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Eric Schmidt: UN Treaty a 'Disaster' For the Internet

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-the-end-of-the-net-as-we-know-it dept.

Censorship 346

An anonymous reader writes "Internet freedom and innovation are at risk of being stifled by a new United Nations treaty that aims to bring in more regulation, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has warned. In a question-and-answer session at Mobile World Congress 2012 on Tuesday, Schmidt said handing over control of things such as naming and DNS to the UN's International Telecommunications Union (ITU) would divide the internet, allowing it to be further broken into pieces regulated in different ways. 'That would be a disaster... To some, the openness and interoperability is one of the greatest achievements of mankind in our lifetime. Do not give that up easily. You will regret it. You will hate it, because all of a sudden all that freedom, all that flexibility, you'll find it shipped away for one good reason after another,' Schmidt said. 'I cannot be more emphatic. Be very, very careful about moves which seem logical, but have the effect of balkanising the internet,' he added, urging everyone to strongly resist the moves."

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psot frist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39200765)

ha ha ha, very funny, I am zeeehaxxxorzzz

Re:psot frist (4, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200787)

I'm sorry but a citizen in my country has read and been offended by your first post. In our culture first posts are the devil and are treated as such. We are contacting your government to arrange extradition into the Holy Court.

Re:psot frist (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201169)

As someone who has watched as youtube, controlled by google last I heard, has slowly whittled away at these supposed freedoms (this birdsong is copyright douchebag corp, your video offends a muslim in malaysia and has been taken offline, your video offends the catholic clergy and has been removed, etc), I find this deliciously ironic.
Clean up your own house first, Schmidt.

As a general rule... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201397)

...this is true: "UN Treaty a Disaster"

Power elitists win, everyone else loses.

Another reason (5, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200773)

Another reason why we have to question why we're in the United Nations in the first place. (Let alone funding the whole Keystone Kops outfit)

Re:Another reason (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200875)

You'll regret pulling out of the UN when the Angels come and NERV is our only hope.

Re:Another reason (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201037)

Like hell we will, Why should we let Seele tell us what to do.

Why not simply just kill of the angel that you had skewered in the basement of NERV and then the angels will no longer have a target and people won't be killed via "turning into orange goo".

Re:Another reason (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201477)

I love that the best about some anime and science fiction: how the UN suddenly becomes this competent and rational organization.

As for this issue, I'm of a mind to give the UN a taste of their own medicine and send them a *strongly* worded missive.

Re:Another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39200889)

I think we are in the UN because we helped found it, and we host it. just saying.

Consolidation (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39200925)

Like any political entity, the primary goal of the UN is to consolidate and centralize power into the hands of the few, rather than decentralize power into the hands of the many.

Let's put it this way. There is X amount of political power available in the world, and Y amount of individuals holding that political power. The UN's goal is to lessen Y while maintaining the same value of X. If you like the sound of that, then you'll be glad to know that they have already made significant progress.

Re:Consolidation (1)

SlashV (1069110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201579)

Why would you assume there is an X amount of political power? That makes no sense at all. I would think the idea behind a 'United' Nations is to lessen the need for power and thus reduce X. Whether this is working out at present is a different matter.

Re:Consolidation (3)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201677)

Not a sinle person in government wants to reduce X. Desire to increase one's power over others the primary reason people get involved in government! This is why it's important to give the government the least possible power needed to accomplish your objectives - all power will surely be abused, you can't stop it from being abused, all you can do is give less power to be abused.

Re:Another reason (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200929)

Because an organisation that spends ten years arguing over every diplomatic matter is better than the old-fashioned approach of lobbing shells at each other.

Re:Another reason (3, Insightful)

isotope23 (210590) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201033)

Glad to learn we have not had any wars since the founding of the UN -

(please ignore the 140 plus wars since it was founded in 1945)

Re:Another reason (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201075)

There have only been two - Vietnam and Korea

Re:Another reason (2)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201125)

Oh my.

Re:Another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201133)

lol. You're an idiot!

Re:Another reason (5, Informative)

PatDev (1344467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201383)

There have only been two - Vietnam and Korea

My current political knowledge and world history are insufficient to comment on the exact number of wars that have occurred since 1945, but I'm quite certain it's more than those two. I think perhaps you mis-interpreted the issue as the number of wars the U.S. has been involved in.

And that's not really true. Yes, our executives have recently avoided the legitimacy of getting a declaration of war before mounting a large-scale military invasion of a nation, doing combat with the armed forces of that nation, and ultimately replacing the government of that nation. However, just because they haven't had the integrity to use the word "war" doesn't mean we didn't go to war - it just means our Congress should be upset that its constitutional role was usurped by another branch of government.

