United Nations

UN Summit Votes to Support Internet Eavesdropping

Wait until the see the kinds of things Americans say about them online


A United Nations summit has adopted confidential recommendations proposed by China that will help network providers target BitTorrent uploaders, detect trading of copyrighted MP3 files, and, critics say, accelerate Internet censorship in repressive nations.

Approval by the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union came despite objections from Germany, which warned the organization must "not standardize any technical means that would increase the exercise of control over telecommunications content, could be used to empower any censorship of content, or could impede the free flow of information and ideas."

The ITU adopted the confidential Y.2770 standard for deep packet inspection—only members, not the public, currently have access to the document—last month during a meeting in Dubai. A related ITU meeting in Dubai, which has drawn sharp criticism from the U.S. government and many Internet companies, began this week.