Fox News: Envoys from nearly 90 nations signed today the first new U.N. telecommunications treaty since the Internet age, but the U.S. and other Western nations refused to join after claiming it endorses greater government control over cyberspace.
More than 20 countries joined the U.S. on Friday in refusing to sign the protocols by the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union, or ITU, claiming it opens the door to greater government controls of the Net and could be used by authoritarian states to justify further crackdowns on cyberspace.
Rival countries -- including Iran, China and African states -- insist the governments should have a greater sway over Internet affairs and seek to break a perceived Western grip on information technology. They also favor greater international help to bring reliable online links to the world's least developed regions.
The ITU -- which dates to the age of the telegraph in the mid-19th century -- has no technical powers to change how the Internet operates or force countries to follow its nonbinding accords, which also dealt with issues such as mobile phone roaming rates and international emergency numbers.