Eli Dourado is a co-founder of WCIT Leaks and was part of the US delegation to WCIT where various repressive countries tried to grab control of the Internet from the private sector.
He blogs on what actually happened at WCIT. It’s a fascinating read for those interested. He makes a key point:
Though the world had been assured that WCIT would not attempt to mount a “UN takeover of the Internet,” that was in many ways what happened.
The months of weasel words were exposed as lies. We knew that it was always about control of the Internet.
After last night’s performance, the ITU could never again deny that it had designs on the Internet, it could never again imply that those who were concerned about the possibility of a takeover of some aspects of Internet governance by nation-states were misinformed conspiracy theorists. The battle lines were now drawn, and this clarity comforted me. But would we stand alone?
This was always the worry. Not would the US resist, but would the EU surrender monkeys agree to a bad compromise?
The United States took the floor. Ambassador Kramer announced that the US would not be signing the new treaty. He was followed by the United Kingdom. Sweden said that it would need to consult with its capital (code in UN-speak for “not signing”). Canada, Poland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Kenya, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and the Czech Republic all made similar statements before the Chairman cut the meeting short.
At a later meeting that night, additional countries expressed their reservations. The EU issued a directive that the new human rights language was unacceptable, and therefore no EU country would be allowed to sign. An intensive overnight lobbying effort was launched. Once senior-level ministers got an earful from private sector representatives back in their own countries, they sent instructions to their delegations in Dubai not to sign the new treaty.
All told, 89 countries signed while 55 did not.
Very pleased that NZ was one of those consistently opposed.