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US Resists UN Push For Control Over Internet

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the taking-our-toys-and-going-home dept.

The Internet 266

sl4shd0rk writes "At present, several non-profit U.S. bodies oversee the Internet's specifications as well as DNS. The Unitied Nations, however, has expressed an interest in transferring control of the Internet from the United States. The UN's Dr. Toure says any change to the governance of the internet must be supported by all countries. The U.S. has refused, arguing that 'existing multi-stakeholder institutions, incorporating industry and civil society' will continue to oversee the 'health and growth of the interenet and all its benefits.' According to earlier reports, the push is backed not only by Russia, but China, Brazil and India as well."

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266 comments

Another conspiracy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869147)

by UN one world government. Google Obama Agenda 21 for details.

Re:Another conspiracy (3, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869193)

by UN one world government. Google Obama Agenda 21 for details.

It's hilarious to see the right wing nutters getting their panties in a bunch over the Obama / Agenda 21 conspiracy, since Agenda 21 was established in 1992.

Re:Another conspiracy (3, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869331)

1992, the VERY YEAR that Obama stopped directing Illinois Project Vote. Coincidence?! Yea, probably.

Re:Another conspiracy (4, Funny)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869455)

You don't get it. The next presidential term will start in 2013, which is 21 years after 1992. This is obviously meant to commemorate the fact that the National Minimum Drinking Age act was passed two years after Obama turned 21, after it safely wouldn't affect him.

Don't you see? This is the Illuminati once again ensuring that its elite members can go out and party while us common folk get screwed, and then they have the balls to remind us all of how we're just complacent sheep!

Don't you see? Conspiracy theories make perfect sense if sanity isn't an issue for you!

Re:Another conspiracy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869955)

the tinfoil is strong with this one =]

Re:Another conspiracy (3, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869565)

Meh. Agenda 21 is by far less a conspiracy theory than some things people think, plenty of cities(including my own) have already included some of their platform into their urban planning, so does it exist? Yep, is it real? Yep. Is it evil and insidious? Well I suppose that depends on how tight your tinfoil cap is. Is it "one world government" material? Meh..that's crackpot stuff. Personally, I'm leery of any supernational body where someone isn't elected giving "strong suggestions" on how to do something to a local government. It's kinda like the EU, don't like it.

Personally, I'd figure more Americans would be worried about their own DOJ and Holder, blackballing the committee hearings on illegal gunrunning to Mexico and killing 300 people, while letting the guns walk. That entire thing is a pretext for "see, look at all those guns--they're in the hands of criminals and they're getting back into the US and all the rest." That's not conspiracy work, that's already happened. The guns flowed both ways. And before, someone get's their panties in a twist and go "Bush did it too" indeed, though their guns were tracked. Holder, just let their guns go free, no tracking, notta. The DoJ has already backwalked on that one.

Re:Another conspiracy (-1, Troll)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870273)

Oh no the guns were tracked with Bush but thanks for playing....and where the heck are all the supposed gun control laws that are supposed to come out of this conspiracy theory that the obama administration let the guns walk so they could enact gun control laws....nice one zippy.

Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869151)

...they should start their own Internet.

Re:Maybe... (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869225)

...they should start their own Internet.

That's what will eventually happen. The internet will be balkanized along national boundaries, every country will control their slice however they see fit, and everyone will be happy.

Except the users.

Re:Maybe... (1)

BMOC (2478408) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869261)

Entirely privatized darknets are just around the corner. They'll be slower, but totally unregulatable.

Re:Maybe... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869543)

Entirely privatized darknets are just around the corner. They'll be slower, but totally unregulatable.

Whose to say they aren't here now?

Whose to say they haven't been with us all along?

Re:Maybe... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869421)

yes .... which is happening already. Try to watch netflix outside the US, the BBC olympic coverage outside the UK, buying certain products from overseas, and so on. Sure, yeah, proxies, but if those are ever used by more than a trivial % of users, they'll be shut down. For normal users, the internet is already balkanized.

Re:Maybe... (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869585)

All of those "balkanizations" are performed by the provider themselves. There is no separation between two parties that want to communicate, except for places like China and Iran. In other words, nothing is stopping Netflix from providing their services to everyone in the world aside from Netflix themselves (and of course their agreements with other people). The Internet itself is not fragmented: certain websites are, but that is their problem and their doing.

