Nearly 200 governments from across the world are in Dubai presently, working to thrash out a United Nations sponsored ‘communications treaty’.
Despite the UN saying that moves are not being taken to control the internet, many do fear that the outcome of the talks could lead to just this. Online journalists and those creating SEO content are concerned that their voices will be limited and censorship stepped up.
Google too has spoken out against the talks, saying that they could effectively restrict the internet.
The EU has entered the debate, saying that no action is needed. The US has also said it is alarmed by some of the proposals being discussed.
However, the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) secretary-general, Dr Hamadoun Toure said:
“There is no need for the ITU to take over the internet governance.”
“The brutal truth is that the internet remains largely [the] rich world’s privilege.
“ITU wants to change that.”
The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) will hope to achieve this. The body, which looks at regulations for all communications, has over 900 proposed changes to discuss across the fortnight.
Proposals include blocking spam, reducing mobile roaming costs and prioritising emergency calls.
The delegates have until December 14th to agree on the treaty which, when introduced, will become law. However, the UN admits that compliance will be down to individual countries, with no legislation in place which crosses international borders.
With many influential voices against the treaty too, how effective it will be remains something to watch with interest.