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European Union Asks US To Free ICANN

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the icann-see-why dept.

Networking 503

An anonymous reader writes "Viviane Reding, Information Society Commissioner of the European Union, is calling for the United States to hand over control of ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers). She said that the organization running ICANN needs be free of control by a single nation, and rather controlled by a private entity and governed by multiple nations. ICANN, headquartered in Marina Del Rey, California, was created in 1998 to oversee a number of Internet related tasks. Reding said, 'In the long run, it is not defendable that the government department of only one country has oversight of an internet function which is used by hundreds of millions of people in countries all over the world.'"

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503 comments

Uh, no (3, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844791)

We can see how well the UN has worked out, so no thanks.

Re:Uh, no (5, Funny)

rarity (165626) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844845)

We can see how well the UN has worked out, so no thanks.

You're kidding, right? They un-nazied the world! For ever!

Re:Uh, no (-1, Offtopic)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844931)

Huh? While Churchill's and Roosevelt's Atlantic Charter laid the groundwork for the UN, the organization was not founded until after WWII. It was the Americans and the British Empire who won the war.

Re:Uh, no (1, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845007)

It was the Americans and the British Empire who won the war.

I'm fairly certain that the Soviets and Chinese had something to do with it too. You also neglect to mention the contribution of the French. Someone had to teach the Huns how to surrender ;)

Re:Uh, no (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845167)

The Soviets were being taken over by Nazi Germany. Just like Europe was. The Chinese were being taken over by the Japanese. The Soviet Union, Europe, and Asia would all look and sound a lot different if Japan hadn't dragged the US into the war. I'm thinking things like, no Jews, with lots of German and Japanese speakers.

Try reading a history book or two.

Re:Uh, no (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845255)

Why don't you take your snide 'try reading a history book or two' remark and shove it up your ass? The Soviets and Chinese accounted for 88% (yes, eight-eight percent) of all Allied military casualties. It doesn't matter how important you think the US intervention was. The fact remains that many more Americans and Britons would have died fighting that war if it wasn't for the Soviets and Chinese bleeding the Axis powers.

To discount the importance of the Soviet and Chinese contribution to the war is to suggest to me that you are the idiot who needs to 'try reading a history book or two'

Re:Uh, no (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845089)

-1, failure to recognize an Idiocracy reference.

Re:Uh, no (1)

Androclese (627848) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844953)

uummm... I hope your attempting to be "+1 Funny", because the UN was formed AFTER WWII.

Re:Uh, no (2, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845195)

Depends on your definition of "United Nations". The current structure of the UN was created after the war, true. But the Allies frequently called themselves "the United Nations" during the war, and the post-war UN was built upon the wartime alliance (there's a reason that the five permanent members of the Security Council were the five major Allied powers).

Gotta give Stalin some credit... (1, Offtopic)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845183)

If the dictator Joseph Stalin had not have killed a few million German soldiers and destroyed I think at least 20,000 tanks during the course of the Russio-German war, D-Day would have been awful tough for the United States and Great Britain. What sort of shape would the German army have been in without having endured the winter offensive on Moscow, the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk and then Operation Bagration.

Re:Uh, no (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844871)

That's not a troll, guys.

The head of the UN "human rights commission" has been Colonel Gadaffi, for the love of Jebus. The UN does a decent job of preventing major armed conflicts between major world powers, and the food relief missions seem pretty successful - but it is not the forum for all things international in scope.

Even the EU has more limits on speech than the US, and I fear that giving them more control over the internet will result in censorship. I agree that having the US in charge is not ideal, but I'm also having trouble thinking of a way to improve on this, since it's hard to find a country with less restrictive speech.

Re:Uh, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27844955)

in which repsect has the EU more limits on speech?
give some examples.

Re:Uh, no (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845019)

Try to stand on a street corner in France and deny that the Holocaust happened.

Re:Uh, no (1)

TheP4st (1164315) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845263)

France and the EU are not the same thing, what you can and can not say vary between the different EU member nations.

Re:Uh, no (2, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845323)

Hey, thanks for pointing out the obvious. The occasionally reliable source [wikipedia.org] known as Wikipedia says that Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Switzerland all have laws against Holocaust denial on the books. With the exception of Israel and Switzerland those are all EU members.

So yes, it's true that not every EU member state restricts free speech. But it seems folly to claim that you have the same free speech rights in Europe as you do in the United States, given these restrictions. Name me an American state that restricts free speech in such a manner.