Re:Maybe... (2)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869725)

Yeah I'm not really worried about balkanized Internet and I'm a total pinko. Metcalfe's Law [wikipedia.org] provides a pretty strong incentive for the connections to work.

UN control would be worse (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869201)

UN control of the Internet would kill the Internet as we know it. Long distance fees, requirements that you respect censorship laws in other countries, unique identification requirements, different regulatory classes for "service providers" and "consumers" are all on the table for the UN. Sure, they would do a great job of ensuring that everyone is happy -- everyone being defined as the governments that are represented in the UN, which include several powerful governments with strong and pervasive censorship campaigns.

Re:UN control would be worse (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869461)

Also, there is no reason whatoever to hand control of the internet to the UN. Literally none. The internet is intended to be a network of networks. There's no reason why that wouldn't include a network of national networks of networks, and lots of reasons why not. Unless, of course, you've got one world government.

Re:UN control would be worse (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869661)

All the arguments against the UN could equially be made of the US. Additionally it's not at all clear to me why I have to pay an American company to maintain my .com registration. Certainly there's no indication it was chosen as being the best value for money.

Re:UN control would be worse (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869947)

Except that, good or bad, the US's governance of the Internet is a known quantity. It may not be perfect and may have its own inherent risks, but thus far, the US has been a reasonably good steward. Handing it off to the UN, where some major players are unabashed censors of the Internet and would have considerable motivation to undermine certain aspects of how it works, carries significant risks, and risks we may not even be aware of.

This is a situation where I say better than devil we know than the devil we don't.

Churchill (4, Insightful)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870221)

Except that, good or bad, the US's governance of the Internet is a known quantity.

Kinda like what Churchill said of Democracy: the worst system, except for all the others.

Re:UN control would be worse (1, Insightful)

Ghostworks (991012) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869833)

The fear of a one-world government is unfounded. The UN is not set up to function as such a body, nor could it even cope with such a task if it decided to seize an opportunity. It is a patchwork of bodies, funds, institutions, and loose alliances. It is basically a loose network of international do-gooders, with a completely useless general assembly and an incredibly important security council. That's why there's so much pressure lately to expand the security council to include more countries, rotate countries out, and have them handle more mundane issues like pollution as a "global risk". They're the only body set up to make a resolution then actually back it up.

And, while this may sound a little patronizing to other nations, the UN is at it's most effective when it is aligned with the U.S. It promotes what used to be first and foremost "American values" (real values, like democracy, human rights, an autonomy), which have successfully promoted as just good, fully human values in the past century. It relies on the U.S. for a lot of funding, and almost all of its strength. When the U.S. forgets about the UN, both suffer, because the UN has the unenviable task of taking all the good parts of long-term U.S. policy and convincing other countries to go along with it despite how pissed off they get over the bad parts of short-term U.S. policy. They are the sly left and strong right hands of the same philosophy.

What this is is balkanization by the back-door. The long-feared balkanization of the internet has already happened, with countries like Iran and China essentially experiencing completely different 'nets than other parts of the world. And it will continue to splinter. What the movement in the ITU is about is ameliorating the worst parts of balkanization, when reclusive regimes find that the accidentally broke something they would rather keep. They want to be able to censor gracefully, with someone in their corner to get things fixed when their ridiculous schemes bite them technically. While I can sympathize with countries who don't feel entirely comfortable with the net in American hands, dumping this much power into a relatively new, weak body of the UN can only serve oppressive regimes.

Re:UN control would be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40870307)

How much does the US owe the UN?

Re:UN control would be worse (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869469)

Yes.
The UN is not democratic or even representative of the People it is bossing around. I don't have a gentleman representing me & making my voice heard in the world government. None of us do. The UN running the internet is an illegitimate use of power. (Similarly: This is why I refuse to pay any income or sales tax to a state or country where I do not live/have not set foot inside. No taxation without representation.)

Re:UN control would be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869723)

> No taxation without representation.

Unless you're an immigrant on a green card to the US.

Re:UN control would be worse (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869969)

No taxation without representation

Every country in the world has a representative to the UN general assembly. That's actually better than if you're in Syria, China, or a plethora of other places where you have no representation, and are obliged to pay taxes.

