The U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announced Wednesday that it’s inviting everyone on the Internet to put down the cat videos, pause the tweeting and discuss the future of the Internet. According to the Associated Press this “follows criticism from civil society groups who say preparations for an upcoming global conference have been shrouded in secrecy.”
The grandly-named World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) will take place December 3-14 this year in Dubai. Criticism of the conference has focused on secretive talks between diplomats in preparation for the event, in which they are allegedly hashing out issues that regularly strike fear in the heart of the Internet such as “enhanced” government spying and new methods of billing for Internet service.
The A.P. article reports the criticism and the U.N.’s attempt at transparency in a muted way, but if you want a sense of how intense the focus on this Conference really is you need only check out WCITleaks.org, which was reportedly set up by George Mason University researcher Jerry Brito after the ITU began password-protecting websites in order to control access to information.
Anonymous, naturally, has been concerned about WCIT for a while. A Pastebin drop set to expire on September 1 discusses those concerns in some depth and states that an “international, centralized organization such as the ITU has no business regulating the internet” and that the ITU “must not expand any regulatory authority, even one that would be voluntary and nonbinding for ‘member nations,’ relating to the internet.”
It’s almost like we can hear thousands of Guy Fawkes masks snapping into place.