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US No Longer the World's Internet Hub

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the couldn't-last-forever dept.

United States 433

museumpeace brings us a New York Times story about how internet traffic is increasingly flowing around the US as web-based industries catch up in other parts of the world. Other issues, such as the Patriot Act, have made foreign companies wary about having their data on US servers. From the NYTimes: "Internet industry executives and government officials have acknowledged that Internet traffic passing through the switching equipment of companies based in the United States has proved a distinct advantage for American intelligence agencies. In December 2005, The New York Times reported that the National Security Agency had established a program with the cooperation of American telecommunications firms that included the interception of foreign Internet communications. Some Internet technologists and privacy advocates say those actions and other government policies may be hastening the shift in Canadian and European traffic away from the United States."

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No surprising (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810459)

Americans would also be up in arms if most of their traffic was routed through China.

Good Riddance (5, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810471)

The Internet isn't supposed to have a "hub". It's supposed to be completely distributed and decentralized.

Besides, why should the US carry all the rest of the world's traffic? The world is a globe, which doesn't have a center. Why should Europe / East Asia connections pass through the US? Let them build their share of the interconnects. They've got way more people, and we need all our bandwidth for ourselves, just like anyone else.

The US invented the Internet. We should be exporting equipment and expertise, so the rest of the world can do business with us (and with each other our way), and get paid right to do it.

Re:Good Riddance (5, Funny)

emandres (857332) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810511)

I'm pretty sure the world has a center... but it'd be a heck of a feat trying to cool that server farm.

Re:Good Riddance (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810637)

I heard the ocean stays quite cool.

Re:Good Riddance (4, Funny)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810667)

Aha! So that's what Al Gore was proving with global warming! That the world's servers are overheating.

Re:Good Riddance (5, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810669)

The Earth has a center, because it is a sphere. But no one lives outside a small band +/- 400m from the surface, so "the world" is a shell that has no center.

No one except the Mole Men, and they've got their own Internet. Which is really more an "Infranet", but that's their problem.

Re:Good Riddance (4, Funny)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810889)

So you are saying I could leave the world by going up or down?

Hmm, I think there are religions based on that...

Re:Good Riddance (4, Informative)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810957)

The Earth has a center, because it is a sphere. But no one lives outside a small band +/- 400m from the surface, so "the world" is a shell that has no center.

No one except the Mole Men, and they've got their own Internet. Which is really more an "Infranet", but that's their problem.

There are large population centers [wikipedia.org] more than 400m above sealevel (more than twice that, actually). Plus there are people in the dead sea [wikipedia.org] which is 420 meters below sea level.

And that's before we start counting the people living on the ISS, the people living in the salt mine city [wikipedia.org] , Atlantians (Deeper or Higher than 400m depending on who you talk to) or the mole men.....

Re:Good Riddance (3, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811051)

"Sealevel" is "the surface" only at sea. There's practically no one living 400m above or below the actual surface of the sea.

The rest of the world lives within 400m of the surface, even if that surface is a mile above "sealevel".

And the ones outside that narrow shell aren't on the Internet. Except for a tiny few in another shell inhabited briefly by airplanes, and another orbital shell inhabited by fewer people than the sampling margin of error.

Re:Good Riddance (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811077)

Not all of the surface of the Earth is at sea level.

Re:Good Riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810547)

Quoting the fine article (actually, the text on the graph in it): "(...), most of Europe's traffic has always been routed intraregionally".

Re:Good Riddance (0, Offtopic)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810683)

Moderation 0
    50% Interesting
    50% Flamebait

I explain [slashdot.org] that the Internet is supposed to be decentralized, and that the US should benefit from its growth, and that's "Flamebait". Why do TrollMods hate America? Why do they hate the Internet?

Re:Good Riddance (1)

michaelmuffin (1149499) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811091)

Moderation 0 50% Interesting 50% Flamebait

Why do TrollMods hate America?

i concur. yeah sure, america does a lot of naughty things, but this isn't one of them. foreign countries aren't forced to route their internet traffic thru the us. there is absolutely nothing stopping them from buying american equipment and building their own networks. this is indeed exactly what the summary (read the article? psh) says is happening. so where's the problem?

