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How will the ITU conference affect the Internet in Africa?

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is currently locked in a series of meetings in Dubai, UAE, where it aims thrash out a number of issues surrounding the Internet and how this resource is being used globally. One of the the biggest talking points on the agenda for the 18th World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT 2012) is whether the Internet needs more stringent regulation.

Russia, China, Egypt, Sudan and several other nations tabled a draft proposal dated 5 December at the conference, in which they outline plans aimed at bringing the internet under the control of the ITU. The proposal has garnered a lot of publicity (on Tuesday it came to light that the proposal had been withdrawn).

In the preamble of the draft proposal it stated that “While the sovereign right of each State to regulate its telecommunications is fully recognized, the provisions of the present International Telecommunication Regulations (hereinafter “Regulations”) complement the Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union, with a view to attaining the purposes of the International Telecommunication Union in promoting the development of telecommunication services and their most efficient operation while harmonizing the development of facilities for worldwide telecommunications.”

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