Official: US won’t surrender Internet control to UN agency
U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer vowed that the United States will not compromise its principles on human rights, free speech and other issues during negotiations of an international telecommunications treaty in December.
“If there are things that are completely objectionable, that violate our fundamental views about human rights, about free speech, about economic opportunities–if they fundamentally violate it–then we will just say no and absolutely we won’t proceed,” said Kramer, who is leading the U.S. delegation during the negotiations, at a press conference at law firm Wiley Rein on Friday.
The International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) treaty will be reviewed for the first time since 1988 at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai this December. American companies and lawmakers have sounded alarm over the treaty after reports surfaced that countries like Russia and China plan to submit proposals that would expand a United Nations agency’s control over the Internet and issues like cybersecurity and data privacy.
Kramer has met with various officials, most recently in Dubai and El Salvador, to discuss the U.S. position on the treaty and called these conversations “encouraging,” while noting that “we have a long road to travel” before WCIT. He will later travel to Beijing to meet with Chinese officials, then head to Tokyo, Europe and Russia.