ITU opens public consultation on the future of Internet regulation

The ITU published a draft document allowing stakeholders to see the plans for international telecom regulation

The United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has called for a public consultation on a draft document ahead of a December meeting to finalize a new treaty for regulation of the Internet, it said Wednesday.

The ITU published on its website the draft version of the document that will be discussed during the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai. People can express their views and opinions on the content of the draft document or any other matter related to WCIT, the ITU said in a statement.

The conference in Dubai is a global conference that will aim to sign a treaty to define the general principles for the provision and operation of international telecommunications networks around the world, the ITU said.

The consultation will remain open until Nov. 3 and the inputs will be made available to all member states, ITU said.

ITU's plan has already run into some opposition. The U.S. House of Representatives for instance has raised concerns that the meeting in December will include proposals that aim to restrict the Internet. The draft document has for example a clause that proposes to grant all national authorities the right to impose taxes on all incoming and outgoing telecommunications traffic and Internet traffic termination fees.

The House of Representatives unanimously voted against the ITU plan earlier this month and said the Internet does not need new international regulations, saying that such regulations could be devastating to Internet freedom and economic development.

Civil liberties groups have raised similar concerns.

Loek covers all things tech for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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