Technically by the way, that narrowly foolish talking point that 'no taxation without representation' doesn't even apply to the US, where if you live in D.C. for example you are subject to federal taxes but can't vote for federal representatives. Nor does it include people who are intentionally disenfranchised from being able to vote. The UN *does* have a mechanism to disenfranchise people by suspending their representation to the security council.

Re:UN control would be worse (2)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869567)

NOT removing control from a single country will end the Internet as we know it, only in a different way.

Balkanization, inability to reach sites in other countries even if they don't mind you reaching them, requirements that you use only breakable encryption or no encryption at all, etc.

In other words, it's heads the world loses, tails the governments that want to make the world lose win.

Re:UN control would be worse (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869731)

Indeed, but there is no strong push for handing control of the Internet over to its users. The choice we have right now is this:
  1. ICANN, under US jurisdiction (but autonomous within the boundaries of US law).
  2. ITU, which has a goal of satisfying the regulatory and policy demands of all countries simultaneously, and which is part of the UN, which consistently seeks to respect "national sovereignty."

So don't get me wrong -- I would love if the Internet were truly a "network of networks" and if peering was not reserved for large telecom monopolies. ITU control will get us further away from that goal, at least if their approaches to other global communications systems and the Y series recommendations are any indication.

Re:UN control would be worse (1)

ambidextroustech (2597091) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869621)

Besides, the United States of America is where it is unlawful to hinder free speech is the best place for this communication engine: the Internet.

I would not want to hand this over to a body, where I do not know its established law. The UN is over-stepping its bounds; it's supposed to be a place where countries can meet and circumvent wars, such as world wars, etc.

Re:UN control would be worse (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869835)

See, I disagree on this; my view is that control should be decentralized. The fact that giving the UN control would worsen the situation does not mean that ICANN should remain in charge. We need to lower the barriers to entry when it comes to peering, develop a better system for domain names, and get IPv6 deployed -- then we can say that anyone with networking equipment and a minimum level of technical knowledge can participate in running and governing the Internet.

Re:UN control would be worse (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870131)

unlawful to hinder free speech is the best

What if the US isn't doing the best job of defending free speech?

The UN charter states explicitly that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers" From 1948, in it's non legally binding charter, and essentially the same thing in its legally binding agreements that only about 150 countries have signed on to.

Press Freedom from 2005 [nationsonline.org] puts the US at 44th, and significantly lower than say, denmark, finland etc. So why shouldn't one of those countries get control of the internet then, since they are demonstrably more free than the US.

. The UN is over-stepping its bounds; it's supposed to be

The UN is supposed to be whatever the member states want it to be. That's how democracy works. If all of the member states agree that every tuesday everyone in the world has to wear a pink hat, then that can be made binding law. The UN has a collection of agencies of varying efficiency and effectiveness that are tasked with making sure people are fed, that there are international telecommunications standards, that Aircraft all conform to certain guidelines, that there are labour, education and human rights standards everywhere and so on. Now obviously if people don't want to do anything to uphold those rules then the UN doesn't have any capacity to act on its own. Just the same as if the south in the US tried to bring back Jim Crow laws the federal government would have to decide what, if anything, it was prepared to do about it.

Re:UN control would be worse (2)

lsatenstein (949458) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870255)

QUOTE

UN control of the Internet would kill the Internet as we know it. Long distance fees, requirements that you respect censorship laws in other countries, unique identification requirements, different regulatory classes for "service providers" and "consumers" are all on the table for the UN. Sure, they would do a great job of ensuring that everyone is happy -- everyone being defined as the governments that are represented in the UN, which include several powerful governments with strong and pervasive censorship campaigns.

ENDQUOTE

The idea that some single country controls a global resource is not acceptable to countries that are not congruent with USA political policy. Suppose the Internet was controlled by a non -USA country, that does not agree with USA policies? How would the US feel? How would the the USA control its utilities, since many use the web for managing their infrastructure. The USA has already wrongly turned off the switch on at least one service company, putting the company at a major financial disadvantage in its trying to regain operations.

