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UN Pushes Plan To Assume Internet Governance Role

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the the-un-is-always-right dept.

The Internet 287

no0b writes with an Op-Ed by the FCC Commissioner on a UN plan to gain more control over Internet regulation. From the article: "On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year's end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish 'international control over the Internet' through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices. " BoingBoing offers a slightly different perspective; The Register offers a quite different perspective.

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No improvement over the current setup (5, Insightful)

xeno314 (661565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126699)

The idea would be to have *better* regulation of the Internet, which won't happen with the UN/ITU. Adding culture clashes to the present political clashes and putting countries that actively censor content at the table is just asking for trouble.

Re:No improvement over the current setup (5, Interesting)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126841)

The most appropriate regulation for the 'net would be of two parts:

1. There shall be common standards that may be utilized by anyone without cost.
2. If you get a packet, you send it on, no matter who it is from or to whom it is going.
2a. You can charge for a connection and by bandwidth, but not for transference of data.
3. There shall not be any more regulation imposed on the 'net.

But... we'll never get this. Why? Because the powers that be can go full time on their efforts to control; the politicians who are bought and the folks doing the buying don't need to take time to go to work - that is their work. Just as the mega-corporations who are fighting for their own control don't have to spend their evenings taking care of the kids.

Re:No improvement over the current setup (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126887)

Ack - I can't count. Guess that's why I'll never run the 'net *sheepish look*

Re:No improvement over the current setup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127059)

2. If you get a packet, you send it on, no matter who it is from or to whom it is going.

So if I send a packet out my internet addressed to 10.15.31.205, my ISP is required to forward it? Where do they forward it to? If I set up my company's router to advertise routes to 72.14.0.0/16 (one of Google's blocks), our ISP is required to accept those routes and advertise them downstream? I could go on, but I assume by now you realize this issue is not nearly as simple as you make it out to be.

Re:No improvement over the current setup (5, Interesting)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127457)

Oh, c'mon, that's covered in RFC1918, isn't it? I didn't even have to look the number up. Step One was observe the standards.

The real problem is 800 lb gorillas [rfc-ignorant.org] who ignore [rfc-ignorant.org] and subvert [groklaw.net] Internet standards for competitive advantage, and the ITU is not exactly set up to chastise that sort of actor. These are the people who gave us X.500, for chrissakes! If there's anybody less trustworthy than the US government it would be a consortium of telecommunications giants.

Re:No improvement over the current setup (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127687)

Well yes. But the matter still is that the Internet will need a globally owned controlling
entity if it is going to continue. ATM too much of the control resides on the US.

Re:No improvement over the current setup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127351)

So if you are DDOSing a client of mine I can't null route that data because of point 2? Well done, you've just broken all firewalls and ultimately the internet itself.

Re:No improvement over the current setup (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127407)

The most appropriate regulation for the 'net would be of two parts:

1. There shall be common standards that may be utilized by anyone without cost.
2. If you get a packet, you send it on, no matter who it is from or to whom it is going.
2a. You can charge for a connection and by bandwidth, but not for transference of data.
3. There shall not be any more regulation imposed on the 'net.

But... we'll never get this. Why? Because the powers that be can go full time on their efforts to control; the politicians who are bought and the folks doing the buying don't need to take time to go to work - that is their work. Just as the mega-corporations who are fighting for their own control don't have to spend their evenings taking care of the kids.

I guess you haven't had much real world Network experience.

1. Common standards? What isn't a common standard? Are you talking about flash? Or are you referring to BGP, OSPF, IS-IS, and TCP/IP?
2. Not all data is worth forwarding. Have you heard of QoS? It achieves its end result by not trying to forward every packet.
2a. Why wouldn't they have the right to charge for transference of data? It's their network. They can charge you whatever they want. If you don't like it, choose a different way to connect to the internet. (Yes, I do realize that there are those who don't have more than one choice for provider. That isn't a problem this rule would fix. This is a problem because of the amount of regulations on telecoms.)
3. Good luck on that. Regulation begets regulation.

