Starting in 1973, when my colleagues and I proposed the technology behind the Internet, we advocated for an open standard to connect computer networks together. This wasn’t merely philosophical; it was also practical.
Our protocols were designed to make the networks of the Internet non-proprietary and interoperable. They avoided “lock-in,” and allowed for contributions from many sources. This openness is why the Internet creates so much value today. Because it is borderless and belongs to everyone, it has brought unprecedented freedoms to billions of people worldwide: the freedom to create and innovate, to organize and influence, to speak and be heard.
But starting in a few hours, a closed-door meeting of the world’s governments is taking place in Dubai, and regulation of the Internet is on the agenda. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is convening a conference from December 3-14 to revise a decades-old treaty, in which only governments have a vote. Some proposals could allow governments to justify the censorship of legitimate speech, or even cut off Internet access in their countries.
I cannot express enough gratitude to Vint Cerf for his most excellent creation.
The issue he's highlighted does sound rather serious, and would seem to follow the same perverse moves by many governments around the world to crack down on the Internet. The main concern here is that any changes in the law could allow for governments to further abuse people's freedoms. They could attempt to undemocratically limit valid criticism, which isn't of benefit to mankind in any way whatsoever.
The great thing about the internet is the ability for people to share information that can be highly beneficial in promoting peace and restoring justice in countries ravaged by war. Public opinion is a hugely powerful tool that government propagandists used to have complete control over. The internet has given the power to the people... So it's no wonder they're moving to change things back to the status quo. We shouldn't let them.