RPT-U.S. says will not sign ITU telecom treaty in current form

DUBAI Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:42pm EST

DUBAI Dec 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. will not sign the International Telecommunications Union's treaty in its current form, said Terry Kramer, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. body on Thursday, as voting began on the proposal.

The United States and its allies have fought during the 12-day conference to keep the mandate of the International Telecommunications Union, a part of the United Nations, from extending to oversight to the Internet.

A large bloc of countries led by Russia supports adding language to the treaty that could open the door to more regulation of cyberspace on issues from spam, security and the assignment of addresses to web pages.

"It's with a heavy heart and a sense of missed opportunities that the U.S. must communicate that it's not able to sign the agreement in the current form," said Kramer at the conference.

"The Internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefit during these past 24 years. All without U.N. regulation," he said.