For the record: I signed the ITU transparency petition

Modest request that TourĂ© can easily accept. Just before Busan, Carolina Rossini of Public Knowledge led a set of civil society groups in a letter that makes sensible suggestions for the ITU. It was far more to the point than so many of the U.S. and Russian attempts at provocation. I was happy to sign, alongside EFF, the World Wide Web Foundation, APC, CDT and others. Webcasting more of the event, meeting regularly with civil society, having anonline contribution mechanism for all and opening more meetings are simple, sensible steps. In fact, Hamadoun has been actively working on several of these. The ITU is a body of politicians and isn’t perfect, but most of the popular criticism comes from a negative political campaign.

   At WCIT, Harold Feld and others from civil society organized a small caucus. I told a friend at ITU and the next day Hamadoun and the caucus had an informal meeting. There’s every reason for them to do more. Several of the recent ITU meetings featured “Informal Expert Groups” that were essentially open to all and proved effective. A platform open to all may be impractical to put together in a few days but is always good. Then, the Internet Society or any friendly government – even the U.S. – could add it to the record. At WCIT, the ITU made available to attendees the complete  registration list including most emails. That means that anyone there, including civil society, has the emails and can reach 80-90% of the attendees more effectively than getting into the conference 

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Half-right: Europe not far ahead of America, but policy isn’t the explanation

Carrier-funded study finds America ahead in some ways, gets reason wrong. Penn’s Chris Yoo just found America was ahead of Europe in high speed broadband; Harvard’s Yochai Benckler reported to the broadband plan that America was far behind.

    I just took a fresh look at the data and the pattern is clear: Europe is ahead in some things and America in others. I could easily spin the data either way. Presumably the highly directional findings reflects that Chris is generally supportive of American policy and Yochai generally skeptical. Chris deserves credit for openly disclosing his source of funding, the mostly carrier-financed Broadband for America group. 

    From which came my headline,Europe not far ahead of America, As Chris notes, many have claimed the U.S. is far behind. Actually, as I’ve written before, the U.S. is clearly behind the leaders. It’s in the middle of the pack of large nations in most measures.

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