Internet Society Board Bemoans International Internet Changes

Internet Society Board Bemoans International Internet Changes

3-14 December 2012
The Internet Society Board of Trustees, during its recent meeting in Vancouver, BC, expressed concern that proposed changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) Treaty could have a negative impact on the Internet.
The ITU will convene the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in December, 2012. The conference will review the current ITRs, which govern the way international voice, data and video traffic is handled, and which lay the foundation for ongoing Internet innovation and online market growth.
“The Internet Society believes that the International Telecommunication Regulations should contain high level principles and that revisions should focus on things that have clearly worked in the field of global communications: competition, privatization, and transparent and independent regulation,” said Eva Frölich, newly-elected Chair of the Internet Society Board of Trustees. “It is our sincere hope that revisions to the ITRs will not interfere with the continued innovation and evolution of telecommunications networks and the Internet.”
The Board noted that the success of the Internet has been driven by open, consensus-based standards processes embodied in organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force and other critical parts of the Internet ecosystem that rely on openness and transparency.
The Internet Society Board of Trustees highlighted concerns about certain changes to the ITRs, which it found troubling. Among other things, these proposals would:

  • Make ITU-T standards mandatory;
  • Create a new model for Internet interconnection via the ITRs;
  • Adversely impact Internet naming, numbering, and addressing;
  • Regulate network aspects that have never been part of telecommunications, including IP routing; and,
  • Extend the scope and application of the ITRs to the Internet and Internet providers.

The Board is of the view that these types of provisions, if adopted, could jeopardize global connectivity and the future growth of the Internet, particularly in developing countries; impact the architecture, security, and global interoperability of the Internet; and impose detrimental burdens on the free and open Internet that billions of people around the world depend upon today.
Recognizing that developing countries face challenges in building Internet infrastructure and in bringing down connectivity costs, the Board of Trustees emphasized the Internet Society’s commitment to helping these countries overcome those challenges in ways that support global interoperability and the free flow of information, such as via the development of Internet Exchange Points to improve Internet performance and drive down Internet connectivity costs.
At its recent Board meeting in Vancouver, the Internet Society Board of Trustees elected a new Chair, Ms. Eva Frölich.
She is co-founder of Frobbit!, a registrar and hosting company, and has been actively involved in the Internet environment for more than 20 years. Frölich has served on the Internet Society Board since 2010 and served on the Public Interest Registry Board from 2004 – 2007.
“The Internet faces serious challenges that potentially threaten its open, global nature,” she said. “We are deeply concerned about these threats and are committed to working with our community of members and Chapters around the world to protect the Internet of today for the generations to follow.”
The Board also expressed its appreciation to outgoing Chairman Raúl Echeberría, who will continue to serve on the Board.
The Internet Society Board of Trustees are elected or appointed by the following groups: Chapters, Organization members, and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The new Board members with three-year terms beginning this year are:

  • Keith Davidson, International Director, InternetNZ
  • David Farber, Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Rudi Vansnick, President of Internet Society Belgium

The Board expressed its thanks to the outgoing Board members Khaled Koubaa, Philip Smith, and Jonathan Zittrain for their commitment and contributions to the Internet Society.
The continuing members of the Board of Trustees are:

  • Alain Aina, Managing Director at Technologies Reséaux & Solutions and Special Project Manager at AfriNIC (the Internet Address Registry for Africa)
  • Eric Burger, Research Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Georgetown Center for Secure Communications
  • Narelle Clark, Deputy CEO, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network; President of the Internet Society Australian Chapter
  • Raúl Echeberría, Executive Director of LACNIC (the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean)
  • Eva Frölich, Co-founder of Frobbit!
  • Bob Hinden, Check Point Fellow at Check Point Software
  • Jason Livingood, Vice President of Internet Systems Engineering, Comcast Cable
  • Lynn St. Amour, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Society; serves as ex-officio and as a non-voting Trustee
  • Theresa Swinehart, Executive Director of Global Internet Policy, Verizon Communications
  • Bert Wijnen, Research engineer at the RIPE-NCC in the Netherlands

More information, including biographical details of all Board members and details of the Board selection process, is available at:
The Internet Society has a chapter in Quebec.
The Internet Society Board is comprised of leaders from across the globe, with diverse backgrounds spanning industry, academia, and the global Internet community. The Board provides strategic direction in support of the organization’s mission to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for everyone.

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