Over at TIME.com I write that we should keep a close eye on moves by Russia, China and other countries to move Internet governance to the UN:
All this year, and culminating in December at the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai, the nations of the world will be negotiating a treaty to govern international telecommunications services between countries. It is widely believed that some countries, including Russia and China, will take the opportunity to push for U.N. control of Internet governance. Such a turn of events would certainly be troubling. …
It’s amazing to think about it, but no state governs the Internet today. Decisions about its architecture are made by consensus among engineers and other volunteers. And that, in fact, is what has kept it open and free.
“Upending the fundamentals of the multi-stakeholder model is likely to Balkanize the Internet at best, and suffocate it at worst,” FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell said recently in a speech. “A top-down, centralized, international regulatory overlay is antithetical to the architecture of the Net, which is a global network of networks without borders. No government, let alone an intergovernmental body, can make decisions in lightning-fast Internet time.”