“Thus far, those who are pushing for new intergovernmental powers over the Internet are far more energized and organized than those who favor the Internet freedom and prosperity.” Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell
[Note: This article was originally posted on December 21st, 2011. The IFNM website was attacked by hackers and many articles are now gone from the archives. As a public service, IFNM is now reposting said articles.]
Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Robert McDowell answers a question during a meeting with editors and reporters of The Washington Times on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011.
The United States is unprepared for an international fight that’s brewing over whether the Internet will remain free from government regulations or fall increasingly under the control of emerging global powers, Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell warned Monday
“The proponents of Internet freedom and prosperity have been asleep at the switch,” Mr. McDowell, the lone Republican serving at the FCC, told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. “Or maybe I should say asleep at the router.”
The 193-member International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a U.N. agency, will meet in Dubai next December to renegotiate the 24-year-old treaty that deals with international oversight of the Internet. A growing number of countries are pushing greater governmental control and management of the Web’s availability, financial model and infrastructure.
They believe the current model is “dominated” by the U.S., and want to “take that control and power away,” Mr. McDowell said. China and Russia support the effort, but so do non-Western U.S. allies such as Brazil, South Africa and India.