Mozilla rallies for opposition against secret Internet treaty

December 13th, 2012

Published on Russia Today RT, by Eric Piermont, December 11, 2012.

Add another name to the list of critics concerned with attempts to rewrite the International Telecommunication Union to give governments control of the Internet: Silicon Valley’s Mozilla now officially opposes the ITU. 

Mozilla, the makers of the highly successful Firefox Web browser for Macs, PCs and smart phones, have come out to condemn a top-secret meeting in Dubai this week that could lead to changes with how the world is wired to the Internet.

The details of the closed-door discussions being held between members of the United Nation’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) this week in the United Arab Emirates remains a secret, and that’s exactly why Mozilla is speaking up. In a plea posted on Mozilla.org, the developers write,

The issue isn’t whether our governments, the UN or even the ITU should play a role in shaping the Web. The problem is that they are trying to do it behind closed doors, in secret, without us.
The Web lets us speak out, share and connect around the things that matter. It creates new opportunities, holds governments to account, breaks through barriers and makes cats famous. This isn’t a coincidence. It’s because the Web belongs to all of us, insists Mozilla. We all get a say in how it’s built
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Now in order to raise awareness of what the WCIT can do by rewriting the ITU, Mozilla has released an “Engagement Kit” in order to get people around the globe talking about what could happen to the Web without their input ever being considered … //

… Leaked documents from the WCIT meeting suggest that shot-callers from across the globe have floated the idea of adopting a new standard for the Internet that will implement deep packet inspection, or DPI, essentially allowing all traffic sent across the Web to be reviewed by a governing body.

It’ll be the biggest power grab in the UN’s history, as well as a perversion of its power, blogger Arthur Herman wrote of the proposal.
(full text).

Links:

The UN asks for control over the world’s Internet, on Russia Today RT, by Emmanuel Dunand, Dec. 6, 2012;

Sharing is not caring: FTC probes app providers for revealing kids’ personal data, on Russia Today RT, Dec. 11, 2012.

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