by Jean-Christophe Nothias – Editor
GLOBAL, November 22, 2012
The upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) in Dubai looms as a moment of truth for the Internet’s governing rules and economic model. In all, representatives of 193 countries will come together to review the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR) agreed in Melbourne 25 years ago.
The United States (US) government, a leading voice in the sector, is strongly opposed to any changes to the treaty (itself an update of an earlier agreement), arguing the Internet has nothing to do with ‘traditional’ telecommunications, and – more ominously – that freedom is at stake. In contrast to this ‘no changes proposed’ plan, other member states are likely to bring different perspectives and ideas to feed into discussions at the 11-day December event, which will be moderated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a specialized United Nations (UN) agency. The fight is growing increasingly vocal, while raising questions of concern to all about the overwhelming power of the US in relation to the Internet and the need for structural re-balancing.
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