Free speech of the people is again under threat, and where are the people and activists ? Updating Facebook Statuses? Updating Twitter ?. Government delegates from around the world voted on a treaty that de facto sought to give the United Nations greater oversight of the Internet. It’s not legally binding, and doesn’t come into force till 2005, and thankfully some 80 countries refused to sign it. But proposing such a treaty on the world stage in itself marks another step towards stewardship of the Internet moving from engineers in technical standards organizations, to more government-related interests.
The TechRadar website reports that the leader of the US delegation to the Dubai ITU conference, Ambassador Terry Kramer, said in part:
“The Internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefits during these past 24 years — all without UN regulation.
“Internet policy should not be determined by member states but by citizens, communities, and broader society, and such consultation from the private sector and civil society is paramount. This has not happened here.”
“[It’s] with a heavy heart and a sense of missed opportunities that the U.S. must communicate that it is not able to sign the agreement in the current form.”
“We candidly cannot support an ITU treaty that is inconsistent with a multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance,”
But both technologists and politicians fear internet remains in imminent danger of new controls imposed by various countries, and some said the rift that only widened during the 12-day ITU conference in Dubai could wind up hastening the end of the Net as we know it.
Plenty of people still recall horror stories of moms doing jail time because their eight-year-old kid was downloading music from Napster. Those bad memories are why issues related to copyright and piracy can ring alarm bells for the average person, while issues like content filtering, site blocking and the ITU conference does not, unless you live somewhere like China or Russia.
Your Freedom Was At Stake And Where Were You ? Be More Aware …