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The U.N.'s Push for Power Over the Internet

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the world-wide-web dept.

Censorship 326

Omnifarious writes "China (along with other member nations) is trying to push a proposal through a little known UN agency called the International Telecommunications Union (aka ITU). This proposal contains a wide variety of problematic provisions that represent a huge power grab on the part of the UN, and a severe threat to a continued global and open Internet. From the article: 'Several proposals would give the U.N. power to regulate online content for the first time, under the guise of protecting against computer malware or spam. Russia and some Arab countries want to be able to inspect private communications such as email. Russia and Iran propose new rules to measure Internet traffic along national borders and bill the originator of the traffic, as with international phone calls. That would result in new fees to local governments and less access to traffic from U.S. "originating" companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple. A similar idea has the support of European telecommunications companies, even though the Internet's global packet switching makes national tolls an anachronistic idea.'"

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326 comments

misread title (4, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | about 2 years ago | (#40359853)

I was hoping that "Power Over the Internet" was analogous to "Power Over Ethernet". That would've been cool, especially if the protocol was compatible with wireless.

Quintuple play (0)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#40359881)

Yeah, that's what I thought too. Comcast is known for providing a "triple play" of pay TV, Internet access, and home phone service, and it recently added home security. Now the United Nations wants it to be your electric company too for a quintuple play. How would that even work?

Then I realized it meant power in the sense of authority and I tagged the article !power.

Re:Quintuple play (5, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40360073)

I believe it's time to apply the Sherman Antitrust act. Time to break-up Comcast, Cox, and other monopolies, turn-over control of the fiber optic bundles to the Member State government's roads authority, and then LEASE the lines to whatever company each customer chooses (Comcast, Apple, Honda, GM, Microsoft, Walmart, etc). We need to return to the days of Dialup where ISPs merely *used* the lines but did not own them.

Re:Quintuple play (3, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#40360359)

Ah, back when there was consumer choice... but apparently free markets where people have choice and thus can effect company behavior by taking their business elsewhere are now considered communism.

Re:Quintuple play (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360377)

Given the state of my nation's roads, I'm not sure I'd trust them with fiber-optic lines when they can barely keep asphalt maintained.

Everyone wants to use infrastructure but nobody wants to pay for it.

Re:Quintuple play (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360427)

So you'd "take" the fiber bundles and "turn then over" to the "Member States" and the companies would have to "lease them" back?

1. That would suck if you had invested in one of "those" companies. But you wouldn't have, because their "evil".

2. Which "Member States" would those be? Connecticut or Albania? You seem to have an implicit trust in the benevolence and efficiency government.

3. And a double suck for the companies, having to lease access to something they already paid for. And that's going to reduce cost? How?

Re:misread title (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360125)

If that ever exists, it should be called Wi-Fry.

Re:misread title (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 2 years ago | (#40360357)

I was hoping that "Power Over the Internet" was analogous to "Power Over Ethernet". That would've been cool, especially if the protocol was compatible with wireless.

The good news is that they *do* have that facility working over long-range wireless- here are some photos of it in action! [google.co.uk]

Meh, the US already controls it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40359873)

So why not let these others have their fun?

Re:Meh, the US already controls it (5, Insightful)

durrr (1316311) | about 2 years ago | (#40360013)

Because they want regress the internet into a locally governed and very much controlled and filtered service. Remember that it's politicians that push for this, old and wrinkeled people that do not use internet for much themselves other than perhaps a archaic email client at work, they will never wish your well, they just want to stroke their ego by gaining more power, because in their minds, their _opinion_ equals divine truth.

The same is true in the US, but for once, the giant corporate lobby is against such intervention.

How many atom bombs does the UN have? (5, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#40359875)

This is a historical reference. Napolian asked 'How many armies does the pope have?

What are they going to do if we ignore their invoices? Hold their breath?

Re:How many atom bombs does the UN have? (5, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 2 years ago | (#40360059)

The exact quote was "The pope? How many divisions does he have?" and most sources attribute the quote to Josef Stalin, though he almost certainly was quoting the other guy.

What are they going to do if we ignore their invoices? Hold their breath?

The short answer is, if Russia, China and the EU agree on a system, all they have to do is prevent our packets from passing through AS's on their sovereign territory. The UN is just the place where they come to the agreement, it's not the UN's idea and it's not up to the UN to enforce it.

