Telecommunications and Internet: A Jungle with no principles?

Those guys above control a good part of our lives and try to squeeze the most out of it. No question for what they care most.  Group photo: Carsten Schloter, CEO of Swisscom, Daniel Pataki, Director of the ETNO, José-Maria Alvarez-Pallete López, CEO of Telefónica Latinoamérica, Eelco Blok, CEO of KPN, Stéphane Richard, CEO of France Télécom, José Manuel Barroso, René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, Luigi Gambardella, Vice-President for Relations with International Institutions of Telecom Italia, Didier Bellens, CEO of Belgacom, Franco Bernabè, CEO of Telecom Italia, and Hakam Kanafani, CEO of Türk Telekom (from left to right)

Those guys above control a good part of our lives and try to squeeze the most out of it. No question for what they care most. Group photo: Carsten Schloter, CEO of Swisscom, Daniel Pataki, Director of the ETNO, José-Maria Alvarez-Pallete López, CEO of Telefónica Latinoamérica, Eelco Blok, CEO of KPN, Stéphane Richard, CEO of France Télécom, José Manuel Barroso, René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, Luigi Gambardella, Vice-President for Relations with International Institutions of Telecom Italia, Didier Bellens, CEO of Belgacom, Franco Bernabè, CEO of Telecom Italia, and Hakam Kanafani, CEO of Türk Telekom (from left to right)

Since the last World Conference on International Telecommunications in 1988 our planet has become a completely different place. It is not any more the bi-polar globe we knew until the fall of the USSR, which ended the division between communism and capitalism. Today there is only capitalism and more…capitalism.

During the 1990s and the 2000s telecommunications and the Internet became the power houses, which brought down not only governments and national borders but also changed the way the world is doing business, even in the heaviest industries like auto cars, home construction, armaments and a lot more. Not to say anything about finance, banking, digital technologies and software.

This December “The 193 Member countries of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will meet in Dubai … to review the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR) Treaty”, says an EU Commission memo. The truth is however that all along between those two conferences everybody was doing whatever they liked with telecommunications and Internet. A lot of governments always try to control and impose censorship on everything, while on the other side of the spectre many individuals and business or government organisations don’t respect any principles of privacy or personal rights. At times, the spheres of telecommunications and the Internet look like no man’s land, where everything goes. Bit by bit with the development of new technologies, governments and private businesses are systematically trying even on the institutional level, to restrict the freedom of expression and control or intervene in any private communication they choose. All those come regularly under the pretext of counter terrorism strategies and similar phantasms.

In reality nobody expects that the now on going International Telecommunications Union (ITU) meeting in Dubai from 3rd to 14th December, is going to change anything in the jungle of the world telecommunications and the Internet.

For details on the EU Commission’s position on those issues see: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-12-922_en.htm?locale=en

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