US Hypocrisy: Supports Open Dialog On Internet Governance At WCIT; But Full Secrecy At Parallel TPP Negotiations
from the hypocrites dept
With negotiations on both issues happening simultaneously (WCIT in Dubai and TPP negotiations in New Zealand) it seems quite crazy to see the US speaking out vehemently in favor of greater openness and transparency in Dubai, while actively trying to prevent similar transparency in Auckland. Here's the State Department on WCIT:
On the eve of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), we believe that it is the right time to reaffirm the U.S. Government's commitment to the multistakeholder model as the appropriate process for addressing Internet policy and governance issues. The multistakeholder model has enabled the Internet to flourish. It has promoted freedom of expression, both online and off. It has ensured the Internet is a robust, open platform for innovation, investment, economic growth and the creation of wealth throughout the world, including in developing countries.Yet, over in New Zealand, US officials, as well as negotiatiors from others countries, are taking the opposite view. They're doubling down on secrecy, not transparency. They are not using a "multistakeholder" model at all, but rather locking out civil society and public interest groups. They've ignored or limited the ability of the innovation industry to have any say in the proceedings at all, and (most ridiculously) they're enforcing a secrecy policy many times worse than what we see at the ITU with WCIT. Many of the documents from WCIT have leaked out, while precautions mainly driven by the US government have, to date, limited the leaks from TPP negotiations.
[....] The Internet's decentralized, multistakeholder processes enable us all to benefit from the engagement of all interested parties. By encouraging the participation of industry, civil society, technical and academic experts, and governments from around the globe, multistakeholder processes result in broader and more creative problem solving. This is essential when dealing with the Internet, which thrives through the cooperation of many different parties.
The global community has many serious topics to discuss with respect to the Internet. Collectively, we need to ensure that these matters are taken up in suitable multistakeholder venues so that these discussions are well informed by the voices of all interested parties.
Our commitment to the multistakeholder model is based on the fact that transparency, inclusion and participation are the 21st century standards governing discussions related to modern communications.
It's really quite incredible that the same government can make those claims about openness, transparency and the importance of a multistakeholder process on the one hand, while going in the opposite direction on basically the same exact issue at the very same time for an event held elsewhere. The whole thing stinks of hypocrisy, which could easily be solved by opening up the TPP process, revealing the negotiating documents for public comment, and allowing the public into the process. After all, in the words of the US government:
We have and will continue to advocate for an Internet that is not dominated by any one player or group of players, and one that is free from bureaucratic layers that cannot keep up with the pace of change. We will work with everyone to ensure that we have a global Internet that allows all voices to be heard.If only the US government would listen to that important message.