Vint Cerf, the legendary computer scientist who co-created the TCP/IP networking protocols that serve as the Internet’s foundation, is not happy that United Nations wants to apply old telecom regulations to his creation. Cerf, who now serves as Google’s (GOOG) Chief Internet Evangelist, has written a post on Google’s official blog this week urging people to take action to protest the International Telecommunication Union’s plan to amend the International Telecommunications Regulations treaty to regulate the Internet.
The ITU, which is an agency of the UN, will be convening with governments from across the world this week to decide whether to apply the treaty to the Internet for the first time in its history. Cerf says that this meeting has the potential to add several damaging regulations to the Internet, as several authoritarian governments are likely to propose highly restrictive rules that would be damaging to freedom of speech and expression.
“Several authoritarian regimes reportedly propose to ban anonymity from the web, making it easier to find and arrest dissidents,” Cerf writes in a separate opinion piece posted on CNN. “Others have proposed moving the responsibilities of the private sector system that manages domain names and internet addresses to the United Nations. Yet other proposals would require any internet content provider, small or large, to pay new tolls in order to reach people across borders.”
Cerf recommends that anyone interested in voice their disapproval with the ITU’s meeting can sign a petition at Google’s “Take Action” page to support “a free and open Internet.”