Re:Another reason (2)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201729)

Well, it gets all muddled when the people you're going to war with aren't the soldiers of any actual government. We used to have the tradition of a Declaration of War on bandits or pirates, even though there was no particular opposing government, but we've sadly lost that tradition.

But the congress does still (usually) authorize the use of troops, they just hide from putting the words "Declaration of War" in the title of the bill - it's mostly in fact a failing of the congress, and not another branch here, out of a strong desire to avoid being associated with the war despite authorizing it.

Re:Another reason (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201505)

Two? If by "two" you mean uncountable, you're correct.

Re:Another reason (4, Insightful)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201089)

No to mention all the rapes and corruption and underhanded deals and crazy ass countires that are alowed to be on the "Human Rights Council". LOL

The UN has more in common with the Legion of Doom than it does an actual peace organisation.

Re:Another reason (5, Insightful)

doconnor (134648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201105)

At least we haven't had any World Wars since the UN was founded. There have been also a dramatic decrease in wars between countries. Getting involved in civil wars wasn't the UN's original purpose, but its mission has expended since it has been so successful in preventing other kinds of wars.

Re:Another reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201301)

No "World Wars", true. But prior to 1914, no one called global conflict "World Wars" either.

And the U.N. has gotten involved in a number of civil wars with questionable results. Heck, the U.N. is involved in a civil war RIGHT NOW in Libya. (That is, unless you believe Muammar Gaddafi's claims that the uprising is nothing more than terrorists/Western powers seeking to control Libya/criminal organizations vying for power.)

Re:Another reason (2)

TC Wilcox (954812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201369)

At least we haven't had any World Wars since the UN was founded. There have been also a dramatic decrease in wars between countries. Getting involved in civil wars wasn't the UN's original purpose, but its mission has expended since it has been so successful in preventing other kinds of wars.

And by that logic the TSA has a legitimate claim to preventing terrorists from highjacking more planes.

Re:Another reason (4, Insightful)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201371)

BINGO! World War I started, in part, because in July 1914 Europe had in place an antiquated diplomatic framework that was not up to the task of solving a multilateral crisis. An entire month elapsed between the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and the outbreak of war. Until about the last week of that month, when the Russians mobilized, world war was eminently preventable through diplomacy. The UN and the Washington-Moscow hotline both serve as essential backstops to preventing another World War.

Re:Another reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201577)

The roots of WW1 go way back to the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.

Re:Another reason (4, Insightful)

demachina (71715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201511)

The UN's post World War I precursor the League of Nations collapsed in complete failure as the Axis powers walked out one by one in the 1930's and it was moth balled when World War II started. The UN inherited many of its agencies and is for all practical purposed the same agency with a new name and a new home. The only reason the UN can claim no world wars on its watch is becaused they changed the name after there was a world war on its watch.

The primary reason there haven't been any world wars since the UN was founded is because there have been nuclear weapons since before the UN was founded, and everyone has a vested interest in not letting wars escalate to the point that they would annihalate civilization as we know it.

All things considered your statement is nonsense.

Re:Another reason (1)

JosephTX (2521572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201401)

You can't really call most of those conflicts "wars." It's more like "rich nations colonizing poor nations while the UN can't do much about it."

Re:Another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201421)

Glad to learn we have not had any wars since the founding of the UN -

(please ignore the 140 plus wars since it was founded in 1945)

I know this sounds ridiculous (well, it is worse than ridiculous - it is abusing semantics), but it is true: there have been no wars since 1945, because the UN has abolished wars. You are talking about 140+ armed conflicts.

Re:Another reason (1, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201547)

Glad to learn we have not had any wars since the founding of the UN -

(please ignore the 140 plus wars since it was founded in 1945)

The US has been in war in every decade since the 2nd world war.

Why should the US have a monopoly on the DNS system? Why should american politics and american secret agencies having access and control over what the whole world can or can't see on the web?

Aside from that I only see FUD about the UN ... where is the proposal to move DNS to the ITU? Who is proposing it? I don't think it'll happen.

Re:Another reason (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201205)

Funding? I hate to break it to you, but the States has been in arrears to the United Nations for decades.

Re:Another reason (1)

w.hamra1987 (1193987) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201425)

because being in the UN is a very useful front to show your peace. when you run the whole organization, and convince everyone this is a global peace organization... you just keep winning... you're indirectly controlling the whole world, with a *peace* flag... you can go invade any country you want in the world, in the name of peace, and then have this puppet peace organization approve it for you..

the UN is the world's best joke, that goes on and on, and amazingly, no one ever gets bored watching it re-do its magic tricks again!

