The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a United Nations (UN) agency originally created in 1865 to manage cross-national telegraphic communications, and is increasingly seen by its member states as the technology policy branch of the UN system. While to date it is formally responsible only for telecommunications issues, in recent years the ITU has hosted a global summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI), organized a workshop on e-payments and 5G, held a forum on the Internet of Things and Smart Cities, studied the economic impact of the so-called Over-The-Top (OTT) internet services such as WhatsApp or YouTube, developed a global cybersecurity index, and analyzed privacy in cloud computing. That, on top of ITU’s fundamental mandate and ongoing work to help connect the hundreds of millions who are still unconnected.
Today, Public Knowledge endorsed the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace. The Call, developed through a multistakeholder process facilitated by the French government, promotes a rules-based cyberspace that respects human rights and fundamental freedoms by applying international law. The Call kicks-off a multi-year effort to realize its principles, and recommends a progress assessment one year after its publication.
Although a cybersecurity labeling system similar to Energy Star should prove valuable, we still have some questions to answer, chiefly: What would such a system look like? Who would run it? And how would someone earn the label?