The US can always withdraw from the ITU, but if these policies genuinely reflect the interests and will of other nation-states, and they remain united, I don't see how the US gets out from under them.

Re:How many atom bombs does the UN have? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360331)

The US can always withdraw from the ITU, but if these policies genuinely reflect the interests and will of other nation-states, and they remain united, I don't see how the US gets out from under them.

Easy, the US withdraws and lets anyone who attempts to push this through self-destruct.

Russia and some Arab countries basically want to wire-tap EVERYONE, "legally". That alone would cause the overwhelming majority of nations to withdraw simply because they don't want their communications to be tapped.

Re:How many atom bombs does the UN have? (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 2 years ago | (#40360499)

That simply addresses the wiretapping provisions, I don't see how this prevents states from assessing tolls on inbound communications, particularly when most nation-states are net data recipients.

Re:How many atom bombs does the UN have? (4, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#40360107)

That quote is also attributed to Stalin.

The Pope! How many divisions has he got?

Said sarcastically to Pierre Laval in 1935, in response to being asked whether he could do anything with Russian Catholics to help Laval win favour with the Pope, to counter the increasing threat of Nazism; as quoted in The Second World War (1948) by Winston Churchill vol. 1, ch. 8, p. 105.(wikiquote)

Re:How many atom bombs does the UN have? (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40360137)

People like Presidents Obama and Romney sign the UN treaties and give them force of law. That's what is happening with the ACTA..... the UN makes the treaty, the president signs it, the senate approves it, and then the UN Law becomes U.S. Law which is enforced by the U.S. armies.

Re:How many atom bombs does the UN have? (2)

Arivia (783328) | about 2 years ago | (#40360195)

President Romney? Time-traveler, are you?

Re:How many atom bombs does the UN have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360319)

hopefully...

Re:How many atom bombs does the UN have? (2)

slyrat (1143997) | about 2 years ago | (#40360463)

Time-traveler, are you?

hopefully...

Do tell! Did you use a blue police box or was it a modified delorean, or some other method? Any stock tips?

Re:How many atom bombs does the UN have? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360387)

"Napolian" -> "Napoleon". And as others pointed out, probably "Napoleon" -> "Josef Stalin". And so on.

Typical U.N. (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40359877)

A lot of big talk with absolutely no way in hell to enforce any of it.

No way to enforce it? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40359973)

The US government is not the one that decided on the rules that govern amateur radio in the US; those rules were set out by the ITU, and we just went along with it. What makes you think that the Internet would be any different?

Re:No way to enforce it? (4, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40360001)

ICANN has made it pretty clear that they're in charge, and it's going to fucking stay that way. Iran and Russia are, of course, free to start their own internets if they don't like it.

Re:No way to enforce it? (5, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#40360055)

"Senator, this will give Russia, China, Iran, and anyone at the UN access to your browsing history.

"They will know everything about you, your family, and your staff."

Re:No way to enforce it? (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40360317)

I doubt that the regulations will apply to privileged people in the government. The regulations will be applied to "commoners," people who are deemed to not "need" security or whose security is deemed less important than national or law enforcement interests. Government do all sorts of things with shortwave radio that are illegal for amateur radio stations -- encrypted, unidentified transmissions, broadcasts, etc. It would probably be the same on the Internet -- people in privileged positions would get to use things like encryption without backdoors, anonymous browsing, etc., but people like you and me would not.

Re:No way to enforce it? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#40360091)

Because if it's not in the US' interests, it won't "just go along with it", Same as it ignores the International Court of Justice, for instance.

The UN has no power if a nation decides to ignore it.

Re:No way to enforce it? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40360183)

How is not allowing hams to communicate with people whose countries "object" to such communication in the interests of the US? I think what you meant to say is, "If it directly opposes US interests...," which is quite another story. There is not guarantee that ITU regulations would directly oppose US interests.

Re:No way to enforce it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360239)

unless the nation has the POWER to ignore it.....Libya didn't....Israel for example does.

Re:No way to enforce it? (2)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#40360263)

I think we should remind the UN that its our Internet, we designed the infrastructure and WE not THEY will control it. If they have a problem with it they can build their own Internet and disconnect it from ours.

Their choices are be shut of US commerce or deal with us managing the Internet as we see fit. There is NO reason to negotiate here, we hold all the cards. Hopefully someone form our Government will have the courage to say "STFU".

