The fight to keep a state-free internet

The first gathering of world governments to debate the future of the internet has ended in dramatic discord, with 55 member states of a UN body refusing to sign a global treaty on international telecommunications. The collapse of the talks marks just the first battle in what will be an enduring global contest to define the governance and control of the internet in the 21st century.The World Conference on International Telecommunications, which concluded last week in Dubai, had a mandate to modernise a series of regulations drafted in the pre-internet era of 1988. While updating the rules surrounding global telephony proved straightforward, the relentless effort by some nations to put the internet at the centre of the agenda proved to be the catalyst for several countries and regions – ranging from the US and EU to Kenya, Costa Rica, Japan and Latvia – to not sign the treaty. see:Internet regulation seen at national level as treaty talks fail
The world’s major Internet companies, backed by U.S. policymakers, got much of what they wanted last week when many nations refused to sign a global telecommunications treaty that opponents feared could lead to greater government control over online content and communications.In rejecting even mild Internet language in the updated International Telecommunications Union treaty and persuading dozens of other countries to refuse their signatures, the U.S. made a powerful statement in support of the open Internet, U.S. officials and industry leaders said.

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