FN, den rare organisation tyrannier, kunne morderligt godt tænke sig at få lidt styr på internettets uorden, som friheden fører med sig. Fra C-Net News
Democratic and Republican government officials warned this morning that a United Nations summit in December will lead to a virtual takeover of the Internet if proposals from China, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are adopted.
It was a rare point of bipartisan agreement during an election year: a proposal that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin described last year as handing the U.N. “international control of the Internet” must be stopped.
“These are terrible ideas,” Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, said during a U.S. House of Representatives hearing. They could allow “governments to monitor and restrict content or impose economic costs upon international data flows,” added Ambassador Philip Verveer, a deputy assistant secretary of state.
Robert McDowell, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, elaborated by saying proposals foreign governments have pitched to him personally would “use international mandates to charge certain Web destinations on a ‘per-click’ basis to fund the build-out of broadband infrastructure across the globe.”
“Google, iTunes, Facebook, and Netflix are mentioned most often as prime sources of funding,” McDowell said. Added Rep. Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat whose district includes Facebook’s headquarters, many countries “don’t share our view of the Internet and how it operates.”
What prompted today’s hearing — and a related congressional resolution (PDF) supporting a free and open Internet — is a Dubai summit that will be convened by the 193 members of the U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union, which was chartered in 1865 to oversee international telegraph regulations.
Called the World Conference on International Telecommunications, or WCIT, the summit will review a set of telecommunications regulations established in 1988, when home computers used dial-up modems, the Internet was primarily a university network, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was a mere 4 years old.
That review has created an opening for countries with a weak appreciation of free speech and civil liberties — with Russia and China in the lead — to propose the U.N. establish an new “information security” regime or create an alternative to ICANN, the nonprofit organization that has acted as the Internet’s de facto governance body since the late 1990s.
Unless the U.S. and its allies can block these proposals, they “just might break the Internet by subjecting it to an international regulatory regime designed for old-fashioned telephone service,” Rep. Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican said. (U.S. allies include Japan, Canada, Mexico, and many European countries.)
Vint Cerf, Google’s chief Internet evangelist, co-creator of the TCP/IP protocol, and former chairman of ICANN, said the ITU meeting could lead to “top-down control dictated by governments” that could impact free expression, security, and other important issues..
“The open Internet has never been at a higher risk than it is now,” Cerf said.
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