The ITU, the International Telecommunications Union is the UN agency for Information and Communication Technologies. The ITU is “committed to connecting all the world’s people – wherever they live and whatever their means”. Sounds like a very noble commitment, doesn’t it? It’s odd then, that the potentially biggest threat to the free and open Internet as we know it today, comes from this very agency. The ITU will hold a world conference in Dubai this December 3rd and there could be something sneaky going on behind closed doors.
Yesterday, The Register reported on a man who was physically assaulted at McDonalds in Paris for wearing computer assisted spectacles. He has a full account of the event, with photos taken by the computer assisted spectacles, on his own blog here. The exact reason for the attack on Dr. Steve Mann remains unclear but it is possible that the people there thought he was filming them and they objected to that.
I have written before on the shocking arrogance of the European Commission. However, it now appears that matters are even worse than previously thought. EU Commissioner Karel De Gucht held a speech the day before the INTA Committee voted on ACTA, announcing that the vote of the EU Parliament on ACTA doesn’t matter, ACTA will simply be clarified and resubmitted at a later date. Come again, Mr. de Gucht?
In a rather surprising statement from David Martin, the new rapporteur on ACTA and chairman of the EU International Trade Committee, he urges the rejection of the controversial ACTA agreement, stating that the benefits of the agreement do not way up against the concerns surrounding ACTA. The statement is surprising, because mr. Martin has in the past largely defended business interests. Still, I’m not complaining, seeing this new advice. Or should I be?
We live in interesting times. Economic crisis, social upheaval, collapsing companies, rampant consumerism, revolutions, government crackdown, disappearing privacy and globalisation. It feels like there is a pressure building and like all pressure, it’s going to have to find a way out. It is my opinion that we are standing on the fork or a crossroads, a threshold of a new era. A new era that will be shaped in the coming years and one that will have far-reaching implications for the future.