Opposing camps dig in on Internet treaty talks
As a marathon session at the UN's World Conference on International Telecommunications concluded at about 1:30 a.m. local time in Dubai (2130 GMT), the chairman asked for a "feel of the room" and then noted that the nonbinding resolution had majority support, while denying it was a vote.
The United States has fought during the 12-day conference ending Friday to keep the International Telecommunication Union's mandate from extending to the Internet. Western diplomats and technologists say that a greater ITU role could lead to increased censorship and a dramatic reduction in anonymity.
But ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré pleaded that the document was part of a balance that gave Western countries most of what they wanted in the more critical binding ITU treaty.
"If we were to eliminate this, that was a compromise that will come (back) on the table," Touré warned the gathering ahead of the show of support. ITU officials are striving to forge consensus and avoid formal votes, and delegates were unsure after the proceeding whether the resolution had been adopted.
Several in attendance said they expected the conference to take up both the resolution and the treaty itself again on Thursday after factions failed to agree on treaty revisions. Most of the language about Internet control was excised from the proposed revisions in the compromise promoted by Touré.
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