We need to hang on to this Internet thing
Last modified on Thursday, 11 October 2012 10:48
It appears that the US government's Huawei and ZTE ban might have all been part of a cunning plan to keep the Internet out of the hands of the world. The United Nations had been pressuring the United States to hand over control of global telecommunications. An upcoming conference convened by the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was expected to mark major changes to global telecom, even if the US was not happy about it all.
But it seems that Washington is putting the brakes on that plan over concerns that UN member states, including China and Russia, will be able to control cybersecurity, data privacy, and .com and .org domain names. The UN wanted the bigger US telcos to have to pay a tax which would help the development of broadband to poorer nations. They of course had been bribing, er lobbying, their tame senators to reject the plan.
Then this week, the House Intelligence Committee claimed Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE were spying in the US. While there was no proof the committee called for the Chinese companies to be banned from doing business in the US. These two companies were among 15 ITU sector members listed under the Chinese regime. Quoting the Intelligence Committee report, the head of the US delegation to December’s U.N. conference in Dubai, said the United States will reject major changes to global telecom.
Terry Kramer, special envoy attending the conference, told reporters in Geneva Monday that while the United States is willing to negotiate changes to the ITRs, few changes will be accepted. He said that the United States opposes proposals from some of the “nondemocratic nations” that include tracking and monitoring content and user information, which “makes it very easy for nations to monitor traffic.”
It all looks pretty good on paper, other than the fact that the US is not a democracy and also supports warrentless wire tapping of its citizens. He also said the ITU’s regulations are “not an appropriate or useful venue to address cybersecurity,” and added, “We are very sensitive about any one organization taking on the sole role of solving cyberthreats.”