Government representatives from around the world gathered last week in Dubai to chart the future course of the Internet. They voted to kill it as we now know it.
China, Russia, much of the Middle East, and much of Africa voted to reconfigure the Net in such a way that ends the Internet as a global and free entity. The countries which voted in the affirmative with regard to the recent ITU resolution prefer regional nets which will be highly regulated and if need be, cordoned off from the rest of the world. Goodbye Twitter in Iran. Facebook in Egypt? Better start posting now. Very quietly a new Iron Curtain of Information appears to have been erected—with UN sanction.
(From The Wall Street Journal)
The treaty document extends control over Internet companies, not just telecoms. It declares: “All governments should have an equal role and responsibility for international Internet governance.” This is a complete reversal of the privately managed Internet. Authoritarian governments will invoke U.N. authority to take control over access to the Internet, making it harder for their citizens to get around national firewalls. They now have the U.N.’s blessing to censor, monitor traffic, and prosecute troublemakers.