US and other countries pull out of UN Internet talks

When it comes to who will oversee the running of the Internet, the United States and other countries feel that giving too much control to the United Nations would be a bad idea. This week, the United Nations tried to come up with a treaty that would establish a worldwide policy over the Internet, but that plan went up in smoke on Thursday.

Reuters reports that, during the UN's conference in Dubai, the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and other major world nations refused to agree to the treaty. It will still be signed by other nations today, but since the US refused to sign on, there's little chance that it will be enforced.

Terry Kramer, the US representative to the UN conference, said there were a number of problems with the current treaty, including having the UN's International Telecommunication Union play a larger oversight role. The US also objected to a part of the treaty that, in theory, would cut down on the amount of Internet "spam" email. Kramer said that part of the treaty could be used by other governments as a way to monitor and possibly block emails that have religious or political messages.

Without the participation of the US, it's likely that the Internet will work in different ways in different countries. Russian representative Andrey Mukhanov said, "Maybe in the future we could come to a fragmented Internet."

Source: Reuters | Image via UN

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Business app developer: "We are doing great on Windows 8"

Next Story

Man uses Xbox to call for help after being bound in robbery

17 Comments

MurkWorks said,
I think you meant countries versus counties.

That sounds like it could be a good film!

The United States of America vs Norfolk

Might be a bit one-sided tho......

how about we don't give control just to one entity and let each country do there own thing, which is pretty much how its been since day 1. If they do give this one entity the power to control the internet then they almost rule the world.... that would be a bad thing... O.K.!!

Certain countries don't like the fact that in certain other countries people have the freedom to make insulting comments about a certain religion and its prophet.

right now I don't see any problem with internet regulations whatsoever as long as russia, china don't have control over it to block information. but I like the idea of having every countries have control over their own network as long as they don't block others.

These days if you let that happen then anyone who wants at it will get to it anyways via either proxies or vpn. I have a VPN provider that I have been using for quite a while and it comes in handy. Gives me nodes in many countries so if something is blocked in my home country I can just go over there. Connection is usually encrypted.

I've used it to get around geo location blocks on some sites (hulu.jp, ect...)

Why was this held in Dubai? I always feel like no one else considers how Dubai has become what it is and at what cost. The cost being ethical treatment of the working class. Beauty in construction and massive oil revenues at the expense of anyone not privileged to be in on it. Dubai is a terrible place to have a discussions involving world issues.

The last time I checked, there were not any UN officials on my election ballot. They are not really a governmental body of any sort. They need to stop acting like they have authority over other nation-states when that is not truly their role. The UN's role should not be to micromanage everyone's lives on their Internet usage.

UN, get over yourself.

burritodave said,
The last time I checked, there were not any UN officials on my election ballot. They are not really a governmental body of any sort.

That's true. The UN is an inter-governmental organisation, formed by treaty between each member state.

They need to stop acting like they have authority over other nation-states when that is not truly their role.

Only the nation-states can bind themselves, by treaty, which is what happens.

The UN's role should not be to micromanage everyone's lives on their Internet usage.

I don't agree with what the ITU was/is doing with regards to this, and indeed actively opposed it, but it's not the ITU doing it. It's the member states doing it, with the ITU as a venue to get it done.

UN, get over yourself.

The UN, per se, isn't responsible for this. Blame Russia and China. They've been the ones pushing this. By doing it under the auspices of the ITU, they've handily deflected the hate away from themselves and towards an unpopular (at least in the US...) body in the form of the ITU/UN.

Sometimes, your comments really are telling to your bias. You can try to hide from it but clearly this is the case when you pick the US as the problem and disregard the other important nations that also don't want to sign. Further, how is the US trying to control anyone when it's them not wanting to sign a treaty that would allow others to control them?

It's not a fault of the US that their support makes or breaks any major decision over the internet more so than any other country.

Leave the Internet to the Free Market - the only thing that delivers what people want without pointing guns for money but simply giving people choices to pursue.

While this sounds good and is in fact good (the whole UN thing needs to go away, IMO) - the thing to realize is that they reject it namely because governments don't like competition. In other words - in the case of US, they want to be able to monitor their citizen's traffic as they see fit, without "other regulation" getting in the way. Can't have that.

That flag... IIIIIIII Spit on it!!!

Yeah, they're NOT gonna tell sovereign nations what to do anymore. The internet is NOT a country, NOBODY is gonna dare control it... unless the citizens allow it. Sadly, China... poor poor adorable Chinese

Commenting is disabled on this article.