Talks break down on internet treaty after UK refuses to sign

INTERNATIONAL negotiations over internet regulation collapsed without a conclusion last night, as representatives from the UK and US refused to agree to terms demanded by countries including Russia, China and Iran.

Two weeks of talks over a reformed UN communications agreement came to a head as a host of western nations said they would not sign a proposed bill that could lead to greater censorship. A bloc of countries wants to add clauses to the treaty that would create international laws on spam messages and security issues, but opponents highlighted the risks associated with the proposals, warning that they could be used to clamp down on free speech.

“We’re not able to sign a bad agreement that does nobody any favours and makes nobody happy,” British representatives said ahead of today’s vote, which is expected to be rejected.