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The United Nations and the Internet: It's Complicated - By Rebecca MacKinnon | Foreign Policy
: "When it comes to the Internet, however, Congress,
the White House
civil liberties groups
are all on the same page: All agree that the United Nations -- a body representing the interests of governments -- should not be given control over a globally interconnected network that transcends the geography of nation-states. The Internet is too valuable to be managed by governments alone. Yet there is less agreement over how well the alternative "multistakeholder" model of Internet governance is working -- or whether it is really serving all of us as well as it might. The immediate threat to the Internet as we know it is the
World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT)
scheduled for December in Dubai by the
International Telecommunication Union
(ITU), a U.N. body whose remit has thus far been limited to global telephone systems. Members meet behind closed doors. Their policy proposals were until recently accessible only to members -- until activists forced transparency upon them through a website called "
." The leaked documents reveal how a number of governments -- in league with some old-school telecommunications companies seeking to regain revenues lost to the Internet -- are proposing to rewrite global
international telecommunications regulations
in ways that opponents believe will corrode, if not destroy, the open and free nature of the Internet. (For readers wanting to delve into details, a number of nonprofit organizations including the
Center for Democracy and Technology
have published analyses of the leaked documents and other recent ITU statements.)"
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