Originally posted on National Post | Full Comment:
Canada has firmly identified itself with friends of an uncensored Internet by joining a group of other, mainly western, countries in refusing to sign an agreement worked out by the International Telecommunications Union that represented an effort by the UN body to begin regulation of the web.
The ITU insists censorship wasn’t its intention. In fact, ITU director general Hamadoun Toure expressed astonishment that the dissenting group, which included Canada, the U.S., Britain, Norway and Australia, would object to the new arrangement. (The countries that rejected the treaty will not be bound by it and will continue to follow its 1988 predecessor.)
“I couldn’t imagine they wouldn’t sign it,” Toure said.“I especially was surprised by the reasons that were put in place. I had made it clear from the opening that [Internet and content were not a part of the discussion]. … The telecoms society and internet society need to work together. I made an appeal to please help us build bridges. The fighting will not help the consumer that we are trying to reach here.”