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Vint Cerf, US Congresswoman Oppose Net Regulation

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the what-does-that-guy-know? dept.

The Internet 156

schliz writes "Vint Cerf, Google, ICANN and California Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack have opposed a recently revealed UN initiative to regulate the internet. Congresswoman Mack put forward a US resolution that the United Nations and other international governmental organisations maintain a 'hands-off approach' to the internet, arguing that 'the internet has progressed and thrived precisely because it has not been subjected to the suffocating effect of a governmental organization's heavy hand.' Meanwhile, the so-called 'father of the internet,' Vint Cerf, called on stakeholders to sign a petition to mobilize opposition of the UN's plan. 'Today, I have signed that petition on Google's behalf because we don't believe governments should be allowed to grant themselves a monopoly on Internet governance,' said Cerf, who is also Google's chief internet lobbyist."

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156 comments

Wait wait wait... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614648)

Wait wait wait... Am I supposed to be for or against regulation of the internet to keep it free?

Re:Wait wait wait... (5, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614682)

I'm against regulation of the internet and for regulation of the isps.

Re:Wait wait wait... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614984)

>>>for regulation of the isps.

Just the monopolies. Those ISPs that are not monopolies don't need regulation, just as grocery stores don't need regulation. If you want Oreo cookies and your store refuses to carry them, just buy from another store. Ditto if your Wireless ISP refuses to carry msnbc.com - just switch to another wireless ISP.

But if the ISP is a monopoly or duopoly (like Comcast/Verizon) then yes it needs to be regulated, price-fixed, and so on, just like the local power monopoly is regulated.

Re:Wait wait wait... (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615166)

There's still a requirement for a certain amount of regulation no matter how many companies are in the field, namely to ensure that people are given accurate information so false advertising regulations, to ensure that contracts are enforced and to prevent anticompetitive practices.
even in a market with many competitors (although in a model with infinite traders you're good) deep pockets can give you an unfair advantage.
for the grocery store example: if you have deep pockets you can sell loss leaders until your competitors in a town have been driven out of business and then jack up the prices.
etc etc

Re:Wait wait wait... (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615010)

This. I think the common "slashthink" on this one is that the internet shouldn't be regulated, but ISP should be regulated in such a way as to keep connectionc content and destination neutral, and no more.

Re:Wait wait wait... (1)

D66 (452265) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615206)

That is a GREAT way to state a complex position. Free content, regulated delivery.

Re:Wait wait wait... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615288)

Free content and ENSURED free delivery.

Big difference. The "regulation" of ISPs means that ISPs should be prohibited from certain activities which can result in harm to the end user or to outside entities which end users seek to connect. Specifically, mucking around with packets and ports inhibiting the user's natural connection with the internet and the blocking or limiting of connectivity with other peers on the internet.

The whole issue is that the ISP should have no place in determining how an end user uses his connection. They are paid to pass packets, not to leverage their users to squeeze money out of external parties providing content.

Re:Wait wait wait... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#34616500)

I'm for regulation of the lisps. It's fine if people want to misspronounce their "S"s, but people... thay it, don't thpray it.

No seriously, I got sprayed by someone with a lisp yesterday. It was very gross.

Re:Wait wait wait... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615064)

If the internet is regulated, you can be oppressed by government policies. If it isn't regulated, you can be oppressed by corporations trying to squeeze every last cent they can out. Either way the individual gets screwd, but you can choose by whome.

Re:Wait wait wait... (1)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615798)

If the internet is regulated, you can be oppressed by government policies. If it isn't regulated, you can be oppressed by corporations trying to squeeze every last cent they can out. Either way the individual gets screwed, but you can choose by whom.

Or, we can try to find a reasonable balance between the two extremes.
Admittedly, this will be pretty difficult given the current pack of idiots we've managed to elect to represent us, but in theory it's a possibility too.

Re:Wait wait wait... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34616390)

Or, we can try to find a reasonable balance between the two extremes.

That's like saying the answer to world hunger is to feed everyone.

Re:Wait wait wait... (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615066)

You've asked a very interesting question that hits at the fundamentals of intellectual property rights (especially on a national scale).

So, are you for or against this situation:

Entity A invents something that enhances communication, commerce, innovation, education, etc...

Entity A freely shares the invention with entities B-Z

Entities B-Z also greatly profit from Entity A's invention

Entities B-Z become very dependent on Entity A's invention - cannot imagine going back to "the way it was before"

Entities B-Z seek to wrest control and future development from Entity A for "the invention's own good"

Sure - that's only a part of the story, but it's the fundamental part in an IP discussion.

