Further to your article “Battle lines drawn ahead of debate on internet rules” (6-12 September), I would like to state that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has no current remit to govern the internet.
To date, the ITU's remit has been focused on telecommunications only. The revision of the ITRs at the WCIT this December will seek to expand the ITU's remit over the internet by revising the definition of data and communications. Spam, cyber security, peering and numbering will come under the ITU if the treaty proposals are agreed. This would have major ramifications for freedom of expression online.
The ETNO proposal does not help the situation. By using the ITU's WCIT as a platform for trying to remedy falling revenue, it seeks not to use market forces, but international regulatory oversight. Europe, its member states, and European businesses should seek to improve the economy. Internet access is one way that this can happen, but serving vested interests by seeking new streams of revenue instead of the interests of consumers will only lead to less innovation, a stifled economy and falling profits. No one wins in this situation.
The future of the global internet is at stake. Economic growth that continues to be fostered by freedom online will slow to a crawl as heavier-handed regulation is imposed. It is in the best interest of all to ensure that the new ITRs remain high level and strategic, reflecting best practice and shunning regulation.
Dominique Lazanski The Tax Payers' Alliance London