The open Internet, available to people around the world without the permission of any government, was a great liberation. It was also too good to last. Authoritarian governments this month won the first battle to close off parts of the Internet.
The United States, along with a host of other nations, has refused to sign the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR) put together by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at the World Conference on International Communications (WCIT) in Dubai this week.
Representatives of more than 190 countries will convene as an official body, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in Dubai. It is the first time the ITU has assembled to write critical new rules since 1988. Today, the internet has reached a crossroads, and decisions made this month could set it on a distinctly new path.
American diplomats are making progress in heading off possible international proposals to increase Internet regulation by the United Nations, a top State Department official told a House subcommittee on Thursday. A range of American lawmakers, businesses, and nonprofit organizations fear that some countries will try to use negotiations over international telecommunications treaties in December to expand the authority of the International Telecommunication Union, the U.N. organization that has historically overseen international telecom policies.