In a stunning repudiation of a United Nations summit, an alliance of Western democracies including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada today rejected a proposed treaty over concerns it hands repressive governments too much authority over the Internet.
"This conference was never meant to focus on Internet issues," said ambassador Terry Kramer, head of the U.S. delegation to the Dubai summit. "The Internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefit during these past 24 years -- all without U.N. regulation."
Delegates from the Netherlands, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, the Philippines, Poland, and the Czech Republic also said they could not sign the proposed International Telecommunication Union treaty, which is scheduled to be finished by tomorrow. Kenya's delegate appeared to take the same position, saying "we reserve our rights" to "go back home and do more consultations" before signing, and India has signaled it agrees with the U.S. position. Japan's delegation said it needed to consult with Tokyo before proceeding.