Re:Uh, no (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845461)

Name me an American state that experienced Nazi invasion. Laws like this are a reaction to precedence, ignorant yank.

Re:Uh, no (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845519)

Try denying the Holocaust in Jew York and see what happens.

"Oh my G ..." ? (1, Interesting)

testman123 (1111753) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845425)

You are perfectly right.

Europe is freedom of speech, but restricted by law.
US is freedom of speech, but restricted by religion.

Just a matter of choice : religion vs law ;-)

Anybody tried a "good old" blasphemy lately ?

Anybody as "hot" subject ... Europe is denying crime against humanity (for instance Holocaust). US is about chalenging the religion : "in god we trust".

Both are historical artefacts, you know ;-)

Rgs,
TM

Re:Uh, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845033)

More languages to put limits on ;)

Re:Uh, no (1)

Twyst3d (1359973) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845067)

Where's a link to that "Britain wants to spy on all internet traffic" article when you need one?

Re:Uh, no (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845367)

The problem is that there's literally nothing stopping the US doing that if they want to. Sure, you might argue that for the last decade they haven't, but when the administration can change every 4 years, it's a hell of a leap of faith to take.

At least by having it internationally run, there'll be enough red tape and bureaucracy to prevent anything like that from happening.

Re:Uh, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845115)

That's not a troll, guys.

Uh...yeah, right! I have a feeling I've met the guy who wrote this post (MightyYar). He's a skinny little fellow who always sits alone at the lunch table and tells himself that he's better than everyone else and doesn't want their miserable company because they're all such sheeple. Then he finishes his lunch and has to pick up his tray off the floor because some total jerk bumps into him and knocks everything down and all those stupid, stupid SHEEPLE laugh like the stupid SHEEPLE they are. Then, on his way to his locker, that cute girl in his geometry class, which he's only repeating this semester because he was so bored in the last class, I mean, good God, the teacher was such a mouth-breathing sheeple moron, but anyway that cute girl smiles at him from across the hall and his heart starts to beat a little faster even though she's standing beside that total douche of a quarterback who's like, such a mouthbreather, I mean, really, people like that should just be neutered at birth, stupid sheeple, but the girl smiles and so he slows down and pushes his glasses up on his nose and waves but then realizes she wasn't smiling at him but at her loud friend behind him, the one with the platinum blonde hair who's a total whore which is why he's never tried to sleep with her and never would, thank you. And so he turns his wave into brushing lint off his Battlestar Galactica t-shirt, which has totally been signed by the whole cast, and goes to his locker and slams it shut and saunters out of the building to go home and write another blog post because this world just totally sucks and is filled with mouth-breathing sheeple and then he masturbates himself to a teary climax and falls asleep in the warm, sticky comfort of his own spooge.

Re:Uh, no (5, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845241)

The head of the UN "human rights commission" has been Colonel Gadaffi, for the love of Jebus.

That's nothing, the head of the Department of Justice in the USA approved of illegal wiretaps, and the President of the country personally approved of torture, for the love of Jebus.

Re:Uh, no (3, Funny)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845469)

But that doesn't count.

You see, those things were done to protect America from the terrorists, and as everyone knows our constitution specifically says the executive branch is free to do whatever it likes - legal or otherwise - without fear of repercussions if it calls any policy it chooses to implement part of a war. (see "drugs, war on" for more details)

Re:Uh, no (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845537)

STFU, the UN is the best ever :-]

It is a huge organization and does a lot of good things. Sure, it has flaws. You just don't like it cause it can not be controlled by the USA.
Secondary, the limits on speech are marginal, and have nothing to do with this. What kind of strawman argument is this?
Since the Internet is a global thing, a global organisation that all states participate in should manage the allocation of TLD etc.

Sorry for starting off as troll ... But US-americans insulting the UN ... no way I'm gonna let you get through with this.

I've always wondered... (2)

Rich2k (1227830) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844795)

How such an important function was run by a single country. The problem is how do you structure such an important organisation so that it is run by the international community and actually get things done, rather than just debate and run around in circles!

Re:I've always wondered... (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844857)

Easy, you build enough corruption into it to make people a large group support it. Political solutions for political problems.

Re:I've always wondered... (2, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845011)

I've always wondered... How such an important function was run by a single country.