Everybody wants to rule the Internet (0, Flamebait)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200813)

The fact is, We the People of the United States of America were first to fund DNS that makes the Internet what it is today. Sorry UN, you can't take it over without paying off some of the national debt your members hold.

People hate free neighbors (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39200901)

Everyone loves to be free. But everyone is also impacted by the actions of their neighbors. Therefore, everyone has an incentive to prevent their neighbors from taking actions that one dislikes. So, everyone has an incentive to deny freedom to their neighbors.

The Internet is a shining example of great freedom, and hence great resistence.

Should you be free to murder me? Obviously not.
Should you be free to post lies about me, visible to the entire world, which motivate people to act in a way that harms me? Probably not. But that rule is *very* hard to enforce without also infringing on other things you *should* be free to do (whether I like it or not).

Re:People hate free neighbors (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201143)

When you deny freedom to your neighbors the Karma god gets pissed off and eventually you will have no freedoms yourself.

Re:People hate free neighbors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201335)

WTF? Free speech raises issues... why is this Insightful? and what does it have to do with the UN administrating DNS?

Re:People hate free neighbors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201361)

Should you be free to murder me? Obviously not.
Should you be free to post lies about me, visible to the entire world, which motivate people to act in a way that harms me? Probably not. But that rule is *very* hard to enforce without also infringing on other things you *should* be free to do (whether I like it or not).

Exactly; murder is inappropriate in today's society. However you shouldn't be sent to jail for 30 years for thinking about murder. That is the difference and the point of this. the internet is not infringe on anyone's freedom; but limiting and controlling the internet is infringing upon everyone's freedom.

Re:People hate free neighbors (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201493)

Exactly; murder is inappropriate in today's society. However you shouldn't be sent to jail for 30 years for thinking about murder.

Well, the context of a "hate crime" is exactly that - punishing someone for what they are thinking. Perhaps 30 years is not the right number, but if you think about killing a minority you are indeed committing a hate crime. Today they may wait until you commit a few more crimes before they prosecute you, but this doesn't change the fact that it is a crime.

I believe that when murder is combined with "hate crime" in some states this makes you eligible for the death penalty.

Re:People hate free neighbors (4, Insightful)

xevioso (598654) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201719)

This is vastly incorrect. Hate crimes are based not merely about committing a crime, but about committing crimes while thinking certain thoughts. In essence, it is your intention that matters. You aren't being punished for just thinking something, but for thinking those things and having certain reasons for committing your crime. We judge certain crimes by the intentions behind them all the time, as with manslaughter vs murder. A hate crime is no different.

Re:Everybody wants to rule the Internet (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200909)

What has made you think that the US government cares at all about the size of the national debt and to whom it is owed?

Re:Everybody wants to rule the Internet (1)

sithlord2 (261932) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200999)


Europe wants the WWW and AES encryption back...

Re:Everybody wants to rule the Internet (0)

yuldude (2369968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201023)

Greeks invented democracy...Sorry USA, you can't take it over without paying off some of the national debt your members hold. When something becomes so democratic that pretty much the whole world needs it, putting a price tag to that thing is the best way to have the rest of the world hate you even more.

Re:Everybody wants to rule the Internet (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201147)

Greeks invented democracy...Sorry USA, you can't take it over without paying off some of the national debt your members hold.

I don't think they're even trying.

Re:Everybody wants to rule the Internet (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201255)

The fact is, We the People of the United States of America were first to fund DNS that makes the Internet what it is today. Sorry UN, you can't take it over without paying off some of the national debt your members hold.

That doesn't even make sense. DNS is only a small part of the internet and it's not owned in the sense of property in any case.

Besides DNS as implemented is wrong and easily abused by governments ( like the US and UK do ) and anyone who can fake a signature ( like that whole sex.com thing ). Something distributed like namecoin's .bit top level domain would be far better than the current get rich quick scheme.

Re:Everybody wants to rule the Internet (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201515)

What a horribly naive and ignorant statement. European research funding and a Brit invented the web, does that mean they should control the web?

What's debt got to do with anything anyway? It's the US and nations most closely aligned to it that hold far and away the majority of the world's debt whilst those nations in the UN whom the US sees as enemies such as China that hold far and away the largest surpluses. Bringing debt into it makes no sense as the US has far more than anyone else. Sorry if these facts upset your ignorant nationalist world view though.