Re:No way to enforce it? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40360353)

I am pretty sure that the rest of the world would find it easy to deal with such a situation. It is not unreasonable to establish a US-to-Everyone-Else gateway, which allows privileged traffic (i.e. business or government related) to pass through but demands fees for or simply blocks personal communications. If the ITU really wanted to stand up to the US and try to pry control of the Internet away from us, they could.

Really, the problem here is that the Internet is no longer controlled by its users; governments and corporations get to decide how things work online.

Re:No way to enforce it? (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#40360339)

The UN has always done a better job of this sort of thing than the US alone, you only have to look at the history of WIPO and the WTO to see how bad the US is at playing fair.

WIPO was historically democratic, but America disliked this because in being democratic it let the poorer nations of the world vote for weaker intellectual property laws so that they too could benefit from medical and technological advancements much earlier than the US mandated IP laws allow. Because America didn't like this it decided to create the WTO which the US created strict rules for entry on, whilst trying to turn it into the defacto organisation for international trade using it's own economic clout to initially offer preferable trade deals to build up initial membership, then the threat of exclusion from an international trade body ever since. The problem is, that whenever the WTO rules against the US (Brazilian cotton, European steel, Canadian lumber/water, Antiguan gambling etc. etc.) the US ignores the ruling, whilst simultaneously insisting everyone else adheres to rulings against them.

Honestly, this article is just yet another US sourced scare mongering story. The fact is the world is getting pissed off at US internet censorship like the ICE domain seizures which have destroyed legitimate foreign businesses as well as the likes of SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and so forth. Self interested Americans are thus stirring up typical paranoid xenophobic sentiment with repeated stories like this, which you'll note have those words that always make Americans shit bricks in, yes those words, "China", "Iran", "Russia". They're just FUD peices plain and simple, and whilst America continues with these desperate attempts at propaganda the rest of the world will continue to say "Meh" and eventually the US will be left with little choice in the matter anyway. It's a declining superpower that can no longer unilaterally decide what should happen in the world, it just seems to be the only one at the party that doesn't know it yet.

Really it's tiresome, and rather than recognise that America could get out of this downward spiral by simply being a bit nicer again, by focussing on being a bit smarter again, and focussing on working hard, it just seems determined on pursuing this tea-party sponsored downward spiral into oblivion where anyone non-religious is a heretic to be ignored, strict IP enforcement is going to somehow save the economy whilst everyone continues to ignore it, and where adding universal healthcare to the list of public services people should be able to receive alongside things like police protection, fire protection, and military protection regardless of their wealth like just about every other country in the world is a danger that could bring the country to it's knees.

ITU regulations (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40360509)

Yes, US censorship of the Internet is bad -- shocking, really, considering the rights that US citizens are supposed to have -- but nowhere near as bad as the censorship that happens in other countries, or the censorship that has happened historically. Additionally, US control of the Internet has been pretty good for the fundamental philosophy of the Internet itself, which is that any Internet connected computer can act as a service provider. Tor would not be possible if there were computers on the Internet that could only be clients, or if servers all had to have some sort of special registration.

When I think of the ITU, I think of the regulations on another global communication system that can be used with equipment available to consumers: shortwave radio and amateur satellites. Consider the regulations ITU imposes on hams:
  1. All transmissions must include a periodic identification; anonymous transmissions are something only privileged operations run by governments can perform. Identifications must be unique and assigned by governments according to ITU rules.
  2. Encryption is limited to certain specific purposes such as controlling satellites; obscuring the meaning of a transmission is forbidden (thus even a non-encryption technique like chaffing and winnowing would be illegal).
  3. If a country objects to communications, other countries' citizens must respect those objections. An amateur station is expected to not communicate with someone in a country whose government objects to such communication.
  4. Commercial transmissions or business activities must not be conducted; a special, separate class of licenses and regulations apply to commercial operations.

Now, can you give the reasons why similar regulations couldn't be imposed on the Internet? What reason does the ITU have in supporting the Internet as it is today? The ITU would almost certainly partition computers on the Internet into different classes (say, "clients" and "servers," where "servers" require special registration and must have some special identification), and would almost certainly create rules that force countries to respect the censorship systems of other countries. Hushmail-style backdoors are practically a given if the ITU has its way (which is not the say that the US would never impose such a thing within its borders; the difference is that the ITU would attempt to impose it globally).

