Plan for UN to run internet ‘will be shelved’

November 11, 2003 | Source: Financial Times

An attempt by developing countries to put management of the internet under United Nations auspices is likely to be shelved at next month’s world information summit in Geneva — but the issue is now firmly on the international agenda, summit sources say.

Defenders of the status quo say handing over power to governments could threaten the untrammelled flow of information and ideas that many see as the very essence of the borderless internet.

But these arguments appear to be losing force against the emergence of new challenges such as unwanted advertising (“spam”), privacy and security worries, hate speech and child pornography, which have convinced many governments of the need for international regulation and enforcement.