Re:Everybody wants to rule the Internet (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201589)

The fact is, We the People of the United States of America were first to fund DNS that makes the Internet what it is today. Sorry UN, you can't take it over without paying off some of the national debt your members hold.

Well thank you for inventing the web, but nothing stops other regions from having their own ICANN and cross-syncing DNS root servers. The standard is what people use, right?

Re:Everybody wants to rule the Internet (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201749)

By that line of reason you have to pay the UK when you use a computer, as they were invented by Charles Babbage.

I'll Be Damned! (4, Funny)

tgeek (941867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200841)

Here I thought the day I would ever agree with Eric Schmidt on something was long, long gone!

Re:I'll Be Damned! (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201331)

Way to make everyone disagree with you!

Re:I'll Be Damned! (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201745)

Every four years it seems

No perfect solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39200853)

The question is do you want to be fucked over by the US or by the U.N ?
I'd prefer neither to be honest, but if push comes to shove I'd hope the US were slighty, only slightly less evil than the ITU.

Goodbye internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39200861)

Hello minitel!

Difference to now? (0)

RealUlli (1365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200863)

You will hate it, because all of a sudden all that freedom, all that flexibility, you'll find it shipped away for one good reason after another,' Schmidt said. 'I cannot be more emphatic. Be very, very careful about moves which seem logical, but have the effect of balkanising the internet,' he added, urging everyone to strongly resist the moves.

Just curious - in what way would that be different from the situation we have now? I didn't RTFA, but IMHO, such a move is long overdue.

IMHO, handing over the governance of the internet to some UN mandated body would probably be a good idea, further removing the net from the influence of a single nation. I'm not sure the ITU would be a good body, since I think they have a history of being a body to regulate in favor of the large telecoms providers (in fact, I think that's what the ITU is made up out of).

Anyone care to shed some light on this?

Ulli

Re:Difference to now? (4, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200903)

At least I can complain to my own government and vote out politicians. Where do I go to complain against the UNs policies?

Re:Difference to now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39200989)

You don't. Working exactly as intended.

Re:Difference to now? (2)

RealUlli (1365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201121)

At least I can complain to my own government and vote out politicians. Where do I go to complain against the UNs policies?

In theory? Also to your government. It's their job to try and keep the UN from issuing bad policies.

In another theory, if you're not a citizen of the US? Well, your government has less weight now than it would if the net were under the UN...

In practice? As another poster said, nowhere - working as intended.

Ulli

Re:Difference to now? (3, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201159)

Where do I go to complain against the UNs policies?

Arms dealers.

Re:Difference to now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201247)

At least I can complain to my own government and vote out politicians. Where do I go to complain against the UNs policies?

To your own government, who selects your country's UN representatives. If you want, lobby the government to allow the people to elect those representatives directly.

Now, with the current US control over the Internet, where do I, as a citizen of TheRestOfTheWorld, go to complain if I don't like the US' policies regarding the Internet?

Re:Difference to now? (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201635)

At least I can complain to my own government and vote out politicians. Where do I go to complain against the UNs policies?

To your politicians. Who do you think makes up the UN? It is states such as the US. In fact, the influence of the US is vastly larger than its share of humans in the world.

Re:Difference to now? (1)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201637)

At least I can complain to my own government and vote out politicians. Where do I go to complain against the UNs policies?

So the U.N. is unresponsive but that the US Federal Government is not? Maybe you'd like your state or city government to administer DNS, since they'll be more responsive to your complaints?

The FBI & ICE taking down websites might be OK with Americans, but it's not with the United Nations. Don't be so sure that what you'd get with the U.N. would be worse.

Re:Difference to now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39200961)

The net is ground-up decentralized run by network operators for each region. Centralizing control or providing a 'kill switch' is such an unbelievably bad idea I don't even know where to begin. ICANN itself is too much centralization!!

Re:Difference to now? (1)

RealUlli (1365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201067)

I agree in principle. But if the US told ICANN to try and shut down the net, what do you think would happen? I'm not up to date on the operation of the root nameservers, but I suspect there would be trouble.

Ulli

Re:Difference to now? (5, Insightful)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200995)

This is a hard truth, but it must be said. The world at large is simply not evolved enough for the Internet. Most of Asia and almost all of the middle east are less able to appreciate the ideals of freedom and tolerance. I say this as an Indian whose government is very keen on controlling what's said on the Internet.

Despite the US's flaws, the first amendment is the strongest protection of free expression in the world. It's an achievement of mankind which the rest of the world is actually just not good enough to appreciate. The Internet is in truth something better than what we humans in our current state of evolution deserve. If you hand it over to the UN, it will become something we actually deserve at this moment in time...and that's not a pretty thing.