Simple: that's the country that created the Internet.

Re:I've always wondered... (3, Insightful)

Rich2k (1227830) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845287)

That was way back in 1958, surely things could have moved on by now considering North America only contains 5% of the World's population.

Re:I've always wondered... (1)

JorgeFierro (1304567) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845387)

Hmmm... I thought one of the major advantages of the Internet was that of World Wide communication, but hey, you are right!

Re:I've always wondered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845449)

Wrong!

It's the country of which Al Gore happened to be a citizen.

Re:I've always wondered... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845483)

They certainly came up with the idea, but all the technology behind it today was created internationally. Hell, the key is in the name - INTERnet. The internet wouldn't BE the internet if it wasn't for international coverage, so why should one country run the whole thing?
That's like saying that because a German inventor came up with SMS that Germany should be in charge of all international text messaging stuff.
Or perhaps France (or Belgium, depending on who you ask) should be in charge of the distribution of all french fries, internationally.

Re:I've always wondered... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845155)

Very simple: It doesn't have much authority, unless it acts in the interest of the international network operator community. If ICANN were to do something unpopular, particularly something which openly favors US interests over those of other countries, providers in other countries would quickly band together and form an opposing organization. We'd see the network administration split for a while, but the network doesn't really need ICANN day-in day-out, so there would not be immediate problems.

"hand over control" - yum, troll link text! (5, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844805)

full bit:
"She said that the organization running ICANN needs be one free of control by one single nation but controlled by a private entity and governed by multiple nations."

That's quite a different story than implied by the summary's "hand over control [implied: to the EU]".

I still think it's a bad idea to let 'multiple nations' govern the thing - there's too many nations that would seriously curb what can and cannot be done. I don't think the U.S. having sole control is all that great either, but out of the various options - I'd sooner 'trust' the U.S. with it (given existing records, although I disagree with the whole .xxx domain getting nixed - especially since ICANN has/had plans to offer .anythingyouwant anyway) than, say, the U.N. or a grouping of e.g. U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China to pick a semi-random grouping there.

Re:"hand over control" - yum, troll link text! (5, Funny)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844939)

Obviously Canada should govern it. After all it's in the name.

Yes ICANNada!

Re:"hand over control" - yum, troll link text! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845249)

Yes I-CAN-Nada!

Fixed that for you.

Re:"hand over control" - yum, troll link text! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845371)

Hurray! Then we can have the .eh TLD allowed!

Re:"hand over control" - yum, troll link text! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845073)

The thing is, I don't think anyone,*anyone*, outside the US feels the same way. We would rather Iran ran it than the US. Nothing personal, many usians are perfectly nice, but your government are christo-fascist lunatics. The fact that americans seem to think the UN is a bad thing doesn't help. (I guess because they refused to sanction the US invading 3rd world countries, how strange).

The correct place for it is the ITU (itu.int). They are the guys that maintain communications standards for everything else. It's only a matter of time anyway...

Re:"hand over control" - yum, troll link text! (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845281)

Add in that the UN wants the whole world disarmed, and you might figure out why a country like the US might dislike it.

Re:"hand over control" - yum, troll link text! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845303)

"The organization running ICANN needs be one free of control by one single nation but controlled by a private entity and governed by multiple nations."

That's what she said!

Re:"hand over control" - yum, troll link text! (3, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845333)

Here is the cool part.

The US can't abuse ICANN. Well, it CAN, but when it does, it will lose all control over it as the EU/China/Russia/Australia... every other nation works to set up it's own segregated service. The other nations could force the US to release control if the US gave them a reason to. So as long as the US remains a relatively benign aspect of ICANN, it can remain in control.

And that's a good thing, it means that through the Mutually Assured Destruction that would occur in the event of an abuse of ICANN, it generally remains true to what it is supposed to do without becoming more than what it was intended to do.

I kind of view the US' control over ICANN as the Royalty in the UK. Sure, they technically have a lot of power, but the instant they tried to use that power it would evaporate away in an instant.

The best defense is a good offense (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844811)

Reding claims that it is indefensible that one country control the internet as if it were prima facie true that this were the case.

However she prefaced that statement with the best defense:
"Reding believes "The US, so far, has done this in a reasonable manner", referring to the oversight that the US government has given ICANN."

So the US is providing oversight in a reasonable manner according to the people who wish to strip that oversight from the US. Then they claim that such "reasonable oversight" is indefensible.