Don't miss the point. (1, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811103)

People opposed to the destruction of your freedom love the US and the principles it stands for.

Technically, the US deserves a better network. Traffic flowing between the UK and China, for example, should be quicker through the US than it does through any other route. Every thing we do to monitor that traffic is money that should be spent on something else. It's not just a backbone issue. US last mile problems keep US citizens from participating and making money off a free network as much as it makes the US a low return market for the rest of the world.

As the article points out, a technically excellent network is not enough. Freedom and privacy trump speed at some point.

There's a vast cost to the little police state the mega corps have tried to inflict on the US. They think they have won a great prize, but it will melt in their hands. Prosperity depends on freedom and justice. People won't work without clear and just rewards. As the US economy consolidates to Soviet Union style ownership, it's output will shrink to a similar size.

Anyone who loves the US will be doing everything they can to insure the US has a strong and free internet. Without that, the US will plunge into an information dark age and take much of the rest of the world with it. Those of you outside of the US need should realize that your liberty and economy won't last long in a world dominated by the US, China and Russia as they exist today.

Re:Good Riddance (3, Interesting)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810887)

Might be, but still there are bound to be hubs, peer points, data exchanges in places where traffic is centralized, e.g. at points where transcontinental cables go through the sea, etc.

I think the protocol is decentralized, but the fysical connections cannot be.

You can hardly connect each and every computer on the globe directly, can you?

I know, for example, that one of the longest or maybe the longest direct connection goes from somewhere in Germany straight through to Japan, some 40.000 kilometres.

Re:Good Riddance (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811107)

Of course there are Internet "hubs". I've got several of them right there in my office LAN. But that's different from something being "the" hub.

The Internet is so diverse and capable of so much decentralization that it even includes lots of hubs. But that's different from the majority of the world's traffic going through a single country that isn't at an endpoint. The US being "the world's Internet hub" was a temporary historical artifact, at odds with actual Internet architecture once the Internet was truly global, and not just "the USA's extranet".

Re:Good Riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24811031)

> Let them build their share of the interconnects. They've got way more people, and we need all our bandwidth for ourselves, just like anyone else.

You are aware, that the interconnections from/to the US were usually built with majorly foreign money? Because the US was a central hub for the internet, providing most of the services, foreign companies had a much higher interest in building a connection to the US, than the other way around (or to another continent).
This was a positive feedback loop, because this further emphasised the central position of the US in the internet.

Re:Good Riddance (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811151)

Evidence?

Re:Good Riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24811037)

Don't be silly! The centre of the world is the uk, at gmt+0. OK we put that line there but that's beside the issue.

Re:Good Riddance (1)

knutkracker (1089397) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811063)

The US invented the Internet

The DMCA is warping your mind. You can't invent tubes!

Re:Good Riddance (1)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811139)

The world is a globe, which doesn't have a center.

I'm lost.

Pick your favorite intelligence agency (2, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810503)

Internet traffic passing through the switching equipment of companies based in the United States has proved a distinct advantage for American intelligence agencies

He, who would rather be helping Russian or Chinese agencies, really ought to sleep in the bed they are making for themselves...

Re:Pick your favorite intelligence agency (1)

theM_xl (760570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810575)

That *might* have been semi-reassuring say, ten years ago.

Re:Pick your favorite intelligence agency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810689)

Live both places for a year, let me know how that works out. I'm sure you'll love your internet access in China.

Semi-reassuring indeed.

Re:Pick your favorite intelligence agency (4, Funny)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810613)

Yeah, because American intelligence agencies have morals!

Re:Pick your favorite intelligence agency (2, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810877)

Yeah, because American intelligence agencies have morals!

No, but they are under some sort of civillian political control. In Russia and China intelligence agencies control YOU (If YOU=the civillian politicians). US intelligence agencies are actually controlled by the law whereas in Russia or China they operate completely outside it.

