Vint Cerf, one of the early U.S. computer scientists behind Internet prototype ARPANET in the 1970s, penned an op-ed in CNN on Thursday on behalf of his newer role as Google's "chief Internet evangelist," a position designed to identify emergent technologies and opportunities.
In his latest op-ed, Cerf argues that the U.N. is not the appropriate agency to host discussions on new regulations of the Internet, a timely critique given that the U.N.'s telecom agency, the International Telecommunciaiton Union (ITU), is poised to do just that at its World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012 (WCIT 12) in Dubai on Dec. 3-14. As Cerf writes, in part:
Let us be clear: We do not advocate for an end to the ITU. The UN agency has helped the world manage radio spectrum and wired and wireless telephone networks, bringing much needed investment to the developing world.
But this inter-governmental agency is the wrong place to make decisions about the future of the internet. Only governments have a vote at the ITU. This includes governments that do not support a free and open internet. Engineers, companies, and people that build and use the web have no vote.
The move follows on the heels of Google's online user petition against new U.N. Internet regulations, called "#FreeandOpen" launched November 20.