GENEVA, Oct 8: The United States will oppose any major revision to 24-year-old global telecommunications regulations at an international conference in December, the head of the US delegation said on Monday, insisting the internet must remain free and open.

“We need to avoid suffocating... the internet space through well-meaning but overly-proscriptive proposals that would seek to control content or seek to mandate routing and payment practices,” said Terry Kramer, the special envoy named for World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai at the end of the year.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Kramer said Washington was eager to cooperate with other nations to reach a consensus on alterations to global regulations set up by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 1988, but stressed that only minimal changes would be acceptable.

Kramer reiterated Washington’s opposition to proposals from a number of countries to expand the ITU’s authority to regulate the internet, insisting, for instance, that his country did not want cyber security to fall under the UN agency’s mandate.

While acknowledging a sharp hike in hacking and cyber crimes, with around 67,000 so-called malware attacks reported around the world every day, the US ambassador insisted that ITU regulations were “not an appropriate or useful venue to address cyber security.”—AFP

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