But I'm sure loads of Americans will now tell me that the US is as bad or worse than countries that do this

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1834474,00.html [time.com]

70 something Beijing residents get their house taken away by politically well connected developers. They apply for a permit to protest and are punished by being sent to a reeducation through labour camp without any trial.

Re:Pick your favorite intelligence agency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24811019)

70 something Beijing residents get their house taken away by politically well connected developers. They apply for a permit to protest and are punished by being sent to a reeducation through labour camp without any trial.

It seems to me all you are saying is that the US is a couple of years behind the curve. Give it a little more time.

Re:Pick your favorite intelligence agency (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24811121)

Yeah, because American intelligence agencies have morals!

Indeed they do. Standards of morality vary sometimes significantly depending on the beliefs of the person or group in question. US intelligence agencies standards of morality however are closer to those of La Cosa Nostra then they are to the standards of morality that a freedom lover has, even though the workers for the agencies may believe they are supporting freedom, the agencies' mere existence is antithema to it.

Finding humor in such is akin to laughing in the face of death. It may even prove humorous to discover which of the parties that found insult in the above is knocking at my door.

Just a marketing problem (5, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810525)

Other countries wouldn't have a problem with routing their traffic through the United States if we had good public relations...

"For every packet your country sends through the U.S., you will automatically be entered in a drawing for one of your citizens to win an all-expenses paid trip to exotic, sunny Cuba!"

That would get them excited!

Re:Just a marketing problem (3, Funny)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810619)

"For every packet your country sends through the U.S., you will automatically be entered in a drawing for one of your citizens to win an all-expenses paid trip to exotic, sunny Cuba!"

"And depending on the packet's contents, participants may qualify for accommodation in our luxury Guantanamo Bay resort."

Re:Just a marketing problem (1)

mdm42 (244204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810657)

I'm pretty sure I di get that email. Very pleasant sound message.

"Your packets have recently been sighted in Langley, VA. We value your loyal custom so esteemedly. According you have won our GRAND PRIZE of $250000000000...."

Now I just have to figure out how to get them that $1000 processing fee and I'll be set for life!

Re:Just a marketing problem (1)

ari{Dal} (68669) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811007)

I'm actually heading to Cuba for Christmas, though avoiding the small American part of it. Havana and Varadero are definitely destinations to get excited about.

Oh hey (0, Troll)

kjzk (1097265) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810535)

Another example of how the failed GOP policies are moving progress backwards in this country.

Re:Oh hey (5, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810651)

The U.S. has about 5% of the worlds population and is separate by large amounts of water from more than 80% of the global population.

Thus, in the long term, it simply doesn't make any sense that the U.S. would be the world's internet hub, so this isn't really evidence of decay or any other silliness, it is just as easily interpreted as global progress.

Re:Oh hey (4, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810837)

The problem is not that the US is not a 'hub' but rather that the US is lately seen as a place that is not a safe place to keep your data (for US citizens as well, actually). It's bad business.

Re:Oh hey (1)

spurdy (590954) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810731)

"...moving progress backwards"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Re:Oh hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810913)

moving progress backwards"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

And a Republican bumper sticker available everywhere this fall.

Re:Oh hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24811153)

"...moving progress backwards"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

woosh! it was a joke, man. if you picked up on jokes any slower, you'd be picking up on them backwards :)

and i think its important (4, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810537)

to stop this harmful globalization of our internet. i mean, its america where the tubes are and it needs to stay that way. globalization of the internet harms our way of life, and the future of our children.

why, just last week a boy in arkansas was forced to GeoIP his way to a foreign server so he could has cheezburger. what next? rich icons like goatse and the fat lightsaber guy? but only in that weird numa numa language? the mustard man hosted in russia?

Only one rationional response to this (2)

UncleWilly (1128141) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810559)

good

I'm glad! (5, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810583)

The complete and utter arrogance of our Government and it's treatment of, not only us, but the rest of the World is starting to bite us in the ass. Not only with our Government's attitude with tapping the internet but also with our perceived superiority in space. We are no longer the leaders in space technology thanks to our Government. Other countries have workarounds to our technology because it was too much of a pain to do business with American firms. [economist.com] All because our Government believes that we have a monopoly on technology and smart people.

