Russia backs off plan that would place more regulation on Internet

Hamadoun Toure of Mali, the secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union, speaks at the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai.
(Ali Haider/EPA)

A Russian-led proposal by a coalition of countries to place further government regulation over the Internet has been withdrawn.

The plan under consideration by the International Telecommunication Union would have given countries the power to block the Internet from some locations, according to Reuters. Additionally, the plan would have taken control of the allocation of Internet addresses away from ICANN, a U.S.-based organization that is under contract to the U.S. Department of Commerce.


Russia’s plan was supported by China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates. Opposing it were many Western countries, including the United States and Canada.

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“It may come down to the wire,” a Western delegate, speaking anonymously, told Reuters. “There are a lot of other [similar] proposals, so I don’t think this represents a substantial conclusion and could be just maneuvering.”


The talks to draw up a new treaty are slated to end Friday at a meeting of the ITU in Dubai.



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