Recognizing WSIS Impacts

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

To State Dept: On Prep for World Telecom Policy Forum

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Seth Johnson
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2019 17:07:49 -0500
Subject: Comments on Sec Gen WTPF Draft Report
To: “Oates, Daniel M”
Cc: “Gordon, Marian R”

Hi Dan and Marian:

See below my quick comments on the Secretary General’s draft:

The Secretary-General’s draft report/outline doesn’t reference the Internet as such except in the term Internet of Things and by reference, as in as contained in the Strategic Plan and various surrounding documents.

However, the policy discourse in the US is about to embark on a fargoing examination of issues that will end up talking about how the Internet supports fundamental rights as opposed to higher layer online platform environments that are receiving the brunt of policyv debate. This will include the role of the physical layer.

Addressing sustainability and new and emerging technologies should incorporate reference to these issues rather than technologies like 5G, IoT, OTT. Maybe big data is more of an issues category.

AI is more about security and accountability and recourse in many areas than strictly about what can be automated with greater speed and precision. Also about accountability and recourse with respect to accuracy and truth and science. As a contributor to sustainability, we should consider AI under the topic of the WTPF, including AI’s sustainability in itself as such, in terms of articulating how to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with it.

The report should focus more on how to address opportunities, challenges and policies for sustainable development in relation to emerging technologies that support sustainability and enable the transition to the digital economy. That includes how open Internet architecture addresses these opportunities and challenges.

How can the benefits of new and emerging digital technologies be made more accessible to all?

ensuring interoperability of technological solutions based on these emerging technologies to facilitate, among other things, greater access for all?

Given the inter-connections or -dependencies in the use and deployment of such technologies, what is the role that policymakers can play to foster an enabling environment that creates a holistic and agile ecosystem to enable sustainable use of new and emerging digital technologies?

how does ITU membership envision the role of new and emerging digital technologies in accelerating sustainable development, keeping in mind the current and future needs of both developing and developed countries as well as all segments of the population?

The report should reflect a framework that better admits contributions that stress these opportunities and challenges in relation to these and other emerging technology headings rather than suggest an emphasis on particular technologies given their putative support for sustainability.

The emphasis should be more on the implications for “infrastructure needs, investment, regulatory environment, training and skills development, market environment, institutional cooperation, the role of development aid, etc.” and how the Action Lines and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are served in light of the enabling environment’s effects on those goals.

The report should reference freedoms of speech, press and association, privacy, data and consumer protection as challenges and opportunities that connect to mobilizing technologies for sustainable development.

Other relevant concerns here include:
sustainability of open infrastructure
confidence and security both in terms of prevention of harm and in terms of fundamental liberties as limits on government action in the name of cybersecurity
centralized or decentralized approaches to cybersecurity
sustainability of specialized services and open Internet, including interoperability
confidence and security in a platform that supports innovation and development
empowerment of end users, digital inclusion, self-determination, autonomy, independence of communities

There should also be a contributed opinion on how we measure sustainability, both its development and what’s included in those measures.

Thanks, hope this helps


On 8/1/19, Oates, Daniel M wrote:
> Good evening colleagues:
> I will be coordinating on behalf of USG on preparations for the Sixth World
> Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum 2021 (WTPF-21).

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