We accidentally stumbled upon the Internet as it is today. If people had seen it coming, it would never have been allowed to become what it is. But now that it's here, we have to protect it and treasure it because we've been blessed with something that's too good for us. The UN will reverse that and make it just average since all over unevolved countries will have a say in it.

Re:Difference to now? (5, Insightful)

chiefmojorising (114811) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201479)

Unfortunately, we here in the US often aren't good enough to appreciate the first amendment either.

Re:Difference to now? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201513)

To repeat what you said in other words:
We Americans are better than the rest of the world, which isn't good enough to be in charge of as great a responsibility as the Internet.

Re:Difference to now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201575)

As an objective question, isn't it in everyone's best to interest to give humanity 'better than it deserves' as such things often spur evolution?

Re:Difference to now? (5, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201685)

It's not, an organisation requiring international consensus is not going to be able to pull off controversal decisions because you'd never get that consensus.

Many years ago, when WIPO was created it swayed towards much more relaxed IP laws than we have currently, this is because African nations wanted things like medicine and technology to come down in price faster so that their countries could experience benefits of western society sooner. The US didn't like the fact it got outvoted so side-stepped WIPO and created the WTO which is less democratic so that it could try and force international IP policies to go it's way. This is evidenced in the fact the US uses a lot of weight to try and force nations into the WTO, to force them to accept WTO rulings against them, yet has largely ignored WTO rulings against it on issues such as lumber, steel, cotton, gambling and so forth.

If the internet was in international hands you'd never get the domain seizures authorised that the US currently allows as you'd never get the political support for what is a US agenda. Similarly though you'd never get Chinese style censorship as there are too many nations that would be against it.

Technical issues would still be resolved just as well, because when technical issues arise there's really little political need or desire to hijack the issue and prevent a resolution passing - things like that are purely technical.

So all in all it'd be a much better situation than the current status quo where the US unilaterally imposes censorship on the internet based on it's ethnocentric vision of gambling and IP law.

Really, for the most part the only people who want it to stay in the US are American nationalists, xenophobes, and those with a vested interest in retaining the power it affords. There's a few folk in between who are ignorant about the UN and don't realise that it's far more than just the security council and that it already handles other international tasks like international mailing, maritime rules, air transport rules, telecomms and so forth perfectly well without any such drama that Schmidt is peddling.

Annnnd.... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200883)

This is supposed to be an accident?

They are drooling over the ability to control.

For once, for utterly once (2)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200885)

I do agree with Eric S. "Balkanizing" is a well-chosen expression. The internet as it is has enough self-organization to not be in need of such pseudo-solutions as the proposed UN treaty seems to suggest.

Agreed, and consider the assumptions. (1)

greenshoe (470963) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200897)

Entire businesses, business models, infrastructures and architectures are built on the assumption of open-ness. Besides the harm it could to to mandkind, the implementation would not go smoothly to say the least.

Eric Schit is right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39200911)

Google owns the internet!

Schmidt (2)

willie3204 (444890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200913)

He is an American running a company based out of America. Of course we want to maintain control. We Americans have run the show pretty well since we invented this medium/protocol/standard.

If it works.... don't break it.

Damaging Legislation (2)

tobiah (308208) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200917)

... will be routed around. Regulate DNS and something else will be used. Block IP addresses and new ones will take their place. While governments dictate indefinite ownership of ideas for their corporate owners and prosecute dissent, technology has been pulling society in the other direction. You can outlaw reality, but that doesn't make it go away, anymore than outlawing weeds stops them from growing.

Re:Damaging Legislation (4, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201173)

"Damage will be routed around"

I know that's the going idea, but let's not push the point too far. The Internet isn't P2P over air yet. You still need the resources of major telcos to make it work and major telcos can be bought or controlled. For all that we would like to pretend that's not the case, this is still the Age of the Nation-State.

It may not be the Internet that we know and love today, but an Internet can be controlled or more accurately killed by "gates" being dropped at access points all over the world. It could then be reanimated into a dismembered zombie under the control of governments and major providers.

The reason only places like China and Iran do that today is that no one else has a reason to do it right now, but just wait.

Re:Damaging Legislation (2)

husker_man (473297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201613)

... will be routed around. Regulate DNS and something else will be used. Block IP addresses and new ones will take their place. While governments dictate indefinite ownership of ideas for their corporate owners and prosecute dissent, technology has been pulling society in the other direction. You can outlaw reality, but that doesn't make it go away, anymore than outlawing weeds stops them from growing.

