Touré’s ITU still pushing for an Internet counter-revolution by Milton Mueller

In his speech at the ICANN meeting in Cairo, the ITU’s Hamadoun Touré “spoke openly of the ongoing ‘war’ between ICANN and the ITU writes Milton Mueller. Mueller notes Touré demanded a stronger role for governments in ICANN, dismissed ICANN’s GAC as “cosmetic” (quite wrong says Mueller) and correctly accused the IGF of “avoiding issues” but also rather harshly dismissed it as a “waste of time.” Mueller commended “Touré for his forthrightness, which is all too rare in international organizations. Unfortunately, his blunt speech supports the wrong cause.”Mueller believes Touré’s speech was all about competition for power saying the ITU “lost a lot of authority over the communications industry when the Internet emerged, and now you are trying to get some of it back. The same goes for the governments who constitute the GAC. And of course, for the U.S. government, it’s all about holding on to the special powers it got because of its historical control over the contractors who ran the early internet.”Mueller asks “When was the last time … that the ITU proposed any policies or technical standards that would increase the freedom, flexibility, and affordability of the Internet?” He is also critical of governments increasing their power over ICANN.To read Milton Mueller’s posting in full, see blog.internetgovernance.org/blog/_archives/2008/11/11/3972346.html.