The extreme set of rules that you listed are rules that the USA already has in place via the US's largest private ISPs, only they are imposed on you and you shrug them off as the cost or rules on how you may use the net.

What eventually will happen is that a parallel internet will be created, which will contain a majority of the worlds countries and populations. The USA will have to decide to go it alone or merge with it. Most countries will switch over because of the desire to be part of a global marketplace.
I am not in the know, but do the rules governing the internet respect International Law?

Yes, change is coming, albeit slowly.

A switch over will be a few wiring changes, and the data will now be available in the new globally owned internet. Most end-users will not notice any difference.

Re:UN control would be worse (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870259)

It is my honest belief that one of the things that is worse than the current US control of the internet would be UN control.
In fact it may be the worst decision that could be made. I think that the internet would be better off being controlled by China than by the UN.
North Korea and a few of the Arab states would be the only things I can think of that might be worse than the UN.

Why should the US remain in charge? (3, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869203)

If I were other countries, I'd ask myself why any one country should be "in charge" of things like DNS.

Having any one country "in charge" greatly increases the temptation to further "balkanize" the DNS system, where ".com" means something in "most of the world" but something else in countries that force their ISPs to use an in-country, government-controlled DNS provider. By having an international body handle things like this, countries that don't get their way but who at least respect the process will be less likely to run their own DNS.

Re:Why should the US remain in charge? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869253)

If I were other countries, I'd ask myself why any one country should be "in charge" of things like DNS.

If I were other countries, I'd ask why anyone expected me to be in a club where I'm a second class citizen. I'd start my own UN before I bothered with my own internet.

Re:Why should the US remain in charge? (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869287)

If I were other countries, I'd ask myself why any one country should be "in charge" of things like DNS.

No one country is in charge of DNS; some important domain names fall under the jurisdiction of the US government, but country-specific TLDs belong to specific countries. IP allocations are a different story, but ICANN is not controlled by the US government, it is just under the US government's jurisdiction.

I know full well that there are countries that do not like the job ICANN is doing. Countries that have national firewalls -- not the weak attempt by ICE (DNS hijacking), but real firewalls that actually inspect packets and kill connections -- want to change the rules to make censorship easier. China would prefer if other countries would just require servers to refuse to give "objectionable" information to Chinese citizens. The reason those sorts of countries are turning to the UN is that unlike the US, the UN actually respects those censorship campaigns (after all, national sovereignty must be respected, even if it violates the UN's definition of human rights) and will try to force everyone else to respect those campaigns.

Re:Why should the US remain in charge? (4, Funny)

BMOC (2478408) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869405)

IPv6 adoption should also eliminate most of ICANNs inflated power.

Re:Why should the US remain in charge? (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869795)

unlike the US, the UN actually respects those censorship campaigns (after all, national sovereignty must be respected, even if it violates the UN's definition of human rights) and will try to force everyone else to respect those campaigns

I've heard other people assert this same thing. I was wondering if there's any evidence of the UN actually doing something like this.

Re:Why should the US remain in charge? (3)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869917)

Well, take a look at some of the ITU-T Y series recommendations if you want to know where these ideas come from. A lot of it is technical e.g. protocols and ways to interoperate, but some of it is related to policy -- like requirements for non-repudiation in "next generation networks."

In general, the UN respects national sovereignty i.e. the UN will not authorize intervention in a country's laws or government unless the violations of human rights are extreme (and even then, they show their bias -- like sending peacekeepers to central Africa and ordering them to not discharge any firearms). This is mainly because countries like China and Russia would never have bothered with the UN if they would have been required to change their laws. The UN was originally created to prevent another world war, not to spread freedom or democracy.

Unfortunately, this means that the UN is not going to do anything that threatens the Great Firewall or similar national firewalls if they gain control of ICANN or otherwise have a say in Internet policy and governance. More likely, the UN would listen to the complaints of China -- those horrible Americans with their NY Times and Google -- and work to create a system that forces countries to respect each other's Internet laws (including censorship). That is how we keep the peace.

Re:Why should the US remain in charge? (4, Insightful)

PickyH3D (680158) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869343)

If I were any other country, I would probably ask myself that too. Then, I would look at one of the most corruptible global organizations and reconsider, unless I was one of the countries hoping to corrupt the process to begin with: e.g., Russia, China, India, or any of the Middle Eastern nations.

