Google Petitions ITU for “Free & Open Internet”

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Vint Cerf, the “Father of the Internet”, is credited with helping to develop the protocols and structure of the internet and is now Google’s chief internet evangelist.

Cerf is worried that the ITU will try to place controls over the internet, according to his post today on Google.

Starting in a few hours, a closed-door meeting of the world’s governments is taking place in Dubai, and regulation of the Internet is on the agenda. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is convening a conference from December 3-14 to revise a decades-old treaty, in which only governments have a vote. Some proposals could allow governments to justify the censorship of legitimate speech, or even cut off Internet access in their countries.

You can read more about my concerns on, but I am not alone. So far, more than 1,000 organizations from more than 160 countries have spoken up too, and they’re joined by hundreds of thousands of Internet users who are standing up for a free and open Internet. On an interactive map at, you can see that people from all corners of the world have signed our petition, used the #freeandopen hashtag on social media, or created and uploaded videos to say how important these issues are.

You can follow the conference on Twitter (#WCIT12) and Flickr photos. While the 123-member U.S. delegation, with envoys from Google and Microsoft, worry that any new U.N. oversight could be used to justify further tightening of Web blocks and monitoring, the Secretary General may be more interested in having content providers assist in building infrastructure.

Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the UN’s International Telecommunications Union, says his organisation does not need to take over “governance” of the internet, reports the BBC.

“The brutal truth is that the internet remains largely [the] rich world’s privilege, ” said Toure, ahead of the meeting.

“ITU wants to change that.”

The agency said action was needed to ensure investment in infrastructure to help more people access the net.

The International Telecommunications Regulations committee meets in Dubai this week.

The current event – the World Conference on International Telecommunications (Wcit) – marks the first time it has overseen a major overhaul of telecommunication regulations since 1988.

CNET was first to report on of a secret proposal to transfer Internet governance to the U.N.. The Russian Federation has now revised its plan, toning down the language but not the thrust of the document, reports Larry Downes of C/Net.

WCITLeaks, a Web site operated by researchers at George Mason University, posts drafts and proposals by individual countries, which are not generally available to the public.

ITU Telecom World 2012 has video on demanddaily highlights and session summaries, executive interviews and vox pops. Engage with the issues and continue the conversation on YourSpace, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) divides the world into three ITU regions (Google Map). Each region has its own set of frequency allocations.

Related Dailywireless articles include; 2012 ITU World Telecom Meeting, WRC-12 Begins, 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference, World Radio Conference Wrap (2007), World Radio Conference Wrap (2007), WRC Wraps Up (2003), EU: Global LTE Roaming at 1.8 GHz ,

Posted by Sam Churchill on Monday, December 3rd, 2012 at 9:18 am .

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