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december 12, 2012 • 10:53 AM

UN group to pick global emergency number

Negotiators at a conference on U.N. telecommunications regulations say they've found one bit of common ground — how to call for help.

Envoys from 193 nations will decide between 911 or 112 as a standard global emergency number for new generations of mobile phones and other devices.

Wednesday's announcement marks a rare show of consensus at the International Telecommunications Union meeting in Dubai, where delegates remain deeply divided over whether to endorse greater government sway over the Internet.

A U.S.-led bloc fears it could be used by nations to justify greater Net restrictions. Others such as China, Russia and Gulf Arab states are pushing for acknowledgement that governments have a key stake in Internet affairs.

Both sides are engaged in intense lobbying before the meeting wraps up on Friday.

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