Plans to give countries more internet control

ITU-2012

A plan to make it possible for individual countries to control the internet has leaked to the public. The plan was put forward during this weeks World Conference on International Telecommunications by a group of countries including Russia, China and Saoudi-Arabia. It is unclear how many countries support the plan.

The this weekend leaked document came forward by the website WCITLeaks, and was conceived for the World Conference on International Telecommunications held in Dubai this week. The countries are discussing the future of the internet.

The specific leaked files speak of giving countries the right to control domain names and ip-adresses on their specific territory. At the moment this is coordinated by the ICANN, an American non-profit organization. The US based ICANN has been monitoring the public world wide web since September 30, 1998.

The leaked document of this week about a change of this coordination has been put forward by Russia, Saoudi-Arabia, China, Algeria, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates. Egypt has also been referred to as a co-creator of the plan but denies involvement. It is unclear if the plan will get much support on the conference.

The United States have announced not to give away control over the internet by any country, also the European Parliament is against the plans. The European Parliament is afraid for censorship and giving countries the power to deliberately withdrawel certain information. The current situation in which the ICANN monitors the internet also isn’t ideal according to the EU.

Earlier at the WCIT conference in Dubai disagreement arrose about the question what companies and organisations would fall under the International Telecommunication Union from the United Nations. At the moment the ITU only has power over telecomproviders, but many countries want to rectify the 1988 originating document. So should everyone that has a telecom installation be falling under the ITU rules in stead of solely telecomprividers. Companies as Google and Facebook would then also fall under direct ITU rule.

One of the oponnents of the plan is the US ambassador who said that a rectification in the way some countries want also opens the door for censorship which threatens the freedom of the internet.

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Rowan Gonzalez

Founder & Chief Web Editor at Computer Stories
Rowan is the founder and Chief Web Editor of Computer Stories. He studied Communication and Multimedia Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam from which he graduated in 2013. Rowan's passionate about computer technologies that make the world and our lives a little better.