I think Ms. Reding would be surprised how a great many things she doesn't believe in have reasonable and sometimes convincing defenses. I also think she'd be surprised to see how many of the things she holds so dear are actually undefended biases.

Re:The best defense is a good offense (-1, Offtopic)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844919)

"Reding believes "The US, so far, has done this in a reasonable manner", referring to the oversight that the US government has given ICANN."

Oh. My. God. In the era of Web 2.0, it appears that Slashdot has Jumped The Shark. The question now, is when did this happen? I remember in the early 2000s, Slashdot was THE geek website, but something has changed and it appears they have lost the magic. I mean, seriously, ICANN? I can...what, exactly? I can haz cheezebrgr?

I therefore decided, today, to cancel my account (Smidge207) take them off of my RSS Reader, and cancel my Time Warner broadband "service". I am off the grid; I am off the 'net as of today. I am a free man, now; I own my own mind. I have piece of mind, now. I am free. Lordy, lordy I am free. See, the thing is, Taco, I find your stories trite, boring and dare I say, irrelevant to IT.

So the questions of the day are:

When was the exact day, and, what was the exact story, that caused Slashdot to jump the shark? What is your best bet to the cause of their demise?

This is just my opinion, and I am sure each and ever person that uses RSS at some point has made the same decision about another website. If you get angry easily you might not want to read the rest of this post:

1. I am 32, openly homosexual, and I have outgrown any interest in the usual stories that appear on Slashdot. A specific example is this story, about a "Coup" attempt in an Apple Underground User Group. I have absolutely zero interesting in ever reading something like this for the rest of my life.

I felt violated by Rob Malda's minions by reading something that stupid today, and I will admit it may be because of my age, and due to the fact that I now have a wonderful husband (RMS) and a fucking life.

2. I never really participated in the community much, I only read stories, and as I mentioned the stories are getting very bad. Terrible one should say.

3. I am bored of the terms, "Troll", "Trolling", and "Dvork", they make my skin crawl just like it would make my skin crawl to hear someone use the terms, "Your playa hatin", or "Give me the bling, bling", "Smidge is a sock-puppet troll faggot" or "Far out man". These terms are so commonly used on Slashdot that it is impossible to avoid them and the only possible alternative is to never read anything on Slashdot.

4. Slashdot played an interesting role in the early 2000's, as it was a human funneled aggregator for news stories. As technology has progressed, a different model of story submission has started to thrive and it does not require a select group of humans to filter which stories are good and which stories are not good. I believe the model that Digg, Reddit, and DZone use are far superior to the method of story submission and approval that Slashdot uses.

I feel that the method that Slashdot uses is a dying art, and the very poor quality of stories suggests that the human element responsible for editorial content is either very young, or not very good.

5. RSS Readers have changed the way people read technology and other news, and it has caused people to stop having a "home page" anymore. People now have the ability to create their own custom filters and get their own news in anyway they see fit. The role of Slashdot as the only aggregator for IT news has ended. Given a choice, I would much rather use RSS than the editorial process at Slashdot to get news stories.

6. As evidenced by the responses to MY WELL THOUGHT-OUT POSTS JUST TODAY, it is quite impossible to have a discussion with some outspoken members of the Slashdot community. I call out Eldavojohn in particular. It would take a large amount of patience, time and energy that I, frankly, am not willing to part with, to discuss why I am "liar, hypocrite, troll, etc". It is just not interesting to me, and even if it was I would probably need to quit my job just to respond full time to the complaints.

If you feel the urge to yell at me, please remember this is just my opinion and I am very sure other people feel very differently. I do not have the time to discuss the matter anymore due to work and personal obligations, but thank you to the people that did respond. I did learn one very important lesson today though, some opinions are probably best left unsaid, as the effort required to explain it is not worth the cost of expressing it.

In summary, I do feel Slashdot has "Jumped The Shark", I won't read Slashdot anymore, and I am sorry I brought it up. Fuckers.

-Noah Daniels

Re:The best defense is a good offense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845021)

I won't read Slashdot anymore

Are we supposed to cry?

Re:The best defense is a good offense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845227)

well then you are fucked... and happy.

Re:The best defense is a good offense (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845147)

I think Ms. Reding would be surprised how a great many things she doesn't believe in have reasonable and sometimes convincing defenses.