Re:No improvement over the current setup (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127463)

You're right.. and the world's politicians agree there needs to be some appropriate regulation of the net:

1. There shall common standards of decency on the net
2. If you get a packet, you filter it for banned phrases, sites, and other indecent content
3. There shall be more regulation imposed on the 'net.

Doesn't matter - won't happen (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127355)

Here's one situation where the fractured political parties in the United States can actually be of one mind on something. The Left will block it because they balk at the idea of handing control of the internet over people who are easily swayed by governments with records of human rights abuses, and Right will block it because they hate the UN and will see this as another step in the creation of the New World Order. The US will back out of the ITU before this happens.

It's cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126711)

They can have all the non-binding resolution "power" they want.

Re:It's cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127753)

Within six months, it will be electronic oldmen running the world.

Two bad choices (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126715)

Two bad choices:

1) Led by the US = megacorps have purchased both political parties so its basically megacorp-net. Expect lots of censorship and control focused around maximizing profits.

2) Led by the UN = most of the UN members are crooks, dictators, religious extremists, military leaders who killed the civilian leaders to gain control, basically the scum of the non-business society so its basically dictator-net. Expect lots of censorship and control around killing all dissenters and forcing one lunatic religions beliefs upon people of other lunatic religious beliefs (or non-beliefs)

Re:Two bad choices (4, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126745)

What I fear is that we'll wind up having to chose our poisons.

Because it looks like there's no way in hell that it will be left in the hands of those who built it, maintain it and understand it.

Re:Two bad choices (5, Insightful)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126833)

Hey, now there's an idea- the workers at backbone stations take a global week-long break and let the chips fall as they will. See if they figure out the real owners then.

Re:Two bad choices (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127675)

See if they figure out the real owners then.

The folks with eminent domain rights, unless those backbones operate via telepathy.

Re:Two bad choices (5, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126967)

What I fear is that we'll wind up having to chose our poisons.

When was the last time the US government let us choose anything?

Re:Two bad choices (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127191)

Even the US Gov has trouble asserting itself over many of the self-governing bits of the Internet. Yes, ICANN is a tool of the US Gov, but many other elements are both international in membership (IETF) and very much interested in keeping governments out of the underpinnings (IEEE).

The UN, in my belief, is ineffective. So is the US Gov, but once in a while they get it right so long as Congress doesn't get involved.

Re:Two bad choices (3, Funny)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127555)

You know, I heard from someone that theyre doing it right now! Something about "Primaries" and "November 2012"....youll want to google for the details.

Re:Two bad choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126805)

I for one welcome our dictatorial overlords that don't give a second thought about patents and copyright law. We can always evade the censorship, anyway.

Re:Two bad choices (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126815)

Pick the one most likely to result in a leadership that is crippled in from disagreement. The less they do, the better.

Re:Two bad choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126901)

+1 Insightful if I had mod points. Is it a case of personal selection bias or are most governments becoming more corrupt and incompetent every year now?

Re:Two bad choices (4, Insightful)

Cragen (697038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127635)

Which is pretty much why Democracy works the best. It is the most ineffective form of government on planet. Lawyers trying to outwit lawyers at every turn. Leaving those of us, living mostly legally, alone most of the time. Oddly the other reason Democracy works is that we (mostly) cheerfully pay taxes and on-time to get this form of government. Seems a fair trade most of the time. Hmm. Nap time. (Get off my lawn! Yawn.)

Told you so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126893)

Behind the smokescreen, the ultimate goal of the UN is to consolidate and centralize power into the hands of the few. Like any individual or group interested in holding power over others, they want all the eggs in one basket: their basket.

The absolute worst thing that could happen to humanity is "one world government". What do you think the chances are that this "one world government" will place your rights (the individual) over the rights these people (who are also merely individuals) have assigned to themselves?

Re:Two bad choices (5, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126913)

> Led by the UN = most of the UN members are crooks, dictators, religious extremists, military leaders...

