Defining a Communications Satellite Policy System for the 21st Century: A Model for a International Legal Framework and A New _Code of Conduct_
This paper addresses the changing international communications environment and explores the key elements of a new policy framework for the 21st Century. It addresses the issues related to changing markets, trade considerations, standards, regulatory changes and international institutions and law. The most important aspects will related to new international policy and regulatory frameworks and in particular to a new international code of ethics and behavior in the field of satellite communications. A new communications satellite policy framework requires systematically addressing the following points: ∙ Multi-lateral agreements at the nation state and the operating entity level∙ Systematic means to access both private and public capital ∙ Meshing ITU regulations with regional and national policy guidelines including ∙ landing rights" and national allocation procedures. ∙ Systematic approach to local partnerships ∙ Resolving the issue of the relative standing of various satellite systems (i.e. GEO, MEO, and LEO systems) ∙ Resolving the rights, duties, and priorities of satellite facility providers versus types of service prviders. Beyond this policy framework and generalized legal infrastructure there is also another need. This is a need that arises from both increased globalism and competitive international markets. This is what might quite simply be called a "code of reasonable conduct:" To provide global and international communications services effectively and well in the 21st Century will require more than meeting minimum international legal requirements. A new "code of conduct" for global satellite communications will thus likely need to address: ∙ Privacy and surveillance ∙ Ethics of transborder data flow ∙ Censorship and moral values ∙ Cultural and linguistic sensitivity ∙ Freedom of the press and respect for journalistic standards As expanding global information and telecommunications systems grow and impact every aspect of modern life, the need for new international policy and especially new suitable standards of conduct in the field of satellite communications become ever more apparent and necessary.