Re:Why should the US remain in charge? (4, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869403)

America is where most of the hardware is, its where the project originated, its based of work from DARPA, etc. If anyone should be "in charge" it should be us. Not that there's anything stopping other countries from managing their own segments.

Re:Why should the US remain in charge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869905)

America is where most of the hardware is,

Which hardware?

Re:Why should the US remain in charge? (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869669)

Because we own it.

Why should we give up one of our national assets?

Bla Bla Bla Greater good.... Each country it looking out for itself. Besides Moral reasons, they only reason why the US doesn't just Nuke the rest of the world, is because they offer things that could benefit us more then the benefit of nuking the rest of the world. When ever you have a county give up their hard fought/well deserved assets. They will not like it and reject and fight against it.

Why did the US allow the current tyrants to get into power during the cold war? Because it was better then allowing the USSR back leaders. Which would extend our enemies interests. Sure we will probably will need to take them out in the future. But Afghanistan War+Iraq War (1 and 2)+Vietnam War+Korean War is still better than World War III.

Re:Why should the US remain in charge? (1)

MrNaz (730548) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870065)

You know, I always wondered if people with your opinions actually existed, or if they were just used as hypothetical examples of the most extreme form of patriotic idiocy imaginable.
Turns out they do actually exist. Who'da thought?

At first, I thought UN control might be ok (4, Insightful)

BMOC (2478408) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869211)

Then I got slapped, and I realized all the crappy things the UN does to try to expand it's own power.

You may make any and all complaints about U.S. control/dominance of the internet, and I accept them. I do not accept that UN control would be better, in fact I'm convinced it would be much worse.

Re:At first, I thought UN control might be ok (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869445)

Whereas the USA doesn't occupy other countries to steal their resources, and hasn't dropped bombs on over 1/4 of the world's countries since the end of WWII, and doesn't use it's corporations to obstruct and influence laws in other countries for its own ends? Perhaps this is why much bigger countries are nervous warmongering greedy corrupt corporations in a single country shouldn't perhaps have the ultimate control of what we now have as the Internet?

Re:At first, I thought UN control might be ok (4, Insightful)

BMOC (2478408) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869491)

The purpose of posting anonymously is to say things coherently that might not otherwise be said if you put a name on it. You wrote something incoherent that should have been left in the bin of broken troll posts.

Give it some time. (1)

gatfirls (1315141) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869583)

There's a lot of interest in controlling the medium of communications that is bridging us into the future. Don't accept the lesser of two evils, promote a better solution. We're always on H.R. away from turning the internet into a carnival fairway.

Re:Give it some time. (1)

BMOC (2478408) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869741)

Total freedom is better than government control, that's easy to accept. The topic here is whether the UN would be better than the US at it.

Re:Give it some time. (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869807)

Don't accept the lesser of two evils, promote a better solution

Here is something that would go a long way: reduce the barriers to entry for peering with ISPs. The requirements many ISPs have for peering make it impossible for a small, community-run network to become part of the Internet; such networks generally wind up paying for service from a telecom monopoly.

A global network can be governed by its users (or at least those who have the equipment and expertise needed to participate); Fidonet comes to mind here.

Re:At first, I thought UN control might be ok (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869951)

At first impulse I had the same feeling. UN? Eh, why not. Internet's an international thing nowadays. .. Then I was reminded that Russia and China were there. Ha! Fuck no. Sorry.

For all of the fucked up, twisted things we do in the US we're doing an OK job on this one. I don't care how many "issues" we have. We don't need the keys handed to a corrupt human rights abusing dictatorship, and an ex secret police murdering madman with delusions of grandeur.

As much as I dislike... (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869221)

the way the US has done things, they're the lesser of evils compared to the UN. Especially when you toss Russia, and China, and other dictatorships, neo-dictatorships into the mix. The best solution in the end will end up being decentralizing the entire thing and keeping it away from any national body.

Re:As much as I dislike... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869337)

Absolutely. As a european I'd far prefer men in suits to the west of me spying on me and denying me full freedom (piratebay, wikileaks etc) than men in suits to the east of me spying on me and denying me freedom (wikileaks) .

