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One month until they regulate the Internet

Fox News – by John Brandon

Better enjoy Facebook while you can.

A U.N.-sponsored conference next month in Dubai will propose new regulations and restrictions for the Internet, which critics say will censor free speech, levy tariffs on e-commerce, and even force companies to clean up their “e-waste” and make gadgets that are better for the environment.

Concerns about the closed-door event have sparked a Wikileaks-style info-leaking site, and led the State Department on Wednesday to file a series of new proposals or tranches seeking to ensure “competition and commercial agreements — and not regulation” as the meeting’s main message.

Terry Kramer, the chief U.S. envoy to the conference, says the United States is against sanctions and believes management of the Internet by one central organization goes against free speech.

“[Doing nothing] would not be a terrible outcome at all,” Kramer said recently. “We need to avoid suffocating the Internet space through well-meaning but overly prescriptive proposals that would seek to control content.”

The conference will be run by the International Telecommunications Union (ITC), a U.N. agency that has typically provided a welcome service by making sure that the Internet works across countries. Many of its guidelines were first instituted in 1988. Most haven’t changed since then.

‘While the worst-case scenario isn’t likely, there’s a decent chance that some of these regulations will go into effect.’

– Josh King, an attorney with legal advice site Avvo.com

The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) is the first such meeting since those guidelines were created, and businesses are taking it seriously: U.S. delegates will include representatives from AT&T, Cisco, Facebook, GoDaddy, and dozens more.

To dispel concerns, the ITU played damage control in early October.

“There are no proposals submitted to create new international regulatory agencies, or mechanisms, and hence no proposals to put ITU in control of the Internet!” said Malcolm Johnson, ITU’s telecommunication standardization bureau director, in a written statement.

Despite those reassurances, key experts remain concerned.

The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) is one of just five groups that assign numbers to Internet names, a key part of making the web tick. Cathy Handley, executive director of government affairs at ARIN and a conference attendee, said the meeting is meant to exert some sort of controls.

“Some of the proposals that could clearly have consequences address the high cost of mobile roaming, taxation of calls, issues associated with the routing of calls, cybersecurity and combating spam,” Handley told FoxNews.com. “A major concern is with any attempt to make the International Telecommunication Regulations prescriptive and force regulation.”

Indeed, the same statement in which Johnson urges calm mentions a possible vote for more regulation.

Josh King, an attorney with legal advice site Avvo.com, said the ITU will make stronger proposals at a 2015 conference in Dubai. For now, the goal is to restructure so the telecommunication companies in each country have more control over what is on the Internet.

“The open, multi-stakeholder approach that has led to the massive growth of the Internet over the last 15 years [would] be replaced with a system of top-down, international regulation,” he told FoxNews.com.

Michael Embrich, a spokesperson for Internet advocacy group TestPAC, defines that goal as a way to level the playing field on the Internet and give developing countries a fair shot. Smaller countries want more regulations to help them compete with the U.S, he said.

At the conference, the ITC will even propose regulations that go offline, further than the Web.

Emrich said one proposal, to be funded by $53B in U.S. dollars, is to connect North and South America using a massive telecom pipeline. Another rule would cover cell phone batteries.

“They would like to implement a law that would require all makers of rechargeable batteries to make them 30 percent smaller and more efficient. They claim to have a study that says they can do this though proper regulations and requirements,” Embrich said.

Handley told FoxNews.com that it is likely some of the proposals at WCIT will be enacted over the next five years. What were formerly considered rough guidelines will become more precise governances, she said.

“The impact will be determined by the proposals that are adopted,” Handley said. “[Previous regulations have been viewed as] high-level principles, which means that countries have been able to implement them as they have seen needed.”

“While the worst-case scenario isn’t likely, there’s a decent chance that some of these regulations will go into effect,” King agreed.

Even if the ITU adds new rules, it won’t be able to enforce Internet governance on a global stage, Emrich said. Iran now has a closed Internet, and the only recourse the ITU has is to impose sanctions, for example.

“India has also recently imposed harsh censorship on their Internet users that go against the recommendation of practices of the WCIT,” he told FoxNews.com. “The WCIT has shown no evidence that they will try to stop it.”

Vivek Mohan, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and a former Microsoft attorney, says the talks should be taken seriously, even if there might not be any short-term impact.

“This is a fight for life for the ITU. If they don’t assert authority and jurisdiction, they will become irrelevant,” he told FoxNews.com.
http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/11/01/one-month-until-regulate-internet/#ixzz2B1POG6RJ

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3 Responses to One month until they regulate the Internet

  1. Smilardog says:

    I have never done FaceTrace and I quit MySpace years ago. I don’t Twitter or Flutter either, and this is the only site I comment on. I am to full of opinions that go against the grain of the sheepherders. I don’t know why all of a sudden I am voicing here, I usually just Truth news hound and send to all friend and anyone that gives me their email by accident. hehe Maybe, it is just that I connect on so many different levels with Henry’s message and I just want to a part of what is true and right. There has always been something about me when it comes to big and powerful people (in their minds), who try to get over on the unknowing and weak. In my mind, I can take them, and if it is a just cause I always do. Wow, I haven’t even read the article yet. Only the first sentence which said… Enjoy Facebook while you can. lol Sorry for the rant

  2. TranceAm says:

    Who in their right mind would want to propose new regulations and restrictions for the Internet, which critics say will censor free speech.

    This is not for the net.. This is for the thoughts YOU can read.
    You don’t have to be safe from thoughts that make you think.

    But government and certain groups want to make sure that they are safe from any critical thoughts about them or their actions.
    Sorry, Monsters are Monsters, Beasts are Beasts In Daylight and the dark of the night.

    The Internet is a box of Pandora, to share thoughts. Ideas and information.
    Where one voluntary can agree with thoughts, or reject them at will according to your personal flavor, and hopefully not according to your indoctrinated bias.

    No one, and NOTHING will get the power from humanity to put our minds back in government regulated boxes/prisons.

    In no time, and as always in history, when freedom is in danger, people will stand up to defend it, or to make it possible. And no dictator on Earth has ever had the power to dictate what people can and can not think about. This will not change with a ‘democratical’ chosen elite of dictators. That can rule as long as their atrocities stay hidden from public outrage by controlling what information can reach said public.

  3. NC says:

    “For now, the goal is to restructure so the telecommunication companies in each country have more control over what is on the Internet.”

    Yea because in order to control something, they know they have to start at the local level before going to the global level. So if the countries aren’t all on the ball, then globally their control will not work for their NWO.

    “The open, multi-stakeholder approach that has led to the massive growth of the Internet over the last 15 years [would] be replaced with a system of top-down, international regulation,” he told FoxNews.com.”

    Oh goodie. Just what we need. MORE CENTRALIZATION OF EVERYTHING!!! Sorry but the Internet does NOT need international regulation. We are all different, NOT the same. Different cultures represent different views of what is good and what is bad and regulations will not hold. Sorry but your NWO will not work on the Internet.

    ““This is a fight for life for the ITU. If they don’t assert authority and jurisdiction, they will become irrelevant,” he told FoxNews.com.”

    SO LET THE ITU DIE and become “irrelevant”. NO ONE WANTS IT OR NEEDS IT!!! Get with the program, pal! Stop reporting what your corporate masters tell you to say, scumbag.

    The people all over the world never asked for it and don’t want it, so stop shoving it down our throats because you want it. Sick sons of bitches.

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