Actions taken – or not taken – by proponents of online freedom within the next six months will decide the fate of the Internet, according to Federal Communications Commission commissioner Robert McDowell.
“Six months separate us from the renegotiation of the 1988 treaty that led to insulating the Internet from economic and technical regulation,” McDowell, a Republican, told lawmakers during a hearing on Capitol Hill last week.
“What proponents of Internet freedom do or don’t do between now and then will determine the fate of the Net and effect global economic growth as well as determine whether political liberty can proliferate,” he said.
On December 4, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a Geneva-based U.N. specialized agency, will convene in Dubai to discuss its ongoing review of international telecommunications regulations (ITRs).
The Internet does not currently fall within the scope of the ITRs, but some ITU members, including Russia, India, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, have long been promoting U.N. oversight of the Internet, and are expected to push for it at the Dubai conference.
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