This December 2012, the United Nations will meet in Dubai UAE concerning matters that can carry long term effects for all users of the Internet. The question in mind is, should the United Nations be granted more control over the Internet?
This meeting is precipitated with members of the US government together with private sector firms meeting with lawmakers to find ways to shoot down this proposal, as it would be considered as a serious breach of existing norms.
The current set-up is regulated through a multi-stakeholder system, wherein many private and public organizations have specific roles to keep the Internet online and
under control. Modifying, altering or even changing the status quo, according to these stakeholders, can result in grave consequences to the operation and structure of the
According to Robert McDowell, FCC Commissioner, “A top-down centralized international regulatory overlay is antithetical to the architecture of the Net, which is a global network of networks without borders. No government, let alone an intergovernmental body, can make engineering and economic decisions in lightning-fast Internet time.”
Countries that support the plan have argued that organizations currently overseeing the Internet, such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN, are too closely related to the United States. Should this feature be moved to the United Nations, then this process, such as naming conventions, would become more democratic in nature and control.
Another major issue highlighted by Internet privacy experts would be the increased role of censorship heavy nations such as China on Internet regulation would effectively
have consequences for free speech on the Internet. One such expert, Larry Seltzer for Byte Magazine said, “Maybe it bothers you that the US controls these major keys to
the Internet, but I think it’s a good thing. Without control of these critical facilities, no international group of dictators can really exert much control outside of their own