Who Should Govern the Internet? A Future Tense Event Recap.

You may have heard that at a summit next week, the International Telecommunications Union, a U.N. agency, will attempt to wrest control of the Internet. At a Future Tense event on Internet governance this morning, held at the New America Foundation in Washington, the rumor was soundly spanked by a host of experts. In reality, they said, the upcoming World Conference on International Communications in Dubai will likely just lead to … more conversation.But maybe there’s a silver lining to all of this bipartisan fear-mongering (or, as Open Technology Institute Director Sascha Meinrath termed it, “the uber-geek [equivalent of] Red Dawn”): “Suddenly everybody’s interested in global governance of the Internet,” said Syracuse University professor Milton Mueller. “If it was necessary to lie to people and tell them the ITU was going to take over the Internet, maybe it’s a good thing.” Indeed, Temple University law professor David Post, author of the amazingly titled book In Search of Jefferson’s Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace, observed that right now, it feels a bit like six months before the SOPA protests blew up: We are on the verge of Internet governance issues crossing over into mainstream discussion.

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