See, our paranoia and fear is now hurting our economy. And as a result it's hastening our decline. Maybe this will be a wake up call to the powers that be.

Re:I'm glad! (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810719)

I got the information that broadband is a mess in the Us, do you think that is true?

Re:I'm glad! (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810777)

I got the information that broadband is a mess in the Us, do you think that is true?

Define "mess". We don't have the penetration per capita as many other countries but that has more to do with legislation that give companies local monopolies than with internal security.

Re:I'm glad! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810739)

As a Brit I'm glad too. Now that our traffic is less likely to cross your borders, if one of your bonkers politicians finally gets the content-filtered Jesusnet they're demanding it will be much easier for the rest of us to ignore you.

I'm glad!-Freedom in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24811117)

"The complete and utter arrogance of our Government and it's treatment of, not only us, but the rest of the World is starting to bite us in the ass."

Is it? Can you honestly tell me that other countries not only don't spy on their own citizens, but they don't spy on other countries for intelligence and economic gain?

Thanks, washington (5, Interesting)

merreborn (853723) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810595)

Thanks, Washington. Between the patriot act and the DMCA, you've managed to legislate one of the few booming industries we had out of the country.

Used to be, there were four things we did better than anyone else:
music
movies
microcode
high-speed pizza delivery

You're really trying to cross things off that list as fast as you can, aren't you?

Re:Thanks, washington (5, Insightful)

Inglix the Mad (576601) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810649)

Well, truth be told, those people in Washington are elected. Perhaps people should look in the mirror and if they've voted for President Bush or anyone, and I mean ANYONE, that has voted for the UN-Patriot Acts I & II, the DMCA, et al., seriously consider educating themselves before voting this time. Of course that won't happen.

Re:Thanks, washington (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811045)

Umm, newsflash, politicians in the US generally vote on more then a couple of things a term. Demanding that everybody be voted out of office for one or two bad votes is demanding a lot.

Sure some of them like the Patriot act and DMCA are pretty, incredibly huge, but they are only a very small portion of the total number of bills that are mooted or actually voted on.

Not to mention the fact that apart from the Patriot act, the vast majority of bills get changed during the process of bringing them to a vote.

Re:Thanks, washington (0, Offtopic)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811089)

The problem with the old "Get out an vote!" argument,is while that can work at the local level,such as mayor,state senator,etc it just doesn't work on the national level. Both parties are simply too corrupt. Or do you actually think the American people thought that absolute best we have to offer is Obama and McCain? Your choices are one corporate ass kissing pro spying suckup or the other. That is why I'll be throwing my vote away on Barr,because after FISA and Biden I just can't stand the idea of Obama. I'm predicting the McCain wins by 12,which means we'll have another 4 years of Bush. Hell,you could run 2000 McCain against 2008 McCain and they wouldn't have any beliefs in common! But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

Re:Thanks, washington (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810693)

I would say the British were better at music, but maybe I'm just biased.

Re:Thanks, washington (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810903)

South Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese are better at Pizza delivery too.

Re:Thanks, washington (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810983)

In South Korea only old people route web traffic through the US.

Re:Thanks, washington (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810943)

Are you sure?

Most modern music: jazz, blues, rock n' roll, hip hop originated in the US. Not sure what else originated in the UK other than drum n' bass, and it suxors.

Re:Thanks, washington (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24811127)

Well, maybe he's biased and only likes cult bands like The Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath, Elton John, Cream, The Who, David Bowie...

Re:Thanks, washington (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810729)

To be fair, the UK were great at the three first of those, arguably better per-dollar, for a while.
Then again, they seem to be equally keen to distance themselves from it as well - I'm not quite sure what that says about anything.

