U.S. And Allies Refuse To Sign Internet Treaty, ITU Conference Likely A Bust

IT Management

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We brought you word that the ITU talks in Dubai had become noticeably more worrisome in its two final days. The convention of delegates held a "non-vote vote" on whether or not the ITU would have any control over the Internet. It passed thanks to the support of less than reputable nations, but now the U.S. and its allies have fired back with an even more powerful move - flat out rejection.

CNET reports that delegates from the U.S. and its allies have flat out refused to sign the new ITU treaty after it was proposed on the floor in the evening in Dubai. The rejection was made on the argument that the proposed treaty would take away the sovereignty of the Internet by handing over the keys to the U.N.

Overall, the treaty was rejected by the U.S., Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic. These nations may be in the minority compared to those in favor of the newly revised treaty, but these nations, especially the US and the UK, hold far more sway. Their rejection, as CNET puts it, has basically caused the summit to "implode" upon itself.

According to the report, the first signs of collapse came after the US submitted a proposal to the Internet treaty that would make all signatories respect "human rights obligations." Countries such as China, Algeria and Cuba opposed the language. From there, it spiraled out of control until the U.S. and others effectively abandoned the treaty altogether.

So where does this leave us now? The ITU conference ends tomorrow. If there's no deal struck by then, there will be no deal at all. The rejection today makes it seem likely that no Internet regulations will come out of the meeting. That being said, we just don't know. The past few days have proven to be the most tumultuous moments of the conference so far. The delegates have one more day to introduce some more insanity into the proceedings.