Once you've collected your opinion then try contrasting it with your thoughts on Sam Slater's [wikipedia.org] theft of the cotton mill IP from Britain. British law regulating the cotton mill IP had been used to prevent the industrial revolution from spreading (in this case to the US). The situation in the US allowed the IP to take hold and explode with many new innovations.

So why does any of this history matter to your question? I would suggest that you can find an answer by asking whether the freedom of this invention will be best protected by the "rightful owner" and current regulator (such as there is regulation) and a group of invention dependent nations who at the least wish to ensure their continued access to the invention they have invested in (and possibly to promote their own ideas about how the invention should and should not be used).

Since some degree of regulation has to happen (at the router level if nothing else), this is more a very long way around to asking: which group do you trust more? but context is important :)

Fuck off, UN. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614650)

Fuck off, United Nations. You bungle up everything you get involved with.

Nope. (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614654)

They'd make us acquire licenses to setup websites, yank those same sites w/o a trial (which just happened last month), apply a fairness doctrine so that when you visit msnbc.com, you also get a big popup asking if you want to visit foxnews.com too..... and so on. (Taken from the FCC Chair's own speech.)

It violates free speech, free press, and free expression. Liberty works best without limits.

Centralization of power (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614774)

It is the natural trend of every government to centralize and consolidate power into the hands of the elite few over time. They do this not for the benefit of the populace they control through force; they do it precisely for personal gain. They do it purely out of self-interest, the very thing governments claim to save us all from.

I wish people would realize that every time they cheer for more government (either in terms of power or revenue), what they are really cheering for is consolidation of power into the hands of the elite few. Wake up -- governments around the world today have more than enough power and revenue. WAY more than enough. The problem is where the money is spent, not lack of it.

This latest power grab is nothing but yet another attempt to centralize and consolidate power into the hands of the elite few. Picture a corporation with piles of cash in the bank and only a tiny executive team with a handful of shareholders -- because that is exactly what the people at the top of government are dreaming about.

Re:Centralization of power (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614868)

>>>They do it purely out of self-interest

And even those who it for the betterment of citizens, won't live forever. Their benevolent dictatorship (example: Augustus Caesar) eventually leads to a non-benevolent tyrant (ex: Nero) that uses his centralized power for evil instead of good. It's not so much the present we must fear, but ten years down the road.

And even benevolent dictators are not that great. Who would want to live under the old Middle Ages Christendom, where the Pope was the final authority in Europe? I'd rather not have morals dictated to me. I should have the free choice to follow my own path, even if the Pope or others think I am being selfish.

And this is precisely true of the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614920)

And this is precisely true of the free market. This is why everyone gets Marxism wrong. The capitalist system consolidates power in the hands of the few wealthy and, after revolution, the communist system begins. communism consolidates power in the hands of the few in government and, after revolution, you have utopia where there is neither capitalism nor comminism because the people have worked out that you can't allow any power structure to consolidate power.

To a large extent, this is the espoused intent of the Liberals

funny how they complain of maxist government, yet themselves are proponents of the very thing they profess to hate.

Re:And this is precisely true of the free market (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615136)

At least with the free market I have choice NOT to buy from the wealth capitalists/corporations. I don't have to buy Comcast service (and don't). I don't have to buy Microsoft Office or an Apple Mac. I don't have to buy a GM car or food from McDonalds. I don't have to buy hospital insurance..... oh. Never mind. ;-)

(Of course that last example is no longer a free market, is it? It's not a government-enforced purchase.)

Re:And this is precisely true of the free market (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615202)

CORRECTION:

Of course that last example is no longer a free market, is it? Hospital insurance is [NOW] a government-enforced purchase. What happened to freedom of choice? Or Pro-Choice democracy? Next I suppose americans will be fined ~$1000 a year if they buy a 2011 or 2012 "normal" car instead of a hybrid car. Or ~$100 surcharge for buying an Apple instead of a PC with Microsoft on it. Once the precedent of mandating what Americans should buy is set, there's no limit to what the US government could require we buy.

You can leave the country too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615580)

You can leave the country too. Or vote a different party in. You don't vote the C*O of Verizon in. You don't vote the MS board of directors in. You don't vote the direction Oracle takes in business. Unless you own a significant (10%+) of the shares.

In any case, this has NOTHONG (repeat NOT ONE THING) to do with whether you can leave or not. It's whether the free market and capitalism is particular consolidate power in the hands of the few wealthy as per the OP's proclamation.

Sorry, you missed out the end of 20th century (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615264)

the communist system begins. communism consolidates power in the hands of the few in government and, after revolution, you have utopia where there is neither capitalism nor comminism because the people have worked out that you can't allow any power structure to consolidate power.

