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The days of the Internet being a “Wild West” for users may be nearing an end as we learn that the United Nations has begun discussing the need for “enhanced cooperation of international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet.”In other words, regulating the Internet.The consultations took place a few days ago at the United Nations in New York City, and it was interesting to learn which countries favored the idea and those that did not.Representatives from Brazil, India, South Africa, China, and Saudi Arabia all agreed with the UN moderator’s remarks that there must be “some regulation” or “some discipline” on the Internet lest we have “chaos.”On the other side of the aisle representatives from the US, UK, Australia, Belgium and Canada expressed concern over the creation of a regulatory agency that would that would lack participation from members of the business community and public at large.“My concern is that if we were to make a move to form a governmental-only body then that would send a very strong signal to civil society that their valuable contribution was not required or was not being looked for,” said an unidentified representative from Australia.To get an idea of the nature of some people’s concerns we have the comments made by Dr. Linda Bulleto of the Organization for International Economic Relations. She warns of the dangers of an Internet “without rules and regulations” where people have the ability to set up fake Facebook pages and attribute the comments to others.“In a country like America, or in Australia, where we’re supposed to be civilized,” she says “and yet how, having the Internet without restrictions and limitations, [people are] uh, actually creating crimes, and so much serious havoc out in the average person’s world.” “I could set up a Facebook page in your name and you’d have no knowledge, and I can write whatever your worse nightmare is and say you are the one making those statements.”Fake Facebook pages hardly need the scrutiny of UN oversight, and domestic rules and regulations are much better suited to deal with the “problem.”A representative from India, one of the countries which did urge for UN oversight of the Internet, also tempered it by stressing the importance of the Internet and the need for transparency. “One of the key issues in this entire process that we are all looking for is that recognizing that the Internet today is universal,” he says. “It is recognized as a powerful catalyst for democracy, inclusion, liberty, equality, and so on. We cannot have a paradoxical situation where its governance lacks equitable representation, transparency, governance at the same time.”Well said.It’s not clear where the consultations will go from here, but it’s important we all stay informed.