Democratic and Republican government officials warned this morning that a United Nations summit in December will lead to a virtual takeover of the Internet if proposals from China, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are adopted.
“These are terrible ideas,” Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, said during a U.S. House of Representatives hearing. They could allow “governments to monitor and restrict content or impose economic costs upon international data flows,” added Ambassador Philip Verveer, a deputy assistant secretary of state.
Called the World Conference on International Telecommunications, or WCIT, the summit will review a set of telecommunications regulations established in 1988, when home computers used dial-up modems, the Internet was primarily a university network, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was a mere 4 years old.
Unless the U.S. and its allies can block these proposals, they “just might break the Internet by subjecting it to an international regulatory regime designed for old-fashioned telephone service,” Rep. Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican said.
Unless we stop this, we just have to bend over and take it from other countries.