The open internet that has thrived over the past two decades -- the one we have come to know and love -- is threatened.
That's because several countries, including Russia and China, are proposing to expand the powers of a closed UN institution, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which would give governments greater control over how we access the internet. None of these negotiations have been made public, and an upcoming meeting on June 20-22 will begin to consider proposals that will have a direct impact on our freedom of expression, access to information, and privacy rights.
And what's worse, the ITU won't even release their negotiating documents to the public or give internet users a seat at the table.
Let's see if we can reach 20,000 signatories before they meet.
The ITU gives every country one vote -- that's why it’s crucial we call upon our individual governments to support our cause. Multi-stakeholder governance of the internet is one of the reasons we can so easily access sites around the world, share with our friends on social networks, and participate in a global community.
Though the ITU has played an important role in telecommunications management and its use for development, this is not a cause to expand its mandate.
While an evolution of internet governance is needed (including an examination of the role of the US), it should evolve in the same way that it was originally designed -- in an open, decentralized, and inclusive manner.
It's time to mobilize our countries, who each have a vote at the ITU, to join our cause.
Sign the petition (to the right) before June 20, demanding the ITU make its plans public and keep the internet as it has been designed -- open, decentralized, and allowing everyone to have a say over how it's governed.
You can also express your opinion to Hon'ble Minister of Commn and IT - Mr. Kapil Sibal @ firstname.lastname@example.org - he needs to know that we, the Indian Citizen, care about how the internet evolves.
He needs to know how we feel so that he can represent us at the vote - The Internet Belongs To All Of Us and is Not Government Property.