What is the ITU? What does it mean for the future of the Internet?Submitted by legalizeliberty on Mon, 11/26/2012 - 20:46
We love the internet.
And we’re guessing you do too. Think about all the awesome things it gives us: A vast communication network; innovative businesses; a platform to freely speak or challenge powerful governments; and hundreds and hundreds of hours of cat videos.
All this great stuff is available because the internet was designed in an open and inclusive way, with a multitude of voices being able to get a say on how it’s governed.
But the internet is in danger.
There’s a meeting between the world’s governments in a just a few weeks, and it could very well decide the future of the internet through a binding international treaty. It’s called the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), and it’s being organized by a government-controlled UN agency called the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
If some proposals at WCIT are approved, decisions about the internet would be made by a top-down, old-school government-centric agency behind closed doors. Some proposals allow for access to be cut off more easily, threaten privacy, legitimize monitoring and blocking online traffic. Others seek to impose new fees for accessing content, not to mention slowing down connection speeds.