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Internet under attack once again

11 Dec

Right now at a UN meeting in Dubai, authoritarian regimes are pushing for full governmental control of the Internet in a binding global treaty — if they succeed, the internet could become less open, more costly and much slower. We have only 2 days to stop them.

The Internet has been an amazing example of people power — allowing us to connect, speak out and pressure leaders like never before. That’s largely because it’s been governed to date by users and non-profits and not governments. But now countries like Russia, China and United Arab Emirates are trying to rewrite a major telecom treaty called the ITR to bring the Internet under its control — the web would then be shaped by government interests and not by us, the users. Tim Berners Lee, one of the “fathers of the Internet,” has warned that this could increase censorship online and invade our privacy. But if we object with a massive people-powered petition, we can strengthen the hand of countries fighting this power grab.

We have stopped attacks like this before and can do it again before the treaty text is locked this week. A wave of opposition to a new ITR is already building — sign the petition to tell governments hands off our Internet! and then forward this email to everyone you know — when we hit 1 million signers, it’ll be delivered straight to the delegates at this cozy meeting:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/hands_off_our_internet_i/?bcjsnbb&v=20018
(if link doesnt work – please copy and past into your browser)

The meeting to update the ITR (International Telecommunication Regulations) is being convened by a UN body called the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Normally, it wouldn’t merit much attention, but Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and others are trying to use the meeting to increase government control of the Internet through proposals that would allow for access to be cut off more easily, threaten privacy, legitimize monitoring and traffic-blocking, and introduce new fees to access content online.

At the moment, our Internet has no central regulatory body, but various non-profit organisations work together to manage different technological, commercial and political interests to allow the Internet to run. The current model is certainly not without its flaws. US dominance and corporate influence highlight the need for reform, but changes should not be dictated from an opaque governments-only treaty body. They should emerge from an open and transparent, people-powered process — putting the interests of us users in the center.

The ITU does extremely important work — expanding affordable access for poor countries and securing networks — but it’s not the right place to make changes to how the Internet operates. Let’s ensure that our Internet stays free and governed by the public and show the ITU and the world that we won’t stay silent in the face of this Internet attack. Click below to sign and then share this email widely:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/hands_off_our_internet_i/?bcjsnbb&v=20018

Avaaz members have come together before to save the free web — and won. More than 3 million of us demanded the US kill a bill that would have given the government the right to shut down any website, helping push the White House to drop its support. In the EU, the European Parliament responded after 2.8 million of us called on them to drop ACTA, another threat to the free net. Together, now we can do it again.

With hope,

Pascal, Ian, Paul, Luca, Caroline, Ricken, Kya and the rest of the Avaaz team

 
5 Comments

Posted by on 11/12/2012 in World happenings

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 responses to “Internet under attack once again

  1. 68ghia

    11/12/2012 at 06:10

    I’ve already signed – can’t believe they would try to curb something as huge as the http://www...

     
    • paul

      13/12/2012 at 07:11

      Well if they do manage to curb access to the internet as well as the content we all lose out. No more freedom of speech and all that goes with it.
      In the UAE they already restrict the use of Blackberry by making sure they can close down their servers if there should be any trouble.

       
      • 68ghia

        13/12/2012 at 07:13

        I’m sure there will be black market operators, and behind the scenes streamers.
        Can’t keep information completely out of the public…

         
      • paul

        14/12/2012 at 18:47

        No not all info can be blocked. It just becomes more difficult to access it.
        Remember the Nat government and censorship?

         
  2. Pussycat44

    11/12/2012 at 06:47

    Have signed up!

     

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