Developments over the past few months — and especially the revelations about the spying work of the NSA on friendly governments and their people and businesses — show how important it is to try and establish some high-level strategies relating to managing the governance of the internet. While companies like Google have been lobbying hard against WCIT-12 — basically because they are opposed to any government interference in the internet — the reality is that, clearly without their knowledge, their own American government through the NSA is already directly interfering in their network.
So the whole notion of lobbying against government interference in the internet has now proved to be farcical. In itself this is a very sad story but it is clearly the new reality.
Companies such as Google, as well some of the others who voted against WCIT-12, were to a certain extent also blinded by their belief that WCIT-12 was all about incumbent (European) telcos receiving protection against the competition that they are getting from the internet media companies. While that is a very legitimate issue it was already clear before WCIT started that it would be a non-starter, as indeed was the case — it got no traction at the conference. read more