Post-WCIT civil society statement: A way forward

December 14, 2012

At the World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT) conference in Dubai, ITU member states tried to negotiate new International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs). We as civil society organizations want to express our concern at the lack of transparency, openness, and public consultations that marked the national preparatory processes and the WCIT discussion in Dubai, despite some efforts to open the process to civil society.

Mindful of the upcoming review of the World Summit on the Information Society process we call upon states to recognize the importance of upholding human rights in all spheres, including the Internet

We further call upon governments to recognize the importance of ensuring meaningful and sustainable civil society participation in all internet governance and policy-making processes which should be both transparent and accountable.

. We urge governments to promote universal, affordable, high quality and equitable access to the internet
. Recognizing the necessity of net neutrality for protection of human rights and for innovation we call for the promotion of network equality so that access is free from discrimination, filtering or control on commercial, political or other grounds.
. Noting that the internet is a medium for both public and private exchange of views and information across boundaries, we call on governments and non-state actors to respect and protect freedom of expression online.
. Taking into account that privacy is a fundamental human right, we urge the governments and service providers to take all legal, procedural and technical steps necessary to guarantee the right to protection of personal data, including traffic and indirectly identifiable data; the right to secure private communications, including the right to online anonymity and pseudonimity; and the right to be free from unwarranted surveillance and all forms of eavesdropping
. Realizing that the cultural and linguistic diversity should be protected as legitimate speech, but also as common cultural heritage that enriches humankind as a whole, exhort governments and service providers to foster and promote the expressions of such diversity without constraints based on cultural, religious or gender bias.

Endorsed by:

. Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil
. Nupef, Brazil
. Intervozes, Brazil
. Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa do Consumidor, Brazil
. Asociacion por los Derechos Civiles, Argentina
. Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE), University of Palermo, Argentina
. Via Libre Foundation, Argentina
. Centro de Estudios Legales Y Sociales, Argentina
. ONG Derechos Digitales, Chile
. Colnodo, Colombia
. Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa, Colombia
. Fundación Karisma, Colombia
. Association for Progressive Communications, Global
. Cooperativa Sulá Batsú, Costa Rica
. Fundación Social TIC, Mexico
. Creative Commons Guatemala, Guatemala
. Global Partners & Associates, U.K.
. Open Society Foundation, Global
. KICTANet, Kenya
. Consumers International, Global
. Center for Democracy and Technology, U.S.A.
. Internet Democracy Project, India
. CELS, Argentina
. IT for Change, India
. Open Technology Institute USA