US dominates Internet regulation.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: India is lobbying the international community to create an inter-governmental Internet watchdog agency, which would create strict guidelines for how the Internet should be used and monitor how the worldwide web is used in countries around the globe, essentially creating the worldâ€™s first major multi-national Internet regulatory agency.
The countryâ€™s interest in Internet monitoring comes on the heels of the revelation that the US intelligence agencies did, in fact, monitor the communications of the Indian government, specifically emails. The US government made the admission, but said that the content of these emails was never targeted nor read, just received the emailsâ€™ destinations and â€œmetadata.â€
The revelation, which was hinted at months ago by former NSA contractor and current US government whistleblower-cum-fugitive Edward Snowden, came as part of the Cyber Crime, Cyber Security, and Right to Privacy report, which was released by the Indian government. In it, the secretary of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) said that the US was looking into Indian emails.
The Indian government responded to assurances from the White House that email content was never read by saying that such infringements on IndianÂ are â€œnot [to] be tolerated, and [are] not tolerable from Indian stand and point of view.â€ To reinforce that standpoint, India is asking that all countries watch each other on the Internet, so that no country can go around snooping on anyone else.
Currently, what little of the Internet is regulated is done so from the US. American agencies are responsible for making sure that Internet domain names are properly registered and do not conflict with one another, as part of its National Telecom and Information Administration (NTIA). The Indian security division, its National Security Council Secretariat (NCSC), wants power over Internet domains split among all countries.
Reports indicate that India is actively looking into making Internet regulation a reality. At the UN meetings in Geneva, Switzerland last month, Indian officials spoke with delegates from several other countries, and supposedly already have support from Saudi Arabia and Russia, but are facing opposition from big guns like the European Union, the UK, Japan, and Sweden.
For its part, the United Nations already has some small sub-agencies in place, such as the International Telecommunications Union and the Internet Governance Forum, but what India is looking for is direct involvement and cooperation among nations.
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