Dubai internet talks deeply divided

2012-12-10 22:19
Researchers have come up with a way of protecting telecoms networks using quantum cryptography without the need for expensive dedicated optical fibre links. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Researchers have come up with a way of protecting telecoms networks using quantum cryptography without the need for expensive dedicated optical fibre links. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Dubai - Talks over possible new UN regulations for the internet were deeply divided on Monday, with Russia and others advocating for more government sway while a US-led bloc warned against rules that could restrict freedoms in cyberspace.

So far, the closed-door talks have failed to find much common ground at the 193-nation UN International Telecommunications Union, which last updated its rules in 1988 before the internet became a global force.

"What's happened in the conference is a variety of proposals have come in from other nations that get into the internet, that look at internet governance," said the head of the 123-member US delegation, Ambassador Terry Kramer, in a video uploaded by organisers late on Sunday.

The proposal - backed by countries such Russia, China and other Arab states - was removed from discussion Monday, conference organizers said, after an uproar from Web activists supporting the American position.

Among its provisions was a call for governments to have "equal rights to manage the internet," including its technical workings, according to a text leaked by a website, wcitleaks.org. The site claimed to have access to meeting documents not yet made public.

Other issues at the conference also remain unresolved, including a European-led proposal to charge content providers for access to cross-border markets. The idea is strongly opposed by US companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon.com and others.

Supporters say the so-called "toll" could be used by developing countries to fund expansion of internet services.

Read more on:    icu  |  dubai  |  internet
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