Re:Thanks, washington (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811105)

To be fair to America though, they are still a lot better at high-speed pizza delivery than us. If you avoid large chains, they are typically better in terms of speed, price and quality. If you go with a large chain, they just win on price and speed (Pizza Hut in the UK, for example, makes nicer pizzas than Pizza Hut in the USA, but charges about the same in pounds that its US counterpart charges in dollars and takes about twice as long to deliver).

Re:Thanks, washington (3, Funny)

CaptainTux (658655) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810835)

high-speed pizza delivery

And that whole pizza delivery thing will be gone as soon as we start hearing someone answering the phone as

Thank you for calling Domino's Pizza. This is Agent Jentson speaking, how can I help you?"

Re:Thanks, washington (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810993)

I always felt that India had better movies, but maybe I'm just biased.
Who can resist the talent of giants like Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor.
Bollywood rules!

Re:Thanks, washington (1)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811057)

Snow Crash. I keep on meaning to read that book...

Re:Thanks, washington (1)

bigplrbear (1179259) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811169)

Thanks, Washington. Between the patriot act and the DMCA, you've managed to legislate one of the few booming industries we had out of the country.

Used to be, there were four things we did better than anyone else: music movies microcode high-speed pizza delivery

You're really trying to cross things off that list as fast as you can, aren't you?

Yeah seriously- nowadays, the music sucks, movies suck, and our microcode sucks too. The only thing left on that list is high-speed pizza delivery, and with gas prices getting higher and higher, I doubt that it has long to live

Logical conclusion of this (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810605)

Over time the Internet will turn into islands of privacy and security, in a sea of spam, surveillance, and people who at one time would have used AOL.

Re:Logical conclusion of this (5, Interesting)

Joebert (946227) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810721)

Someone left a few Yahoo Internet Life Mags [ozzu.com] from 1998 on my chair yesterday. There was a predictions for 1998 section in the January issue with some similar thoughts.

Penn Jillette (Penn and Teller), 1998

We will continue to be told that freedom is a bad idea. The Net will be blamed for more kiddie porn, terrorism, and loss of privacy. those who remember that these things predate home computers (and maybe even pong) will get blue in the face to keep the future getting better.

Emmanuel goldstien (Publisher of 2600 magazine), 1998

The net will continue to grow, and so will the conflicts -- 12 year olds will battle multi-national corporations, Net Nazis will fight hackers, Governments will have it out with activists. For a time, the wide-open environment of the net will force opposing sides to listen to each-other. Once they all get tired of that, the Net will factionize and break apart so that, similar to TV, we never have to deal with things that disturb us or make us think too much. we'll have the Military Net, the childrens Net, the black net, the white Net, and so on. the days where we actually had to listen to our enemies will become a memory, and finally a myth.

Re:Logical conclusion of this (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811035)

The problem is we don't have to listen to our enemies now. Look at how polarized the U.S. is politically. The Net isn't bringing people together to learn from each other, it's simply coagulating particles that are attracted to each other. In a sense, it's like a big grid game. We're all building barracks', amassing 'troops', and gathering money.

Re:Logical conclusion of this (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810741)

Secure islands? How does it work?

Re:Logical conclusion of this (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810815)

Secure island = set of applications distributed across the Internet that communicate using secure protocols. A lot of these exist already, small and large communities that are behind logins or stronger security, and which could be hosted outside the USA if their users made enough fuss about privacy.

Re:Logical conclusion of this (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810985)

Which would be the best location for these islands? Europe?

How do the islands correspond to the cloud computing concept.

Hrmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810621)

Probably has nothing to do with the US telecoms infrastructure falling behind the rest of the world.

Free Market (5, Insightful)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810623)

This is a free market at its best. The United States provides a poor service (allow us to carry your data, and we will spy on it), so foreign telecomms decide the better value is not to route traffic through the United States. Our own laws that promote spying, snooping, invasion of privacy, and generally going against the spirit of the Constitution (I say spirit because it does not apply to foreign citizens in most cases) will be used against us. Other nations will decide that we are increasingly irrelevant: our dollar is on a trend of weakening against foreign currencies due to the massive trade deficit which in turn puts our balls squarely in the hands of countries such as China. This weakens our clout in international markets. This story is just one facet of the weakening of the United States as a superpower and our downward slide into becoming a third-world country. Our politicians and corporate executives are so concerned about maintaining their wealth that they are willing to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

No, I am not cynical. I am also not sarcastic.

