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Russia, China, and other nations draft proposal to give ITU greater influence over the internet

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WCIT conference
WCIT conference

A proposal introduced Friday at the World Conference on International Telecommunications would lend the ITU and its member states greater control over the internet. Changes outlined in the document would transfer many duties related to the web's backend — IP address and domain name allocation, for example — away from ICANN. Instead, that power would be placed in the hands of individual governments. A leaked copy posted on WCITLeaks reveals that Russia, a longtime proponent of such ideas, has also rallied the support of the United Arab Emirates, China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan, and Egypt in drafting the document.

"Member states have the right to manage all naming, numbering, addressing and identification resources used for international telecommunications/ICT services within their territories," reads the proposal. The United States government is firmly opposed to such a dramatic shift in the ITU's role and will look to lessen the impact of any updates to the agency's regulations as negotiations continue. The WCIT is scheduled to come to a close on December 14th.