Why does one frequently get the feeling that a free and open World Wide Web is doomed to become a figment of the past? At the UN, national governments are discussing ways to suppress “challenges such as WikiLeaks.” Via The Huffington Post:
Together with word this week that the Federal Communications Commission will be voting on net neutrality rules comes news that the United Nations is mulling new efforts that could shape Internet regulation.
“At a meeting in New York on Wednesday, representatives from Brazil called for an international body made up of Government representatives that would attempt to create global standards for policing the internet – specifically in reaction to challenges such as WikiLeaks,” wrote IT News.
The UN has announced that a “Working Group on Internet Governance,” made up solely of member states (governments), will consider changes to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a “forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue on public policy related to Internet governance issues, such as the Internet’s sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development.”
The government-only makeup of the working group has attracted criticism from groups including Google, the International Chamber of Commerce, and The Internet Society.
“Father of the Internet” Vint Cerf, now Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist, denounced the UN’s working group in a blog post titled “Governments Shouldn’t Have a Monopoly on Internet Governance.”
“Today, I have signed that petition on Google’s behalf because we don’t believe governments should be allowed to grant themselves a monopoly on Internet governance. The current bottoms-up, open approach works–protecting users from vested interests and enabling rapid innovation. Let’s fight to keep it that way,” Cerf wrote.
There were those at the UN who also expressed doubts that this was the best approach to taking on improvements to Internet governance.