Washington Opposes United Nations Regulation of Internet
Washington, August 4 (RHC)-- The Barack Obama administration has confirmed it will oppose any proposal to hand regulatory control of the Internet to the United Nations.
Proposals have circulated to bring the Internet under UN auspices at a conference of the International Telecommunications Union, the ITU, in Dubai later this year. There has been speculation that other nations will push for a change at the conference, but they cannot force the U.S. to comply.
At present, several non-profit U.S. agencies oversee the net's technical specifications and domain name system. They operate at arms-length from the U.S. government but officially under the control of its Department of Commerce. In a new position paper, the United States said it would reject UN authority and continue with its current system of oversight by the Department of Commerce.
The ITU is hosting a conference in December in Dubai to which representatives from 178 nations have been invited to review the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR). The ITR is a 1988 treaty which set out rules for how traffic should flow between different telecom networks, and how to calculate charges for traffic exchanged between carriers in different countries.
The rise of the Internet and mobile devices has led to calls for it to be revised, but countries are expected to disagree over the changes needed. But the ITU has made it clear that any changes to the treaty must have unanimous support, and says it would block members trying to put any matter to a vote.