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American Intransigence Saves the Internet…for Now

The Internet will stay free and open for one more day, as a Russian-led proposal to regulate it collapsed yesterday at talks in Dubai. The talks, at a meeting of the International Telecommunications Union, have been ongoing for a week. Stiff resistance to the Russian plans (also backed by China and several autocratic Arab and African regimes) by the U.S., Canada and the EU, seems to have borne fruit, although the battle is not over yet:

“It looks like the Russians and Chinese overplayed their hand,” said American cyber security expert Jim Lewis of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

U.S. ambassador Terry Kramer welcomed the decision to withdraw the Russia-led plan. But he also said: “These issues will continue to be on the table for discussion in other forms during the remainder of the conference.”

Uncompromising American leadership against a “global consensus” is sometimes a very good thing. The conference is set to wind down by the end of the week. Via Meadia will be watching closely.

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