The World Conference on International Telecommunications, or WCIT, a convening of mostly government officials from member countries of the ITU - the Internet Telecommunications Union, a UN body - that will determine how the global internet is governed in the future, started in Dubai on December 3 and will continue till December 14, 2012.
The meeting has been the subject of controversy since as early as May, when leaked documents pertaining to WCIT were posted on WCITleaks, prompting fury from digital rights advocates.
The documents, proposals for how the internet ought to be governed, show the extent to which certain countries are seeking more power over the internet. One proposal shows how a group of Arab countries is advocating strict identification of all internet users, while the Africa regional group is pushing for "harmonisation" amongst member states when it comes to the retention of data. And leaked Russian proposals suggest countries should have the right "to regulate the national internet segment".
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