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Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell To Step Down

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, March 20 2013

Robert McDowell, a Republican commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, said during a public Wednesday morning meeting that he's leaving the agency. Read More

For Internet Freedom Activists, Dubai is a Warning: Finally Live Up to the "Inclusive" Label, Or Else

BY Nick Judd | Friday, December 14 2012

Internet freedom advocates: Internet regulation coming before the ITU signals a failure of current online governance. Photo: ITU

Ongoing in Dubai and expected to end Friday, the World Conference on International Telecommunications has been causing a lot of heartburn for Internet freedom advocates who say that it is the wrong forum to talk about the future of the Internet. WCIT-12 is a treaty-making conference for members of the International Telecommunications Union, an agency of the United Nations, and that, they say, is no replacement for the "inclusive and transparent" "multistakeholder" network that runs the Internet today. There's just one problem. While Internet freedom activists say their "multistakeholder" model is open and inclusive, photograph any meeting of any of the organizations within it and a certain kind of face will appear far more often than any of the others: the white, Western male. Read More

WeGov

Russia Advocates State Regulation of the Web, Then Pulls Back

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, December 11 2012

WCIT 2012 panel (credit: Flickr/ITU Pictures)

A Russian-led proposal intended to give world governments regulatory power over the Internet has been effectively withdrawn, says the International Telecommunications Union. The plan was presented at the UN World Conference on International Telecommunications, held in Dubai this past week, where members of the ITU are renegotiating an upgrade its 1988 communications treaty. Read More

As Countries Meet Over New Telco Regulations, Worry Grows Among Internet Activists

BY Nick Judd and Miranda Neubauer | Monday, December 3 2012

Fully operational: Will WCIT spell the end of the ad-hoc Internet? Photo: Michael Wifall

While advocates paint WCIT as the potential death knell of Internet freedom, experts suggest the real conversation in Dubai will be about the possibility of a fee structure on international Internet traffic — which could be described as a global attack on net neutrality and worthy of serious debate all on its own. The advocates' pitch, then, might at first sound like some combination of the Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists and the beardo libertarian open-source crowd after a long night snorting bath salts. Fight for the Future's Tiffiniy Cheng says all the fuss is warranted because they're not attacking the ITU of today. Instead, they're trying to defend the Internet from the monster she says the U.N. regulatory agency could become. Read More