The US invented the internet, and as of right now, it controls it. However, the UN will be meeting at the end of this year to try and pry the internet from America’s hands, but America’s all like “Oh helllllll no!”
In December 2012, the United Nations will hold the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), where it will review and potentially revise the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) treaty.
This treaty hasn’t been updated since 1988, but a lot has changed in the world of telecoms in the intervening years. Not only has the internet expanded dramatically but we’ve seen new technologies like packet switching and mobile roaming.
But some are calling for the treaty to be given more than a quick modernisation. Some nations are calling for control of the internet’s technical specifications to be taken away from a select group of non-profit US companies, and handed over to the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
But Terry Kramer, head of the US delegation to the WCIT, doesn’t agree. “The United States believes that the existing multi-stakeholder institutions, incorporating industry and civil society, have functioned effectively and will continue to ensure the health and growth of the internet and all of its benefits,” he said.
He’s talking about institutions like the California-based ICANN — the International Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers, which regulates domain names.
Kramer also said that the current treaty has served the internet — domestically, and in the international market — well. “We want to preserve the flexibility contained in the current ITRs, which has helped create the conditions for rapid evolution of telecommunications technologies and markets around the world,” he said.
The US is also concerned that the switch could see “greater regulatory burdens being placed on the international telecom sector, or perhaps even extended to the internet sector.” Plus, “we will not support any effort to broaden the scope of the ITRs to facilitate any censorship of content or blocking the free flow of information and ideas.”
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