Deep divide at UN talks on new 'Internet regulation proposal' by Arab States
A United Nations meeting has set Britain, the United States and other Western countries against Arab States and Russia in a diplomatic battle over a new Internet regulation proposal, which many believe could restrict the freedom of cyberspace.
The US talked on an "impasse" and threatened to walk out of the World Conference on International Telecommunications held in Dubai, and is due to finish by Friday.
The threat came after the United Arab Emirates tabled proposals to extend the international treaty at the centre of the negotiations to Internet.
It currently deals mostly with traditional telecoms infrastructure by setting international standards.
According to the Telegraph, the coalition of nations behind the 22-page proposal, which also includes Russia, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Sudan, wants the updated treaty to explicitly give "governments, the private sector and civil society" a role in Internet regulation.
The US and its allies objected to the introduction of complex new material midway through the conference.
Terry Kramer, the US ambassador to the meeting, said in a video posted online on Sunday that giving governments more sway over Internet firms could damage free speech, the paper said.
"It creates an open door for review of content and potential censorship there, it will create a chilling environment for the Internet," the report quoted Kramer, as saying.
"Right now it feels like we are at an impasse because there are philosophical differences," he added.