Most countries at a conference on telecommunications oversight have agreed that a United Nations agency should play an “active” but not dominant role in internet governance as they struggled to reach a worldwide compromise.
As a marathon session at the UN’s World Conference on International Telecommunications concluded at about 1.30am local time in Dubai (10.30 am NZT), the chairman asked for a “feel of the room” and then noted that the nonbinding resolution had majority support, while denying it was a vote.
This may seem innocuous, but it will be used by many Governments to maintain their campaign to extend Government control of the global Internet.
But ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Tour pleaded that the document was part of a balance that gave Western countries most of what they wanted in the more critical binding ITU treaty.
“If we were to eliminate this, that was a compromise that will come (back) on the table,” Tour warned the gathering ahead of the show of support. ITU officials are striving to forge consensus and avoid formal votes, and delegates were unsure after the proceeding whether the resolution had been adopted.
Compromise is good if both sides have valid points. But compromise is bad when what one side wants is, well, bad. This is what the totalitarian Governments do. They put up such outrageous proposals, so they will then get a compromise that moves them towards their goals. I say you do not compromise when it comes to Internet freedom.