I think you're starry-eyed, and living in a fantasy world. Maybe I'm just a cynic, but usually people don't get to where she is [europa.eu] by believing their own bullshit [europa.eu].

Mod Parent Up (4, Interesting)

obijuanvaldez (924118) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845509)

Great links. For those who have censorship concerns, as can be seen on her Policies and Activities [europa.eu] page, she supports the Safer Internet Programme [europa.eu]. Their mission "aims at empowering and protecting children and young people online by awareness raising initiatives and by fighting illegal and harmful online content and conduct."

Re:The best defense is a good offense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845531)

I think Ms. Reding would be surprised how a great many things she doesn't believe in have reasonable and sometimes convincing defenses.

I think you're starry-eyed, and living in a fantasy world. Maybe I'm just a cynic, but usually people don't get to where she is [europa.eu] by believing their own bullshit [europa.eu].

No. Of course not. People get where she is by convincing other people to believe their bullshit.

Re:The best defense is a good offense (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845321)

The "reasonable oversight" isn't what's considered indefensible. The tacit permission for the US to control most of the world's data infrastructure is the problem. Even though the US hasn't done anything bad with its power over the infrastructure, it could, and that potential makes some people nervous. It's entirely possible for a happy status quo to rest upon dangerous possibilities.

As an analogy, consider the Anti-Social Behavior Order. It's a kind of order that a judge can issue to a UK that bans you from doing something. Anything. Right now it's generally used to stop people being douchebags to each other, but there's nothing to stop a judge issuing one banning you from writing anti-authority newsletters, or protesting somewhere, if those are considered "anti-social". That makes people nervous.

Learn by experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27844819)

Amen to that.

European Threats (5, Funny)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844823)

Oh no. Here comes the sternly worded letter if we don't comply.

On a serious note, they have a point.

Re:European Threats (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27844947)

Except for ending slavery, the Nazis, communism, & securing American independence, war has never solved anything. .

I'll have to quibble with the third one on that list. First, communism isn't ended! The Soviet Union is no longer communist (it's no longer even existing), but many of the former Soviet Republics still are, and then there's China, Cuba, and a number of others. Second. the remarkable thing about the end of the Soviet Union is that, despite all the fears in the '50s, it occurred without a war. In fact, if you read the various memoirs of the participants, it looks like it ended because the first person put into power who was born after the Soviet revolution, Gorbachev, basically said "Frak this; it ain't working." In fact, of all the countries that shifted away from communism, from Albania on, I don't think that any of them had a war to do it. And, third... looking at the current state of Russia, it's not at all clear to me that communism in Russia is down for the count.

The other items on the list are reasonable.

Re:European Threats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845211)

You know you have too much time on your hands when you write a long diatribe on someones tag-line.

I'm sure it'll work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27844827)

As well as it did last time.

Some of your base r belong to US.

If it ain't broke don't fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27844837)

Just what would a group of 'countries' actually do differently? This sounds to me like a veiled attempt at power-grabbing

Re:If it ain't broke don't fix it (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844983)

And which part of the plan to introduce any TLD for anyone who fronts the cash counts as 'ain't broke' in your interpretation of the phrase?

Re:If it ain't broke don't fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845009)

For starters they would be able to implement a lot more censorship.

it might help prevent telcos from taking over (1)

inkhaton (938495) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844843)

if more countries have input into the direction of how things are handled it will help prevent the unbalanced influence of the 2-3 major telcos from having too much control over content etc... in the end if they or the gov want to restrict or change the direction of the internet for any given country the will risk their own isolation from the international web. if one country has control than they will have less risk for bending it toward their current whims.

Meh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27844853)

I trust the US government more than I do the Euros or the, God-forbid, UN. Plus, we built it =D

World-Collaborative Efforts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27844873)

Right.... because groups like the UN with controlling members from every country have done such a bang-up job.... umm... what exactly have they done again?

Uh... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27844887)

"ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internetâ(TM)s unique identifiers."

So it's already private and even countries that US companies cannot legally trade with still manage to get Internet access (North Korea). So there seems to be a solution without a problem.

Re:Uh... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845085)

So there seems to be a solution without a problem.

Power-grabbing bureaucrats trying to fix what's (imperfect but) not broken? I'm shocked!!!!

