Clashes over Internet rules to mark Dubai meeting

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 3, 2012 at 4:33 am •  Published: December 3, 2012
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The head of the U.S. delegation in Dubai, Ambassador Terry Kramer, told reporters last week in Washington that all efforts should be made to avoid a "Balkanization" of the Internet in which each country would impose its own rules and standards that could disrupt the flow of commerce and information.

"That opens the door ... to content censorship," he said.

The International Trade Union Confederation, representing labor groups in more than 150 countries, claimed a bloc that includes China, Russia and several Middle East nations seeks to "pave the way for future restrictions on both internet content or its users."

"It is clear that some governments have an interest in changing the rules and regulations of the Internet," the confederation said in statement Monday.

Another likely battle that will take place in Dubai is over European-backed suggestions to change the pay structure of the Web to force content providers — such as Google, Facebook Inc. and others — to kick in an extra fee to reach users across borders. Advocates of the changes say the money raised could pay to expand broadband infrastructures in developing countries.

Toure said he hoped for a "landmark" accord on trying to bring broadband Internet to developing countries. "The Internet remains out of reach for 2/3 of world's people," said Toure, who is from Mali.

The U.N. telecommunications agency dates back to 1865, when the telegraph revolutionized the speed of information. Over the decades, it has expanded to include telephone, satellite and other advances in communications.

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