What is really horrible is that this state of affairs isn't an accident. It was designed that way, to be a Parliment of Tyrants. When the UN was proposed and designed most nation states were unfree hellholes and with the Soviet Block and ChiComs on the rise at the time the trend was not our friend. Yet the design called for one nation state one vote in the General Assembly and with both China and the Soviet Union getting a veto in the Security Council there was zero chance of anything positive ever happening and every chance of great harm. And it was designed that way. Think about it.

So lets turn over control of the Internet to the same bunch of misfits who thought seating Iran to an organization to pontificate on human rights was a good idea. And lets not forget Libya having to get booted out of the Human Rights Council when Kadaffy's body count got so high even the other tyrants were getting embarrased. So oh heck yea, lets turn the Internet over to these thugs, what could possibly go wrong when the Axis of Evil starts writing the RFCs for the Evil Bit and it ain't April Fools.

Re:Two bad choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127129)

i am baffled by why this is modded down. Its pretty much dead on.

Re:Two bad choices (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127349)

i am baffled by why this is modded down. Its pretty much dead on.

The UN has mod points?

Re:Two bad choices (3, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126945)

Yeah. This.

I'm of two minds, too.

On the one hand, we've all seen the situation as it is currently with the US on past Slashdot stories (shutting down websites, taking domains, etc.)

So you start to think, maybe the US shouldn't have control.

The problem is, the UN could be worse.

Re:Two bad choices (2)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127391)

The problem is, the UN could be worse.

This is what I fear... right now, though dictators can oppress Internet access for their "citizens", people in other nations can speak out against that dictatorship without fear of attack. If we made an "International Body" to oversee the Internet, ran by such dictators, other people can't speak up for the oppressed- it would be censored. The reason networks like Tor can route information is because it is free in some countries, and not in others. This idea, giving control of the Internet to the UN, will effectively kill (for the time being) freedom on the Internet.

Re:Two bad choices (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126957)

The way I see it, there is a choice between having it controlled by the US, who despite SOPA, still has some of the strongest protection of free speech anywhere in the world. We have other problems, but you can say basically anything.

On the other side, you have an agency who is partially controlled by Russia and China, who don't respect free speech, and actively favor censoring the internet. At least in the US, politicians will all say they oppose censorship if you ask them. In China, most of them favor it, and actively use it as an opportunity to destroy their political enemies. Do you want someone with that kind of attitude to have any say in what happens on the internet?

The proper function of the UN is not to tell us what to do, it's not to be a governing body of the world. It's designed to be a place where the powerful (and to a lesser degree, the less powerful) countries of the world can get together and discuss things, and if possible, avoid going to war. Furthermore it is mechanism to take action once all parties are agreed. These reasons are why any member of the security council can veto action.

It was designed for that purpose, and it does it well. If you want to make the UN an international leading body, a true world government, then you'll need to change its structure.

Re:Two bad choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127413)

Modding, so have to post as AC. As I was reading your post, the thought struck that maybe US politicians, for whom open support of censorship is a career-limiting move, would prefer to have censorship imposed by proxy through the UN, using the "free speech" model favored by the Chinese, Russians, et. al.

Sort of like how the US had no problem using rendition on terrorist suspects when local law made torture "at home" too risky.

Re:Two bad choices (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127499)

I'd say with the US control, people would have the illusion of freedom of speech, whereas with China, they wound't.

Re:Two bad choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127713)

At least the Chinese are honest, which is more than can be said about our politicians. They say one thing but vote differently...

Re:Two bad choices (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127089)

Say what you will about the corruption and inefficiencies in the U.S. government; I would GLADLY accept U.S. control over the internet instead the U.N. any day.

As bad as the megacorps of the U.S. are, they are NOWHERE near as bad as the "crooks, dictators, religious extremists, military leaders who killed the civilian leaders to gain control" you point out in the U.N.

It's over. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126743)

Done. Finished.

Re:It's over. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126773)

Citation Needed.

Naturally. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126755)

I can't think of a better way to ensure we remain dutifully tracked to fulfill every Orwellian dystopia prophecy than to hand control of the One Machine over to these vampire squidlike control slurping nw0 megalomaniacs.

Darknets 2.0 plz hurry.

