5/15/08

More than 1,100 media industry leaders, regulators and academics from 56 countries attended the Pacific Telecommunications Conference, January 2008, in Honolulu, Hawaii. With the title "Telecom with Vision," this 30th annual PTC conference featured executives and planners involved with technologies such as Web 2.0, satellite, submarine, and mobile communication services. Among the ethical issues discussed were security, privacy and intellectual property in a plenary session titled "Challenges to Regulatory Policy," featuring Eli Noam, Director of the Institute for Tele-Information at Columbia University (chair); Sami Al-Basheer Al-Morshid, Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau; Mathias Kurth, President of the Federal Network Agency, Germany; Keng Thai Leong, Deputy Chief Executive and Director General (Telecoms), IDA, Singapore; Kiyoshi Mori, Vice Minister for Policy Coordination (International Affairs), Japan; and Paul Twomey, President & CEO of ICANN. Also discussed were fraud, cyberterrorism, spam, and how security problems may be regulated within and beyond national boundaries One keynote panel,"Enterprise and Managed Services" (chaired by Ed Simnett, Microsoft), noted, among other topics, that internal security threats now pose as many issues as external threats within major companies and governmental agencies. Also discussed at the Conference was the topic of information equality-the "digital divide." Some participants argued that the "divide" would continue to increase because of the accelerating costs of introducing, wiring, and upgrading new technologies. Others argued that the shrinking price of computers, radio and mobile devices actually would narrow the gap. Tom Cooper, of Emerson College (and this magazine), provided an overview of ethics research and ethics issues in the Pacific as discussed by PTC over the past 30 years, by analyzing the Conference's Proceedings as well as a dozen articles in PTC Review.

More information about PTC 2008 may be found at www.ptc.org. TWC