India is likely to oppose any plans by International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a body under United Nations that is responsible for making standards in telecommunications, to regulate content on the internet.
Kapil Sibal, minister for communications and IT, is meeting representatives from the telecom industry, independent Internet Service Providers (ISPs), social activists, government officials and other stake holders, on Tuesday, to discuss India’s position on the internet.
Sibal said that the government does not want any control over internet content. NGOs and social activists are also opposed to any government control over the internet.
“I have expressed my views in Baku,” said Sibal. “There is no change in my stand.”
In a meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Baku, Sibal said, “Internet, by its very nature, can not coexist with the concept of governance, which relates to a system designed for dealing with the issues of the physical world. The term ‘Governance’, immediately invokes concepts of those who govern and those who are governed, which have no relevance in cyber-space. Semantics apart, what we need today is to put in place a system designed for cyberspace — a system which is collaborative, consultative, inclusive and consensual, for dealing with all public policies involving the internet.”
ITU has sought opinion from all countries if ICT should come under its purview. “If this is allowed to happen, then ITU will also play a role in the governance of content on internet,” said an industry representative. Russia, China, and Uzbekistan want major aspects of IT governance in ITU’s jurisdiction.