UN internet talks reach a standstill in Dubai

An Arab proposal to extend the international treaty at the centre of internet negotiations in Dubai has drawn a strong response. Great Britain and the United States have both strongly opposed the restrictive measures.

The 22-page proposal lead by the United Arab Emirates is backed by Russia, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Sudan. Under the terms, “governments, the private sector and civil society” would all be given an explicit role in internet regulation.

Chief American negotiator at the conference, Ambassador Terry Kramer, said that while some are advocating stronger government roles in online regulation, the United States was of the opinion that the internet should be left alone.

Kramer added that proposals being forwarded at the talks would give member states “equal rights to manage the internet” – a move that would open the door to increased censorship of the internet.

Google has already warned that the event threatens the open internet. Running its own campaign for an open internet, Google has been vocal in what it feels as a lack of consultation throughout the process.

There has been little common ground found at the talks, with the United States delegation threatening to walk from the conference.

The World Conference on International Telecommunications is due to finish Friday.

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