Reuters: ITU: Russia Backed By China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan and the UAE Wants To Take Control Away From ICANN

Reuters, is reporting that Russian is backing a proposal with the support of China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates at the ITU is calling for sweeping new  powers to regulate cyberspace.

The United States, Europe and other allies including Australia and Japan insist the treaty should continue to apply only to traditional telecommunications such as international wireline and wireless calls.

A leaked draft of the Russia-led proposals would give countries “equal rights to manage the Internet including in regard to the allotment, assignment and reclamation of Internet numbering.”

“This could allow governments to render websites within their borders inaccessible, even via proxy servers or other countries. It also could allow for multinational pacts in which countries could terminate access to websites at each others’ request.”

“Such moves would undermine ICANN, a self-governing nonprofit organization under contract to the U.S. Department of Commerce, which is ultimately responsible for making sure that people trying to reach a given website actually get there.”

Rod Beckstrom is quoted as saying:

“The reason some countries want to create national control over addresses is so they can have another point of control”

“Decentralizing the process could prove chaotic if many countries demand that companies use only their national system”

“Beyond web locations and addresses, the Russia-led coalition document says ITU member states should be able to control other elements of the Internet’s infrastructure within their borders, as Russia has sought for months.”

“The revision would give nations the explicit right to “implement policy” on net governance and “regulate the national Internet segment,” the draft says.”

“The ITU usually agrees decisions by consensus, but the intransigence of both sides means it could come down to a vote, which may leave the United States and its allies in the minority”.

“The U.S. is not considering walking out of the conference and is still participating as normal,” a U.S. spokesman said in an emailed statement, denying an earlier report that the United States could quit the summit, which ends on Friday.

Earlier this week, The ITU rejected a proposal by the US and Canada to protect the Internet from new international regulation failed to win prompt backing from other countries.


  1. says

    This isn’t going to happen. The whole purpose of the ITU is interoperability, not creating such governance policy. This is a big stretch for them and their governance history of creating such policies. We spent 6 years at the ITU, representing the US Government, breaking down the telephony monopolies of the world. Each country had its own monopoly and controlled all calls in and out of their respective countries. We basically deregulated their monopolies when we created internet telephony and VOIP and by-passed their monopolistic control. We opened up the whole world to free and low cost telecommunications. Funny thing about that. You don’t have wars with people you are making money with. When it would cost an average of $6.45 a minutes to make an average international phone call, it inhibited free trade. By busting the monopolies, people were able to call for free or close to free. This stimulated free trade and fostered world peace. Do you think China is over there planning to bomb us any time soon? I think not. We owe them too much money. This type of international trade is all due to the advent of the internet and VOIP and the delegation of the PSTN’s of the world. The Public Switched Telephony Networks. The heck with the ITU, let them try and enforce any of this nonsense. Mark my words, IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. The Telecom Minister of China threaten my life on the floor of the ITU in 1996 for breaking their monopoly by re-rountining all their inbound international traffic through my switch in the USA at much cheaper rates. (True, documented story) In then end, we won and the Chinese put a switch in the USA and did the same thing for their outbound traffic to the rest of the world.
    The ITU is all bark and no bite. They are not set up to deal with controversial political policies. They run from that like the plague. No enforcement devision for one and if the USA pulled out, the ITU would collapse financially in less than a year. The USA basically not only is the largest dues paying member, many of these countries mentioned haven’t paid their dues in over 20 years. The ITU exists by the grace and support of the US State Department. I could go on and on. Let it suffice to say, IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Might is no longer right. Only right is right. This is 2012 folks. This control stuff ended with the inception of the internet. We are not going backwards. Get out of the way. The world is our family and there is no way such decentralization will ever get supported. It is pathetic. They are dreaming. It is like an old man that can’t see, trying to hold on to his driver license.

  2. says

    Please forgive the typos. It was late when I wrote this and no time to proof read. :)
    Hey Mike, you should join the ICANN board and shape these guys up over at the ITU.
    Plus you get to hang out in Geneva.
    Could be worse places to work.

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