Predictably, the UK and the US Refused to Sign That UN Internet Treaty

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Over the past fortnight, the internet has been awash with debate over the future of the internet: the UN, so the stories went, was planning to change the governance of the internet for good. Predictably, the UK and US have point-blank refused to play ball and that has stopped the proceedings dead.

We took the time the other week to explain why people didn't need to worry about the UN initiative:

So what's going to happen? Nothing. Nothing is going to happen. Passage of any of the, again, over 900 proposals on the table will require a "consensus," which means more than a majority vote. Good luck getting 193 countries to agree on something that has to do with freedom of speech, money, regulation, and American Imperialism.

And let's say, hypothetically, the world reached a consensus on one of these 900 proposals. Let's say that it was even a huge one-stripping control of Internet domains away from ICANN and giving to the United Nations. Then what? Nothing. The ITU has no enforcement mechanism. In other words, it has no way to make anyone do anything.

And guess what happened? Nothing! While the likes of Russia, China and Saudi Arabia were pushing hard for change, there were plenty of other countries that were unsure or dead against it. The UK, Canada and the US in particular were fiercely opposed to rewriting internet regulations. The revolution won't be televised, not even on YouTube — because there won't be one. [BBC]

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