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Itu: Internet Policy Still on Agenda

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ITU secretary-general Hamadoun Toure

ITU secretary-general Hamadoun Toure says that some parties tried to derail December's World Conference on International Telecommunications by opening for discussion the issue of Internet control.

Credit: M. Zouhri/ITU

Intergovernmental organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union play a major role in Internet control and regulation, says ITU secretary-general General Hamadoun Toure, amid objections that have some calling for the United States to stop its ITU funding.

The ITU in December hosted the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, which led to a final treaty, effective in 2015, with a non-binding proposal saying all governments should contribute equally to Internet governance, security, and future development. Although 89 countries representing most of the world's population signed the WCIT treaty, the United States, the United Kingdom, and several other countries refused to sign it, citing concern over Internet governance and content provisions, such as rules on spam and security that might facilitate Web censorship.

"It was disappointing in Dubai to see attempts to derail the conference by those who were persuaded that Internet control was an issue for discussion, when it was not," Toure says.

The United States and its allies say the ITU should not play a role in regulating the Internet and should stick to telecommunications policy. Internet policy and governance issues will again play out at the World Telecommunication/Information and Communication Technology Policy Forum in May.

From IDG News Service
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