Please, keep regulatory bodies out of the Internet. We should be working to return control of the Internet to its users, not to increase regulations on the Internet. I do not want the Chinese government deciding how the Internet is governed, or having any say in the rules of the Internet.

Re:Typical U.N. (1)

ewieling (90662) | about 2 years ago | (#40360031)

A lot of big talk with absolutely no way in hell to enforce any of it.

This is why I think the UN regulating the "Internet" may not be a bad thing. China and Russia will veto anything the USA wants and the USA will veto anything China and Russia want, nothing will actually happen and everyone wins. Even when everyone agrees there is no way to enforce anything, again everybody wins.

Re:Typical U.N. (2)

emorning (2465220) | about 2 years ago | (#40360119)

I think that the corporate-owned leaders in the USA want *exactly* the same things that China wants...

Re:Typical U.N. (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 2 years ago | (#40360177)

China and Russia will veto anything the USA wants

Of course, pretty much everything on the Internet, except for some 20-year-old papers on particle physics from CERN, is there because somebody in the USA wanted it.

O(h)S(h)I(t) (1)

0dugo0 (735093) | about 2 years ago | (#40359893)

After all these years these guys are still trying to force X.25 down our throats. Unbelievable. How many times do we have to scream at them that.. NO WE ARE NOT GOING TO PUT STAMPS ON OUR PACKETS!!

Google vs. Iran (4, Funny)

gtall (79522) | about 2 years ago | (#40359901)

Iran: Say, there Mr. Google, you owe us beellions and beelions of dollars.

Google: Who are you?

Iran: The Islamic Republic of Iran, that's who, now pay up.

Google: How about we pay you in Iranian rials.

Iran: Errr....no, no, we want dollars as our currency isn't worth very much right now.

Google: Okay, we'll get back to you on that.

Iran: Hey, you Mothers just removed Iran from Google Maps.

Google: Ooops, now who are you folks again?

Re:Google vs. Iran (3, Informative)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 years ago | (#40360103)

"Iran: Errr....no, no, we want dollars as our currency isn't worth very much right now."

Must be an old joke. Iran dumped the Dollar for the Euro a couple of years ago.

http://www.dailymarkets.com/forex/2009/09/22/iran-replaces-the-us-dollar-with-the-euroand-so-it-begins/ [dailymarkets.com]

DIAF (3, Insightful)

ilikenwf (1139495) | about 2 years ago | (#40359907)

The UN can kiss both sides of my rear - what have they actually done in the past 10-20 years that has actually been beneficial? I can understand the need to coordinate nations in order to maintain as much peace as possible, but having something like this with non-elected representatives makes no sense, especially since they try to govern things in all UN nations unilaterally.

Re:DIAF (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#40360159)

"The UN can kiss both sides of my rear - what have they actually done in the past 10-20 years that has actually been beneficial?"

You mean apart from ensure post can move between countries, international telephone calls can be routed, that international flights don't collide with each other, delivering aid and vaccination programmes to millions of people, coordinating international response to countless crises, ensuring important world heritage sites are designated as such, ruling on international disputes both trade and political, maintaining and distributing funds to countries whose collapse would also otherwise cause subsequent collapse of other nations economies, making sure nuclear materials and programmes are kept to civilian uses as best as possible and limiting the ability of nuclear material to fall into the wrong hands, managing and maintaining global meteorological records, helping to spread better education across the globe, monitoring and sponsoring improved labour conditions for every working person, and doing work to protect the cultures of indiginous communities?

Other than those things, not much I guess. They're a bit like the Romans, I mean, what did the Romans ever do for us?

Or are you one of those numpties who thinks The UN Security Council = The UN?

Re:DIAF (-1, Troll)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#40360341)

Screw the UN and anyone involved with it. Its just another corrupt organization. America would be better off if we ended our participation.

Re:DIAF (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#40360413)

Yes, because if it weren't for the UN America would be a bastion of transparency and honesty without any corruption whatsoever. It's obvious that the UN causes corruption in America, and not vice versa.

