The United States, Britain and Canada have refused to sign a new global telecommunications treaty, warning it would provide a mandate for governmental regulation of the Internet, potentially ending 11 days of fractious talks in Dubai.
In pre-written statements, the three countries informed a summit of the International Telecommunications Union of their decision, with Denmark, the Netherlands, and Kenya making similar announcements…
“It’s with a heavy heart and a sense of missed opportunities that the U.S. must communicate that it’s not able to sign the agreement in the current form,” said Terry Kramer, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. body.
“The Internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefit during these past 24 years. All without U.N. regulation.”
The United States and its allies have fought to ensure the new treaty, which is being revised for the first time since 1988, only applies to traditional telecommunications.
A large bloc of countries led by Russia supports adding language to the treaty that could open the door to more regulation of cyberspace on issues from spam, security and the assignment of addresses to web pages.
Expected – and given the history of how the Web has grown – probably correct for all the right reasons.