Darknets? (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127173)

Darknets 2.0 plz hurry.

In the absence of peering agreements between the major service providers, how are the darknets going to communicate? Using dark energy or what? Are the "internet dark users" going to take over and run the fiber/satellite infrastructure?

Re:Darknets? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127403)

the way we did it before service providers took over the tedious task of assigning IPs and charging obscene amounts of money for the privilege: point to point, over telephone lines.

Just because technology's "obsoleted" because something "newer, faster, *better*" comes along, does not mean it should be forgotten. One of these days you might find yourself with no power and no matches. How will you keep your family warm? Rail at the power company? Or get off your duff and learn a technology that's been known for ever: how to make fire by striking two rocks over kindling?

Learn how to use a computer. Learn how to build your own network. Because when TPTB take the Internet and emasculate it, turning it into Encarta 2.0, you'll wonder why you spent stupid money on that thing that just became a very expensive doorstop.

Time to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126763)

... rework the web.

Drama queens... (4, Interesting)

wulva (564057) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126765)

The register seems to have it quite spot on, somebody is being a drama queen and AT&T+friends probably paid for the drama because they want to increase roaming charges.

Why protest? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126771)

The average Slashdotter wants global governance of meatspace; why not the internet?

Re:Why protest? (4, Insightful)

chispito (1870390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127005)

The average Slashdotter wants global governance of meatspace

Huh? Care to elaborate? In my experience, if you pick a random Slashdotter, he is most likely to be an economic socialist/social libertarian. I really don't get a "global government" vibe here.

Re:Why protest? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127201)

Because other people live their lives mainly in meatspace, and Slashdotters live primarily in the internet.

As always it's "control everyone else and leave me alone."

Now, as I prefer the infinite iterated old-man dilemma: "Get off my lawn, and stay off theirs too!"

Putin's elections (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126777)

Putin wants to make sure that there is no way for Russian dissidents to post information about the election fraud. He is angry that people can put videos of fraud online somewhere else, not in Russia and others can view that video.

Putin's party in Russia would NOT win in real elections, but the way it's done, he is getting the votes he needs, because of all the fraud.

Re:Putin's elections (4, Informative)

piggydoggy (804252) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127233)

If Putin's party wouldn't win the elections, then the Communists would. Sorry to bust your dreams, but there's no secret yet massive movement of the downtrodden in Russia just waiting elect someone who the West would deem "democratic", i.e. someone who would hold yard sales on Russia's natural resources and infrastructure. Kasparov, Yabloko and the like hold 1-5% support as far as anyone can tell, and are a distant fourth in line as far as potential alternatives to Putin.

Re:Putin's elections (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127235)

You know, I'm very curious about this. I've read a lot of articles, including Wikipedia's, about Russia's current voting incidents. While there is always some mention of possible vote tampering, and some outrage, in general it's more-or-less just passed over as "that's how Russia's system is."

You seem to know more about it than others, perhaps you can link to some articles, or enlighten me as to why this kind of blatant anti-democratic is allowed by the Russian people with little protest, and why it's barely talked about in even western sources.

Re:Putin's elections (1)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127357)

why this kind of blatant anti-democratic is allowed by the Russian people with little protest

I don't know, 70 plus years of living in a police state where protestors were shipped off to prisons, mental health facilities or killed outright, many of those years as part of the first hand experience of roughly half the population?

Then there's the last 10 years experience with protest, investigatory journalism, corruption..

Good luck ruling it without ICANN (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126799)

Oh, you think the U.S. is giving that up just because you say so? Or sign some treaty just because you threaten them with...what?

Re:Good luck ruling it without ICANN (-1, Flamebait)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127049)

Threaten them (the US) with calling in all the outstanding monitary loans it owes. You know, "sign this, or become the next Greece" sort of thing.

Re:Good luck ruling it without ICANN (2)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127185)

You do understand mutually assured destruction right? The US could easily give the finger and default on the loans. That alone would instantly tank the world market across the board. Much of China's economy is based on selling cheap shit to other countries, primarily the US. They're not quite to the point of subsisting on their own yet.

