Showdown Looms Over UN Control of Internet


Rob Lever
AFP
October 30, 2012

photoPhoto by Felixgrup (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

It is expected to be the mother of all cyber diplomatic battles.

When delegates gather in Dubai in December for an obscure UN agency meeting, fighting is expected to be intense over proposals to rewrite global telecom rules to effectively give the United Nations control over the Internet.

Russia, China and other countries back a move to place the Internet under the authority of the International Telecommunications Union, a UN agency that sets technical standards for global phone calls.

U.S. officials say placing the Internet under U.N. control would undermine the freewheeling nature of cyberspace, which promotes open commerce and free expression, and could give a green light for some countries to crack down on dissidents.

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