I'll tell you how it happened in reality. The revolution [wikipedia.org] failed (Russian interventntion), the communist leaders realized they have to loosen the leashes, so they created communism light [wikipedia.org]. As the economy didn't do very well, they introduced some limited amount of market, allowed the founding of small businesses in the 80ies. In 1989 there was a peaceful power transition, the constitution was reformed (with the approval of the communist party), there was free elections, but in the government burocracy remained the same people (clerks, judges, police, secret service). The The new first freely elected party initiated privatisation, and further market reforms.
Today the former communist leaders are millionares/billionares, and they preach the libertarian ideology. [wikipedia.org]

Sorry, what have you said that counters my point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615990)

Sorry, what have you said that counters my point? Really. What?

Nothing.

Re:Centralization of power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615556)

At least governments are democratic, which is more than one can say about corporations.

Re:Centralization of power (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615716)

It is the natural trend of every government to centralize and consolidate power..."

But your now talking about any legitimate government; you're talking about the UN. Pfaww... who give a mad f*** about them? You guys are acting like their word is law. IT NOT. Their a body of scumbags and bs artists. And they don't carry the weight of a lawful enforcement body. Stop acting all scared of them.

Re:Nope. (4, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614952)

Did Amazon give Wikileaks a trial before it pulled the plug? What about the DNS provider? What about Paypal, Visa and Mastercard?

Someone is always going to grab power. It doesn't have to be the government. It could be a large company. Right now its been done with a 'grey area' site. What if the major credit-card companies decide that they don't want to support a particular website? That'll kill it.

Someone is always going to have power. There is no anarchy on the internet, lots of companies give VITAL services.

Re:Nope. (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615002)

That's weird. Since when is Amazon a public service, and doesn't have the right to pull the plug on Wikileaks, as well as the other things you mentioned?

Re:Nope. (3, Interesting)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615080)

I'm not saying what Amazon did was illegal. I'm saying that someone has the ability to pull the plug out already. So saying "lets stay out and leave the internet free for everyone" is ineffective and counter-intuitive.

If we don't want governments messing in our internet because they can:

1. Remove sites
2. Throttle certain speeds
3. Add silly 'balancing' methods

Then tough luck because its already perfectally legal for a company to do that. And I THINK I trust a government more than a company.

Re:Nope. (1)

oztiks (921504) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615178)

Consider the fact that regulation would eventuate in to a form of Duty. It doesn't matter what Google has to say Govts are desperate for extra revenue streams and ability to create more jobs - regulating the internet will do just that.

US govt, esp Obama isn't going to ignore this as a concept. Just watch protests half in size when people realize they could possibly be make a living policing the internet. Only the extremists will be present at the rallies the rest will see the practical advantage.

Re:Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615270)

You might want to look to the historical past actions of any and all governments with regards to supporting freedoms for individuals, medical testing, and the general killing of billions of people.

A company with little restrictions and zero competition is a bad thin. Governments kill, destroy and imprison people in direct proportion of how much control they have on society. It is no coincidence the largest mass murders the world have ever seen are communist governments. The must inhumane medical testing were carried out by Government including the "civilized" western democracies. Threats to an individual freedoms are never from a corporation, but from either a government & corporation alliance or straight from a government.

Re:Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615676)

And I THINK I trust a government more than a company.

Think again. Of course it depends on the government; would you trust the government of Somalia or would you rather trust Denmark's government?

Re:Nope. (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615094)

It's my understanding that Amazon, Visa, Paypal, etc were *directed* by the government to pull the plug. Or else they would be audited. (Which Paypal has already experienced once & doesn't want again.)

Perhaps I'm wrong but it's what I heard, and it's believable considering the White House ordered TruTV to stop airing Governor Ventura's "concentration camps" episode. Okay so maybe Ventura's a nut, but if it can happen to the TruTV corporation then it can happen to any corporation. So per usual, the corporations are the puppets, and the true master is in either Congress or the White House. (Or maybe "collusion" is a better word - corps donate money; politicians gives corps bailout money.)
.

>>>lots of companies give VITAL services.

Like what? What does the internet provide that can not be done anywhere else? Banking? I can do that in person. Shopping? Ditto. Television? No I can erect an antenna, or sign with CATV, or buy the DVDs when they are released. Or listen to the radio instead for news/weather. ----- Anyway I don't think the internet is a necessity..... maybe someday it will be, like the landline phone (for 911) or electricity (for heat), but not yet. It's still a luxury like videogame consoles or cellphones.

Re:Nope. (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615116)

I apologise for not explaining "Vital" services well.

What I meant is that if a company wants to put its presence on the internet, it requires many services which are vital to it to remain effective. Such as the Host, DNS provider, 'donation services provider' et cetera. All of which have the ability to destroy the website.

