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<nettime> (fwd) Michael J. Gross on the upcoming I.T.U. meeting in Dubai
Andreas Broeckmann on Tue, 17 Apr 2012 08:43:49 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> (fwd) Michael J. Gross on the upcoming I.T.U. meeting in Dubai

interesting read...

World War 3.0

by Michael Joseph Gross

When the Internet was created, decades ago, one thing was inevitable:
the war today over how (or whether) to control it, and who should have
that power. Battle lines have been drawn between repressive regimes
and Western democracies, corporations and customers, hackers and law
enforcement. Looking toward a year-end negotiation in Dubai, where 193
nations will gather to revise a U.N. treaty concerning the Internet,
Michael Joseph Gross lays out the stakes in a conflict that could
split the virtual world as we know it.

I. Time Bomb

In 1979 the Dubai World Trade Centre dominated the skyline of Dubai
City, on the horn of the Arabian Peninsula. Today, the World Trade
Centre looks quaint, like an old egg carton stuck into the ground
amid a phantasmaÂgoric forest of skyscrapers. But come December the
World Trade Centre will once more be the most important place in
Dubai Cityâand, for a couple of weeks, one of the more important
places in the world. Diplomats from 193 countries will converge there
to renegotiate a United Nations treaty called the International
Telecommunications Regulations. The sprawling document, which governs
telephone, television, and radio networks, may be extended to cover
the Internet, raising questions about who should control it, and how.
Arrayed on one side will be representatives from the United States
and other major Western powers, advocating what many call âInternet
freedom,â a plastic concept that has been defined by Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton as the right to use the Internet to âexpress
oneâs views,â to âpeacefully assemble,â and to âseek or
shareâ information. The U.S. and most of its allies basically want
to keep Internet governance the way it is: run by a small group of
technical nonprofit and volunteer organizations, most of them based in
the United States.

On the other side will be representatives from countries where
governments want to place restrictions on how people use the Internet.
These include Russia, China, Brazil, India, Iran, and a host of
others. All of them have implemented or experimented with more
intrusive monitoring of online activities than the U.S. is publicly
known to practice. A number of countries have openly called for the
creation of a ânew global bodyâ to oversee online policy. At the
very least, theyâd like to give the United Nations a great deal more
control over the Internet.

cont. at


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