Battle for the internet
Though fears that the UN is plotting an internet coup are probably exaggerated, some are afraid that the negotiations could become an occasion for governments, authoritarian and otherwise, to wrest more decision-making powers on internet surveillance, censorship and data retention norms. The proposals are also perceived to have been crafted behind closed doors, with the private sector and civil society excluded from voting. It is easy to see why internet freedom advocates might be concerned. On the table are proposals to monitor and filter spam; to block computers that “harm” technical facilities or personnel; to have “transit centres” that could shut off traffic to particular places; and to update international user data retention laws. If approved, these could all potentially throttle internet freedom. Still, the ITU operates on a consensus-driven approach, and given the
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