I didn't mean that services are vital in real life and only are on the internet.
-
That said, the direction is turning to the internet becoming vital. In the EU is being considered a basic human right.

Re:Nope. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615364)

I just moved into a new apartment (Gothenburg, Sweden), there are no landlines for phone, not any TV antenna anywhere in the apartment. All I have is a Patchpanel and a number of ethernet connectors around the house and an incoming fiberoptic cable. I then get to choose between about 10 internet providers, 4 television providers (that I can mix and match in the open IP-box) and several IP-telephony providers. For me "internet" is starting to become "vital".

Re:Nope. (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 2 years ago | (#34616332)

And yet, Wikileaks survived and is still leaking material to this day, without all of those services. Perhaps all those services are not as VITAL as you think they are?

Re:Nope. (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615688)

"...so that when you visit msnbc.com..."

Will never happen, I NEVER read msnbc.com.However, I'm not really worried about this nonsense.either. When was the last time anyone ever did what the UN wanted?

Now, now, now's the time right now! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614660)

What slowness can I offer you? I'm copyright owner Madow!

UN is a toothless wonder (-1, Troll)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614668)

The UN is a joke, they can't do squat and they don't have enough black helicopters to enforce their rules.

Re:UN is a toothless wonder (2, Insightful)

Exitar (809068) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614816)

Agreed.
An organization in which a member not paying its dues has absolute veto right clearly has some kind of problem.

Re:UN is a toothless wonder (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615230)

you talking about the US?

-

oops - just recently the US paid its debts accumulated over 20 years to the UN !

-

sorry - maybe you mean - whom?

So the US didn't pay for 20 years. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34616274)

So the US didn't pay for 20 years. Isn't that rather what the GP poster said?

Re:UN is a toothless wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614822)

Vint Cerf is the acclaimed father of the internet. I think this is a bit of a desperate move bringing him in on it. A member have congress has always opposed regulation, its like the principle dragging Dad in to school to sort out the school yard fight. In politics it will come off looking weak.

Google can lobby all it want, it can stick too its guns like it did in China, but Wikileaks showed every Govt and Company in the world how some guy with a couple of servers can walk on water and do and say what he wants.

Google has its own agenda, Vint as well. We'll need more than that to keep the Govts from taking away the freedom of the internet.

Re:UN is a toothless wonder (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#34616048)

it can stick too its guns like it did in China

You mean whoring themselves out to the Chinese government for many years before finally doing the right thing?

UN cannot control anything (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614680)

What are they going to do? Send blue helmet troops to Google and hand over relief goods to Yahoo for a few years? Come on, they're little more than ineffectual Nerf saber rattlers.

Glad we are clear on what we want (1)

duggi (1114563) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614700)

"I call on the President and his Administration to oppose any effort to transfer control of the Internet to the United Nations or any other international governmental entity ."

It's not over folks. Keep your Tor up and running.
BTW, I really hate it when media spins it to the advertisers. Wonder if an 'open' news site exists. One that gives me plain texts and actual information, not commentary along with facts.

Google is anti-regulation?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614702)

This is the same Google who recently joined Verizon and came out in favor of using DPI to monetize connectivity based on site/packet-type? A rose by any other name....

Re:Google is anti-regulation?! (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614742)

Google is in favour of money (not in the general sense, just in the flowing-to-google sense). Government interference reduces the amount of money flowing to Google, so it's bad. It's also bad for other reasons, but these are of less concern to Google.

Re:Google is anti-regulation?! (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614936)

Government interference reduces the amount of money flowing to Google

Does it? To be honest, the most likely government regulations to be passed would probably actually benefit google: limitations on how much (and, indeed, whether) online service providers can be charged by access providers for traffic to their customers; regulations about how other people's data can be handled that would restrict competition from small startups that can't afford expensive compliance procedures; data flow restrictions creating a fractured internet whereby companies who have a presence in a large number of countries are at a substantial advantage over those with presence only in one or two. I honestly can't think of a regulation that's likely to be passed that would be bad for google and better for its competitors.

Re:Google is anti-regulation?! (1)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615576)

Pay-As-You-Go internet is very bad for google. It is also very good for any ISPs who set up competing products to google's products. It's the net neutrality nightmare scenario. ISP charges $/MB for using google's service and nothing to use the ISPs service. This is part of the "net neutrality" proposal that the FCC will be voting on which is really not anything like net neutrality at all.

