This week the House will consider a proposal, backed by such freedom loving nations as Russia, India, China, Brazil, etc., to give the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) more control over the Internet. Don’t see any problem there!
Strong arm regimes are always threatened by political freedom through unfettered Internet connectivity and are hell bent on renegotiating the 1988 treaty to expand their reach into previously unregulated areas of the Internet. These bastions of freedom want to:
- Subject cyber security and data privacy to international control;
- Allow foreign phone companies to charge fees for international traffic on, perhaps a “per click” basis for certain web destinations;
- Impose economic regulations such as mandates for rates, terms and conditions for traffic swapping agreements known as “peering;
- Establish international dominion over functions of multi-stakeholder Internet governance entities that coordinate the .com and .org web addresses;
- Subsume under intergovernmental control many functions of groups that establish engineering and technical standards that allow the Internet to work; and,
- Regulate international mobile roaming rates and practices.
While there doesn’t seems to be much support in the House, at least publicly, this is not a time to wait and see! You need to start emailing and calling your representatives now.