US will Oppose Bid to Hand Control of Internet to United Nations

United States is going to submit first group of proposals about changes to the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) treaty today, which hasn’t been revised since 1988. The treaty is due for revision not only because it needs a modern touch but because fundamentally there have been major changes in the telecommunications world like adoption of packet switching over circuit switching, cellular roaming and broadening of the Internet.

Many nations are of the view point that control of the internet’s technical specifications should be relinquished from a select group of non-profit US companies and be given to UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU). This hasn’t gone down well with the United States and Terry Kramer, head of the US delegation to the WCIT, believes that the current multi-stakeholder structure is working well and is effectively maintaining the health of the Internet.

“The United States believes that the existing multi-stakeholder institutions, incorporating industry and civil society, have functioned effectively and will continue to ensure the health and growth of the internet and all of its benefits,” he said.

According to Kramer, the current treaty as it stands, has served the internet well both domestically as well as internationally. “We want to preserve the flexibility contained in the current ITRs, which has helped create the conditions for rapid evolution of telecommunications technologies and markets around the world,” he said.

None of the submissions from any country has been published by the ITU but, quite a few proposals have found their way onto a site called Wcitleaks.org according to which Russia is one of the countries recommending for at least some of the control of the Internet be handed over to the UN.