“These proposals show that many ITU member states want to use international agreements to regulate the Internet by crowding out bottom-up institutions, imposing charges for international communication, and controlling the content that consumers can access online.”
~Eli Dourado, a research fellow at the George Mason University Mercatus Center
There is a concerted global effort among various countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia and others to change the internet permanently. This is a constant struggle. In the U.S. – legislators have tried to pass laws that would give governments the power to control speech on the internet and to give companies immunity from sharing personal information. Privacy and freedom of speech are at the heart of this struggle, but I am heartened to see that at least the U.S. “leaked position” (which is not necessarily the same thing as it’s actual position) is one for internet freedom at the moment.
You can find the leaked document “Temporary Document 62″ HERE.
IdeaLab at Talking Points Memo has the story HERE:
As Dourado points out, Russia has proposed a new update that would treat the Internet like the international telephone system, “metered along national boundaries and billed to the originator of the traffic,” potentially meaning that highly-trafficked websites like Google and Facebook could be taxed by countries overseas.
Perhaps even more directly concerning for web users is a proposal supported by Russia, Rwanda, Egypt and Algeria to add a definition for “spam,” to the agreements that would allow governments to begin deeming certain content as such and requiring its removal.
But as the document notes, “The United States does not agree…to add an issue like spam would also change the technological neutrality of the treaty.”
Another proposal floated by Russia, Algeria and “the Arab States,” would add “security” to the main reason for the existence of the agreements in the first place. Again, “the United States does not support this proposal.”
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