Re:DIAF (1)

ilikenwf (1139495) | about 2 years ago | (#40360345)

My tax dollars shouldn't be paying for that stuff. To each their own - I shouldn't have to fund vaccine programs, education, international response, world heritage sites, international disputes, distributing funds, or working for better labor conditions in any country other than my own. Should I choose to do so, I'd make a difference by spending my money only on things that aren't part of nations that do things I'm against.

As for the nuclear stuff and international conflicts, postage, and flights - the UN isn't really necessary here, as individual organizations could fill these roles. The UN is just an attempt by the powers that be to form a one world government.

Re:DIAF (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#40360395)

"My tax dollars shouldn't be paying for that stuff. To each their own - I shouldn't have to fund vaccine programs, education, international response, world heritage sites, international disputes, distributing funds, or working for better labor conditions in any country other than my own. Should I choose to do so, I'd make a difference by spending my money only on things that aren't part of nations that do things I'm against. " ...and yet, you expect other people to fund the police to protect you, the fire service, the military? Is it fun being that selfish and hypocritical or...? just wondering.

"as individual organizations could fill these roles"

Er, they do. The UN is made up of a number of individual organisations.

"The UN is just an attempt by the powers that be to form a one world government."

Who might I ask are the powers that be? The fairies? Aliens? Lizardmen?

Re:DIAF (2)

tomtomtom (580791) | about 2 years ago | (#40360495)

So you mean none of those things happened before the UN was founded in 1945 and none of them could happen without the UN? I don't think so. Those things happen because people or governments individually decide that they want to cooperate to make them happen. Often they actually don't happen because individual nations decide they can't or don't want to (or don't want to pay the price in blood and/or treasure to do so).

Here's a good example: telephone connectivity between Spain and Gibraltar was severely limited between 1969 and 2006 when the individual governments (UK, Spain and Gibraltar) decided to do something about it themselves. One of the few areas where you would have thought the UN would actually have a genuine advantage, where there is a geopolitical dispute which was impacting on a technical/day to day level, and it proved useless in the face of that small challenge.

If you ask me, the main thing the UN does (outside of the big geopolitical stuff) is to allow the people who work on that long list of things you mentioned not to pay tax when doing so. Which is very nice for them. I don't really see how it benefits anyone else though.

Let them have it (1)

cmuncy (530892) | about 2 years ago | (#40359915)

The US should just cut off all connections from outside of the USA. Then what.......

Re:Let them have it (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40359977)

economic break down. Did you ever heard of international market. Lots of cash are made out of the US country.

Case in point for parent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360041)

economic break down. Did you ever heard of international market. Lots of cash are made out of the US country.

Back in the 30's the US pretty much did that with the Smoot-Hawley Tarriff Act [wikipedia.org] - it dramatically cut our foreign trade - kinda like economic isolation.

That was just a tariff.

Just imagine what it would be like if we cut everything off.

Re:Let them have it (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#40360123)

I'm pretty sure another country did that, within living memory. Now let me think, who was it...?

"Bill the originator of the traffic" (1)

TheTrueScotsman (1191887) | about 2 years ago | (#40359917)

Surely they can that now: just tap and bill the upstream partner of each layer 1 connection. If no payment is made then they're disconnected.

Re:"Bill the originator of the traffic" (1)

0dugo0 (735093) | about 2 years ago | (#40359985)

Oh, yes, that's what the PHBs told the NOC at $NowDefunctTelco. Stop peering for free, we'll let sales sell them IP transit instead.

Re:"Bill the originator of the traffic" (5, Insightful)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40360003)

cash is not the issue, censorship is. They just want to control the Internet for their own purpose, you name it, you got it. Control - propaganda, political agenda, any reason is good. Organisation are starting to learn that if you got control over the communication, you control the people.

Re:"Bill the originator of the traffic" (1)

Loughla (2531696) | about 2 years ago | (#40360179)

Organizations have always known that they have to control communications to control the people. What governmental organizations are just realizing is that they need to take a bite of the wild-west shoot-em-up that is the internet if they want to remain relevant, and able to influence our thoughts and lives in any way.

Think about it - what good is an organization like the UN, who makes sure that counties can peaceably talk out their differences (in theory), work through international issues and work toward the global good (again, theory), if individuals can make their own choices on a global scale? IMO, it's all about self-preservation.