Re:Uh... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845409)

ICANN is non profit in the sense of block buster movies that always seem to lose money. Plenty of connected people have made money off of ICANN (in particular Jones Day lawyers).
They also did not (and probably still don't) follow the rules for non profits. Go read up on how the rules for picking the board of directors were modified after the "wrong" people were elected as the north american and european representatives. And how ICANN kept things secret from the board, that board members needed to do their job (resulting in Auerbach's lawsuit).

NO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27844921)

We made it, it's our toy, and we'll do with it what we please.

Seriously, multi-nation governance over the Internet is a terrible idea. Excellent decisions are never made by committee (let alone one with multi-national components), and when you cloud the waters even further with political motivation it makes for an excellent tasting recipe for disaster.

I love how once an idea gets popular everyone feels that they should have a say in how things run, as if the old ways of doing things (though not infallible) haven't worked pretty damn well up until now. Unless you can make a better argument than "we use it too so we get some say as well", I see no reason for this to happen.

Don't like it? Invent your own interweb.

Re:NO. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27844987)

The web was invented in Switzerland by an Englishman. The Europeans have already invented their own 'interweb'; you are using it right now.

Re:NO. (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845151)

We made it, it's our toy, and we'll do with it what we please.

Not really. ARPANet was your toy. The original core protocols were developed with ARPA funding, but the current generation of the Internet Protocol (version 4, with version 6 being slowly deployed) was created as an international effort. The physical bits of the Internet in the US and some outside were created by US corporations, some with funding from the US government, but most of the current infrastructure is not US-owned.

In reality, ICANN does not control very much. They control the root DNS servers (most of which are outside the USA, by the way [root-servers.org]). If the UN set up a competing ICANN and mandated that ISPs in their member regions use the new DNS root servers - which could potentially include all of the existing ones outside the USA, since they are not actually run by ICANN, they just carry ICANN's configuration) then there isn't much ICANN could do. US ISPs would have the choice of either switching to the new roots or having their customers potentially have links incorrectly handled in the future, if the two organisations didn't keep their configurations in sync.

Seriously, multi-nation governance over the Internet is a terrible idea. Excellent decisions are never made by committee (let alone one with multi-national components), and when you cloud the waters even further with political motivation it makes for an excellent tasting recipe for disaster.

I can make a telephone call to almost any country in the world from here. The UN doesn't seem to have done a bad job ensuring that this works correctly, in spite of the committee that controls the international telephone system having multi-national components.

Unless you can make a better argument than "we use it too so we get some say as well", I see no reason for this to happen.

I seem to recall reading that a variant of this phrase was the rallying call for the American Revolution.

Don't like it? Invent your own interweb.

I assume you know that the web was invented by an Englishman in Switzerland.

Re:NO. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845361)

>I assume you know that the web was invented by an Englishman in Switzerland.

While working at CERN, an european financed research center.

Complaints? (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844937)

I understand the unease that the rest of the world has with a single nation controlling ICANN. However, much as I often ask with engineering requests that seem spurious; what is the ROI to justify the change?

What is going wrong, which could reasonably be expected to go better, if we make the change? I'm not saying our stewardship of ICANN has necessarily been perfect, nor that we have a divine right just because we built the Internet. I do believe that the Internet is now a global resource, and that everyone has a very strong vested interest in it. And I am, generally speaking, a globalist -- I'd like to see us all spending more time on bettering all of us.

However, if there are not specific complaints, with a clear and significant path to improvement, it seems difficult to justify transferring control. Making the rest of the world feel good about Internet stewardship is not a good enough reason to risk the gridlock, posturing, saber rattling, and horse trading that could result from U.N. control.

Re:Complaints? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845181)

Like ICANN has done such a wonderful job in its stewardship of domain names to begin with! Let's start off with such useful TLDs like .museum, .aero, .biz (a spammer's haven), and .info (another spammer's haven)! Does anybody even use these anymore? And they never really could figure out what to do with .xxx, either. And let's not forget that their proposal to let people buy TLDs is motivated primarily by greed.

Still, I'm not sure that more international oversight would solve this. We'll probably just see more useless TLDs added to an already overcrowded conglomerate of crap, and .xxx will still go nowhere (unless, maybe, if we put the Dutch in charge, because they seem to have made Amsterdam work out ;-). Nevertheless, I can understand why other nations may want to have a say in things. After all, while the U.S. may have "invented the internet", the most popular "application", the World Wide Web, was invented by a British scientist at CERN, in Europe [wikipedia.org]. I'm not so sure that our original version of the internet [wikipedia.org] would have taken off quite as well with out Sir Berners-Lee's invention?

