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The World Conference on Information Technologies (WCIT-12) was organised by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) and took place 3-15 December 2012 in Dubai. Its goal was to revise the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), a global treaty that facilitates international interconnection and communication services (e.g. roaming, radio frequencies, satellite communications), that have not been revised since its adoption in 1988. The main unofficial goal was to include the Internet in the scope of regulations, an issue which many feared could lead to serous consequences for the content and communication flows of the Internet.
Julia Velkova, a PhD student at MKV at Södertörn University had the opportunity to participate during the last days of the conference as an observer, and witness both the concluding discussions, as well as the process of decision making. Despite that the conference did not succeed in its aim to build a consensus among all 191 nation states, with the West ultimately refusing to sign the final document, it nevertheless concluded with the inclusion of a number of texts that cover directly or indirectly the Internet, opening up more instead of closing the discussion about who should govern the Internet.
The aim of this seminar/presentation is to attempt to summarize the key points from the event, outlining a number of issues that contextualize and discuss the conference, bring up perspectives of relevance for media and communication studies, and conclude with a brief discussion on the potential for further research on the topic.