Re:"Bill the originator of the traffic" (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40360443)

Not necessarily true, you don't need the Internet to control the media, don't forget the newspapers, magazines, tv shows, well anything to people see, watch and hear can be controlled. Organisations, governmental or not, are just realizing that the Internet is where the people have the most freedom and their propaganda to control them is not sufficient because of the anonymous theme and the ease of telling the people on the internet your thoughts on subjects that would be considered traitorous to their control and where the penalty of death can be given... that's why the freedom is at risk and why those countries should be stopped at doing this. It's like your given a glass of milk, 1 day, you'll want cookies too. -- that's a metaphore btw lol

Re:"Bill the originator of the traffic" (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 2 years ago | (#40360275)

It's the opposite they pay there upstream for the connection more often than not. They can meter it now and send a bill even block access if it's not paid all without the UN or anything else outside there borders. They will be ignored of course since it's just a play to tax foreign companies and get hard currency. More eyeball networks trying to make themselves have power, they have yet to figure out that eyeballs will find ways to get the content anyways.

let them do it (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40359929)

This may be idiot but if it's in the process of being done and theres no way to stop it, how about let them "create" their own Internet and let them rot there. This make me think of a small story of a company and a hacker. Some company create some kind of "easy" enough access as they know they will hack their system but they open a small breach so the hack can use that specific access. In the end, the hack is monitored and the company is "spying" and learning from the hacker. I think it's possible we could employ this method with this article.

Results of ITU control... (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40359963)

My guess is that if the ITU is given power over the Internet, at least some of the following things will ultimately happen:
  1. Partitioning of Internet-connected computers into "clients" and "servers," with special registration required for "servers." Note that right now, any computer connected to the Internet can act as either a client or a server, regardless of how it is typically used; I suspect that the ITU would ultimately change that.
  2. Requirements that computers have unique identification, or at least that computers acting as servers be uniquely identified. Anonymous servers (e.g. Tor hidden services) would be rendered illegal. Procedures for shared hosts that allow multiple services to be run on a single system would likely be developed, with each service having a unique identification that is related to the identification of the host.
  3. A requirement that computers acting as servers refuse to communicate with computers in countries whose governments object to such communication. This is already a requirement of amateur radio i.e. a ham cannot communicate with someone in a country whose government objects to such communication, as per ITU rules.
  4. Key disclosure requirements for communications sent over the Internet i.e. international law enforcement agencies would be able to demand that anyone reveal secret keys. Hushmail-style backdoors would likely be mandatory in services that provide end-to-end encryption for users.

Re:Results of ITU control... (1)

Loughla (2531696) | about 2 years ago | (#40360211)

Holy piss that's terrifying, because it makes complete sense. It's a way to squash anything and everything. Someone mod parent up.

Mixed feelings (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40359965)

The malcontent within me actually looks forward to having the Internet governed by a coalition of China and a bunch of mufties. There are a lot of fools stumbling around the West that desperately need that experience.

Where's my popcorn? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40359981)

The cognitive dissonance this is going to create from the US-hating /tards is going to be hilarious.

conspiracy theorists (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40359993)

conspiracy theorists fear a free and open internet, free from US fascist control...
sorry, you're a fascism and you always have been since world war 2...

No taxation without representation (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40359999)

No censorship either. Who the hell does the UN think it is? It doesn't represent the People of this planet. We don't even have a voice in the UN Assembly to make our objections be heard. And where's the UN Bill of Rights that forbids censorship of speech, the press, and expression?

The UN politicians are as honest as other men, not more so, and all the more dangerous since their power is not subject to the Elective control of the people, or the Shackles of a Constitution with enumerated rights. Time has shown that their power grows steadily and more expansive in reach. The UN politicians are setting-up a World Oligarchy without boundaries in its power.

Re:No taxation without representation (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 2 years ago | (#40360047)

Re:No taxation without representation (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40360207)

But the Declaration is exactly that - a declaration. It doesn't have the power of law and does not limit the UN's ability to..... for example..... pass a law forbidding websites that oppose Genetically-modified foods. OUR Bill of Rights says, "Congress shall pss no law abriding freedom of speech....." The UN does not have the equivalent, and therefore may pass any law they please.

Re:No taxation without representation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360129)

US != this planet

And if you think ICANN represents you more than UN does...

Re:No taxation without representation (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40360217)

You realize that the UN is, on the scale of things a relatively democratic body right? The UN by itself doesn't ever do anything, it's a handful of staff in a room. The "UN" is a collection of countries in the world with a 1 country, 1 vote system. There is then a practical realization that 5 countries in the world could fuck over plans of anyone else, and they get special treatment on matters related to security.

