The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is highlighting the risks to internet freedoms, as a United Nations agency plans to adopt new rules. Without internet freedoms, it’s possible that you wouldn’t be reading this, or a lot of other information that you currently access online. The ITUC says,
“The internet as we know it is at risk. Unless we act now, our right to freely communicate and share information could change forever.
At a conference in Dubai this December, the International Telecommunications Union (or ITU), a United Nations agency, is planning to adopt new rules, including some nasty surprises which could clamp down on the fundamental freedoms of citizens online.
Big telecommunications corporations have joined with countries including China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, countries that already impose heavy restrictions on internet freedoms, to put forward proposals to new treaty at the UN World Conference on International Telecommunications.
So far the proposal has flown under the radar, thanks to the secretive nature of the ITU, but its implications are so serious that we must act quickly to show the ITU and its member countries that citizens will not stand by while our right to communicate freely is undermined.
Please help by signing the petition from Going To Work and Equal Times from the International Trade Union Confederation.”
The ITUC reports that more than 15,000 people have signed the petition internationally now, and this is being noticed by many people involved in the upcoming UN World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT). This has had a positive impact, as the ITUC explains:
“It’s meant that we’ve had the opportunity today to present concerns in person at a meeting with the head of the UK delegation to the conference.
We had a positive exchange about many of the issues we’re particularly worried about. We were encouraged that the UK Government shares a number of our concerns, and will be sending a high level delegation comprising government, industry, and some civil society members to the conference.
We found a good degree of common ground, and think we’ll be able to work constructively with them on next week’s conference and the series of UN events following on from it. Other unions around the world are working to lobby their own country delegations, as are the ITUC internationally.
So there’s still all to play for at the WCIT conference, but we can prevent dictatorial governments using the UN process to help them monitor and censor the Net.”
So, please sign the petition and spread the word. The ITUC say,
“The more people who know about the decisions being taken next week in Dubai, the greater the public profile of the event, and the more pressure we can bring to bear on delegations.”