Re:As much as I dislike... (2)

BMOC (2478408) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869381)

Well, at least the men of the west would allow you to use Encryption as you see fit. I would imagine the great power in the east might try to outlaw it.

Re:As much as I dislike... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869739)

Especially since the prudes to the west of me are less likely to ban porn than the prudes to the east of me.

Also, the religious nuts to the west of me are less likely to crucify me for liking porn than the religious nuts to the east of me.

Re:As much as I dislike... (4, Interesting)

bhagwad (1426855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869367)

Don't underestimate India's capacity for Internet censorship even though it's not run by a dictator. You need countries that fight against censorship, and don't care about "protecting people's sentiments". Only those countries deserve the stewardship of what is arguably on the greatest inventions of mankind.

Re:As much as I dislike... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869489)

Only those countries deserve the stewardship of what is arguably on the greatest inventions of mankind.

And when you consider who is really running the UN [un.org] (permanent members only please) you learn rapidly that the UN does not deserve that stewardship.

Re:As much as I dislike... (1, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869609)

Don't underestimate India's capacity for Internet censorship even though it's not run by a dictator.

India fits firmly in the pot of a neo-dictatorship. I thought that would have been self-evident, they have a very keen interest in censorship because they have neighbors nearby with a much higher standard of living, while they have rampant corruption, and a much lower standard of living. Those are the conditions for mass riots. Unless they try and control the flow of information, India will collapse with the free flow of information. That's inevitable.

Re:As much as I dislike... (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869655)

Nonsense. Just ensure that people are swiftly punished for violence and see how quickly all riots stop. Right now riots are politically motivated and the perpetrators are not afraid of the law. Change that one little aspect and everything falls into place. Regular people don't care about rioting. If there's a mob you can be sure it's political.

Re:As much as I dislike... (1)

illumastorm (172101) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869961)

Yeah, this method is working great for Syria

Re:As much as I dislike... (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870081)

Syria is not a democracy. People there have to riot to be heard. They can't just vote out the dictator. India however has many mechanisms in place for change to occur without violence.

Ask any Indian if they've ever seen a riot without political backing of some kind or the other. And ask them if the perpetrators of those riots were afraid of punishment. Bingo. You have your answer.

Re:As much as I dislike... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870037)

Don't underestimate India's capacity for Internet censorship

Just wait until India gets the right to take action against websites anywhere that post the actual border with Pakistan. Hoo boy, that's gonna be a sh*tstorm, and no mistake (and for that matter, Pakistan as well. In *either* country, if any representation is made that all of Kashmir doesn't belong to *them*, the government screams like a banshee).

Re:As much as I dislike... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869657)

I would go one step further.

Saying the US is the lesser of two evils compared to the UN is like saying cyanide is the lesser of two evils compared to a cocktail of cyanide, arsenic, and strychnine. Handing control of the internet over to the UN doesn't even get rid of the evils of the US. It merely adds the evils of all the other countries into the mix.

Re:As much as I dislike... (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869697)

Let's just give each nation their own block of addreses (which will be easier when ipv6 is universal) and let them assign them as they wish. Let them all have their own name servers to control their block of addresses and they will have to cache other name servers for other countries to be able to address content not their own. They can also erect whatever firewall they want where their country meets the world (wireless networks via satelite might be a problem, T.S.). However, no filtering will be done on outgoing packets by countries that don't want to filter their output to the world (like in the US, except maybe for what the RIAA or MPAA manage to get into law).

I'd rather have the US than the UN anyway... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869233)

In general, the US can be browbeaten into keeping things neutral. SOPA/PIPA got shot down when China notified the US that blocking access to one of their sites would be similar to a naval blockade -- an act of war.

However, with the UN, this wouldn't happen. They can block sites at will, with zero recourse. Say someone in the US makes jokes about the Thai rulers. Their website can be dropped off the net. Similar if there is a site pointing out brutality in China or India. Poof, it is history, and there is no way to deal with it. The UN is subject to no law or no checks and balances.

