OpenMedia

Stop the Secrecy

Broad network of groups delivers over 1 million signatures to ITU delegates asking them to oppose revising the ITU’s treaties to include Internet governance

December 14, 2012 – A wide variety of groups including Avaaz, the International Trade Union Confederation, Access, Fight for the Future, CDT, and OpenMedia have sent the following statement to all member state delegations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) urging them not to sign the revised ITRs treaties and to oppose expanding ITU authority to the internet.

 
Altogether, over 1 million signatures were collected by grassroots groups and delivered to ITU delegates by human rights, labor, tech policy, and media advocacy groups.
 
The groups who organized these petitions are available for comment on their campaigns to protect internet freedom.
 
The statement that was sent to delegates reads:
 
“Despite strong opposition from a number of governments, and the demands of over 1 million people from around the world, the final text of the ITRs includes a resolution that explicitly provides for ITU involvement in Internet policy, and contains a number of problematic provisions that could affect human rights and free expression online. 
 
“We urge governments not to sign the ITRs as they stand. The US, UK, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, and Czech Republic have declared that they will not sign the ITRs. In explaining their decisions, they have referenced the ‘Internet Resolution’ (Resolution/PLEN 3)  and the lack of opportunity to fully debate these issues in the public session. A growing list of countries, including Poland, Kenya, Costa Rica, and the Netherlands have elected to consult with stakeholders in their countries to decide whether or not they will sign the treaty.
 
“Internet users all over the world have signed petitions calling on governments to keep the Internet out of the ITRs. They have done this because they want to protect and promote Internet openness for all users. We urge delegates to the WCIT not to sign the ITRs as they stand. We believe that their future impact on the Internet, largely a result of the closed and opaque process by which they were adopted, will threaten the open Internet and the exercise of human rights online for users in every nation.”
 
Here are the results of each advocacy effort:
 
Avaaz
ITU: Hands off our Internet! (http://www.avaaz.org/itu)
Over 820,000 individuals from 194 countries
 
International Trade Union Confederation
Over 100,000 individuals from ITUC and national affiliates' petitions.
 
Access, CDT, Fight for the Future, OpenMedia
Statement to Protect Global Internet Freedom (www.protectinternetfreedom.net)
Over 38,000 individuals and nearly 1,500 organizations from 183 countries
 
Access, Fight for the Future
What is the ITU? (www.whatistheITU.org)
Over 36,000 individuals from 145 countries
 
Fight for the Future
Internet Coup (www.internetcoup.org)
Over 9,800 individuals from over 137 countries
 
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Press Contacts:
Lindsey Pinto, OpenMedia, lindsey@openmedia.ca, +1 778 238 7710
Will Davies, Avaaz, will@avaaz.org,  +447855419901
Gemma Swart, ITUC, gemma.swart@ituc-csi.org, +32 479 064 163
Holmes Wilson, Fight for the Future, press@fightforthefuture.org, +1 614 465 6371
Mike Rispoli, Access, mike@accessnow.org, +1 732 890 5564
Mark Stanley, CDT, mark@cdt.org, +1 202 407 8839