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WCIT failure: Future of digital Tower of Babel endangered?

Published on 13 December 2012
Updated on 05 April 2024

WCIT (World Conference on International Telecommunications), a high level dialogue related to governance of the digital world, came to an end without consensus. Agreement on the update of the anachronous governance models proposed could not be found among governments, let alone among all stakeholders.

In the meantime, a digital Tower of Babel grows faster than ever, built by the united humanity.

“Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4)

With no building plan or global coordination in place, however, digital tower is becoming more and more fragile and unstable. Will it end as the mythical Tower of Babel did?

“And the Lord said ‘Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do; and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do. Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ ” (Genesis 11:6-7)

If it does end the same way, it will be us, not the Lord, who tears it down.

What consequences will the failure of WCIT have? How will the uncompromising positions of the two polarised blocks of governments affect IG as we know it? How can stakeholders reconcile and achieve coordinated global governance of the Internet? It’s time to discuss this all again.


Digital20Tower20of20Babel scaled

The illustration is under Creative Commons license: you may use and distribute with attribution. A high-quality version is available to download.


3 replies
  1. Vladimir Radunovic
    Vladimir Radunovic says:

    Mike, thank you for your
    Mike, thank you for your Interest and pointing out that we missed to clarify the CC details – it is “Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives” licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/
    So you are of course free to use it within your presentation according to these guidelines.

  2. Mike Bullock
    Mike Bullock says:

    Great illustration. I’d love
    Great illustration. I’d love to use this in a power point presentation. Is this permissible? If so, can you help me understand the precise version of the creative commons license in place for the image? I will only use if permitted and with appropriate attribution. Thanks- Mike

  3. Milos Milosavljevic
    Milos Milosavljevic says:

    Sounds a lot like the climate
    Sounds a lot like the climate change and reduced emissions debate 🙂

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