Quashing worries on the issues being tabled at a closed-door meeting in Dubai, the head of the UN telecommunications body, Hamadoun Toure, shared that Internet freedom will not be curbed or controlled. Toure went on to add that the claims were completely unfounded. The governments of the world are at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) in Dubai from December 3-14. Reports suggest that the meeting will look in to the regulations set in 1988. Interestingly, Toure had earlier cleared that the topic of Internet freedom of expression will not be discussed at the meeting. “Nothing can stop the freedom of expression in the world today, and nothing in this conference will be about it,” he had said. “I have not mentioned anything about controlling the Internet,” he added.
Assured that Internet freedom will not be curbed (Image credit: Getty Images)
Toure added that the objective is to make sure that there is universal access to the benefits of information and communication technology, also to 2/3rds of the world's population that is currently not online. “We must continue to work together and find a consensus on how to most effectively keep cyberspace open, accessible, affordable and secure,” he said.
Earlier today, we reported about how Google was urging users across the globe to voice their opinions for an open and free Internet. The free and open nature of the Internet is one of the reasons it's an integral part of our lives. For all these years that the Internet has been around, it has been an important medium through which people have got their voices heard.
In an official blog post, Google's Vint Cerf, VP and Chief Internet Evangelist shares that the conference convened by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is to revise an old treaty, wherein only governments have a vote. The conference that started yesterday will go on till December 14. What's crucial here is that few of the proposals could let governments 'justify the censorship of legitimate speech, or even cut off Internet access in their countries.'
Speaking about the issue at hand, Cerf adds that the issue has seen over 1,000 organisations from more than 160 countries speak up. These are backed by several thousands of Internet users who are for a free and open Internet. In addition to that, an interactive map at freeandopenweb.com, will show users that people from all corners of the world have signed Google's petition. These users have also used the #freeandopen hashtag on social media, and have created and uploaded videos to say how important these issues are.
Likewise, if you support an open and free Internet, too, you can sign the petition at google.com/takeaction. Similarly, those on Google.com will be able to spot a link below the search button.