It disgusts me.

it wouldn't matter (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614704)

the UN is ineffective. it is an expensive bureaucracy good for debating the exact wording of pronouncements that are always carefully worded to not offend anyone, including those who are actual perpetrators of crimes in this world. every good cause and good instinct is mired down in the structure of the UN, in which those with vested interests can block anything and everything, and they do. all countries represent themselves there so as to do exactly that: protect their interests, which are always balanced by someone else's. so nothing gets done. the UN is a colossal expensive painful exercise in stasis.

if the UN were given control of the internet, nothing would change. because member countries would merely block every effort to do anything, no matter how innocuous

the UN needs teeth. meaning: resolutions should take effect with only a majority vote, rather than 100% consensus. until then, the UN is a joke, and no one should consider it a threat to anything, good or bad

Re:it wouldn't matter (3, Insightful)

beh (4759) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614922)

Well - if you want to give the UN teeth - take away veto powers from the original members of the security council.

Most of the careful wordings are only to prevent those countries from vetoing resolutions.

The vetos were a thing to make it workable in the beginning - but they have outlived their usefulness. They should be replaced by some rules protecting the basic values, i.e. no resolution can be passed that would suppress human rights (and other basic protections) - or give different minimal pass rates to allow such motions to go through (from simple majority, 2/3 majority, 3/4 majority, and as far as restrictions very basic rights of ethnic groups go 98% majority...

Re:it wouldn't matter (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615120)

i agree 100%. with the addendum that the security council be reformed to better represent the actual world. india and brazil in, no brainer. britain or france transferring its seat to the EU, the other seat disappearing

it's retarded that there are 2 security council seats in europe (3 if you say russia is part of europe), but that's historically accurate in terms of power. emphasis: HISTORICALLY accurate. eventually, indonesia/ ASEAN and an african (nigeria) and a middle eastern power (egypt) should get a seat as well

this leaves out countries like japan and australia and canada and mexico that are deserving. then there are globally undeserving countries that are regionally powerhouses that will feel left out: iran, venezuela, new zealand, pakistan, south africa, argentina, etc

perhaps the entire security council should be reformed so that regional economic consolidations are represented on the security council instead. because regional economic consolidations (EU, ASEAN, NAFTA, etc) are the future power blocs of the world anyways

Re:it wouldn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34616024)

>

The vetos were a thing to make it workable in the beginning - but they have outlived their usefulness. They should be replaced by some rules protecting the basic values, i.e. no resolution can be passed that would suppress human rights (and other basic protections) - or give different minimal pass rates to allow such motions to go through (from simple majority, 2/3 majority, 3/4 majority, and as far as restrictions very basic rights of ethnic groups go 98% majority...

I'm actually more concerned in adding "rights" in recent years. There seem to be a whole bunch more "rights" once you start looking for them. Finland made 1Mbps Internet access a "legal right" not too far back.

Re:it wouldn't matter (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614930)

The UN is extremely effective at what it's designed for -

Peacekeeping and conflict prevention.

Re:it wouldn't matter (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615058)

Are we talking about a different UN?

Gaddafi really laid the smack down on how effective they were about that.

Re:it wouldn't matter (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615148)

yes, who could forget rwanda in 1994

hundreds of thousands massacred while diplomat assholes argue about legalistic wording. it's like trying to steer a supertanker to make a 90 degree angle

Re:it wouldn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615258)

if the UN were given control of the internet, nothing would change. because member countries would merely block every effort to do anything, no matter how innocuous

the UN needs teeth. meaning: resolutions should take effect with only a majority vote, rather than 100% consensus. until then, the UN is a joke, and no one should consider it a threat to anything, good or bad

Which would be a good thing (TM). Seeing the Wikileaks debate currently, especially in the USA, I would feel better if the control is taken off the USA and given to a toothless organization.

Re:it wouldn't matter (3, Insightful)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615400)

The UN eradicated smallpox. What have you done lately that is comparable? It's true that the UN isn't really efficient. How could it be? It's 200 countries with vastly different cultures, ideas and goals. Getting all these powers to agree on something is bound to be hard. But that doesn't change the fact that having a common forum to talk in is a fundamentally good thing. There's also no alternative. The US has been trying to impose their will on other countries by force or political/economic power for decades, with decidedly mixed results. It's actually easier to find a compromise and get everyone to act on it. Politics is hard. Remember that the next time you can't get your family to agree on dinner.

Re:it wouldn't matter (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615494)

800,000 dead rwandans from 1994 while diplomat assholes debate legalistic wording thank you for your kind words

"What have you done lately that is comparable?"

i'm just an individual, i'm not comparable. but if you want to talk about the usa, it invented the internet, which this whole discussion is about

"The US has been trying to impose their will on other countries by force or political/economic power for decades"

yes. just like russia, china, britain, france and every other country in the world. what's your point?

