Sign petition for internet freedom

Prospect backs call to defend internet freedom

Prospect today urged the International Telecommunications Union – an arm of the United Nations – to reject calls from some member countries for detailed monitoring of personal internet-based communications.

The union is also calling on members to sign an International Trade Union Confederation petition, backed by the TUC, opposing this threat to the right to communicate and share informatio freely.

The ITU is the UN body that controls the regulations governing international telephony, and is reviewing them at a conference in Dubai in December. But papers drawn up in preparation have not been publicly disclosed and the ITU’s governing council has rejected calls to give all stakeholders open access to these documents.

Union campaigners are not only increasingly exercised about the lack of transparency, but also about some of the proposals for change that have leaked out.

They fear that some countries, including China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, will use the conference to seek to undermine the free, open and inherently democratic governance model currently enjoyed by the internet.

Proposed amendments to the regulations would require companies to monitor all internet traffic and co-operate with security concerns by blocking undesirable traffic. If passed, these would undermine the net’s role in promoting democracy and provide a powerful tool for more countries to monitor civil society in close detail.