Re:Complaints? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845235)

Well, think of it this way. You have this person grabbing hold of your nuts. This person is a 150 kg body builder who has repeatedly displayed a conflicting personality, specially if he doesn't get things his way. Yet, he is friendly with you and he even managed to keep your nuts safe and working properly since he managed to get a hold of them. Heck, his strong hold on your nuts even managed to keep them warm.

Well, although things aren't all that bad you still don't feel comfortable having this big 150 kg body builder with a temper holding you by the nuts. He may do a decent job at it but hey... Nonetheless someone is in fact grabbing you by the nuts.

Put yourself in that situation. Would you go on calculating the ROI of getting someone else's hands off your testicles? Would you start up a spreadsheet analyzing the pros and cons of not having this massive pair of hands grabbing you by the balls? I don't believe you would. It's your balls. You depend on them. You organize your day around any business regarding your balls. Why should anyone have the right to just put their hand down your crotch and squeeze your nuts as they see fit?

They don't teach this sort of example on your MBA meeting. You know why? Because not everything is money and there are far too many things which are far too important to be reduced to ROI.

And by the way, wouldn't handing the ICANN control over to China end up producing a better bottom line than managing it by very expensive americans in very expensive america? Oh, there's a ROI thought for you.

Re:Complaints? (1)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845359)

nor that we have a divine right just because we built the Internet

You're absolutely right. We don't have the divine right just because we built it. We have the divine right because we built it AND because we can blow anyone who tries to take it away into tiny pieces.

Or better yet why? (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845521)

No it isn't divine right but the right of doing it first. The US did build the Internet and most of the tech that it runs on. "Thanks CERN for that http thing BTW".

So now the EU wants the US give up control. Okay what are you going to give us in return? Respect? I doubt that. Less scorn? Sure....
I have to say that I see no good reason for the US to give up control of ICANN any more than I see a good reason for France to give up control of the FAI.
I doubt that it will improve any service on the internet, increase cost, and potently aid censor ship. There are a lot of countries in the UN that do not value free speech at all.

Just fork it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27844961)

If they really want to take it over a group of European governments could effectively do it. They could set up their own root servers including information for the current TLDs, order ISPs in their countries to use hidden proxies for DNS traffic. Then they could start adding new TLDs and requiring at least some organizations under their control to use them. This would put pressure on the ICANN controlled roots to add the new TLD information.

Multinational control (3, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844963)

I have no problem with allowing ICANN to be controlled by a group of nations which all have a constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech.

Re:Multinational control (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845121)

I have no problem with allowing ICANN to be controlled by a group of nations which all have a constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech.

Heh! And how many of them are there?

Re:Multinational control (3, Interesting)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845207)

group of nations which all have a constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech.

Like France, Germany and England, all of which have speech restrictions which I find disturbing?

Re:Multinational control (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845383)

Good luck with that. Not every nation puts that sort of thing in their constitution; Australia certainly doesn't, the UK (as I understand) doesn't have a written constitution. You might have better luck in the civil law states, but the only one that I can say for sure does so is China. No state allows unrestricted free speech, and requiring that they claim this fiction provides no gain whatsoever.

But that aside, why? Why should some states have no say regarding shared infrastructure? Ought the ITU be restricted to those states that have (at least on paper) unrestricted free speech? How about the International Postal Union? ISO? IEEE?

Strong free speech rights in the US (5, Insightful)

Glass Goldfish (1492293) | more than 4 years ago | (#27844979)

I'm not an American, but I'm glad that ICANN is run by Americans. For the most part, the United States has a great deal of respect for different view points and allows for free thought. I can certainly imagine Europeans banning Internet websites for fear that they will anger Muslims, gays, atheists, Christians, animal rights activists, etc.. You can imagine European bureaucrats coming up with a handbook of acceptable thought and using that as a guide for website banning.

Re:Strong free speech rights in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845101)

i am a canadian, and i completely agree. but what i also think is important, is the physical location of the servers themselves. stupid as it sounds, i like the idea of having the root dns servers operating behind the worlds largest military.

You are RONG! Root servers are around the world.. (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845349)

Stupid as it sounds, i like the idea of having the root dns servers operating behind the worlds largest military.

