This week marks the beginning of the World Conference on International Telecommunications, a meeting being held in Dubai that could significantly alter the future of how the world accesses the Internet.
Held by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an arm of the United Nations, the gathering has brought together over 1,950 delegates from around the world to work on revising International Telecommunication Regulations. They have been in effect since the 1980's and offer guidelines related to international routing and charges between global carriers, as well as the overall Internet traffic between international network operators.
However, some see the ITU as a closed and potentially damaging organizational move that could inhibit the growth and free flow of information on the Internet. One of those voices includes Vint Cerf, long known as one of the "fathers of the Internet," who currently serves as vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google. In a message posted yesterday on the Google blog, Cerf argued that the meeting could give rise to new censorship and access controls in various regions.