Originally published: April 26, 2012
Last updated: April 26, 2012 - 7:47pm
[Commentary] Mayan prophecy predicts that the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012, but Internet users should be more worried about what will happen just a few weeks before. The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) meets in Dubai Dec. 3-14 to consider proposals that would grant authority for Internet governance to the United Nations and impose new regulations on Web traffic.
If adopted, these proposals could upend the Web as we know it, undermining it as an engine for growth and dynamism for the world. Since 1988, the Internet has been governed by private bodies. ICANN, which manages domain names under the rather benevolent oversight of the U.S., is fully devoted to multiple-stakeholder participation. Government representatives only sit on an "advisory committee," while business and civil society shape the rules. However, recent events (such as the controversial creation of a dedicated .xxx domain for adult content and Icann's plan to expand top-level domains) have created concerns among national governments—even those, such as the U.S. and the European Union, that remain fully committed to protecting the multiple-stakeholder model.
- The Gathering Storm: WCIT and the Global Regulation of the Internet
- Vint Cerf: The Internet doesn't need the ITU's help
- WCIT Ambassador Kramer: Progress, But Still Work to Do
- The United Nations and the Internet: It's Complicated
- United Behind the Free Flow of Information
- ITU seeks public input on the future of Internet regulation
- Fast Facts on United States Submitting Initial Proposals to World Telecom Conference
- Sorting out the past 36 hours at the WCIT
- Moving Beyond WCIT: The Necessity of the Multistakeholder Model
- What is the ITU? The Struggle for Internet Governance
- A digital cold war?
- Dubai Internet conference threatens our wide Web world
- The Internet at a Global Crossroads: Preserving Internet Freedom and Openness
- ITU Adopts Resolution Inviting Members to Keep Hands off Internet
- FCC’s Genachowski, Sen Rubio on Same Page About Expanding ITU Authority Over Internet