Several members of the United Nations pushed hard for more regulation over the internet this week but the United States refused to sign on the dotted line. The new rules and regulations were proposed as part of the United Nations’ Internet Telecommunication Union (ITU) proposal.
The new communications proposal was heavily supported by authoritarian-leaning states such as Russia and China, two regions that already heavily monitor and restrict internet traffic at their own leisure.
The Internet Telecommunication Union is not the most well organized U.N. group. In fact before heading into discussions the group held a non-binding informational “who will accept this resolution” meeting to see if enough support could be drummed up to pass the legislation.
Many analysts and politicians warned that the regulation, which matches closely to earlier telephone communications was too far over-reaching and could lend itself to a slow down in internet use and commerce.
In refusing to sign the ITU proposal U.S. ambassador Terry Kramer responded:
“It’s with a heavy heart and a sense of missed opportunities that the US must communicate that it’s not able to sign the agreement in the current form. The internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefit during these past 24 years.”
The bill ultimately failed but a 77 to 33 pushed through a new treat that could ultimately allow individual states or the ITU to regulate Internet activity. The treat was reject by the United States, UK, and Canada.
Even if the bill had been passed the ITU in its current state has no enforcement powers and therefore could not regulate the internet in any legal manner.
Much like PIPA, SOPA and internet regulation that came before it, the ITU was faced with harsh and powerful critics include search giant Google which lobbied against further regulation of the internet by the ITU.
It didn’t bode well for the ITU that several co-founders of the internet spoke out very publicly against the UN’s request regulations.
[Image via PCWorld]