United States says no to U.N. telecommunications treaty

Dec 13, 2012
United States says no to U.N. telecommunications treaty

Today, nations gathered in Dubai to vote on the UN's telecommunications treaty, which many fear threatens the very foundations of the Internet. The United States rejected the agreement, stating that it will not sign unless "major revisions" were implemented. Many nations say that the UN treaty would result in a restrictive, censored Internet.

Many hold the stance that the telecommunications treaty should not encompass the Internet, which would suffer under the new regulations and fall heavily under government control. The United States isn't the only nation to take this stance, being joined by Canada and various European nations. On the other hand, Russia, China, the UAE, and several other nations are all in favor of changes.

On Wednesday, an Internet resolution from Russia and the UAE, among others, was won by a majority vote. As such, the resolution would cause the Internet to fall under the telecommunications union framework. This comes after Russia and its supporters attempted to have a clause resembling the resolution added to the treaty. Ultimately, the nations withdrew that in favor of something less extreme, but the change was not significant enough to earn the US's support.

The head of the American delegation in Dubai Terry Kramer made this statement. "It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that the United States must communicate that it is unable to sign the agreement in its current form ... We cannot support a treaty that is not supportive of the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance."

[via New York Times]

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