That does sound kinda' stupid. At least it makes it hard to seize power from those who have it when they misuse it.

It's actually also wrong. I spent two seconds on google for you, and found this nice map of the root servers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Root-current.svg [wikipedia.org]

Re:Strong free speech rights in the US (2, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845113)

fear that they will anger ... Christians

Do they really give a rat's ass about angering Christians? I didn't think so either...

Re:Strong free speech rights in the US (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845225)

The problem with having ICANN controlled by a US corporation is that it is subject to US laws and, more importantly, US court rulings. This has caused some problems in the recent past, because even state courts can issue judgements which affect ICANN. It's not just US law, for example, it's California law which governs ICANN.

Re:Strong free speech rights in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845285)

Oh yeah I can imagine... and I can imagine I'd put money down that that's precisely what *they're* imagining and what they want. On top of that, I'd bet they would instantaneously require almost UK-level monitoring and logging... while I'm sure the various 3-letter agencies in the US do their fair share, I shudder at the thought of the scale that the EU is dreaming about.

But they can't have any of that with US control, so they pretend that even though the US is doing an admittedly good job, it's just somehow not good enough. Bull.

Let's play point-counterpoint (-1, Flamebait)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845423)

For the most part, the United States has a great deal of respect for different view points and allows for free thought.

"Free Speech Zone"

I can certainly imagine Europeans banning Internet websites for fear that they will anger [...]

No, our law-makers really only care about what angers law-makers. Thus, they ban child porn and the pirate bay.

Also, I heard that after 9/11, people weren't supposed to play "Leaving on a Jetplane". And Comedy Central put a black box over Mohamed in Cartoon Wars (a South Park episode) after the big Mohamed hubbub, despite Mohamed being depicted in Super Best Friends (an earlier episode).

Some crazy shit goes on in Europe, but that's true for the US. I'm not really sure who's worst.

Also, why can't we just carve up the root name space into 192 pieces (okay, maybe 193 for a "broadcast nation") and be done with it? ;-)

No F*cking Way. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845015)

We invented the Internet. We built it. It's ours. We run it as we see fit and the rest of the world has enjoyed great *PRIVILEGE* of using it, and can continue to do so under OUR rules. If Europe wants to create their own distinct separate public network to run it the way they run the clusterf*ck that is the EU, then they are more than welcome to do so.

--
The USA.

Because the UN would be *so* much better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845049)

Hey, then they can openly steer business to their families and cronies.

This is a good time to ask for stuff like this (-1, Flamebait)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845157)

Obama is a very weak leader for all the fascist like control he's trying to take, and he wants to "change" the way we do things. So, yes, I can see him giving ICANN up. This is a good time to ask for stuff that's contrary to American interests.

Buy Out Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27845185)

Lets see, $1B equipment, $2B human capital, $4B development costs, $5B IP value, $22B goodwill....Hmmm. Split into 10 shares for about $4B each. I can see how passing "control" could even be profitable.

Give it to the UN (0, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845243)

so that they virtually rape, pillage and squander resources instead of doing it solely in meatspace.

Keep it in the US (1)

michael1078 (1537113) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845273)

This is just my opinion, but the US created DARPANet for military purposes and although the internet spawned from the military creation - the US has a right to continue to manage and maintain its creation for its purposes. After all, you don't often see the US petition France to manage souffle recipes international nor British rock singer Ozzie Osbourne (they can keep him!)

So if the internet was a road system.... (3, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845301)

Let's consider an analogy. I come into your country, build an entire series of roads at my own expense with technology and equipment I developed and let you drive on these roads for free - as a gift. The only catch is that I control the traffic laws, parking and traffic lights and road signs. Because the road signs in your free system, gifted to you by others, are in English, you ask for control of the systems traffic, construction, signs and laws. I think we've just redefined "Chutzpah."

why ? (2, Insightful)

heatseeker_around (1246024) | more than 4 years ago | (#27845337)

I don't understand the need to split the control of a private company (even if it's controlled by a government). So, we should ask the US to force Microsoft to split the control of the company between the countries using Windows OS and servers ? Same thing for Oracle, Apple, etc. ? Come on. It's not because a country is dependent to a technology created by a private company or another country that it should have the ability to control some parts of the decisions over this technology. Create your own "internet" if you really want to control something and stay in your bubble, stupid !
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