It would be disastrous, but it means the loan holders don't have the control one might think.

Re:Good luck ruling it without ICANN (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127331)

Not that thats how government debt works.. They aren't holding savings bonds. You have a $1000 treasury note; it is worth $1000 at maturity. Even if you hold it for a thousand years afterwards, it will still be worth $1000. Holding on to them longer is essentially an interest free loan to the US, and they thank you for doing so. Before maturity, they're worth what the market says they're worth (something a little less than $1000, depending on how long until it matures). But that transfers funds between third parties; no US gov payout occurs.

Re:Good luck ruling it without ICANN (5, Informative)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127339)

People and countries that own US debt can not 'call in' their loans. The best they can do is sell them on the open market.. and if they do that the price will decline.. which means they'll have to take a loss.

And the US can't become Greece because we control our currency. If we had more debt than we could ever repay, we could simply print money to pay out debtors. They wouldn't like it, there would be inflation, and other unfavorable consequences, but we would not default and would not need a bailout. This is the option Greece doesn't have, and why they need a bailout.

Truth is, there is little the UN can threaten the US with. We have a veto on the security council, and provide 22% of the UNs budget -- which gives us a lot of power over the UNs agenda.

Re:Good luck ruling it without ICANN (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127483)

Threaten them (the US) with calling in all the outstanding monitary loans it owes. You know, "sign this, or become the next Greece" sort of thing.

Or what? I'm really interested in hearing the whole story behind this logic? Really, what these countries that the US owe money to going to do? This isn't some redneck trailer in bumfuck alabama you can reposes. Sure, it may bring the US economy down but there are a lot of people who say this would be a good thing. Plus, you can be damn sure the US economy goes down the rest of the world will follow.

China goes pay up and the US goes no. And that is pretty much where it ends.

Re:Good luck ruling it without ICANN (3, Insightful)

TheSync (5291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127527)

Threaten them (the US) with calling in all the outstanding monitary loans it owes. You know, "sign this, or become the next Greece" sort of thing.

US Federal debt is sold in varying maturities [treasurydirect.gov], some bonds and TIPS do not mature until 2041.

Also US Federal debt remains one of the few safe places for international investors (such as banks or foreign reserves held by countries trying to stabilize their currency). Global BASEL capital requirements on banks make it particularly beneficial for banks to hold US Federal debt (considered "risk free").

US Federal debt is not purchased because people like the US. It is purchased because it is an economic necessity in an unstable world.

It amazes me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126807)

With all the crap facing the world, it amazes me that stuff like this becomes a priority.

However, when this goes ahead, I officially will have my first old-man story: "I remember when the Internet..." sure grandpa =]

Fuck the Useless Nations (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126823)

The current situation over the USA running the net was far better than anything that could come from the UN controlling things.

Re:Fuck the Useless Nations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126859)

The current situation over the USA running the net was far better than anything that could come from the UN controlling things.

The USA gave (or tried to give) the world SOPA.
Just sayin'.

Re:Fuck the Useless Nations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127033)

And the UN wants to give us religious censorship.
Just sayin'

Re:Fuck the Useless Nations (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127807)

And, I wouldn't be surprised if the UN tried to implement all the awful things the US has tried over the years on top of that. Don't forget, many different countries cooperated on ACTA.

One world order (4, Insightful)

U8MyData (1281010) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126835)

This is a very clear indication that we are inching closer and closer to one world order regardless of the fact it will never work. Until governments and religious groups of the world drop fanatical, hysterical, authoritarian rule, this planet will not see the kind of societal framework necessary to exist under one world government. Very scary notion of the UN controlling something so important to free expression as the net is. Distributed responsibility works best. Lets hope we see something like the SOPA incident to prevent this from happening. If not, I am staying home, canceling anything internet and making like a hole in the wall. Sad really. But then again, I will save boat loads of money...

