Dec 13, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerped from Hillicon Valley: The United States said Thursday that it will not ratify a United Nations telecommunications treaty after raising concerns that it would disrupt the current governance structure of the Internet and open the door for online censorship.
The U.K. and Canada also said they would not ratify the treaty after negotiations ended at a conference hosted by the U.N. International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Dubai.
Technology trade groups representing Google, Facebook and Microsoft had sounded the alarm over a treaty resolution that would let the ITU play a more active role in future Internet policy discussions.
The resolution was being considered at the treaty conference, where the U.S. delegation has battled against efforts to include Internet-related provisions in the treaty.
TechNet, TechAmerica, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and The Internet Association argued that the ITU should be excluded from decisions regarding the governance of the Internet. They urged countries to block the resolution from being included in final text of the U.N. treaty.
The U.S. delegation, led by Ambassador Terry Kramer, has spent the past two weeks fighting against provisions that would expand the scope of the treaty to the Internet. White House officials this week warned that the U.S. would not support the treaty if it included new Internet regulations, arguing that it could “legitimize more state control over online content.”