Leaked documents show a real threat to the international flow of information
WCITLeaks is cited in the WSJ this morning. Gordon Crovitz:
The process is secret, so it was hard to know what authoritarian governments were plotting or how the U.S. was responding. This column last month detailed some of the proposals, but other commentators doubted that any changes would be material.
Disclosure came when two academics decided to use the openness of the Web to help save the Web. George Mason University researchers Jerry Brito and Eli Dourado earlier this month created a site called WCITLeaks.org. They invited anyone with access to the documents describing the U.N. proposals to post them, so as “to foster greater transparency.” These documents are not classified but had not been made public.
The WCITLeaks site hit pay dirt this past Friday. Someone leaked the 212-page planning document being used by governments to prepare for the December conference. Mr. Dourado summarized: “These proposals show that many ITU member states want to use international agreements to regulate the Internet by crowding out bottom-up institutions, imposing charges for international communication, and controlling the content that consumers can access online.”