Bitter struggle over Internet regulation to dominate global summit

An unprecedented debate over how the global Internet is governed is set to dominate a meeting of officials in Dubai next week, with many countries pushing to give a United Nations body broad regulatory powers even as the United States and others contend such a move could mean the end of the open Internet.The 12-day conference of the International Telecommunications Union, a 157-year-old organization that’s now an arm of the United Nations, largely pits revenue-seeking developing countries and authoritarian regimes that want more control over Internet content against U.S. policymakers and private Net companies that prefer the status quo. see:U.N. Internet Conference Stirs Tech Giants Google, Facebook And Amazon Into Action [AP]
An upcoming U.N. gathering about Internet oversight is raising alarms from a broad coalition of critics, including the U.S., tech giants such as Google and rights groups, concerned that changes could lead to greater efforts to censor Web content and stifle innovation in cyberspace.Among the issues on the agenda at next month’s meeting in Dubai are ideas to battle Internet spam and fraud. But also tucked into more than 1,300 proposals are potential hot-button items that opponents believe could be used by in places such as Iran and China to justify their crackdowns on bloggers and other Web restrictions. Parliament speaks out against centralised internet control
It would be inappropriate for a single centralised international institution to be given regulatory authority over internet governance or traffic, the European Parliament has said.The Parliament has published a resolution stating its opposition to proposed extension of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) to include the internet. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency which oversees the ITRs, is meeting in Dubai next week to re-negotiate the rules as part of a World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT). The ITRs currently govern international telephone, television and radio networks.

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