In what has been a rarity during an election year, bi-partisan government officials have warned that a December summit by the World Conference on International Telecommunications is hearing proposals by China, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia to try to take control of the internet.
The summit will review a set of telecommunications regulations established in 1988 and will propose the U.N. establish an new “information security” regime or create an alternative to ICANN. “These are terrible ideas,” Rep. Fred Upton said in a house hearing. This opens up the doors for countries with a weak appreciation of free speech and civil liberties like Russia and China to further oppress their citizens.
This proposal has the ability to drastically effect the way we all use the internet unless the United States can effectively block it. If the US cant block it, they “just might break the Internet by subjecting it to an international regulatory regime designed for old-fashioned telephone service,” Rep. Greg Walden(R) from Oregon said.
The ball in in the United States court being as they are one of the 5 permanent members of the UN Security council and have veto rights over any measure that goes through the system. They will however rely on some of their allies to keep the internet free from this, with Japan, Canada, Mexico, and many European countries on their side.