The non-Internet that never was but might be

By , Network World |  Networking

The Internet, to date, is the only major area of international commerce that has largely escaped regulation. While some of us may think that this has been a much-needed vacuum, many governments strongly disagree. So it is reasonable to worry that the outcome of WCIT will not be something that will make the Internet better for its users.

While it is too late for anyone to fully unwind the decades of Internet-driven innovation, some of the proposals, if enacted, would do material harm to the Internet we currently know. See the Internet Society's WCIT coverage for more information.

The ITU says that the people of the Internet have nothing to fear -- the ITU is not trying to take over the Internet nor will it adopt anything that a member state (country) disagrees with (see "WCIT12 myth busting presentation"). Very few people outside of the ITU accept at face value its claims of benign intentions. A number of its assertions of the lack of worrisome proposals have been shown to be premature or inaccurate.

In any case, we will know in a few weeks what rules the ITU is given to work under, but it will take a lot longer to find out what the ITU will think it can do under those rules.

Disclaimer: Many parts of Harvard expose students to rule sets, but it is up to the students to operationalize them. The university has not provided an opinion on appropriate rules for the ITU nor on the ITU's ability to live within rules, so the above opinion on the first of these is my own. We will have to see over time about the second.

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.

Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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