Larry Downes of Forbes reports that the UN is trying to claim some authority over the internet. He writes, “Yet another anachronistic regulator is trying to flex its muscles over the Internet.  But this time the U.S. government is actually the one trying to stop them. That’s right.  It’s the United Nations.  Specifically, the International Telecommunications Union, a 150 year-old bureaucracy that started life establishing telegraph standards.  The ITU has since mutated into coordinating international telephone interconnection and radio spectrum, and became part of the U.N. in 1947.  But it has never had a meaningful role in dealing with the Internet. At least until now.”

He continues, “That could change dramatically later this year, when 193 member nations and hundreds of non-voting private members will meet in Dubai for the World Conference on International Telecommunications, or WCIT.  The goal of the WCIT is to finalize changes to the International Telecommunications Regulations, an international treaty on communications. The last major revisions to the ITRs were ratified in 1988, long before the rise of the commercial Internet.  But with months to go before proposed changes to the ITR are closed, member nations and private members of the ITU have already begun lobbying for a vast expansion of Internet powers, including new network taxes, mandatory censorship technologies disguised as security measures, and efforts to undermine the Internet’s longstanding engineering-based governance processes.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy UN