Future of the Net Debated in Brazil

A meeting to determine the future of the net will take place later today in Brazil.

The two day event was organised by the country's president Dilma Rousseff, following allegations that the US National Security Agency had monitored her phone calls and emails.

About 850 government officials, academics, campaigners and technical experts are attending the event, named NetMundial.

The aim of the event is to agree shared principals and highlight specific issues that could form the basis of internet governance considerations.

The US currently determines who runs the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, the body responsible for regulating the internet's codes and numbering systems.

However, by 2015 Washington aims to pass the duty over to the "global multi-stake holder community".

The Human Rights executive director Thomas Hughes said: "Part of the strength of the internet over the last couple of decades has been that the technical aspects have not had direct political or government interference.

"The real nightmare situation would be the Balkanisation of the internet with governments changing technical standards to suit commercial interests, to remove interoperability between different countries or regions of the world, and to give them the ability to perform things like mass surveillance and the control of content."

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