Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications

Commercial in confidence (31 August 2000)

What has been happening in the last few months? Although you are forgiven for thinking otherwise, rather a lot. The Committee continues to meet with a wide variety of organisations and bodies but it is not possible to present, to a general audience, the results of those meetings.

This is mainly because of commercial confidentiality, which many people have great trouble understanding. For their own reasons, those who meet us invariably make it a condition of meeting that we cannot report what has been said, or even that a meeting took place. This prohibition is absolute; if we were to break confidence there would be no more meetings.

In addition, the FRIACO negotiations are being kept secret by the participants; even Internet Service Providers who are not also telecommunications operators are not privy to what is going on. The negotiations have reached the stage of endless manoeuvring between the participants.

We know that secrecy is annoying - particularly when a media article is wrong but cannot be corrected because, to do so, confidential information would have to be released - and that it is against the 'spirit of the Internet'. Sadly, it is entirely with the spirit of business: that said we hope that, sooner or later, the true story of FRIACO can be told.

Almost in sympathy with the ephemeral nature of events the Committee has moved to Firetalk, which is an impressive package but leaves no written record; accordingly, Alastair Scott, the former Moderator, has been co-opted back onto the Committee at his own suggestion as chronicler.

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