Yep, the people of China, Iran, Saudi Arabia all agree with you - if they get to see your post because of the controls those "enlightened" countries gateways allow. Yes, I know of the Anonymiser software, the proxies and whatnot that allow some technically-able individuals to get outside of their "Great Firewalls", but I for one would not trust an organization that suffers the "UN Human Rights Council" (composed of such freedom loving stalwarts such as China, Cuba, Iran, etc (as well as some rights-respecting countries)) to be as bigoted as it is, to be responsible for setting up standards and policies for the running of the Internet

tl;dr: doesn't trust UN to be agnostic to the Internet

UN=NWO (1)

quantic_oscillation7 (973678) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200953)

He's right, since the UN is the nwo gov.

DNS is a Racket (2)

jdogalt (961241) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201001)

The DNS system as it is now, in the not too distant future, I suspect will be viewed as little more than a Racket. Domain registration should be effectively free. There is no justification for the current registration fees (let alone the BLATANT racketeering fees for xxx and toplevel domains).

Darknets are the future. Ditch your ISPs DNS server as your primary authority (what timewarner does to unresolvable domains, injecting their advertising makes me want to puke).

Re:DNS is a Racket (2)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201049)

I use OpenDNS as my primary and Google's 8.8.8.8/9.9.9.9 as backups.

Re:DNS is a Racket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201439)

127.0.0.1 is my personal favorite, but requires a bit of open source software assistance

Re:DNS is a Racket (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201611)

(what timewarner does to unresolvable domains, injecting their advertising makes me want to puke).

They aren't the only ones. Verizon does the same thing, and probably others. But its easy to turn off. For TW its an account setting, just google for the info. Verizon has alternate DNS server addresses that don't futz with the results.

For those who suggested using google for DNS - that's just too much for me, no way I want to give them a list of every hostname I am ever interested in.

If it ain't broke... (5, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201013)

Dear United Nations,

The internet is not broken. Please do not fix it.

Thank you.

Re:If it ain't broke... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201093)

Watch, as a few EU slashtards with mod points come and vote you down for saying that..

Re:If it ain't broke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201487)

See my point? they modded my response down, damn EUTards want the UN to ruin everything, and bring in the NWO. Fuck them.

Re:If it ain't broke... (1)

Nugoo (1794744) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201333)

Don't worry. The member nations are working on the first part.

Re:If it ain't broke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201535)

You don't think US arbitrarily seizing domains is broken behavior?

Re:If it ain't broke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201639)

They can only seize .COM .ORG .NET not a specific country's DNS.

The UN could mandate that ANY website get shut down ANYWHERE, kinda like a Super SOPA (worldwide)

Once And For All: The UN Doesn't Represent People! (5, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201615)

I've said this before and I'll say it again, because people really need to wake up, smell the coffee, and internalize this:

The UN doesn't represent YOU, or any other PERSON. It represents GOVERNMENTS. Governments are their constituents, not humaity.

Let me repeat that: The UN's constituents are GOVERNMENTS, not humanity. If you understand that, you will understand UN policy and why they do things that otherwise seem bizarr or incompetent.

And from the point of view of virtually every government, no matter how "benign" it may appear, the Internet is most certainly broken. Why? Because they cannot easily control it, control the content on it, or control what the people using it see and say. This impacts their ability to govern the way they would like to (and the way they used to) by feeding an official line to the media and have it echoed into every home and automobile, often without much question.

What humanity sees as a working, functioning internet that has democratized information and allowed an unprecedented level of collaboration, cooperation, and exchange of ideas, our governments one and all see as their biggest threat. What better way to reign in that threat than to turn control over to the UN, then agree by treaty how it is to be "governend". What they tried with SOPA and ACTA they'll be able to easily achieve through a simple UN governance mandate.

Sianara Internet, sianara freedom of communication. Welcome your new overlords, same as the olds ones, but with less compunction about smacking you down into place. With perfect political cover to the ostensibly liberal western democracies: to the public: "we regret the UN's decision to implement X, but are bound by treaty to abide their decision. This minor erosion of internet expression won't impact our fundamental freedoms any, and we'll learn to cope", to the Koch brothers (or Soros if you're on the other side of the aisle): "Problem solved. Can I count on your campaign contribution to my superpac next season?" Multiply across every politician, in every political system, in every government, and diversify by whatever means is appropriate to the local political climate, wether it's campaign contributions, secret tribunals, or shells raining down on opposition cities.

