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Civil society will be the critical player in a policy debate that has dominated recent tech news - whether the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will be given the power by its Member States to regulate internet access and the internet itself. Despite the fact that the US Government and US industry have vocally opposed this outcome, it is US civil society that has the biggest role to play to ensure that the Internet continues to be open and decentralized.
The ITU is a United Nations agency focused on setting international standards related to information and communications technologies – and whose stated mission is to connect all the world’s people “wherever they live and whatever their means.” Among other things, the ITU allocates global radio spectrum, and coordinates the assignment of satellite orbits.