Re:One world order (4, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127257)

I suppose we are inching towards it, unavoidably. As the world "shrinks" due to better communications and transportation, the scope of business and government grows. In the time of the Roman Empire it was almost impossible to maintain an empire that encompassed just the greater Mediterranean region. Just within the recent past - the lifespan of the US - look at how the primary unit of government has transitioned from the city/county, to the state, to the nation. Governance is always lagging commerce. Nowadays, commerce is global, whereas global governance is weak, resulting (predictably) in people jurisdiction-shopping to sue people one place, pay taxes in another, and have their manufacturing done in a third. It's a huge free-rider problem that is crying for legislation. I say none of this to advocate it, only that global government isn't some closed ring of conspirators, it's mainly economics.

You cannot stop criminal use of the internet (4, Interesting)

jamonterrell (517500) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126851)

I think the whole thing is a misnomer. Neither the US nor the UN *can* control the internet. The more any entity tries to squeeze the internet, the more virtual darknets will appear on it, outside the reach of those entities. That being said, they cannot achieve any of the goals that prevent bad behavior on the internet... The argument is parallel to the one regarding making guns or drugs or other substances illegal. You cannot stop criminals from getting access to these things, you can only stop honest people from getting access to them. You cannot stop criminal use of the internet, only honest use of it.

Re:You cannot stop criminal use of the internet (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127115)

Eh the point of regulations is not to stop illegal activies, the point is to reduce it to a controlable size that can be worked with. That's why not everyone is killing and stealing.

the Internet is doomed! (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126855)

pretty soon it will be like a cross between a UN CSPAN and infomercials so your choice will be to buy something imported from a third world state owned sweatshop built with slave labor or watching a bunch of old men argue international politics...

I will be canceling as soon as the keys to the net is turned over to the tyrants, bye bye slashdot

The wrong goal (5, Insightful)

wanderfowl (2534492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126867)

Right now, in the short game, everybody wants the ability to govern the internet, with the assumption that they'll do it right for their constituents/country/special interests, and with the flawed assumption that they'll be on top forever. The problem is that by attempting to run the internet your way and lock everybody into that _right now_, you're making it easier for somebody else who you disagree with more to take your place, leaving them controlling your internet in a way you may not want. You can't build an elaborate censorship, surveillance and control system on the internet and not expect it to be used against you the next time the torch is passed. In the long game, though, what everybody _should_ be wanting is the hardening of the internet against governance, tracking and regulation, by anybody, and de-centralize it enough that it doesn't matter who thinks they're running things. Only then can you ensure that your use-case is still functional, no matter who's "in charge".

Existing UN lawlz (1)

mynis01 (2448882) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126871)

Nation's don't pay attention to UN resolutions in international conflicts. What makes you think that they would let the UN control the Internet?

Holy crap ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126877)

Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year's end

Holy crap! If China and Russia are in favor of this, it simply can't be allowed to happen.

I can only imagine how badly the internet would be broken by every piss-pot government bureaucrat around the world decides the internet should (or shouldn't) be allowed to work in a given way.

Criticize the government? Banned. Point out that a politician is a philandering, lying bastard? Banned.

There's already actions in the UN to make it a crime to say mean things about religion ... this will only make it worse, and then some. It's my legal right to say that your imaginary friend can mind his own damned business and that I don't wish to be bound by your scripture.

Go with a central control over the internet, and you're in a race to the bottom to appease the most backwards of governments, and pretty much do whatever the copyright lobby wants out of it.

Keep your hands off my fucking internet.

Re:Holy crap ... (3, Insightful)

kruhft (323362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127079)

> Keep your hands off my fucking internet.

It's not our internet anymore. It hasn't been for quite a while now.

Re:Holy crap ... (3, Interesting)

piggydoggy (804252) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127279)

I literally can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not. For what it's worth, Russia's internet is likely even free-er than America's for the time being.

Who are those who think it needs fixing? (5, Interesting)

bughunter (10093) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126889)

The answer to the question "Who believes UN governance will result in improvement?" will give a lot of insight into the motives behind transferring control to a UN agency. My immediate suspicions include: the copyright cartels, repressive governments, and telecoms/tier 1's seeking to create international monopolies.