The USA does not represent you! (2)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201733)

The USA does not represent you or your nation and for the informed they know the USA does not represent its own citizens either.
SOPA and ACTA will eventually happen somehow as soon as the public drops the ball long enough on the issue for them to sneak it bye; with or without the UN. At least with the UN it will have even more BS to navigate and given how weak the UN is it will probably not have the impact the USA is today messing with people's domains, pushing around foreign officials like puppets etc.

It's time to re-invent the web (1)

Endimiao (471532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201061)

Something like Tor, but some steps further, decentralized, untrackable and immune to government control.

In practical terms (4, Interesting)

rs79 (71822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201091)

If you chase the authority up the line it goes ICANN --> NTIA --> DoC --> US Congress.

Now, how prepared do you think the US congress is going to be to hand their control of the Internet over to China and Russia?

The ITU has been seeking relevance to the Internet since the 90s; in a world where balancing line voltages is no longer important the ITU's role in international telecommunications has been severely dimini$hed.

If you look at any step of the way, Bob Shaw from the ITU has been running around in secret trying to cover his tracks.

When GE Federal Systems used Alternic and posted it was "as good as if not better" than the legacy root servers, who called from the INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS UNION IN GENEVA (t SOUNDS so impressive, in real terms, it's as impressive as being, say, the LAN administrator for the White House. Not much global policymaking happens in THAT cubicle) and asked them to stop as this was dangerous? Bob Shaw of the ITU. Oh, and he asked that his name be kept of it ("I didn't say this, I was never here" - Dune). Pity he didn't get the secretary to swear to the same secrecy, she told me who it was. Get used to it, maggots.

Who introduced the Government Advisory Comittee ("GAC") into ICANN as a fait d'accompli, drawn up in secret, who meet in secret but only have an advisory role - except where they insist on policy? DING DING DING - Bob Shaw of the ITU again. I held a quick straw poll on the floor of the first ICANN meeting in Berlin (the neo nazi demostration outside was a nice touch) and 13 out of 1000 people thought the GAC was a good idea - this for an organization that is supposed to "measure and implement community consensus" as its charter. The footage is still around on the Berkman Center servers at Harvard, and I have copies.

Who knew the fix was in an the US goverment had already picked an ICANN an ignored the worlds work via IFWP and bragged about it drunk in DC ? Bob Shaw of the ITU. He still owes me money from smoking all my wifes Virgina Slims from that night too.I don't trust him or the ITU with $10, let along the internet. He doesn't get this openness thing and is instead a remnant of old world secrecy.

At any rate, ICANN only has any authority at all at our leisure. If we type different numbers into special places in our computers they pretty much cease to exist in any operational capacity as the net is edge controlled, not centrally controlled. Everybody with a root password controls a little piece of it, and it grows at the edges.

This UN governance thing has been repeating like an onion sandwich for over a decade now. When the ITU couldn't get the IANA contract it upped the ante to use the UN moniker to try to get everyone in the world to rally behind it. Waste of time, they can be safely ignored. Nobody takes them seriously.

Technology over politics? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201099)

Regulation an issue? How about shifting technology in a direction that is harder to regulate? Get ubiquidous encryption going, and someone needs to work on a shift towards a content-addressible network for dissemination. It shouldn't even be difficult.

You could encode CDA addresses as 'HTTP://fallback-http-server/SHA1HASHCAN/hash/mime/mime/filename' - that way you'd have backwards compatibility, as any browsers not programmed to first ask their local CDA cache node if it has that data would fall back to HTTP. Those that are programmed for it would recognise /SHA1HASHCAN as a special pseudo-directory and query their cache, then every open cache on their network before they tried to HTTP it.

CAN is the solution to so many problems. It'd be substantially harder to censor, substantially harder to trace either source or destination of data, eliminate a lot of congestion-causing demand on the internet infrastructure, be more resilient against faults and dramatically reduce the cost of distributing content ensuring that the individuals and small groups on the internet would be just as able to publish large media files as the big boys who can afford global CDNs.

Yes, I'm rather taken with the idea of a distributed, hash-addressible global public cache right now. Storage is dirt cheap, network capacity isn't.

All Governments hate loss of control (4, Interesting)

grantspassalan (2531078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201153)

Governments hate and always have hated the loss of control over their people. A major means of control is control over communication between the masses of people. When the printing press was invented, governments immediately instituted controls. That was not too hard, because printing presses were and still are expensive, as are broadcast stations. Controlling those media outlets is relatively easy because there are so few in comparison to the people on the Internet. Now anyone with a computer and a reasonable Internet connection can make their ideas available to anyone else with an Internet connected gadget. All governments without exception hate this because it lessens their control over their populations.

