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UN conference on Web regulatory changes gets hacked

Dubai was the site of last week's United Nations World Conference on International Telecommunications.

Dubai was the site of last week's United Nations World Conference on International Telecommunications.

Last week, the United Nations' World Conference On International Telecommunications (WCIT) was held in Dubai. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the governance of the Web and possibly expanding the powers of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The event was stalled on Wednesday, ironically, when it was targeted by hackers.

According to a ZDNet article, the main meeting and several ITU websites were temporarily disabled by a suspected cyber attack. The article points out that the effects were more significant than usual because the conference was completely paperless in an effort to minimize waste. With attendees speaking a multitude of languages, denying access to translations of important documents online stalled proceedings for about two hours.

A bevy of politicians and government officials, both in the United States and the European Union, have voiced their opposition to the UN and members of the telecoms industry trying to exert more control over the internet.

Even the AFL-CIO sent an email to the press, asking U.S. lawmakers to denounce this initiative, according to The Daily Caller.

"A group of giant internet corporations and countries, including China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia – countries that already impose heavy restrictions on internet freedoms – have put forward proposed regulatory changes to the UN World Conference on International Telecommunications," the email said. "Internet governance decisions should be made in a transparent manner with genuine multi-stakeholder participation from civil society, governments, and the private sector."

The internet has become an invaluable tool for day-to-day operations, communications and marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. How the Web landscape changes based on regulatory policy shifts can drastically affect these strategies, which is why managed IT support must go beyond hardware and software capabilities and take into account the long-term effects of such happenings on technology initiatives.