WCIT hits the fan over Internet regulation

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WCIT 12 opening session Hamadoun ToureFierceCable sister publication FierceTelecom is tracking some developing controversy at the ongoing World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT). The United Arab Emirates, backed by other countries, including Russia, has submitted a proposal that would give governments a "sovereign righ to establish and implement public policy, including international policy, on matters of Internet governance."

Other sticky points are ongoing arguments to erode ICANN and IANA's control of IP addressing and numbering resources, and to broaden the definition for International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) to apply to the blanket term "operating agencies." That potentially could extend international regulatory oversight from telecom carriers like AT&T to almost any kind of Internet company. Countries such as the United States and Canada fear that broadening the definition of ITR-governed organizations could result in governments in some countries having a greater ability to censor and control Internet content and activities. They don't even want the WCIT to be talking about Internet regulatory issues at all. Read more...

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