Thursday, May 31, 2012

Should we give control of the Internet to the UN?

Later today, US lawmakers will debate the USA's position on whether to hand control of the Internet to the United Nations.

The debate is being organised by a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee as part of the preparations for the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) which will be held in Dubai in December.

Involving delegations from 193 countries, the WCIT has on its agenda the renegotiation of a UN treaty.  The debate is basically over whether to give more or less complete control of the Internet to the UN's International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

At present, the Internet is organised on the basis of technical rules (e.g. what featues should characterise telecoms equipment or what should enable a particular technology to be labelled "4G") set by oranisations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and the World Wide Web Consortium.

However, political control lies with the different national governments.

Those of us who are interested in internet freedom need to cotinue arguing and working for Internet structure, management and control that is decentralized..

The ITU is an excellent body for setting global telecommunications standards but (a), in principle, no single foreign country or no assemblage of countries should be able to censor what is allowed to appear or to not appear, for example in India; and (b) the ITU has shown no evidence of being able to be a good implementer or regulator - indeed the UN as a whole has been great at developing codes and declarations, but has shown no evidence of being good at implementation of those codes and declarations.
Sphere: Related Content

No comments: