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Vancouver Sun: Canada to oppose ITU’s Internet governance?

This week, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is hosting discussions that concern the future of the Internet. Although the Canadian government may be preparing to oppose the ITU's strict Internet control, there has been no mention as to Canada's stance on the ITU increasing Internet access costs to citizens. Canadians are making progress in being heard, but we need to ensure that we are in the driver's seat when decisions affecting the Internet are being made in our name. Join us in speaking out at Article by Jordan Press for PostMedia News Canada will look to prevent governments from taking more power over the Internet when governments sit down for 12 days of negotiations on the future of the Internet next week, but the government didn’t say Thursday where it stands on a contentious proposal that could see users pay more for online content.

Canada’s position going into the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) mirrors a number of Western allies in opposing having governments control how the Internet functions, leaving it to the current mix of public and private sector actors, according to documents released to Postmedia News under access to information laws. That stance is in contrast to proposals from some of the 193 members of the International Telecommunications Union, such as Russia, that want greater control over the Internet — more so than they already have in some cases — including more powers to track user identities online.

The meeting in Dubai will determine whether the ITU, an arm of the United Nations, will receive broad regulatory powers to set rules of road in cyberspace. The potential to centralize control over the Internet into the hands of governments has some users and hacktivists concerned that freedoms online would be crushed should a new binding international treaty change the status quo for how telecommunications companies interact across borders.

The U.S. Congress, the European Union and Internet giant Google have all publicly come out against any central regulations, but in Canada, there has been no mention in Parliament about the meeting or how it will affect Canadians, who are among the most active Internet users in the world. Read more »

Read more at The Vancouver Sun

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