Greater internet oversight called for

2012-12-13 18:57
(AFP)

(AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Dubai - A UN conference weighing possible internet rules shifted into high-stakes showdowns on Thursday after advancing a proposal for greater government oversight. The proposal was a blow to US-led efforts to keep new regulations from touching the net.

The move frames the ideological divide at the 193-nation gathering in Dubai, which is scheduled to wrap up on Friday with its first revisions of global telecom rules since 1988 - years before the dawn of the internet age.

A Western bloc led by a powerhouse US delegation seeks to block any UN rules on cyberspace, fearing they could squeeze web commerce and open the door for more restrictions and monitoring by authoritarian regimes.

A rival group - including China, Russia, Gulf Arab states and others - favours UN backing for stronger sway by governments over all levels of internet affairs.

They appeared to win a critical preliminary battle early on Thursday when the meeting's chair declared consensus on a proposal for a more "active" government role in internet dealings. There was no formal vote, but Mohammed Nasser al-Ghanim said he based his decision on "the temperature of the room" following marathon negotiations.

That brought an immediate backlash from the US and its backers, which questioned the procedure and vowed to keep any new internet rules from the final treaty by the UN's International Telecommunications Union, or ITU.

The group - formed in the 1860s when the telegraph ushered in instant communications - has no powers to instantly change how the internet operates. It also cannot compel reforms by states that already widely censor cyberspace.

But the US-led coalition at the talks argues that any UN codes sanctioning greater government roles in the net - even under the framework of state security - could be used as justification for even more controls from web watchers in places such China, Iran and other nations.

The host United Arab Emirates announced stricter internet laws last month that outlaw postings such as insulting rulers or calling for protests.

Heavy hand

Nations favouring a heavier government hand are likely emboldened by getting their resolution adopted. However, it still needs to clear at least two more hurdles before it can be considered for the final document and will face strong opposition from the US and others.

"It's not a crime to talk about internet inside the ITU," said the group's secretary general, Hamadoun Toure, suggesting high-level support to keep debate going on internet issues.

In response, the head of the US delegation, Ambassador Terry Kramer, said: "We do not believe the focus of this conference should be on the internet and we did not come to this conference in anticipation of a discussion on the internet."

A statement from the Internet Society, an international group promoting openness in cyberspace, called the advancement of the proposal "clearly a disappointing development".

The US team in Dubai also includes heavy hitters from the tech world such as Microsoft and Google, which also have stood up against proposals by European telecoms companies to charge internet content providers for access to domestic markets around the world.

Other issues on the table include calls for more transparency on roaming charges by mobile phone companies, efforts to fight internet fraud and spam and creation of a worldwide emergency number for mobile phones and other devices.

- AP
Read more on:    itu  |  us  |  internet
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!

Soon sending an LOL! or facepalm will be so much more fun!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Puppy goes crazy over iPad game
Printable solar panels will bring exciting new opportunities!
Now there’s a special lane for texting while walking
LOL! 7 brutally honest texts from parents

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Creditors clerk

Cape Town CBD
Kontak Recruitment
R10 000 - R13 000 Per Month

SENIOR CHEF DE PARTIE

Western Cape
JPTM HOLDING (Pty) Ltd Trading as GLOBE Recruitment
R8 000 - R9 000 Per Month

Category intern

Western Cape
MIH Internet Africa

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to fight against the current today but this will just use up a lot of energy and not get you very far. You...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.