Vint Cerf, one of the co-creators of the TCP/IP networking protocol that serves as the foundation of the internet is speaking out against regulation of the world wide web he helped create.
Cerf, now the Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, Inc. wrote a blog post this week in which he urged people to protest the International Telecommunication Union’s plan to amend the International Telecommunications Regulations treaty so it go after the internet. According to Cerf the United Nations is simply attempt to apply old telecom regulations to the internet.
The ITU is a sub-section of the United Nations. Later in the week the ITU will meet to decide if the old telecom regulations should be applied to the internet. Cerf and many of his allies believe the old telecom rules will hurt freedom of speech and expression on the web.
“Several authoritarian regimes reportedly propose to ban anonymity from the web, making it easier to find and arrest dissidents. Others have proposed moving the responsibilities of the private sector system that manages domain names and internet addresses to the United Nations. Yet other proposals would require any internet content provider, small or large, to pay new tolls in order to reach people across borders.”
To combat the possible regulation of the internet to the point of a choke hold Cerf has created Google’s “Take Action” page to support “a free and open Internet.”
It will be interesting to see how many people rally behind Cerf’s assertions over the coming days. Internet evangelists have already proven their efficacy, having defeated both SOPA and PIPA thanks to a public campaign that educated general internet users while enraging internet protesters.
[image via TheAustralian]