With the WCIT-12 in full swing, it's pretty much inevitable that some countries' views on the Internet and the direction they are trying to push it will leak out. In this case, the news is about a coalition led by Russia and China that aims to find ways to exert more government control over the 'net. Surprised?
The leaked Russian-led proposal—which also has support from the likes of China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates—wants to "[provide] equal rights to manage the Internet including in regard to the allotment, assignment and reclamation of Internet numbering." Or in other words, undercut ICANN and give that bit of control over to governments. It also outlines spam-blocking provisions broad enough to cover most emails.
Of course, there is absolutely nothing to worry about because this isn't going to happen. The United States and European Union are pretty dead-set against this kind of thing and without consensus, there won't be any change. Besides, countries can opt out of parts of the new treaty if they want to.
All this really means is some tension and uneasiness over the disagreement as the conference moves forward. And maybe a bit of a lock-up down the road if everyone refuses to play nice on other topics because of disagreement here. All in all, it seems unlikely anything will change in any appreciable way, but you can rest-assured that your standard Internet bad guys are trying to ruin the web nonetheless. [Reuters]