US vows to fight new effort for UN control of Internet

September 26, 2014
A 2012 meeting in Dubai saw 89 countries endorse a global treaty on telecom regulations over the objections of the United States, who said it opened the door to regulating the Internet

US officials are pledging to fight a fresh effort to give a UN agency authority to regulate the Internet, two years after a huge diplomatic battle over the issue.

Top US officials in charge of the matter said this week they expect another contentious debate at next month's gathering in South Korea of the International Telecommunications Union, the UN agency that deals with global telecom issues.

"There are some actors who want to radically change the existing multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance by centralizing control over the Internet under an intergovernmental organization, effectively giving governments sole authority over the choices that affect the Internet's design and operation," said a blog post Thursday by three key State Department officials spearheading US policy on the issue, Daniel Sepulveda, Christopher Painter and Scott Busby.

"When the world's governments get together to discuss Internet-related issues, questions about the current model of governance will arise. One critical moment for those discussions will be in Busan, Korea at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference in October of this year."

The officials said the ITU "does valuable work in a number of areas related to global telecommunications," including technical issues involving international connections.

"But there are some who want to manipulate or change the mandate of the ITU in ways that would purport to give governments the sole authority over the Internet's content, technologies, or services. The US government categorically rejects this proposal."

The statement said such a move "would diminish the dynamism of the Internet" and "would inevitably encourage to attempt to introduce censorship or content controls."

"The US government believes that the Internet belongs to everyone, at home and abroad, and that we all have a right and responsibility to participate in its governance," the US statement said.

The meeting in Busan, South Korea set for October 20 to November 7 comes two years after 89 countries endorsed a global treaty on telecom regulations over the objections of the United States and dozens of others which said it opened the door to regulating the Internet.

The 2012 Dubai meeting outcome underscored a deep divide between a US-led group of countries which seek to keep the Internet open and unregulated, and authoritarian regimes that want to impose controls over online use and content.

Russia, China and Saudi Arabia have been among countries seeking such changes.

US officials said the document adopted in Dubai would have little practical impact.

Countries can exercise control of online activity within their borders, but Washington and others objected to a treaty that would legitimize new Internet controls under UN auspices.

The head of the US delegation, Terry Kramer, walked out of the Dubai gather as the signing started after protesting that the treaty was "seeking to insert governmental control over Internet governance."

Explore further: Confusion on Internet future after UN treaty split

Related Stories

89 nations sign controversial UN telecom treaty

December 14, 2012

A controversial new global treaty on telecom regulations was signed on Friday by 89 International Telecommunication Union member states despite US objections to potential regulation of the Internet.

Google enters debate on UN Internet control

November 21, 2012

Google has jumped into the debate over a UN telecom gathering set to review regulations affecting the Internet, claiming it is "the wrong place" to make decisions about the future of the Web.

Recommended for you

5 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Returners
1 / 5 (2) Sep 26, 2014
Don't worry. We have Veto power.

It'll never pass.
Returners
1 / 5 (2) Sep 26, 2014
The European Union, led by Germany, is just looking for another excuse to tax American technology companies. First it's their constant fining of Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Google, now they want full control over all content to be centralized in the U.N. of which the European Union has 2 of the 5 Veto votes.

For example, if China had it's way, sites like this, where people get to discuss alternative theories on everything from physics to politics, simply would not be allowed.

Say anything about China? Banned, maybe....disappear.
Mention religion? Banned, maybe...disappear.

Seriously, Russia is no better, as Putin is suddenly hell-bent "re-sovietizing" the "Federation," after 25 years of progress. BTW, I think Eukraine should have let that province cecede, but at the same time, Russia full of it. We all know they are aiding the rebells and maybe even fighting directly.

Is this who you want in control of the internet? 4 radically left veto votes?
kochevnik
1 / 5 (1) Sep 26, 2014
Russia is great everyone knows how to use VPNs even my gf. People will be RUNNING from USA when Saudis dump petrodollar overnight. Americans will reminisce about the glory days when Russia actually felt threatened by USA, before they had to convert all their nukes into fuel to heat their homes like the poor, cold people in Ukraine

What Americans mean by totalitarian iInternet they cannot find their child porn in Russia must look at webservers in Catholic countries or Israel now. Putin kicks our Rothschilds banksters in 2009 such horror! Now USA sheeple bleat "Russia bad!" Russians are forced to NOT be spied upon by NSA NAZIS looking for every last penny American may keep in vault or hidden overseas. We suffer from terrible 13% flat tax with apartments+education paid for by the state leaving money left over to parties and fun. Such horrible life. I wish I could work American slave wage just existing working 7 days a week until my last dying day. What a privilege that would b
zaxxon451
not rated yet Sep 27, 2014
""The US government believes that the Internet belongs to everyone, at home and abroad, and that we all have a right and responsibility to participate in its governance," the US statement said."

Right... I might believe this if net neutrality wasn't on its deathbed.
alfie_null
5 / 5 (1) Sep 27, 2014
Russia is great everyone knows how to use VPNs

Begs the question: Why? From a security perspective, using a VPN is a wise move. But my experience is people don't adopt the additional complexity of security measures without some motivation.

We suffer from terrible 13% flat tax with apartments+education paid for by the state leaving money left over to parties and fun. Such horrible life. I wish I could work American slave wage just existing working 7 days a week until my last dying day.

Which would be 70 in Russia or significantly longer (79) in the U.S.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.