And American companies, if they know what's (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810787)

good for them, will relocate to other countries to be competitive.

Relocation. It's not just for tax reasons anymore.

Re:Free Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810883)

I'm sure no other countries spy on your data. What ridiculousness.

This is about companies locating the desired data to the source, and THAT is the free market at work.

Re:Free Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810917)

puts our balls squarely

Maybe you should see a doctor.

Re:Free Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810959)

The United States provides a poor service (allow us to carry your data, and we will spy on it)

You must be new here. On Earth. If you think other countries don't spy on data.

Re:Free Market (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24811099)

Theres a difference between the possibility of spying and the guarantee of publicly legislated surveillance.

general trend (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810627)

Not only is the data traffic going around the USA, the flow of passengers in airplanes should also follow that trend because of those interesting "hand over the laptop" policies.

It seems ironic to me that the USA government is moving towards a more controlled (shall we say police state?) environment while focusing everyone's attention on other countries (i.e. China) while claiming that those guys are in fact way worse in terms of privacy issues.

Re:general trend (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810905)

Welcome to the wonderful of politics, where politicians turn out to be an awful lot like what they seem the most after. I.e. Elliot Spitzer the anti-prostitution governor who gets caught with hookers, Larry Craig the homophobic senator who turns out to solicit gay sex, and so on.. So yeah, no surprise that someone in that middle should be just like who they're pointing they're finger to, that's pretty much how it works. The witch hunter tends to turn out to be the one witch.

Somewhere in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810691)

I believe such hub has been established somewhere in Europe a while ago, and supposedly the US has complete, undisturbed access to all traffic.

you'd think (0, Troll)

pkbarbiedoll (851110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810723)

That the GOP and Bush admin (and many blue dog dems) are dead set on destroying America from the inside out.

ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810737)

So not only are airplane passengers less likely to route through the USA (because of those interesting "hand-over-the-laptop" policies) but now the actual traffic of data is also getting routed around for the same concerns?

Isn't it ironic that this general trend of anti-privacy actions is happening while the government of the USA is focusing everyone's attention outside on other countries with even worse privacy situations (ie China)?

The fallen pinnacle of freedom (2, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810755)

Welcome to America, the Land of the Free! Err.. scratch that.. Welcome to America.

Re:The fallen pinnacle of freedom (2, Interesting)

blether (817276) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810827)

"Land of the free and the home of the brave." This has never been true. The slaves weren't free and the braves were slaughtered. "Land of the willing propaganda swallowers" would have been closer to the mark.

Re:The fallen pinnacle of freedom (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811135)

Please, like other nations were any better. I mean hell, the British were the main instigators of the slave trade in the first place.

To suggest such a thing is pretty arrogant and tends to ignore the fact that even now we in the US are more free than many other parts of the world.

Try using ones first amendment rights in most parts of the EU could very well get you in some serious trouble.

YUO FAIL IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810785)

Be5 on a wro8g

It doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

CaptainTux (658655) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810791)

In the long run, I don't think it matters that some countries are routing traffic around the United States. The truth of the matter is simply that the U.S. intelligence agencies will find new ways to get the data by either covertly installing monitoring and capture equipment in the countries of interests or by strong-arming those governments to send traffic our way. Yes, I realize that governments don't centrally control most internet hubs in most countries but you can bet that when money or other aide is at risk, they'll find a way to make it happen.

So how do we do it? Or is this Theoretical (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810973)

Not really knowing network technology as in depth as some around here.... is there a way to ensure your IP traffic doesn't pass through the United States? If I wanted to email someone in Brazil from Canada, is there a way I could explicitly route my email message around the U.S.A? Or is all this talk just that, for the little guy?