If the UN was fully democratic, say an election system by population, China and India would be basically running the show as by far the largest power blocks. And they aren't all that fond of a lot of internet freedoms or the way the US behaves in general.

The irony is that the UN has a declaration of human rights that you apparently don't know about (linked in another comment), that does forbid things like censorship. And at least on paper all UN members have signed onto that document. But well. Like politicians everywhere, there are laws and then there are laws we write for other people to follow.

Remember: China 'doesn't censor it's people and there's no great firewall of china. They are a poor country and experience technical difficulties on a regular basis'. Or at least that used to be the official line. Also, as a 'relatively uneducated society they need to protect people from falsehoods which could damage public order and safety' (which actually is true to some degree).

Re:No taxation without representation (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40360343)

The UN is a club for tired Marxist dictators who still dream of world domination.

It's well past time Americans threw it out of New York and sent it to a more appropriate location, like Zimbabwe.

ITU == Little Known? (5, Insightful)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 2 years ago | (#40360011)

What rock have you been living under?

Re:ITU == Little Known? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360333)

Isn't this "little known" ITU, the one that provides certifications for communications devices prior to hit the market in almost any other country in the world besides the USA?

Re:ITU == Little Known? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360393)

Yes, some people can be a "little" ignorant.

Another dupe (4, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#40360039)

UN Takeover of Internet Must Be Stopped, US Warns [slashdot.org]
Posted by samzenpus on Fri Jun 01, '12 12:30 PM

samzenpus dupes himself with another run at this xenophobic scare piece.

Re:Another dupe (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40360281)

Since it's over a month old, I wouldn't consider it a dupe. There are MANY people who never saw the original article. Also it covers different topics (per-click charges vs. speech censorship).

Does the USA get affected? (3, Insightful)

satuon (1822492) | about 2 years ago | (#40360067)

I'm a bit confused. Can the ITU in some technical manner remotely change how the Internet works inside the USA and Europe without our cooperation?

The three certain things... (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#40360099)

That would result in new fees to local governments and less access to traffic from U.S. "originating" companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple.

Ah, the truth wins out. They don't want to control the internet... they just want to tax the hell out of it.

Re:The three certain things... (2)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 years ago | (#40360181)

No, actually, they want both. They just realize that actual control allows them to start charging for it.

Re:The three certain things... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#40360475)

No, actually, they want both. They just realize that actual control allows them to start charging for it.

The power to tax is the power to destroy... true dat. Well, I'd probably be looking for an alternative tax base if I was the UN too... they're pretty much international beggars and can only do what their member states are willing to fund... which means it's basically a corporation with supranational powers, and every meetup is really just a shareholders' meeting; Those with the most gold direct the company.

Keep those old Dialup Modems! (3, Funny)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#40360115)

When the U.N. and other countries have ruined the Internet, there will be a comeback of BBS's and other services like Delphi.

UN is a worthless org. (2)

rubikscubejunkie (2664793) | about 2 years ago | (#40360131)

The UN is a worthless org. over 14,000 dead in Syria and the UN does nothing. Check out this movie: U.N. Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIzDt5NPYfI [youtube.com] It is a documentary of the dangers of the U.N.

Re:UN is a worthless org. (1)

dcbrianw (1154925) | about 2 years ago | (#40360297)

U.N. Me is an eye-openning movie. It brings many of the UN related headlines of the past decades to a personal level that a two-minute news segment cannot. Everyone should see it.

I find it amusing that people who reject... (2)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#40360135)

...overly powerful national governments often think the UN is a good idea.

What is the sum of many corruptions?

Re:I find it amusing that people who reject... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360527)

I was just thinking the opposite. All you statists and democrats, how can you stand this global anarchism? Shouldn't you demand one world government?

Not quite (5, Insightful)

poity (465672) | about 2 years ago | (#40360139)

This isn't about giving control to the UN. This is not a UN vs US issue. It is a few countries that want further control of their part of the internet, and they see the current US ownership of mechanisms and institutions as an obstacle. They cannot directly and publicly confront the US to try to wrest control for themselves without international backlash. By using the UN as a pivot, their action can potentially gain legitimacy and bring about a dilution of power (thereby giving local actors more control). So by dressing it up as an issue of wanting to transfer more power from the US to the UN, they seek to accomplish two things: 1. launder their intentions with the name of the UN, and 2. embark on the first step in altering the status quo so as to ultimately remove existing checks to their power (mainly the US) to act unilaterally on their local nodes.

