GoDaddy.com – World’s No.1 Domain Registrar, recently announced it is maintaining its steadfast support of the U.S. government’s position opposing the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) treaty and a last-minute resolution aimed at relinquishing control of the Internet to the United Nations.
The U.S. government, along with several Internet companies including Google and Go Daddy, has adamantly opposed new government controls outlined in the proposed telecommunications treaty debated during the past two weeks at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai.
“We stand with the Internet community-at-large in rejecting any plans that would allow this treaty to regulate the Web,” said newly-appointed Go Daddy General Counsel Nima Kelly. “It is clear to us that some have a keen interest in censorship, but we believe organic expression … freedom of speech … is what makes the Internet such an empowering force in our society.”
The debate over giving control of digital communications to the U.N. took place over the last two weeks in the United Arab Emirates, whose government was among those calling for further Internet restrictions.
Go Daddy was a member of the U.S. delegation attending the WCIT and has always supported the principles cited by the U.S., Canada and several European countries in their refusal to support the proposed resolution. The U.S. contends the Internet should not have been referenced from the start and argues the resolution diminishes free speech because it would replace the more open form of Internet oversight, with a government-led model. Currently, multi-stakeholder organizations, such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names Numbers (ICANN) manage key functions of the Internet.
Blake Irving, who officially takes the reins as Go Daddy CEO next month, echoed concerns over the proposed changes to regulate the Internet. “The global nature of the Internet, as we know it, has been, and is, vitally important to freedom of speech. The Internet is the ‘voice’ for societal needs and consumer demands.”
Go Daddy is the world’s largest provider of Web Hosting and Domain Names, serving as a one-stop shop for small businesses to leverage the power of the Internet. Go Daddy serves nearly 11 million customers globally.
The goal of the conference, which failed, was to review and revise the 1988 treaty for all members. The conference, some say, uncovered a deep philosophical divide between world governments and vastly different visions about the future of the Internet. As for what happens next with the resolution, there will be no immediate impact on the Internet, though it is certainly not the end of the discussion.