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James Cooper
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James Cooper

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Internet as we know it may end next December

You thought SOPA and ACTA were scary? Much bigger attack will start tomorrow through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N.

Reading even a partial list of proposals that could be codified into international law next December at a conference in Dubai is chilling:

• Subject cyber security and data privacy to international control;
• Allow foreign phone companies to charge fees for "international" Internet traffic, perhaps even on a "per-click" basis for certain Web destinations, with the goal of generating revenue for state-owned phone companies and government treasuries;
• Impose unprecedented economic regulations such as mandates for rates, terms and conditions for currently unregulated traffic-swapping agreements known as "peering."
• Establish for the first time ITU dominion over important functions of multi-stakeholder Internet governance entities such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit entity that coordinates the .com and .org Web addresses of the world;
• Subsume under intergovernmental control many functions of the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Society and other multi-stakeholder groups that establish the engineering and technical standards that allow the Internet to work;
• Regulate international mobile roaming rates and practices.
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For what we pay, we could do a hell of a lot better.
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