And other intelligence agencies in other countries (4, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810801)

don't spy on the communications in and out of their countries? The US does not have a monopoly on signals intelligence. This is one of those issues where any country that has any sig int capabilities are using it to monitor the tubes.

Re:And other intelligence agencies in other countr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24811087)

don't spy on the communications in and out of their countries? The US does not have a monopoly on signals intelligence. This is one of those issues where any country that has any sig int capabilities are using it to monitor the tubes.

Exactly what I was thinking. We may have had a hand in pioneering SIGINT, but there are certainly others that have done their best to perfect it (cough, China, cough).

Oh, and for those who still have dirt in their hair from head-in-ground syndrome, Mother Russia hasn't exactly turned all it's SIGINT facilities into potato farms.

Article Error (0, Redundant)

spurdy (590954) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810809)

This article can't be correct. The second paragraph claims the internet was created by "American Scientists in the 1970s", when everybody knows it was created by Al Gore!

US No Longer the World's Internet Hub (3, Insightful)

gunne (14408) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810843)

Thank God!

no longer first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810871)

oh nos? who is cheating this time?
someone underaged?
something faked?

guess the bronzes isn't worth the SAME afterall than copper (or gold, or silver)

The more you tighten your grip ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24810893)

... the more computer systems slip through your fingers.

I have been predicting this for a long time (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810895)

Every time the U.S. acts to abuse its position of relevance in the world, the world will take steps to make the U.S. less relevant. The U.S. has had major controls over the communications across the world and that is changing. The U.S. has major controls and influence over the price and flow of oil in the world and that too is changing with China buying up major influence in the middle east and in Africa. The banking systems are controlled by some elite individuals that even the U.S. cannot claim 'ownership' of but it won't be long before even those entities are displaced as they abuse the governments and citizens of the world.

eh (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810899)

The thing about the Patriot Act is (theoretically at least), the US government needed it to give them permission to do certain things. In a lot (most?) of countries such an act would be unnecessary because the government already feels free to do whatever it wants. Does anyone actually think China, or Russia, or the UK won't be doing the same thing, just not as openly? I mean, you could maybe make an argument that some of the more enlightened Scandinavian countries may be trusted to put human rights above paranoia, but it's a very small group.

Re:eh (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811029)

The US is pretty far down the list [privacyinternational.org] . Privacy international rates the United Kingdom more highly.

Re:eh (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811079)

My poor eyes! Looking at the chart more closely, UK gets a 1.4, US gets a stunning, uk-beating 1.5. Sorry for the mixup.

SOX probably more influential than Patriot Act (5, Informative)

ObiWonKanblomi (320618) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810963)

Other issues, such as the Patriot Act, have made foreign companies wary about having their data on US servers.

No. Other forces such as wanting increase profit margins are probably having a bigger influence.

WRT legislation, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act [wikipedia.org] has probably had a greater impact on influencing companies on their move. Provisions within S-OX require companies to provide access to data to allow for full data audits. That would include emails, internal reports, etc.

The whole point about the Internet... (4, Insightful)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810967)

... is that it's supposed to be redundant and fault-tolerant -- where "fault" includes people trying to sabotage it either physically by cutting wires, or virtually through censorship and spying. The more different routes there are, the better.

Where credit is due. (1)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 6 years ago | (#24810999)

Thanks, Washington. Between the patriot act and the DMCA, you've managed to legislate one of the few booming industries we had out of the country.

Used to be, there were four things we did better than anyone else:
music
movies microcode high-speed pizza delivery You're really trying to cross things off that list as fast as you can, aren't you?

Snow Crash. I keep on meaning to read that book...

Better idea (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24811021)

How about we have an international network that is completely free from politics and that politicians can't touch?

US not being the "hub" isn't bad (2, Interesting)

houbou (1097327) | more than 6 years ago | (#24811157)

The internet is supposed to be global, so having the traffic spread out is a good idea anyway. I'm all for having major "hubs" all across the world. Of course US would go "big brother" on the data that flows through it, not surprised. I'm pretty sure other countries do the same, but it's not advertised. Unless you have something to hide, who cares? Right? :)
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