Kramer: U.S. not threatening to withdraw from WCIT-12


The United States has not threatened to withdraw from the World Conference on International Telecommunications, said Amb. Terry Kramer, head of the U.S. delegation to the treaty-writing conference meeting in Dubai.

In a Dec. 10 State Department statement emailed to reporters, Kramer said inaccurate media reports have stated the U.S. delegation could walk away from the International Telecommunication Union-overseen effort to rewrite the rules governing international telecommunication connections. The reports say mounting frustration over attempts by other countries to extend the rules--the International Telecommunication Regulations--to cover the Internet is the cause.

"The United States has made no such threat, and it remains fully committed to achieving a successful conclusion to the WCIT," Kramer said.

A bloc of countries made up of Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates proposed (.pdf) Dec. 8 a proposal that would have greatly increased national control over Internet regulation; the ITU on Dec. 10 tweeted that the proposal "has been withdrawn."

The Egyptian delegation also said it never supported the proposal in a Dec. 8 tweet.

In a Dec. 9 "ITU TV" interview, Kramer reaffirmed the U.S. position that the ITRs should apply only to "recognized operating agencies," rather than be expanded to encompass any "operating agency." The ITU defines the latter as "any individual, company, corporation or governmental agency which operates a telecommunication installation intended for an international telecommunication service or capable of causing harmful interference with such a service."

For more:
- go to the ITU WCIT-12 webpage
- watch the interview with Kramer (embedded video)

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