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Report: U.S. Threatens To Walk Out Of U.N. Internet Conference
Carl Franzen – | 5
Updated 12:22 p.m. EST, Monday, December 10
The U.S. delegation to a U.N. telecommunications conference taking place in Dubai this week, that seeks to answer the question of whether international governments should be given more regulatory power over the Internet, has threatened to walk out due to hit an "impasse," U.K.'s The Telegraph reported Monday. According to the The Telegraph, the conflict centers around proposals to expand Internet regulation backed by Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others, which have bogged down talks at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12), which began December 3 and runs through Friday.
The coalition of nations behind the 22-page proposal, which also includes Russia, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Sudan, wants the updated treaty to explicitly give "governments, the private sector and civil society" a role in internet regulation.
It would also give all 193 countries attending the meeting an equal role overseeing the Domain Name System, which ensures web addresses function properly. It is currently administered by ICANN, a body under contract to the US government.
The US and its allies objected to the introduction of complex new material midway through the conference.
A leading member of the U.S. delegation, ambassador Terry Kramer, explained some of America's concerns in a video interview posted Sunday on YouTube by the agency leading the conference, the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union (ITU):
Late update: Kramer released a statement Monday to Broadcasting & Cable stating that the reports the U.S. was threatening to walk-out or withdraw from the WCIT-12 conference are "inaccurate and unhelpful." Thanks to Mike Sullivan for the link.