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A Wikileaks for the U.N.'s Would-Be Internet Regulators

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 6 2012

Mercatus Institute senior researcher Jerry Brito thinks people on the Internet should know what people at the United Nations propose to do to the Internet. That's why he's launching a site called WCITLeaks.org, where he's pledging to anonymously publish any documents sent to him outlining proposals about U.N. regulation of the Internet that might be discussed in December at a meeting called the World Conference on International Communications.

At WCIT — prounounced "wicket," he writes; see what he did there? — the International Telecommunications Union, a U.N. agency, is expected to consider a slew of proposals from member nations like China and Russia that relate to Internet infrastructure. Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously expressed an interest in internationalizing governance of the Internet, while regulation of domain names, IP addresses, standards and protocols now rest with a network of largely U.S.-based nonprofits, some of which — like the International Consortium for Assigned Names and Numbers, which manages domain names — falls under at least partial U.S. government purview.

Specific proposals, though, are still outside of public view. If any drafts are circulating, the diplomats, officials and executives that have them are not sharing — at least not yet.

On his personal blog, Brito writes:

Of course, while it’s not illegal, publishing these documents is probably not considered polite in the rarefied diplomatic circles of the ITU. So, I thought we’d give folks with access to the documents a helping hand.

Yesterday Eli Dourado and I spent a couple of hours putting together a website at WCITLeaks.org. The idea is simple: If you have a WCIT or ITU related document you’d like to share, submit it anonymously and we will publish it. That’s it. We hope you find it useful and that you’ll spread the word.

Update: WCITLeaks says it's got its first leak.