“If Internet governance ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

The best solution to improving oversight of the Internet may be to do nothing at all, a senior U.S. official said…while briefing reporters on a conference…that could decide to consolidate control within a U.N. body.

The International Telecommunication Union, the U.N. body convening the conference, has said there is broad consensus that the treaty governing the way international voice, data and video traffic is handled needs to be updated after 24 years.

With the rapid spread of the Internet around the world, the 178 signatories have decided to look into ways of increasing collaboration, using telecoms to drive economic development, and making the rules more relevant and responsive to the fast-evolving industry.

However, doing nothing “would not be a terrible outcome at all”, said U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer, who will head the U.S. delegation at the World Conference on International Telecommunications, which will be held in Dubai.

“The natural path we’re on is pretty good,” he told reporters in Geneva.

“Does that mean there aren’t things that could improve? Absolutely there are things that could improve. But the best thing to do, if you could pick two options, one is to get prescriptive and get into a lot of things versus leaving things open, we’re much better by leaving things open…”

Between ideologues who have nanny state-remits the size of a biblical epoch and political hacks living off the corporate dole I wonder sometimes how much longer Netizens will enjoy the comparative freedom we’ve had, so far. Yes, I know that varies from culture to culture. Cripes, I’ve been online since 1983.

The battle closest to my heart remains the confrontation between Web generations still intoxicated by the level of free speech afforded by the Web – and puritans, hucksters for rules and regulations committed as thoroughly to preventing thought as restricting dissent and freethought.

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