Good news! Canada rejects takeover of Internet by ITU

This is important for the long run: the western democracies have broken with most of the world by rejecting a takeover by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) of essential governance functions of the Internet.

The news is reported here, here, here and here.


Why does it matter? The ITU is a treaty organization of the United Nations. The only entities with rights to speak at the ITU are nation-states. While it may seem absurd that, in the political world, Niger and Syria have the same vote as the United States and France, in the business world, entities like Google and Apple have no voting rights at all. Nor does anyone else. Thus the foundational aspects of the Internet: standards for software set by the Internet Engineering Task Force, addressing policy (domain names and Internet Protocol addresses) set by ICANN and its dozens of sub-assemblies, are all governed by semi-autonomous bodies where user participation is paramount. None of these people or institutions have any rights to speak at an ITU conference. Non-governmental bodies have about the same weight in the ITU as slaves in the US Constitution before the Civil War, at about 3/5 of a person. Or maybe, worse still, Apple and Google count for nothing at all.