From ARS Technica:
Quick show of hands: which four countries would you most trust to introduce a United Nations-backed “international code of conduct for information security” on the Internet? If your list included China, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, then you'll love the new code of conduct (PDF) introduced at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week.
The proposed code of conduct would be voluntary, but it is clearly aimed at staking out more ground for nation-states when it comes to the Internet. As the document's preamble states, “policy authority for Internet-related public issues is the sovereign right of States”—not of the IETF, or of ICANN, or of a multistakeholder process that includes business and civil society.
The code demands that countries show respect for “human rights and fundamental freedoms” and pledges support for “combating criminal and terrorist activities that use information and communications technologies, including networks.” States would also pledge not to use Internet tools to “carry out hostile activities or acts of aggression.”
But the document commits its signatories to “curbing the dissemination of information that incites terrorism, secession-ism, or extremism, or that undermines other countries' political, economic, and social stability, as well as their spiritual and cultural environment.”
Governments will also have the responsibility to “lead all elements of society, including its information and communication partnerships with the private sector, to understand the roles and responsibilities with regard to information security.”...MORE