Recognizing WSIS Impacts

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

Supporters Letter

From: Seth Johnson
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 7:15 AM
Subject: Status of ISC Opinion Submission for WTPF Informal Experts Group
To: wtpf2013@itu.int
Cc: Paul Vixie (, Signers)

Dear ITU Deputy Secretary Zhou and IEG Chair Kantchev,

We are writing to express our concern that the Internet Systems Consortium’s submission for the WTPF, the Opinion on Recognizing the Internet in the Information Society, has not been posted to the IEG site though it was submitted the same day Paul Vixie was admitted to the group for the ISC, and in the evening prior to the beginning of the group’s discussion of submitted opinions last Thursday and Friday.

The opinion is entirely in keeping with the theme of the upcoming WTPF, of capacity building for broadband, as well as with the topic areas listed in Council Decision 562 and Resolutions 101, 102 and 133; and it is eminently in keeping with the overall purpose of the WTPF as given in Resolution 2.

The Opinion asserts that the World Summit for the Information Society must identify the key characteristics that distinguish the Internet in order to assure that the impact of its initiatives on the Internet can be readily recognized. Without this measure, the Information Society’s initiatives may easily undermine the Internet.

We recognize that the basic conclusion of the Opinion has broad implications, as it seeks to bring greater clarity and a clearer foundation to the areas of public policy issues, development initiatives, and governance in general that the Information Society initiatives address, but this broadness is only a reflection of a basic, fundamental oversight which needs to be corrected or else introduce unnecessary doubts regarding the overall WSIS enterprise.

It is understandable to consider that the Opinion may elicit broader ranging discussions than others presently being considered for acceptance in the Secretary-General’s Final Draft. However, it can be considered and all questions answered satisfactorily in the remaining time before the final draft is issued on March 1; or it can be added to the remaining Opinions presently being considered for summary acceptance.

This is a constructive Opinion, addressing an oversight for which the WTPF is specifically designed to provide, by means of appropriately framed opinions promoting informed views and responses that may guide future Information Society activities.

We ask that you please accept the Opinion on Recognizing the Internet in the Information Society, already submitted as the contribution of the Internet Systems Consortium, and include it in the¬†Secretary-General’s Report for the World Telecommunications/ICT Policy Forum, so it can be considered for issuing this May.

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