WCITLeaks — a site launched by Jerry Brito, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and director of its Technology Policy Program — posted the documents on Friday. The post came just ahead of the Council Working Group (CWG) meeting for the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), scheduled for June 20-22, in Geneva, Switzerland.
The ITU is a U.N. agency responsible for the regulation of satellite orbits and long-distance calls. The treaty that is set to be renegotiated is the 1988 version of International Telecommunication Regulations, which deregulated international telecommunications and paved the way for the Internet.
A renegotiation of the treaty terms could place the Internet under international regulation, disrupting the current voluntary governance process — the “multi-stakeholder” process. In preparation for the December conference, ITU member states are expected to discuss the proposals at the CWG.
“The proposals are not classified, and it’s not illegal to share them,” Brito said earlier in June.
On May 31, Brazil submitted a document entitled, “Principles for the Governance and Use of the Internet.” Among the principles outlined are guarantees to “freedom, privacy and human rights,” “innovation,” and net neutrality.
According to the leaked document, Saudi Arabia proposed that the ITU secretary-general conduct a “feasibility study” to both consider increasing government representation in the CWG, and to consider the “written contributions” of “other stakeholders.”
The U.S. government has presented a united front against international governance. Lawmakers also expressed concern that in 2011, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure told then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that he considers himself “a representative of the Russian Federation at the ITU.”
Putin has openly stated a goal of establishing “international governance” over the Internet.