That's not the half of it (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870121)

Say someone in the US makes jokes about the Thai rulers. Their website can be dropped off the net

You seem to think that ITU would continue the policy of "anything with an IP address can be a service provider (e.g. a web server)" -- I think ITU would divide Internet hosts into three or more classes: government, commercial service provider, and consumer. Government systems would have special privileges / no restrictions, but would have to serve a function of government (perhaps this could include propaganda). Commercial service providers would be things like Facebook, Youtube, etc. -- potentially run by the government, but not classified as government systems. Service providers would be required to obey the laws of any country whose citizens they provide service to so e.g. if you make fun of the Thai leader, you must not serve pages to Thai citizens. Consumers would not be able to operate servers at all, except as needed to participate in some system (e.g. a video game might need to listen on a particular port, but it would be illegal to run a web server or IRC server that listens on such a port).

So rather than a website that jokes about Thai monarchy being knocked off the net, the website would be required to refuse service to Thai citizens. Thus China would not need to block the NY Times with its Great Firewall; the NY Times would be required to refuse service to Chinese citizens.

What do you think ITU cares about more: national sovereignty, or promoting some hacker ideal about free communication?

it should be an anarchy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869237)

No one, the USA nor the UN should "control" the internet. Anyone should be free to set up DNS servers and anyone else free to use any they want.

Anyone having "control" only means that control will be used for evil purposes in time. It's inevitable. The internet is too important for that. Technical standards should be set by an apolitical body of engineers. There should be no other influence of governments or political bodies. No nation's laws should apply outside their borders.

So far the USA has caused some problems, but the UN will cause worse ones as it will grant more control to authoritarian governments which want religious based censorship.

Re:it should be an anarchy (1)

cpghost (719344) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869713)

Anyone should be free to set up DNS servers and anyone else free to use any they want.

The issue is with DNS itself. We need a fully distributed, and censorship-resilient name system, and not something that can be attacked at or near the root(s).

But all this DNS-talk is moot anyway: the REAL potential for censorship takes place at 1/ the Tier-1 backbones (withdrawing BGP route announcements), 2/ at international gateways (with selective access lists, e.g. the Chinese Firewall) and 3/ within corporate-owned mega-backbones, think Comcast and other big providers. This kind of censorship is distributed and doesn't depend on one single big central authority to enforce it.

And right now it is (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869945)

The US has "control" only in so far as everyone uses infrastructure (at least with regards to DNS) that is ultimately accountable to US companies. This is just de facto control, not de jure control. Anyone is free to set up their own alternate root system, from an individual up to a bloc of nations. Indeed there are other ones out there, just small ones. Larger ones can be set up. Nothing is stopping the EU from running their own root authority.

I can handle that kind of US control because it means that if push comes to shove, other people can do their own thing. The US has control only because others don't choose to exert the control they can have, it is a real anarchy. I do not want a system where the UN has statutory control, where people can't do their own thing because it is illegal per international treaty.

Other countries are free to roll their own... (4, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869243)

If control is what they want, they should invent, and pay for the development of their own internet equivalent themselves. Right now, all they own is their own servers and communications infrastructure.

Re:Other countries are free to roll their own... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869641)

And this is exactly what will happen if the US tries to further monopolize the internet. It could even be internet minus the US.

Re:Other countries are free to roll their own... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869699)

What, this old stupidity again? Inventing or discovering something does not mean you get to control it; after all, do you think American car manufacturers check with Germany every time they want to make a new car model? Does Italy get to dictate radio spectrum?

Re:Other countries are free to roll their own... (1)

jank1887 (815982) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870103)

" they should invent, and pay for the development of their own internet "

why? it's not patented. RFC's aren't private knowledge. if they currently are part of the internet, they likely have most or all of the hardware they need.

Times have changed (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869277)

It's not like the Old Days, when we can do anything we want. A refusal is not the act of a friend. If Don Corleone had all the judges, and the politicians in New York, then he must share them, or let us others use them. He must let us draw the water from the well.

Re:Times have changed (1)

jfalcon (163956) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869715)

Why do I have to pay for your well? Drill your own damn well is what Don Corleone should have said.

Typo in summary (4, Funny)

DanTheStone (1212500) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869385)

"Unitied Nations", seriously?

Re:Typo in summary (1)

Eddy_D (557002) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869763)

"Unitied Nations", seriously?

I guessed you missed the typo in the word internet then. I can understand a typo for UN in slashdot, but "interenet"... really? Hang your geek head in shame.

