Anthony Rutkowski

Anthony Rutkowski

Principal, Netmagic Associates LLC
Joined on August 15, 2012 – United States
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Tony Rutkowski is a Distinguished Senior Research Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP) at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs.  As Executive Vice President for Yaana Technologies, he has served as rapporteur for cybersecurity in ITU-T since 2009 and served as the counselor for two ITU Secretaries-General between 1988 and 1992, co-authored a published ITU history, and led development and authored many regulatory provisions, laws, briefs, treaties, standards, books, and articles as an engineer-lawyer over many years in multiple positions in industry, government and academic institutions.  At one time, he did real engineering - being responsible for the communications and command & control systems as part of the Apollo Launch Teams at KSC Launch Complex 39.

Featured Blogs

IETF's Descent Into the Political Rabbit Hole

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has a curious, non-linear history as a "non-organization" of technical innovators now approaching 47 years. As it approaches a landmark 100th official meeting, it has become embroiled in a controversy that takes it further down the political rabbit hole it has been deepening in recent years. The IETF is considering cancelling its 100th meeting now scheduled in Singapore in November 2017... because "concerns were raised about anti-LGBT laws." more»

ITU-T - Still Living in 1924

Sometime later this year - at a venue still unknown - something short of a thousand people from around the world will gather together and engage in a now meaningless ritual almost exactly like they did in 1924. In the 1990s the name of the gathering was changed from the CCITT Plenary Assembly to a World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA). more»

Celebrating the ITU's Anniversary with "Abandonment"

The ITU is attempting to puff up some vestige of a value proposition this year by celebrating what its PR material purports to be the 150th anniversary. In reality, it has actually only existed as the ITU since 1934, and the pieces prior to that point stretch back 165 years to 1850. It was at that point that nations operating electric telegraph systems met at the first international meeting in Dresden to cobble together all the basic intergovernmental provisions that still exist today... more»

The ITU Plenipotentiary: Member States Decrease Financial Contributions

The ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference wraps up at the end of the week. The more than 2000 people present in Busan Korea from 171 countries -- overwhelmingly government bureaucrats -- have been busily polishing nearly a hundred resolutions on everything that ails them. The good news is that some sanity seems to have prevailed and most of the really extreme provisions apparently disappeared during the ensuing dialogue. One of the reasons for the change of heart is the realization that the ITU emperor's budget for clothes is disappearing. more»

The ITU Busan Plenipotentiary

The ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan South Korea is the quadrennial gathering where its Nation State Members gather to elect new leadership of its four permanent secretariats and populate a few other of its assorted bodies. The next two weeks are spent in endless sessions where several regional blocs of Members still enamored with pre-liberalization telecom models complain about the new world of telecommunications that they did not invent -- while engaging in copious use of their new smart phones and online services. more»

The East Asia Telecommunication Union

That's what Europeans are now calling the venerable old International Telecommunication Union -- EATU for short. In fact, based on current metrics, this transformation is exactly what has occurred. The shift began occurring almost a decade ago, and has dramatically accelerated in recent years. At the ITU-T's key Study Group 17 meeting on security now underway, fully 90% of the input contributions and more than half of those participating are from only three countries -- China, Japan, and Korea. Indeed, there has long been a semi-formal organization known as CJK that has been manifested here. more»

Return of the WCIT

The title looks like a horror show advertisement; or, maybe a recurrent plague. It is actually a combination of both, and last inflicted itself on the world two years ago in Dubai. It could be visiting us again in the years to come... The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) and formerly known as Administrative Conferences have been around for the past 150 years. There have been 31 of them held under the aegis of a U.N. agency known as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and its precursors. more»

Saving the ITU-T in Three Steps

In yet another committee meeting among the many over the past thirty years, the ITU-T is holding a Review Committee session in Geneva in two weeks in an attempt to save the organization. There aren't many people left these days interested in these noble efforts - largely from the only two remaining entities who participate significantly - Korea's government ETRI institute, and entities clustered around China's MIIT ministry. As someone who has participated in and written about the organization over the past forty years in many different capacities, I have some suggestions - in the spirit of recognizing that there is still something worth saving. more»

A Hospice Strategy for the ITU-T

After the Dubai World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) debacle last year, the exit of almost everyone out of the ITU-T was accelerated. The ongoing meeting of its former "crown jewel" Study Group 13 that claims to be the global coordinator of all things Internet, Cloud Computing, SDN, IoT, and Future Networks, attracted only 80 people - mostly from three countries plus the host. Only a single person from the Americas attended. more»

Minding the Gap at the ITU-T

In 1992, Theo Irmer who had served as the organization's director for the previous eight years during its glory days, wrote that if there was any hope of saving what was left of the body, it must be privatised. That never occurred. Everyone pretty much left and migrated to dozens of other venues where all the world's information and communication technology standards have long been created and evolved. Essentially every major nation moved to competitive, private, marketplace-driven provisioning of communication products and services. more»

ITU Staff Gone Wild

In virtually all governmental legislative bodies, the staff is there to provide secretariat services for the government representatives. The staff role does not include telling the representatives what decisions they should be making. The stricture is supposed to be the same at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for its treaty making activities. It is with some amazement that last week, the ITU secretariat staff showed up at a seminar in Bangkok they helped schedule... more»

Russia Restricts U.S. Fiscal Sovereignty Using an ITU Treaty?

