A United Nations task force formed last week said it was considering the creation of a new inter-governmental working group to help further international cooperation on policies to police the Internet.
The discussion was undertaken to "enhance" and extend the work of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a UN-sponsored organization that makes recommendations on how governments should deal with the Internet. The IGF's mandate is due to expire soon, so members of the UN's Commission on Science and Technology for Development Bureau took up the issue and formed a task force to determine what the new IGF should look like.
The bureau's members, however, decided their task force would be limited to governments only, with no representation by civil or industry groups.
The decision drew a sharp warning from search giant Google, which insisted that the next IGF, if comprised only of governments, could result in them obtaining a "monopoly" on how the Internet is run, as opposed to the current model where innovation flows from the bottom up. Google's blog said the firm had joined a petition of other industry groups in opposing the composition of the UN's task force.