Russia-led plan to transfer internet governance to UN agency scrapped, Reuters reports

WCIT conference

A group of countries looking to transfer control of central internet resources to the UN's International Telecommunication Union have scrapped their plan, Reuters reports. The proposal, led by Russia and supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and others, would have suggested that UN member states take control of internet naming and numbering resources, which are currently managed by ICANN. Another suggestion would have enshrined the right to block pages or services — something that is already in the ITU's constitution — in its telecommunications rules. An ITU spokesperson has reportedly confirmed that these have both been withdrawn, though the UAE disputes this.

Even with this development, delegates from the US and Western Europe worry that this will not be the end of discussion. "These issues will continue to be on the table for discussion in other forms during the remainder of the conference," said US ambassador Terry Kramer. An anonymous delegate also warned that "There are a lot of other [similar] proposals so I don't think this represents a substantial conclusion and could be just maneuvering." Talks to revise the ITU's 1988 regulations began December 4th and will continue until the 14th; the debates so far cover in what capacity the resulting ITU treaty will deal with internet regulation.

The Verge
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