Internet governance group RIPE has opposed the proposal for a new authoritarian-friendly Internet architecture that would likely offer governments the ability to manage and monitor every device connected to the network.
Called 'New IP', this proposal aims to replace the current internet protocols with a set of new rules. It is backed by the Chinese telecommunication equipment maker Huawei as well as the Chinese government, and was submitted to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in September last year.
The proposal was brought to public's attention last month after Financial Times published a detailed report outlining various aspects of the new proposal.
In this proposal, Chinese state controlled telecoms and hardware providers argue that existing TCP/IP is broken and won't perform well in future internet which will include things like space-terrestrial communications and holographs.
Marco Hogewoning, Manager Public Policy and Internet Governance at the RIPE NCC, doesn't agree with those arguments, however.
"Do we need New IP? I don't think we do," Hogewoning said in a blog post.
He argued that any plan to upgrade the internet should be left to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and not ITU - the telecommunications body of the United Nation.
'New IP' proposal is said to theoretically offers more proficient and well-organised network management and addressing capabilities than the current TCP/IP standard, but it also seems to have features that could allow authoritarian regimes, such as China, to censor their residents.
The proposal talks about top-down check and balances that would eventually centralise the internet and put it into the hands of some selected node operators.
Moreover, the new system would include a "shut up command" that would let a central controller to cut off data going to or from a specific address - a feature that many governments would find useful to silence activists, without requiring extra tools.
Experts have also raised concerns that the new standard could also require authorisation and authentication of not only new internet addresses, but also the individuals involved and the data packets being transmitted.
So far, regimes like Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia have expressed their support for the proposal.
Hogewoning is now urging internet governance bodies of all countries to vote against the 'New IP' proposal, which will go under a vote at a later date.
"For now, what is most important is that we, as an industry, state our needs and let decision makers know that New IP is not what we need," Hogewoning said.
"Talk to your government representatives at the ITU and elsewhere and make sure they understand that this proposal is not about a real need for new technology, but about trying to alter the governance structure of the Internet - one of the most fundamental aspects of this hugely important technology that has made it the success it is today."
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