United Nations UN meeting in Dubai to regulate internet December 2012

UN (United Nations) will be meeting in December 2012 in Dubai to make a decision that carries significant consequences for web users. The question however is “Should UN be granted this authority?”

Internet as it is is controlled and regulated by plethora of agencies around the world, majority of these are based in the US. These organisations keep the “wheel-spinning.” A panel set up to evaluate this has suggested that changes to to the current set up will risk the entire structure of the internet.

“A top-down, centralized, international regulatory overlay is antithetical to the architecture of the Net, which is a global network of networks without borders,” wrote FCC Commissioner and panel member Robert McDowell in the Wall Street Journal. “No government, let alone an intergovernmental body, can make engineering and economic decisions in lightning-fast Internet time.”

While countries such as Russia and China are in favour of the plan to let UN regulate the internet. This is because organisation currently vested with the responsibility ICANN or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers are very closely assiciated with the US and Russia, China see this as RISK. Moving the regulatory body to UN would democratise the control, they argue.

Internet privacy experts however argue that giving more say to countries like Chine who are censorship-heavy, would have disastrous effects.

“Maybe it bothers you that the U.S. controls these major keys to the Internet, but I think it’s a good thing,” wrote Larry Seltzer for Byte. “Without control of these critical facilities, no international group of dictators can really exert much control outside of their own boundaries.”

Included in the panel will be Ambassador Philip Verveer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy; FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell; Ambassador David A. Gross, Former U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy; Sally Shipman Wentworth, Senior Manager of Public Policy at the Internet Society and Vinton Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google.

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