"It's actually easier to find a compromise and get everyone to act on it."

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. you're a funny man

Re:it wouldn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615554)

The UN eradicated smallpox. What have you done lately that is comparable?

Well, let’s see... we eradicated smallpox inside the US something like 80 years earlier than that, smartass.

Tag (2)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614722)

Why is this tagged Wikileaks?

Re:Tag (2)

gridzilla (778890) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614752)

FTFA:

Mack - who is the incoming Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade within the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee - wasn't a lone voice in opposing efforts to police the internet in the wake of WikiLeak's 'Cablegate' fiasco. A US Congressional hearing calling for criminal charges against WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange was also played down as "extreme".

Re:Tag (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614796)

Wikileaks was the whole reason that the UN was pitching this new “regulate the internet” thing. Do try to keep up.

Great Idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614744)

Without regulation there's no effective way to control people's thoughts. Plus (double plus actually), as long as your thoughts conform you have nothing to worry about, so this really isn't an issue at all. [br]
By limiting nonconformity we should also regain some bandwidth on the internet for wholesome media.

no way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614750)

the internet is prolly more U.N. then the U.N.

Who was it trampled the xxx domain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614760)

Who was it trampled the xxx domain? How about all this regulation against "illegal" content on the internet? Would that not be interference in the internet?

PS dragonhunter, it's tagged Wikileaks because the US want to regulate the internet so that you can't get to WL.

Internet: no -- ISPs: yes. (5, Insightful)

Senes (928228) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614782)

Regulating the internet means telling people what they can and cannot use.

Regulating ISPs means preventing them from telling people what they can and cannot use.

Re:Internet: no -- ISPs: yes. (1)

D66 (452265) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615232)

Another great summary of an above point! I am going to have to consider creating an essay on Net Neutrality and free information built entirely out of Slashdot Quotes

Re:Internet: no -- ISPs: yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34616110)

Once you regulate one the other will follow, it's just a matter of time, I would rather have corporations have the freedom to do what they want and let the will and the choice of the consumer who then have the options of the government for re-dress. If the government regulates and has control, who do you go to have things set right?

Need more good PR soundbites like this... (1)

zQuo (1050152) | more than 2 years ago | (#34616142)

Regulating the internet means telling people what they can and cannot use.

Regulating ISPs means preventing them from telling people what they can and cannot use.

Finally! A soundbite for the Internet Freedoms that the average person can understand quickly. Frankly, the names and slogans supporting internet freedoms have been very poor. The literal name, "Net Neutrality," for example, is confusing and buys zero support. Look at the ill-considered provisions that quickly made it through Congress, they have emotionally charged meaningful names like "Patriot Act", "No Child Left Behind"

Even Cerf's quote (from the summary) "... we don't believe that governments should be allowed to grant themselves a monopoly on internet governance...," sounds rather weak. To the average less-informed person on the street, this is not compelling. If not the government, who should govern the internet? Why should one care? While it's truthful, it's unconvincing without additional context. Not a good soundbite.

Governments will always be tempted to censor or control the internet directly for their own self interest. (ex. Wikileaks) Having a central authority such as the UN do it would be a horror. The temptation to somehow tweak the traffic "to protect " worldwide would be unbearable. At least now, any national government doing so needs to establish some sort of "Great Firewall" to wall out the free internet.

Re:Internet: no -- ISPs: yes. (2)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#34616412)

Regulating the internet means telling people what they can and cannot use.

Regulating ISPs means preventing them from telling people what they can and cannot use.

This is foolish naivety. You're demanding that the government keep it's hands off your Internet connection, but you still want the government to control the ISP's. But the later will lead to the former. If they're regulating the ISP's, then they're regulating the end users too. You seem to think you can have your cake and eat it too... sic government on the bad ole' ISP's, while staying untouched. Governments don't work that way. Once you invite them in through one door, you can't keep them out of others. Sooner rather than later, they're going to start regulating your personal Internet use too... "for the greater good".

Probably will be harder than they think (3, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614800)

Some of my older relatives find it bewildering that so many decisions about the direction of the Internet, a "public resource," are made by private bodies from corporations to the IETF and not governments. These are from the older generations that were spoon-fed that bullshit about how we are all Free and Equal Citizens participating in our democratic process, "we're the government," etc. The idea that it's being guided by a fairly enlightened, techno/meritocratic elite and not by "democracy" is scary to them.

Considering the fact that the number of states that can even reasonably claim to be "free, democratic societies" are a minority in the UN, it **should** go without saying that this is bad. The UN as a forum has not done much of anything good in a long time. Just recently, it resurrected a proposal against "defamation of religion" which, if adopted by member states, would do things like make you a criminal for pointing out that Mohammed was a pedophile even by the standards of his day (marrying and deflowering a 9 year old was considered deviant even back then, as 9 was not a common marriage age for girls).

