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UN Internet Takeover Rumor Dispelled

ReadWriteWeb, and quite a few other outlets, posted a story this past Friday with a headline that warned of an impending U.N. seizure of the Internet.

The story that flamed the blogosphere was that U.S. officials had met with the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to discuss a growing campaign by Russia, China, India, and Egypt to place the Internet under the U.N.'s jurisdiction. The International Telecommunications Union, the U.N.'s agency for telecommunications standards, was being pressured to declare the Internet as a global telecommunications system to allow it to come under the ITU's control. An ITU meeting in December was to be the backdrop of this master plan.

The worry is that putting the Internet under the ITU's authority would politicize the Internet as well as subject it to the information security (read: censorship) practices of certain countries, namely Russia and China.

The push behind the movement stems from a belief that there is a telephone number crisis, meaning there are more telephone users than telephone numbers. This was promoted by Vladimir Putin during his presidency, and his solution is to convert the flooded countries to VoIP service. Unfortunately, he believed the only way to enable this was to allow the Internet to fall under the control of an international agency to get around current fee prohibitions on the treaty.

There will still be a meeting in December, in Dubai, regarding the 1988 international treaty which was designed to prevent any governmental agency from regulating our Interwebs. A new draft is being prepared, but only to include provisions to improve cybersecurity and offset spam. There will be no changes in the way the Internet is governed.