Internet kill switch - Urgent global action needed as "internet as we know it" comes under very real threat
United Nations body, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), has asked for the kill switch to the internet, leaving cyberspace subject to political control and constant monitoring. Civil rights groups, big communications corporations including Google and international labour unions are to meet in London today to launch a global campaign and petition titled Stop the Net Grab. Two influential Australians are at the centre of the move - Dr Paul Twomey and Sharran Burrow. They will be joined to launch the campaign by Vinton Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet and now chief Google evangelist.
An article published today, November 12, 2012 in Australian Couriermail states: A draft of the proposal, formulated in secret and only recently posted on the ITU website for public perusal, reveal that if accepted, the changes would allow government restriction or blocking of information disseminated via the internet and create a global regime of monitoring internet communications - including the demand that those who send and receive information identify themselves. It would also allow governments to shut down the internet if there is the belief that it may interfere in the internal affairs of other states or that information of a sensitive nature might be shared.
Though this article originated from Australia, the threat to rest of the world is the same... Telecommunications ministers from 193 countries will meet behind closed doors in Dubai next month to discuss ITU's proposal.
The move has sparked a ferocious, under-the-radar diplomatic war between a powerful bloc of nations, led by China and Russia, who want to exert greater controls on the net and western democracies determined to preserve the free-wheeling, open architecture of the World Wide Web.
The battle for control has also seen a cartel of telco corporations join forces to support amended pricing regulations changes which critics warn will pave the way for significant increases in the cost of day-to-day internet use, including email and social media.
"Unless we act now, our right to freely communicate and share information could change forever. A group of big telecommunications corporations have joined with countries including China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia that already impose heavy restriction on internet freedoms," said Ms Burrow, the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation. "So far, the proposal has flown under the radar but its implications are extremely serious. Governments and big companies may end up with the right not only to restrict the internet and monitor everything you do online but to charge users for services such as email and Skype."
Read more... www.couriermail.com.au