Sure there are technical improvements that arguably can be made at various layers, but does anyone think that the UN can or will do any better at managing them than the current system?

The UN can go pound sand (3, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126953)

The UN fancies itself as a nascent world government. I don't know about the rest of the world, but the US isn't going to go along with putting the Internet in the hands of the same people that made Qaddafi's Libya chair of the Human Rights Commission.

Re:The UN can go pound sand (-1, Troll)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127589)

The UN fancies itself as a nascent world government. I don't know about the rest of the world, but the US isn't going to go along with putting the Internet in the hands of the same people that made Qaddafi's Libya chair of the Human Rights Commission.

That all depends on whether or not Obama gets re-elected. Obama has shown a tendency to believe that the UN is already some sort of world government (see going to war in Libya with UN approval, but without ever even consulting with Congress about it).

No friggin way (3, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127009)

The UN is totally dysfunctional in way that makes Washington DC look like a Bastian of efficiency, honesty, and virtue. The problem with the UN is there is also the matter that the UN is made up of members that have little to no respect for basic human freedoms, and that includes places like Western Europe where its say illegal to question certain historic view points. That same organization than has the gal to berate us here in the USA on human rights for say executing adult criminals (18 years old), while they would classify all kinds of behavior as criminal which we would never criminalize in the first place.

No I am not a fan of government but when it comes to Internet governance I would much much rather have the USA (who is entitled to by the way as we build the thing) with its still relatively strong Constitutional protections running the Net, than some international body.

Personally if the rest of the world thinks they should govern the Net I say let them build their own, but as soon as packet touches one of our Edge routers, OUR RULES APPLY.

Re:No friggin way (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127329)

The UN is totally dysfunctional in way that makes Washington DC look like a Bastian of efficiency, honesty, and virtue.

It depends on what you assume the UN's purpose.

I've always thought of it as a meat-space forum, or mailing list. A place where various parties can come together to talk and organize things. I've never thought of it as a ruling body, but simply a place where people can talk to form a rough consensus, and then go back to their home and implement what's been agreed upon.

Re:No friggin way (0)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127549)

There is your proof. They want you think about it as "a place where various parties can come together to talk and organize things" sounds totally benign doesn't it?

Except that is not at all what the UN does. They have "peace keeping" forces that pick winners and losers in all sorts of conflicts the world over. They operate an economic cartel were they 'decide' who is an is not allowed to sell the products on the world market. They have courts (even if member nations don't always respect their judgements; which btw is usually big nations like us nobody would try to force into compliance)! Oh and they sure collect a whole hell of lot of money for a group that is just about talking and organizing; and if that money is really supposed to be for charity how come it seems to so often end up in the pockets of people running the UN? Other groups like the International Red Cross seems to be able to operate for more than a year or two between any of their leadership being accused of embezzlement.

If you ask me the biggest threat to our National Sovereignty which our Constitutional freedoms are dependent upon is likely the UN, what do we do about? We let them set up shop on our own coast and funnel heaps of money to them! Its time to throw the bums out!

mod dowexn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127037)

Maintained that tto CONGLOMERATE IN THE people playing can systems. The Gay

Cue Dark Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127047)

in 3...2...

FUD? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127095)

TheReg FA

So the question becomes not if anyone is trying to take over the internet, but who stands to gain by spreading the rumour that such a takeover is on the cards. ITU reps, speaking off the record, are starting to fear some sort of conspiracy themselves: they've adamantly stated that they have neither the desire, nor the budget, nor the mandate, to interfere with governance of the internet, and yet the scare stories just refuse to die.

Taking bets. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127111)

Taking bets on how quickly Obama and his cronies will jump on this one and say it is absolutely necessary to protect children from child predators, the sovereignty of the USA and how it will cure cancer and force rich people to pay more in taxes.