If the Internet really does fall firmly into government controls, it'll present a scenario for individual liberty that makes the surveillance states of the Warsaw Pact look like nothing. It really is the most dangerous tool that mankind has ever created aside from nuclear technology, in its ability to be used to reshape societies for good or bad.

Re:Probably will be harder than they think (3, Interesting)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615032)

Mohammed was a pedophile even by the standards of his day (marrying and deflowering a 9 year old was considered deviant even back then, as 9 was not a common marriage age for girls).

Somewhat offtopic, but: you should be aware that the truth of this statement is disputed; some scholars suggest that she was 9 when she was betrothed to him, and approximately 14 when the marriage was consummated, which was considered perfectly acceptable at the time. That said, the majority of older sources do agree with the way you put it, so we could just be looking at a movement to whitewash his history.

Re:Probably will be harder than they think (1)

joe545 (871599) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615434)

I love the way you bash the majority of states in the UN as not being "free, democratic societies" and use that as justification as to why they should not be involved in deciding the direction of the internet; denying to them the very same freedom and democracy that you so espouse. Pot. Kettle. Black.

Re:Probably will be harder than they think (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615840)

Well the point is probably that if the nations in question are not free and democratic, the representatives in the UN are only the representatives of the dictatorship/oligarchy/aristocracy that is actually running those countries. That means that even if you give those nations a say, you still wouldn't be giving their people the ability to represent themselves, because their own government wouldn't allow that to happen.

If most of the countries in the UN happen to be undemocratic, then the UN will be undemocratic in a wider sense because it will only hear the voices of those in charge who are almost completely unresponsive to and who may even make decisions inimical to the desires of their own people. One might argue in that sense that if the UN left those countries out, the UN may well be less representative of the world, but it would still be much more democratic, even if the excluded countries represent most of the world's polities and purport to represent most of the world's population.

I think the UN does serve a purpose, but I think that we should not give the UN power over something that we would prefer to be democratically run. The UN is a representative body of the governments of nation-states and some NGOs. There are things that should be put before such a group, like peacekeeping, collective security, and anything else that needs intergovernmental cooperation. What should not go in front of the UN is anything that actually needs democracy and freedom in order to thrive, because at this point the UN is not made up of mostly democratic nations. The only thing that gives that illusion, ironically, is the stranglehold that democratic countries like the US, UK and France have over the Security Council and the monetary stranglehold that the US has over UN funding.

Re:Probably will be harder than they think (1)

Raven_Stark (747360) | more than 2 years ago | (#34616122)

I think those with a score of 8.5 or better at Transparency International [transparency.org] should temporarily get the power to re-organize the UN to make it better. Until the UN is fixed, I can't agree with allowing it to set Internet law since it basically means the corrupt majority of countries would end free speech. I really like the idea of an international government, so long as it protects human rights.

Full disclosure: My country, the USA, scores 7.1, so it wouldn't get the temporary power.

Father of the Internet?!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614808)

...' Meanwhile, the so-called 'father of the internet,' Vint Cerf, ...

Isn't that Al Gore?!

What?!?

Oh, It's 2010. My Bad! I though the calendar said "2000" - I didn't see that one there!

Back to my drunken balckouts.

Re:Father of the Internet?!? (0)

sorak (246725) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614988)

No. Al Gore was the guy who took the initiative in the creation of the internet. If you're certain that "took the initiative in the creation of" means "invented", then either you're not that bright, or your translator ring works a hell of a lot better than mine.

Ironic? (3, Informative)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614836)

Anyone else see this as ironic, considering that Congresswoman Mack was married to Sonny Bono when he introduced that most-horrible piece of retroactive-copyright-extension legislation? [wikipedia.org]

I'm reading this as "How dare anyone [except *us*] attempt to regulate the intarwebs!"

Re:Ironic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615126)

Yeah, since she's the re-carnation of Sonny Bono and does everything HE would do.

Re:Ironic? (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615220)

Which is why I suspect that she wants to keep governments' hands off of the internet so that big businesses will be free to do with it as *they* wish.

Cerf is probably looking out for the consumer/user, but I suspect she's only in it to protect the "free market", you know, the one where you're free to pay the only cable company in town and settle for whatever they offer at the price they ask or do without, and/or to pay the only "landline" telephone company in town and settle for whatever they offer at the price they ask or do without.

Re:Ironic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615562)

So copyright relates to internet regulation how? Oh, I see, you're just trying to kiss some karmic ass in the name of groupthink.

