US may snub UN Internet regulation treaty

A Western bloc led by the US has strongly resisted any UN-imposed rules on the Internet, fearing it could be used to justify further limits on cyberspace.

Kamran Jebreili/AP
In this file photo an official sticks a note on the wall next to the conference banner during the eleventh day of the World Conference on International Telecommunication in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A U.N. conference weighing possible Internet rules shifted into high-stakes showdowns on Thursday after advancing a proposal for greater government oversight. The proposal was a blow to US-led efforts to keep new regulations from touching the Net.

The chief American delegate at a U.N. conference weighing possibleInternet rules says the U.S. may snub the final document over proposals interpreted as giving governments greater oversight over the Web.

Ambassador Terry Kramer says references that governments have a right to control the Internet are unacceptable. He told delegates Thursday that the U.S. will not sign the final treaty unless revisions are made.

A Western bloc led by the U.S. has strongly resisted any U.N. telecoms rules on the Internet, fearing it could be used to justify further limits on cyberspace.

Rival countries, including Iran and China, apparently have the upper hand in efforts to get U.N. backing for government rights over Internet affairs.

The final document at the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union will reach delegates Friday.

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