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Saturday, October 13, 2012

The War on Internet Freedom: An Update

Internet Freedom - constant vigilance is required:

The Tyee – The War on Internet Freedom: An Update: " . . . As the International Telecommunication Union's December negotiations move closer, more worrying developments are coming to light. OpenMedia recently posted about some of the main concerns raised by the secretive negotiations, which threaten to change the Internet as we know it. This week a report by Rohan Samarajiva at LIRNEasia confirmed these concerns. Looking at the "ETNO" proposals, and the more complex and insidious shift in definitions proposed by Egypt on behalf of the Africa Region, Samarajiva explains the potential impact on Internet freedom and on developing countries. The European Telecommunications Network Operators Association (ETNO) are concerned about the success of online content providers, and are trying make sure they can cash in on that success. Samarajiva explains that the ETNO proposals would designate content providers as "call originators" who would have to pay Big Telecom a rate based on how much bandwidth the content uses. Content providers like YouTube or Hulu already commercially negotiate the leasing of network capacity from Internet service providers and pay for quality control. However giving this the force of law as the ETNO proposals require "turns the concept into a government-sanctioned leveraging tool operators can use to extract high sums from content providers with no room for negotiation." The report highlights concerns that have also been raised by the Centre for Democracy and Technology: that the ETNO proposals are particularly harmful to the developing world because accessing content will become more expensive as content providers have to pass these extra costs on to Internet users. Some content providers might choose to simply stop servicing regions with customers that have limited buying power. . . "

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