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December 5, 2012

US bid to protect Internet from UN regulation fails

The joint proposal was supported by some European countries

By CBR Staff Writer

A joint proposal from the US and Canada which intends to protect the Internet from new international regulation has failed secure backing from other countries at the World Conference on International Telecommunications, according to Reuters.

The conference is being held in Dubai, UAE to revise a wide-ranging communications treaty for the first time since 1988 after last negotiations in Melbourne, Australia.

Government regulators from 193 countries are participating in the 11 day conference which sets out general principles for assuring the free flow of information across the globe.

According to Reuters report the US and Canadian proposal was supported by Europe but it would limit the International Telecommunication Union’s rules to only telecom operators and not Internet-based firms like Google and Facebook.

US Ambassador Terry Kramer was quoted by the news agency as saying that, "We want to make sure (the rewritten ITU treaty) stays focused squarely on the telecom sector. We thought we should deal with that up-front."

The news agency said Kramer had expected that a committee featuring representatives from six regional bodies would give quick approval to the American request on Tuesday but that failed to happen.

Recently, the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had adopted a resolution inviting ITU Member States to refrain from taking any unilateral and/or discriminatory actions that could impede another Member State from accessing public Internet sites and using resources.

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