Civil society agrees on govt's stand on Internet: Sibal

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 28 November 2012, 02:59 PM

Government on Tuesday said it has arrived at a consensus with civil society and other stakeholders over the management of Internet and it will present its views at UN body ITU's meet in Dubai.

India will make recommendations at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) event in Dubai starting December 3.

ITU will consider recommendations made by each member for framing international rules that telecom companies across the globe will be required to comply with.

"By and large, there is consensus in this room. The way forwarded that government is taking is the right way," Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters discussing government stand with Industry and other stakeholders of Internet eco-system.

"There are issues only some tweaking of the language which of course formulation will be given by them. These formulation will be given to us by day after tomorrow. I will then use those formulation, apply my mind on those formulations and see what position India must take at Dubai," he added.

Though details of the discussion were not disclosed by the Minister, Industry representative and stakeholder of Internet eco-system sounded relieved after the discussion.

"Not recommending to bring Internet under ITU and creation of national laws to deal with security of infrastructure is a welcome step," Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) President Rajesh Charia said.

ISPAI has been against ITU's jurisdiction over Internet.

Industry sources said that bringing Internet under ITU jurisdiction of ITU will hamper freedom of Internet which is also now seen as medium for express freedom of speech and expression.

Telecom experts and partner at Com First (India) Mahesh Uppal said as a stakeholder government's concern to protect infrastructure , specially from (cyber) threats coming from outside is well understood.

"I don't think that anybody will grudge on your (Telecom Minister's) right to deal with it. But I think it is very important for removal of any kind of doubt about any kind of direct or indirect attempt to control the Internet," he said.

"The intent of this government is to use the Internet as the tool for empowerment. The key stakeholder in content providing is actually civil society. They are very important stakeholder in this process. Their concerns must be dealt with," Sibal said.