Positions are hardening with three months to go before the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) meets in Dubai to possibly re-write a U.N. treaty governing the Internet. Earlier this week the head of the U.S. delegation said his country and its allies must fight proposals to extract carrier transmission fees and censor Web content. According to this report, that was buttressed Thursday when the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to tell the Obama administration its position should be to “promote a global Internet free from government control.”
Asked for a comment, Industry Minister Christian Paradis’ office said Friday that “Canada believes in an open, private sector lead internet. This has been the best model for promoting innovation and developing new digital industries. Canada will continue to work with our international partners to emphasize the need to maintain an open, accessible Internet.”
The ITU is a U.N. agency and therefore is made up of representatives from countries from around the world. It doesn’t like the fact that the U.S.-based non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) controls Internet governance ratther than the ITU. There have been reports for some time that there will be a showdown in Dubai. Expect to see more public statements from Western governments on this soon.