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UN Seeks Permission to Inspect Internet Traffic
In the name of security, the United Nations' International Telecommunications Union now wants to monitor Internet traffic, including both e-mails and VoIP. For that, ITU has taken the unprecedented step of adopting a standard for the Internet, which would essentially give the UN body the right to inspect Internet traffic on a global basis.
Kevin G. Coleman, a security technology expert and a senior fellow with the Technolytics Institute, indicates that ITU members decided to adopt a standard, known as Y.2770, which would permit the inspection of Internet traffic. If enforced, the ITU will have the right to open any e-mail and read the contents inside. According to Coleman, “The only defense against this is encryption.”
It is not just about reading e-mails; the ITU standard means that VoIP phone calls sent, received or routed through a country's pipelines would be subject to the same monitoring, wrote Coleman. However, the security expert believes that such a decision will be vehemently opposed. In fact, column shows that even Internet pioneers Vinton Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee have already voiced their opposition to the ITU's intentions.This ITU move has angered hackers planning to unleash massive attacks. Media reports indicate that one such group called Anonymous has announced plans to launch cyber attacks against the ITU website. In fact, BBC reported that the website of World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai on Dec. 3-14, 2012 was attacked and forced offline. As a result, delegates were unable to access material from the website for two hours on Wednesday, Dec.5.
ITU members are convening at the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai to consider debating the standard. However, it is interesting to note that the U.S. Congress passed a resolution on Dec. 5 calling on the U.S. government to oppose the UN's control of the Internet. However, as per Coleman’s column, there are numerous interpretations of the proposed document and they vary greatly. ‘While there is a clear need to aggressively address cyber threat, this is NOT the way,” asserts Coleman.
Similarly, Google (News - Alert) has also raised its voice against such control. Touting an open and free Internet, the search engine giant is telling the world’s governments via its home page “keep the Internet free and open.”
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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