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Russian-backed UN internet regulation proposal shelved

11 Dec 2012
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A Russian-led coalition has dropped a controversial United Nations (UN) proposal which would have seen increased regulation of the internet, according to Reuters.

The proposal was derided by US and UK officials who feared the rules would have stifled internet freedoms. Russia's co-authored bill comes as UN officials continue to discuss updating the governing body's internet laws.

According to the Huffington Post, the Russian legislation would have afforded countries more control over the internet and allowed UN states to control the allocation of internet address. Internet domain registration is currently handled by Icann.

The proposed regulation came up during the ongoing World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly (WTSA-12).

UN officials from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are currently at the assembly discussing potential updates to the International Telecommunications Regulations treaty.

While the Russian proposal has been shelved following heavy criticism, it's still not completely gone. Some of the rule changes proposed in the bill will continue to be discussed at the WTSA-12.

The proposed legislation has garnered heavy criticism from the likes of the White House.

"From the start, the US position has been clear: the WCIT should be about updating a public telecommunications treaty to reflect today's market-based realities, not a new venue to create regulations on the internet, private networks, or the data flowing across them." wrote White House staffers in a recent blog post.

The White House has not been the only ones to lambaste the internet proposals. European Commission officials also attacked the proposals in a written statement last month.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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