When SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act – H.R. 3261) & PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) didn’t become law, the US relaxed. It’s time to wake up again; the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is meeting next week in Dubai for 2 weeks with representatives for 193 countries to discuss plans to control the internet. The outcome most certainly cannot be good.
The internet is a new technology that has been largely successful because of the freedom it has; no government controls it…yet.
What’s Going on at The ITU Conference?
Since the conference itself is secretive, there is no way to predict or know what will actually transpire. However, we can make an educated guess based on recent insider speculations, other nations’ failed censorship attempts and their continuous call for internet control.
Supposedly many of the 193 nations oppose internet control, as it would ruin e-commerce. Fair internet control would be nearly impossible to enforce as the internet knows no country’s boundaries. After all, it is digital. China, Russia, Iran and Arab countries are trying to hijack the the ITU conference, which actually has nothing to do with the internet. This union was originally created in 1865 to control telegraph communications. Today, telephoning has been added to the ITU’s responsibility, but not the internet. Yet, these nations and others have been lobbying for the ITU to control the internet.
Next week the ITU holds a negotiation conference in Dubai, where internet control will be the hot-button issue. Past months have heralded news of a new treaty, yet this can’t be confirmed. Remember, this conference is taking place behind closed doors.
What Does Google Say?
“Only governments have a voice at the ITU (International Telecommunications Union). This includes governments that do not support a free and open Internet. Engineers, companies, and people that build and use the web have no vote.” Google adds, “The ITU is also secretive. The treaty conference and proposals are confidential.” And that is what makes this Dubai convention so deadly. We The People do not have a say.
“Having the Internet rewired by bureaucrats would be like handing a Stradivarius to a gorilla.” Google notes. “The Internet is made up of 40,000 networks that interconnect among 425,000 global routes, cheaply and efficiently delivering messages and other digital content among more than two billion people around the world, with some 500,000 new users a day.”
Google hit the nail on the head when they said: “Governments alone, working behind closed doors, should not direct its [the internet’s] future.”
I couldn’t agree more. Semper liber.