ITU won’t control the internet

Park dino

Today is a good day for the internet.


“Failure to sign agreement at ITU conference stops governments having greater powers to control phone calls and data”, is the Guardian’s headline, announcing that the ITU summit failed to move more control over the internet to a global government body that would have bypassed a lot of the multi-stakeholder input and checks we currently have. The efforts to claim control were headed by Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates, all states with comparatively tight control over the internet, each in their own way.

Just some impressions as described in the Guardian article:

“The internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefit during these past 24 years. All without UN regulation. We candidly cannot support an ITU Treaty that is inconsistent with the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance.”

— Terry Kramer, head of the US delegation

[Head of consulting firm dot-nxt] McCarthy, who has published ITU planning documents that would otherwise have been kept out of sight on dot-nxt’s website, criticised the conduct of the meeting: “attendees were stunned to find a conference style and approach stuck in the 1970s,” he said. “(…) meetings ran until the early hours of the morning, and “consensus by exhaustion” was the only fall-back position.”

It was a close thing. But there we go. Phew. Thanks to all the initiatives that sprung up in public as well as in the backchannels to drag this thing into light, and make sure it didn’t go through as initially planned.

Full article over at The Guardian.