Re:Not quite (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 years ago | (#40360493)

And how much does the UN get from the US in terms of financial support? military support? and other things? I don't want this to sound like another UN bash but seriously, the UN doesn't accomplish a whole lot except to give a stage to people like Qhadafi, or Amadenijad so they can come and rail against the US and Western nations. Let's not forget the old Nazi Kurt "I'm no Nazi" Waldheim who ran the organization as Gen. Secretary for years. This whole effort, as has been pointed out, is a land grab.

What's funny to me is that these countries do have points of presence where they can do things like China did with the great firewall. All of this is within their own borders and doesn't require the UN or ITU to be involved. All of these other things would not improve the technology of the Internet but it would give governments who wish to suppress information more control. That to me is not what the Internet is about.

Yeah, I can see it now. Kofi Anan dealing with a BGP border dispute.

I know, Kofi isn't the current Gen. Secretary but with all the great success the UN is having in Syria, I think taking over the Internet would give these pseudo politicians more things to do.

You know what, on second thought having the rest of the world on it's own Internet may be great. That way the US could install it's own Firewall and keep out all the Nigerian 419 e-mails and we could like block all traffic from say all those countries we don't like from time to time. Yeah, that would be great, and the amount
of malware would drop too because we'd just cut off the whole country sending it. Get ripped off on E-Bay by a guy in France who didn't pay, We'll cut off France! Yeah, that'll work all right for a free and open Internet.

UN Will Never Have Authority (0)

fallen1 (230220) | about 2 years ago | (#40360169)

Over the Internet. The United States will always exercise its veto power. Not to mention that unless the other countries want to start an alternative DNS service, aren't most of the Root DNS servers located in the United States?

Not to mention that if control of the Internet were handed over to the Untied Nations, the vilest and most despicable regimes imaginable would use that forum to press their agenda and keep their people oppressed AND without one of the most effective means of getting the word out about what is really happening to them. I don't think my country, the United States, always does a fantastic job but one of the fundamentals that is still fought for is the freedom of speech and the want for democracy for those countries currently under oppressive rule.

The UN take over authority for the Internet? Pardon my language but - Fuck That!

"little known" == "samzenpus hasn't heard of it" (0)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#40360203)

Presumably, samzenpus also thinks that everyone has to obey FCC regulations, too. Silly USians. Learn some geography.

Re:"little known" == "samzenpus hasn't heard of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360351)

Don't use a comparator ('==') when you mean an assignment; you're not testing to see if "little known" == "samzenpus hasn't heard of it", you're sarcastically suggesting that samzenpus assigns the value "samzenpus hasn't heard of it" to the variable "little known". Know your operators!

It's all about control (1)

CXI (46706) | about 2 years ago | (#40360221)

It's pretty obvious that the point behind this is for member countries to make "free" services have an actual cost to the provider, thus driving traffic from Google, Facebook, etc. to local version of the same services in each country.

How to keep the poor poor. (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 2 years ago | (#40360371)

"new rules to measure Internet traffic along national borders and bill the originator of the traffic, as with international phone calls."

Wow, what a great idea for continuing to oppress people. This way I won't share my wonderful ideas with people in their countries. I'll just setup a filter so they can't access my content. They lose and will stay back in the dark ages. How about we also build a brick wall around them?

So? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360473)

Am I the only one who would actually trust the UN more than the US to have authority over the Internet? At the very least, the UN has a history of being less effective and more enmeshed in bureaucracy ... which should mean they won't do much. Sounds good to me.

Isn't the USA also part of the UN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40360489)

And, unlike China and Iran, has veto powers.

Maybe the USA are worried that they'll be powerless if there is any other voice they cannot silence.

PS isn't it rather rich worrying about "a threat to a continued global and open Internet" when the USA were the first to pass a DMCA type law which is a threat to a global and open internet? Isn't arresting people for running a service on a system in a different country that is legal in that country a threat to that too?

I mean, I'm really trying here. I can't see what form of "threat" they mean that doesn't cover the actions the USA have taken.

PS dupe.

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