The internet as we know it is at risk.
Unless we act now, our right to freely communicate and share information could change forever.
At a conference in Dubai this December, the International Telecommunications Union (or ITU), a United Nations agency, is planning to adopt new rules, including some nasty surprises which could clamp down on the fundamental freedoms of citizens online.
Big telecommunications corporations have joined with countries including China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, countries that already impose heavy restrictions on internet freedoms, to put forward proposals to new treaty at the UN World Conference on International Telecommunications.
So far the proposal has flown under the radar, thanks to the secretive nature of the ITU, but its implications are so serious that we must act quickly to show the ITU and its member countries that citizens will not stand by while our right to communicate freely is undermined.
The proposal would give governments and companies all over the world the ability to:
• Restrict access to the internet to approved uses
• Monitor everything you do online
• Change the way we pay for the internet, potentially marginalising civil society and developing countries
An internet totally controlled by government and big business contradicts the very essence of what the internet represents – open and free access for all.
The new rules would affect us all, but would hurt people in poorer countries and those living in dictatorships even more.
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