UN opens debate on Internet future to public

Last updated 10:04 16/08/2012

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The UN telecoms agency has invited over 2 billion Internet users to join a debate about the future of the Internet.

The Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union's announcement  on Wednesday follows criticism from civil society groups who say preparations for an upcoming global conference have been shrouded in secrecy.

The World Conference on International Telecommunications takes place December 3-14 in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai.

Diplomats have for months been holding closed-doors discussions about proposals that include enhanced government surveillance and changing the way Internet traffic is billed.

Industry groups have warned that some of the proposals could jeopardize the smooth running of the Internet.

Activists, meanwhile, say greater government control of the Internet could endanger free speech online.

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- AP

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