Thanks for playing the game but sadly you just lost.

Re:Ironic? (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 2 years ago | (#34616022)

irony [reference.com] - the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning

Congresswoman Mack and her late husband are supporters of enhanced copyright legislation. You know, that government imposed monopoly that restricts your ability to create derivative works? Quoting TFA:

Mack argued that "the Internet has progressed and thrived precisely because it has not been subjected to the suffocating effect of a governmental organization's heavy hand."

Iron fist, may I introduce you to Mr. Velvet Glove?

Further, copyright violations are the basis of the current push to regulate the internet. "Think of the Children" only goes so far.

Re:Ironic? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 2 years ago | (#34616688)

Meh, my parents disagree regarding quite a few poignant political topics and they've been married happily for 35+ years or something like that. Some of my fondest relationships were with girlfriends that tended to disagree with me over certain political//social things. Two people can be in love and not agree on everything. Hell, I'd even risk saying that it is healthier to some extent.

No such thing as freedom (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614888)

People don't seem to understand but there's no such thing as freedom. Anarchy is unsustainable.

This is for all cases, if there is nobody who controls (or has the right to) an object, then someone WILL control it.

This goes for everything - from society, to law, to the internet.

If the government doesn't call dibs on controlling the internet, someone else will. Do Visa and Mastercard control the internet? They can suffocate donations to any website they want. Do web providers control the internet? They can take down their own sites at will. Do ISPs control the internet? They can filter out sites if they want to.

In the end, someone is always going to carve out a portion and control that. Always. Now I'd rather have the government, or a large body of governments doing that. Because governments at least have to pretend their doing it for the good of the people. Companies can just do so because it suits them.

Surprise surprise (4, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614944)

The list of countries supporting this reads like a who's who of human rights abusers and countries that'd censor the moon from the night sky if it negatively impacted their power. Just the people we want having a say in how the rest of the world accesses the Internet.

Vint Cerf, U.S. Congresswoman (4, Funny)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615068)

I say, I was quite surprised at this news.

This headline could have benefitted from the addition of a word such as "and".

This is about *who* regulates (1)

davide marney (231845) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615160)

The problem here is the working group wants to limit participation to UN member states only. However, the group's charter says that members ought to be composed of "governments, the private sector, and civil society" , according to this ISOC letter [isoc.org].

I signed the petition and commented that as the value of the Internet is based on the contributions of everyone, it is manifestly unfair not to have open representation in a forum discussing the future of the Internet.

Hey Vint (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615218)

you are also against the Monopoly of Credit-cards by the US?

and the monopoly of the US in international transactions - after the EU let the US spy on its money traffic?>

- and I guess there is also a monopoly of the Internet - or at least a pretty far reaching monitoring if not control of the very Internet!

- Dear Vint - you know who gave the money for developing the 'net' - don't you ?

A matter of vote (1)

skyggen (888902) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615464)

If you are happy and content with how your government runs your country and see no evil and have never been slighted by your country just move along. It needs to be regulated so they can re-package and sub-divide it for sale. Corporations are understanding they are only making a fraction of what money lies out there on the Internet. They will attempt to privatize the Internet in the same way they privatized access to fresh water sources. They will want licenses, fees and taxes for operating websites get x views. They will want no limit to the volume of/in ads, pop-ups and tracking (not for government, but so they can sell you better). With the wealth of people who show up on slashdots, diggs, redits and such, It always disappoints me that there are not more Terry "Not without my consent because thats a bad idea" Childs. IT (this is you and me) does control the networks, servers and hubs. I think of the cluster I have and I will say "no", but if I'm alone I'll get fired, arrested and possibly beaten. We just need to turn it all off one day and say "No God dammit, I'm sick of being exploited and plundered!", "No God dammit, I don't want to have 4 advertisements shoved up my ass for 5 minutes of video I watch", "No God damnit, The Internet has made your Government moot as I can talk to people over there already and I don't need some rich kid ambassador speaking for me", "No God Damit, You already control the Jobs, The money, The Land, The Air and the Water". Now you brave and noble men who will once more follow me into the breach, when you live to see old age and think of this day, Saint Childs Day, You will tell your storys and show your scars. You will proudly say "These wounds I suffered on Saint Childs Day" and all your neighbors will bake you cookies. Sys admins, Switch Operators, Build teams, Dev guys, Solid state, embedded systems and etc please just stand up and let everyone know, "Not on My Watch!" and more importantly when they go over that line to do everything in our power to stop them, including locking them out of their property.

By Neruos (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615752)

No one cares what the consumer/public wants. This is about power and when it comes to giving the government a new power always remember this...

Socialism > Capitalism

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