innovation, and assistance to SMEs will vary depending on the flexibility and openness of the network. The nature of the network will also affect the diversity and types of e-environment, e-health and e-agriculture applications that will be developed and supported, and will have impacts on e-learning and e-science in terms of capacity building, empowerment of communities, qualifications of ICT experts, accessibility and affordability of scientific information, the effective use of scientific information, and the type of role that universities and research institutions will play.

IP Addressing, Disaster Response, e-Health, Climate Change

  • IP address allocation, domain name issues, ENUM and IPv6 deployment; ICTs in healthcare; ICTs and the environment/climate change; telecommunications/ICTs in disaster response
  • (Click to See IPv6, Disaster Response, e-Health, Climate Change Resolutions) (Click to Hide IPv6, Disaster Response, e-Health, Climate Change Resolutions)

    (Overview of WTDC Resolutions) Overview of WTDC Resolutions

    • WTDC Resolution 34 instructs the BDT Director to ensure proper consideration of emergency communications as an element of telecommunication development, and to support administrations in preparing national disaster response plans and by taking appropriate actions in the implementation of the Hyderabad Action Plan in areas covered in the resolution, such as using radiocommunications for Earth observation applications to predict disasters and monitor climate change, providing technical information through study group recommendations on disaster management, and taking into consideration the vulnerability of the economies and infrastructures of least developed, landlocked and small island developing states, the requirements of persons with special needs, the various ways to integrate ICTs into disaster management plans outlined by the ITU Global Forum on Effective Use of Telecommunication/ICT for Disaster Management, the contents of various ITU handbooks and materials, ITU-D Recommendation 13 on amateur services in disaster operations, and the outputs of ITU-D Study Group 2 Question 22/2 and ITU-D Reports and Guidelines on alerts in emergency situations, remote sensing for disaster prediction, and satellite telecommunications for disaster management in developing countries. It instructs the Director to encourage the use of decentralized means of communications, to study flexibility and continuity of telecommunications/ICTs in disasters, to strengthen the role of ITU regional offices in developing plans and workshops on emergency readiness and response, providing training and helping deploy communications in emergencies, to instruct Programme 5 to prepare materials on establishing telecommunications in areas frequently experiencing natural disasters, to consider a new World Forum on optimal use of ICTs for disaster management, to support in ratifying and implementing the Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations, and to report on the status of ratification and implementation of the Tampere Convention at the next WTDC.
    • WTDC Resolution 66 resolves to give priority to and develop further ITU-D activities on ICTs in relation to climate change, ensuring coordination among the three ITU sectors and providing support, including building human and institutional capacity in developing countries. It instructs the BDT Director to formulate a plan of action for ITU-D to be implemented under the relevant programme of the Hyderabad Action Plan, considering the needs of developing countries and cooperating closely with relevant study groups in all three sectors, to ensure resources are allocated to ICT and climate change initiatives, to organize workshops and training courses in developing countries at the regional level, to liaison with other relevant organizations, and to report on implementation of the resolution annually at TDAG. It instructs TDAG to consider changes in working methods to meet the objectives of the resolution, and invites Member States, Sector Members and Associates to continue contributing actively to the ITU-D programme on ICTs and climate change, to support the wide UN process on climate change, to pursue public and private programmes on the topic, and take measures to reduce effects of climate change through more energy-efficient ICT devices, applications and networks.
    • WTDC Resolution 65 instructs the BDT Director to continue to raise awareness of the advantages of telecommunications/ICTs for e-health applications among decision-makers, regulators, telecommunication operators, health professionals, partners, beneficiaries and other key players, to work with the health sector and other partners to develop models for sustainability of e-health applications, particularly in remote and rural areas of developing countries where mobile technologies may have potential, to promote development of telecommunication standards for e-health network solutions and interconnection with medical devices, to support e-health projects in developing countries in collaboration with government, public, private, national, regional and international partners such as WHO, to encourage collaboration on e-health projects at national and regional levels, to assist developing countries in development of national e-health master plans, and to provide technical support and training in ICTs for ehealth. WTDC 65 invites Member States to consider the development of national e-health strategies, international financial institutions to assist in developing e-health and telemedicine applications and projects in developing countries, and private sector entities to develop business models and consider introducing e-health/telemedicine services in developing countries on the basis of public-private partnerships.
    • WTDC Resolution 63 notes that “Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are fundamental resources that are needed for the development of IP-based telecommunication/information and communication technology networks and for the world economy,” and instructs the BDT Director to develop guidelines for adjusting organizational frameworks and policies necessary for the migration to IPv6, and after determining regional needs with respect to the transition, to initiate the project in light of WTSA Resolution 64′s provisions for IP address allocation and facilitating the transition to IPv6, while collaborating closely with relevant entities including ISOC/IETF on capacity development, training and other assistance. WTDC 63 states that many countries believe there have been historical imbalances in IPv4 allocation between developed and developing countries.

    (Usage of Key Terms) Usage of Key Terms

    • These resolutions use the general terms ICT or telecom/ICT in relation to disaster response, climate change/environment, e-health and the IPv6 transition, and only allude to IP-based networks or the Internet as below.
    • WTSA 73 notes the energy consumption demands of the Internet, identifying cloud computing as a basis for energy efficiencies. WTSA 47 and 48 note in connection with ccTLDs and IDNs that intergovernmental organizations have had and should continue to have a role in coordination of Internet-related public policy issues, and that international organizations have had and should continue to have a role in development of Internet-related technical standards and relevant policies, and WTSA 49 valorizes convergence as it addresses the indeterminate status of ENUM, with its reference to the integration of telecommunications and the Internet.
    • WTDC 63, WTSA 64 and PP 180, on IP address allocation and facilitating the transition to IPv6, all reference IP-based networks. WTDC 63 and WTSA 64 both designate IP addresses as fundamental resources key to the development of IP-based networks and the world economy, and PP 180 references IP-based networks and the future Internet as the subjects of interest of organizations with which it calls for the ITU to find means to collaborate and coordinate, in order to increase the role of ITU in Internet governance.
    • PP 180 also references the term Internet, designating it as a leading factor in social and economic development and a vital tool for communication and technological innovation, and determines that specific actions for the transition to IPv6 must be defined in the name of ensuring the stability, growth and development of the Internet. It resolves to collaborate with the Internet community to encourage IPv6 deployment through capacity building and raising awareness, and to encourage regional Internet registries (RIRs) to coordinate research, dissemination and training activities with governments, industry and academia as a means of facilitating deployment.
    • WTSA 73 notes the energy consumption demands of the Internet, identifying cloud computing as a basis for energy efficiencies. WTSA 47 and 48 note in connection with ccTLDs and IDNs that intergovernmental organizations have had and should continue to have a role in coordination of Internet-related public policy issues, and that international organizations have had and should continue to have a role in development of Internet-related technical standards and relevant policies, and WTSA 49 valorizes convergence as it addresses the indeterminate status of ENUM, with its reference to the integration of telecommunications and the Internet.

      (Comments on Resolutions) Comments on Resolutions

      • While IP addresses are fundamental resources for IP-based networks on the one hand, and the Internet is a leading factor in social and economic development and innovation, the stability, growth and development of which must be ensured by promoting IPv6 on the other hand, it is critical to delineate exactly what is meant by the terms Internet and IP-based networks, as networks do not necessarily afford the key characteristics and advantages of the Internet simply by dint of their using IP addresses.
      • PP 180 follows a similar pattern to that of PP 101, 102, and 133, speaking of the Internet in broad terms of principles, but referencing IP-based networks in the action items.


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