What really scares Schmidt... (2)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201273)

... is that Google might lose its current degree of influence over governance if that governance isn't in the United States. Google would have far less sway with the ITU than with ICANN and the other U.S.-based agencies. Once again it's the 'selfish voice' masquerading as a 'voice of the people'.

Re:What really scares Schmidt... (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201625)

There is more going on than just the DNS mess with ICANN. I'm 110% for moving away from ICANN but it is all the other internet issues which will be tied to this simple move that I am worried about.

China already has the firewall the USA will be getting. ICANN is not stopping China any.

US is no angel either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201443)

Well, while ITU, or the UN for that matter, aren't the ideal organizations we wanted them to be, US is far from ideal either.

I mean, the US government start wars over oil and kill THOUSANDS of civilians in the process... disrupt democratic governments, do lobby and forces others countries like spain to do your willing. I don't trust the US any of my chilean pesos.

And I think your politics "state of affairs" is very dissapointing or.... how to put it... sh*tty.

I would trust some kind of "P2P" regulation or something where everyone has the RIGHT to build the future of the internet. ICANN has been good, but what if not?

US, or China, or any government is just too simple for the internet. As countries grow more interconnected and intraconnected, classic government loose practical power to do what it meant to do: maintain and improve civilizations.

Anyway, sorry for my bad english. I'm not from the US. Cheers!

UN Gives Everyone say in how it runs (5, Interesting)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201495)

The question people should be asking themselves is if they want someone like Bashar Assad or Mugabe or China or the next Pol Pot regime to have a say in what you can and can't do on the internet. Because as soon as you bring it to the UN you give equal footing to regimes that shouldn't have any say. Just like when Kadaffi's Libya was in charge of the UN commission on Human Rights.

possibly (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201609)

The ultimate threat to the Internet is not governments, it's corporations. If a government tries to twist or shape or censor the Internet, there will always be ways around it and in the end, citizens and even other countries and their citizens will bring down the plans of such regimes.

But when corporations take something over, it's gone for good. There will be no Tor, no darknet.

Even with their armies and weapons, governments are much weaker than corporations. Because ultimately, those armies are made up of people, and the ones holding those weapons are people. But there are no tools for people to fight off or take down corporations once they have reached a certain level of power. Finally, the decisions in a corporation are made not by the people who work for the corporation, or even the owners, but by the legal virtual entity that is required to only seek greater shareholder value. Even if the shareholders, or board of directors, or C-level officers decide they want to assign some social good a slightly greater weight in the corporate decision-making process, the corporation is designed to ignore them and only to seek greater shareholder value. No "free market" mechanisms exist that allow for the power of corporations to be reigned in. And now we have shares of corporations owned by other corporations, so there are layers and layers of decision gates that only respond to greater share value. We have corporations that are worth more than all but about 10% of world governments. What possible defense does a country, even a democracy, have against such a single-minded golem that only knows how to feed endlessly.

Greater regulation may well be the last line of defense against a corporate takeover of the Internet. Really, of the world. But it's a small window that's closing. And the wealth of those corporations is being used to obfuscate, confuse, disarm and distract.

It's a shame the United Nations is so weak. So corrupt. The solution is not to regulate the Internet, but to regulate the corporations.

ICE, SOPA, PIPA... (2)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201673)

Am I the only one who senses that China/Russia are pushing for UN control of the internet because the US overstepped its bounds by enforcing its shitty copyright laws beyond its borders with domain seizures? We need to stop this, and before that happens we may need to force the US government to guarantee that it won't mess with internet infrastructure any more...

Honest question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201691)

At the risk of being labeled a nationalist, I find any proposal from Russia/China/etc concerning human rights to be inherently suspect. The Chinese are well-known in their opposition to any information that does not fit the PRC's narrative of the universe. The Russians are a little more nuanced in that its citizens are free to speak their minds with fear of repercussions so long as it does not interfere with the oligarch's operations or run against any widely popular State policy.

In either case, I don't see how transferring control of the internet from one government sworn to uphold freedom of speech (the United States) to a committee where many of the 193 world-be members have no such obligations can be considered a wise move.

Fund the alternative... (1)

lythander (21981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39201727)

Google has deep pockets, and has been known to do good things for their own sake (no, I don't buy the whole "don't be evil" thing, but there's a decent track record there) Setup or fund existing mesh networking systems to allow a grassroots network (with a new name) that is decentralized completely. I know research is going on in this area for a variety of reasons, put more brains and money on it and make it happen. "Work toward saying to the UN: You can have the Internet, we're done with it now."

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