Event: Will the UN Take Over the Internet? Previewing the World Conference on International Telecommunication

by on October 31, 2012 · 2 comments

As you know, Eli Dourado and I have been keeping close tabs on the World Conference on Information Technology (WCIT), which will take place this December in Dubai. We started WCITLeaks.org in June to help bring transparency to the treaty negotiations because U.S. officials and others had warned that some member states, including Russia and China, had put forth proposals to regulate the Internet, and those proposals where not available to the public. Since then, Eli has joined the State Department’s International Telecommunication Advisory Committee and he will be part of the U.S. delegation to the Conference.

Now we’d like to invite you for a final briefing about the conference, looking at what’s at stake and what to expect, on Wednesday, November 14, at 2 p.m. at the W Hotel in Downtown D.C. We will have a keynote address by Ambassador Terry Kramer, head of the U.S. delegation to the conference, as well as a panel discussion including Gary Fowlie from the United Nations, Paul Brigner from the Internet Society, and internet governance expert Milton Mueller.

We hope you will join us for what will no doubt be a lively discussion! Below is the full event information. Please RSVP today.

Please join the Mercatus Center for a panel discussion on the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT). Once in a generation, governments from around the world gather to revise the International Telecommunication Regulations, a UN-sponsored treaty that governs international telecom practices. This year’s meeting is especially important because it is the first one since widespread adoption of technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones.

In the U.S. there has been widespread concern that the UN may want to exert greater control over the Internet, and the House recently voted unanimously for a resolution opposing any such move. Additionally, there are concerns that the new regulations could require U.S. web companies to pay to deliver content over the Internet.

The panel will preview these and other issues that are likely to arise at the WCIT meeting that begins in Dubai on December 3. The event will also feature a keynote address by Ambassador Terry D. Kramer, the head of the U.S. delegation to the WCIT.

Panel Discussion:

Eli Dourado, Research Fellow, Mercatus Center at George Mason University & co-creator, WCITLeaks.org

Paul Brigner, Regional Director of the North American Bureau, Internet Society

Milton Mueller, Professor, Syracuse University School of Information Studies & co-founder, Internet Governance Project

Gary Fowlie, Head of the Liaison office of the International Telecommunication Union to the United Nations

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