Bet 1: Obama is on board within a week
Bet 2: Obama is on board within a month
Bet 3: Obama is already on board, but has not announced it
Bet 4: Republicans will seize this opportunity to prove they are on the side of liberty

RTFS, guys (4, Informative)

AdamHaun (43173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127163)

Those of you who are panicked and/or outraged might want to read the Register article, which strongly suggests that none of this is actually happening. In particular, these paragraphs:

The ITU has said, time and time again, that it has no interest in running the internet. Earlier this month the organisation's secretary general pointed out that even if he had a mandate (which he doesn't) he hasn't the budget. ITU budgets are always linked to policy objectives, and taking over the internet is not a policy objective. ...

McDowell claims there's a meeting scheduled for 27 February where the land-grab will be agreed, and that these things will pass into international law in December - as though the US ever moved that fast. He's referring to the WCIT (the World Conference on International Telecommunications), which starts in Geneva next week, but the agenda for that was set months ago and includes no clause to make a grab for cyberspace.

So the question becomes not if anyone is trying to take over the internet, but who stands to gain by spreading the rumour that such a takeover is on the cards. ITU reps, speaking off the record, are starting to fear some sort of conspiracy themselves: they've adamantly stated that they have neither the desire, nor the budget, nor the mandate, to interfere with governance of the internet, and yet the scare stories just refuse to die.

The Internet deserves the highest level of freedom (2, Insightful)

mastakuno (912062) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127207)

The court ruled in American Library Association v. U.S. Department of Justice and Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union that "speech on the Internet is entitled to the highest level of First Amendment protection, similar to the protection the Court gives to books and newspapers." Notice how television and radio are not included in that list. This is because with every new technology that emerges, the government wants to regulate it because of the powers it holds. The Internet is a very powerful tool for freedom, I hope we can keep it this way. Let's not let what happened to radio and television happen to the Internet.

History. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127301)

"We founded the colonies, we should control them."

"We founded the Internet, we should control it."

The UN does NOT represent YOU (3, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127319)

One thing people often forget is that individual citizens are NOT constituents of the UN. The UN does not represent you, your rights, or your interests.

The UN represents GOVERNMENTS, whose interests are often at odds with, or diametrically opposed to, the interests of the people they govern. Indeed, the UN only represents people's intrests when they happen to coincide with the interests of a sufficient number of sufficiently powerful governments, which is quite rare (WHO and the Human Rights folks notwithstanding). Moving authority from a democratically elected government (however dysfunctional, however provincial) to an unelected body that represents government interests over human interests is not a change for the better.

Why govern? (1)

WillgasM (1646719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127515)

Why do we need any human entity to oversee the Internet? Let the protocols govern the Internet, and let us (tech people who know wtf we're doing) worry about the protocols. The Internet is a tool. Tools can be used for good or evil, but it's not the tools fault. Stop imposing regulations on the tool, and worry about the people behind the tool. If I use a hammer to fix your fence; thank me, not the hammer. If I use a hammer to bludgeon a puppy; blame me, not the hammer. Nobody has ever been raped or murdered through the Internet. Somebody might use the Internet to find out where you live so they can come rape/murder you, but that doesn't mean the Internet needs fixing; It means the rapists and murderers need fixing.

This shows what people ACTUALLY think of the UN. (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127553)

How often do some people say "oh you should let the UN take care of that" or "did you ask the UN?" or "what was the consensus of the international community"...

But offer that same august body control over the internet and everyone won't trust anywhere near it.

Exactly. And that's why it's hard to interact with the UN in all those other circumstances. It's a mess, corrupt, and highly incompetent. Count on it and it will drop you baby on the head every time... repeatedly... possibly on purpose.

Control freaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127571)

I thought the whole point of the internet was that no one had control.

No thanks. (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127785)

There is currently no governing body that is sufficiently dedicated to freedom of expression to be even remotely worthy of governing and/or regulating the Internet. The US government comes closer than most, leading to a relatively non-intolerable situation as compared to most other situations. Sealand might do better, but that's not really a practical solution, and I can't particularly think of anyone else. Certainly not the UN, which not only lacks any procedure to exclude known foxes from duties that include guarding the henhouse, but appears to tout this fact as a feature, not a bug.

Written by the FCC comm. against Net Neutrality. (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127789)

Some good old anti-UN paranoia from a Republican in the FCC. He is also against Net Neutrality.
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