It seems outlandish. However, as incredible as it may seem - especially in these times of sequestration and dire Federal budget cuts - the U.S. has potentially fallen prey to a ploy hatched by Russia and allies artfully carried out at a 2010 ITU treaty conference to relinquish the nation's sovereign right to choose its own ITU membership contributions. Here is how it happened and what can be done about it. more»

The Continuing ITU Meltdown

It is rather like watching the episodes in the new season of a soap opera. When we last left the ITU at its WCIT treaty conference in Dubai in December, fifty-five nations got up and left, refusing to sign a profoundly broken scheme to regulate anything and everything related to telecommunications, information systems, and the Internet. Eighty-nine nations signed - notably Russia, China, Korea, and most of the Middle East and African countries. This G55 versus G89 split fundamentally fractured the legal basis of the ITU and the role of its standards making body. more»

After Saying No in Dubai: What Next

What occurred in Dubai on 14 December was unprecedented in the history of the ITU. It was unprecedented in the history of international telecommunication law. Most of the major nations of the telecommunication world rejected a profoundly broken treaty instrument that had no reason to even exist. A large number of "minor" networking nations accepted the obligations of the treaty instrument, although almost all of them entered significant reservations. In the long history of telecommunication law and intergovernmental organizations since 1850, this has never occurred. more»

Saying No to the ITRs

The afternoon of 13 December in Dubai is notable for one important deadline -- "declaration" if a Nation State is willing to accept the obligations of the resulting treaty instrument and if so, subject to what conditions. It is worth emphasizing that multilateral treaty instruments are serious constraints on a Sovereign's powers, and most nations even if they do sign, make general declarations that provide escape routes to the obligations. more»

The Dubai Debacle: Does It Matter?

The second phase of the Dubai Debacle is now well underway. The first of the ITU-T bodies, the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) finished its ten day meeting. The second body, the World Conference on International Communication (WCIT) completed its second day. WTSA shapes the ITU T organization and detailed agenda, while the WCIT gives it a treaty-based construct with regulatory mandates. WTSAs occur every four years; WCITs every twenty-five - although there is a proposal to hold them more frequently. more»

The Only Winning Game at the WCIT

With Russia flipping its far reaching Internet takeover proposals into the WCIT pile this morning, it became apparent to WCITeers heading to Dubai in a couple of weeks that the entire show was on a fast trajectory into the wild blue yonder. Indeed, the event may provide an opportunity for Hollywood to film a sequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Unfortunately, the Russian proposals are only one of many wake-up indicators that this event may not be the exercise in rational, intelligent discourse that some in the preparatory process apparently believed. more»

The Great ITU Internet Heist

There was a meeting in Geneva a few weeks ago dealing with Internet names and addresses. Known as the Second Informal Expert Group Meeting of the Fifth World Telecommunication / Information and Communication Technologies Policy Forum, it was yet another of the endless blathering bodies on this subject that have met for the past fourteen years. more»

A Short History of ITU Network Security Activity

Since the inception of ITU precursors in 1850, its various bodies have treated the subject of telecommunication network security as both an obligation of signatories to the treaty instruments as well as an ongoing collaborative activity. However, what it actually did in those activities was constrained by its jurisdiction and participant competency -- which encompassed international public telecommunication services provided primarily by designated government agency service providers known as PTTs. more»

Metrics of Major Standards Bodies

In a recent CircleID posting related to the ITU-T, the demise of that body over the years and the underlying causes were described. Among other questions, it raises the question of where has the industry technical collaborative activity gone. The short answer is just about everywhere else. This was exemplified by a recently compiled spreadsheet of some 200 different cloud forums prepared by the ITU-T's own cloud coordination group. more»

Privatizing the ITU-T: Back to the Future

The awkwardly named International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) by any measure is a highly unusual body. It is the only global intergovernmental organization where Nation States produce detailed technical standards for telecommunications. Even more amazing is that it produces these standards for a field that is so dynamic and globally competitive as telecommunications. What is not well known is that the ITU-T was once a private standards body... more»

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Privatizing the ITU-T: Back to the Future

The Continuing ITU Meltdown

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Metrics of Major Standards Bodies

A Short History of ITU Network Security Activity