I think we are on the verge of a new era of partnership with government - Steve 'Understatement' Ballmer
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT has passed a resolution opposing the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) assertion that it should control the internet.
The ITU will hold a behind closed doors meeting on 3 December where it is expected to claim that it should have control over the internet. That prospect led to Google saying that would result in censorship and threaten innovation. Now the European Parliament has passed a resolution stating that the ITU or any single organisation is not the appropriate entity to claim regulatory authority over the internet.
The European Parliament's resolution said that it "calls on the Member States to prevent any changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations which would be harmful to the openness of the internet, net neutrality, the end-to-end principle, universal service obligations, and the participatory governance entrusted to multiple actors such as governments, supranational institutions, non-governmental organisations, large and small businesses, the technological community and internet users and consumers at large."
Yesterday Google said, "Only governments have a voice at the ITU. This includes governments that do not support a free and open Internet. Engineers, companies, and people that build and use the web have no vote. The ITU is also secretive. The treaty conference and proposals are confidential."
The ITU, which is an United Nations agency, has been trying to get governments and telecoms operators together to increase broadband deployment. The problem, as Google alluded to, is that it only deals with governments and telecoms operators, meaning that users' rights and freedoms could be compromised in order to get the two sides on board to deploy any sort of connectivity, no matter how restricted it is.
The ITU's meeting is pencilled in for 3 December, however the European Parliament has instructed its president to forward the resolution to the European Council and European Commission and to governments of all European Union member states. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