In the desert oasis of Dubai, Internet change is brewing. In a hush-hush closed-door meeting, government representatives from around the world have gathered this week to decide the future of the Internet. The freedom of the Internet.
The International Telecommunication Union for the World Conference on International Telecommunications is a 12-day conference for nations to potentially expand their control over the Internet. Topics range from the esoteric to the critical: data privacy, cybersecurity, international mobile roaming, equipment specifications and the like.
More than 193 members states are part of the union, established more than 100 years ago, in the telegraph era, It’s now a United Nations specialized agency focusing on telecommunications and information and communication technology.
Sunday, Google executive and co-founding architect of the Internet, Vint Cerf, warned that the goal of the secret meeting is to “allow governments to justify the censorship of legitimate speech, or even cut off Internet access in their countries.”
Cerf calls for the Internet to stand up for its rights.
What You Can Do
A slew of petition and protest sites have opened on the topic. In fact, as of late Sunday night, nearly 1 million people worldwide had signed an anti-regulation petition onfreeandopen. Other petitions include a Google take-action site (no word on signatures gathered) and the Protect Global Internet Freedom site, with about 35,000 signers from 167 countries.
Viral movement similar to last year’s campaign against new Internet regulation in the United States:
The Internet was made by people, not governments. …Governments want to control people. This threatens the very infrastructure that so many depend on every day.