Re:Typo in summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40870211)

You are correct, but I can forgive that one. It's extremely common to have typos in link text, and it's also spelled correctly 3 times (though with inconsistent capitalization). Just more poor editing.

Being a Brazilian I say ... (5, Interesting)

superflit (1193931) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869391)

Do NOT handle ANY control to the brazilian government .
The first thing they will do is take down everything that will speak against their major corrupt politicianS (with big Plural) .
And the Brazilian LAW FORBIDS anonymity.

Brazil govt: PLEASE GO AWAY

There is several reasons why we buy: iphone (designed in US), use Facebook (made in US) and use Google (made in us).

And one of the reasons is that the US law and business way is more 'clear'.
(if you think I am wrong..do business in Brazil and you are going to see the red-tape/bribe Hell)

Russia and China?? Serious?? the same homies that are supporting the crazy lunatics?

The US president can be 'bad' but they are not MEAN like others.

Keep US control is the LESSER evil.

Re:Being a Brazilian I say ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869497)

I'm glad to know we're still somewhat well regarded somewhere. We've been becoming a lot more Brazilian lately. Cheney brought us a step closer to being the Germany of the 21st century. Lying to start a war that's killed several hundred thousand. I fear that at some point my country will be the nation that must be defeated in order to make the world safe; but thanks anyway.

All people should resist all central control (2)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869465)

All people should resist any central authority trying to take control over the Internet. Basically it is absolutely irrelevant who tries to do it, whoever gains control over the networks becomes the single point of failure, and if the control is real (true control with ability to shut networks down, disconnect networks etc.) then the question only becomes not 'if' but 'when' this central authority will use it for its nefarious purposes, and all purposes are nefarious when it comes to shutting down parts of the Internet (or the entire thing). Even little power in hands of people with an agenda is detrimental, never mind power to do the same over the entire Internet. [slashdot.org]

Conspicuous by their absence (2)

mooingyak (720677) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869563)

the push is backed not only by Russia, but China, Brazil and India as well

Names I *don't* see up there are ones like UK, France, Germany, or just about anyone in Europe.

Re:Conspicuous by their absence (1)

cpghost (719344) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869625)

Because the MAFIAA/IFPI-bought politicians in Europe are happy with the way the US censors^Wcontrols DNS already. In their minds: no further action needed. Copyright-based censorship is already in place, and they can blame the 800lb gorilla USA for enforcing it with domain seizures, so they don't have to take the heat for doing it themselves. It's the OTHER censorship, the political one, that the U.N. is trying to implement, in addition to the Copyright-based one.

Better solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40869619)

Rebuild EVERYTHING.

Since most of these people only care about the web, we will discuss the web.

Each country has its own ccTLD already.
Let them censor the hell out of that, let them regulate or not.
Create global TLDs. To be registered in these, you must operate in at least 3 or more countries. (they don't need to be physically present in said countries, selling directly there is enough)

Make a layer of common ID between each of these separate networks.
These can be used or not used, depending on the group in question.

PROBLEM SOLVED.
Oh, wait, the web already is like this now...

The Steve Jobs '95 Interview (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869653)

I think Jobs summed it up all very well in 1995. The Internet needs to be run as a public trust.

Here is the text (See The Internet section)
http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/comphist/sj1.html [si.edu]

And for those that have not seen it before, here is the video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=121ofj_l6vM [youtube.com]

I've never had the money to be a fan of apple stuff, but I like old tech interviews, especially when they talk about the future of the industry.

Meaningless - we already have interrupt devices (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869801)

Pretty meaningless, the US Navy already has cutters on most transoceanic cables and all the satellites have interrupt circuits.

The Internet is owned by America.

Healthy? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#40869877)

An internet where US lobbiers of patents, media and others pushes their own agendas over the government that controls internet, and had so many abuses over that so far? Maybe won't be so different if the UN is in charge, but is in pretty bad shape now.

Lesser evil -- and now a direction (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870201)

  1. US -- ICE hijacks DNS entries and can be circumvented with a browser extension.
  2. Countries pushing for UN control -- national firewalls, a constant cat-and-mouse game to circumvent those firewalls, requirements that ISPs participate in censorship, censorship of political opinions, censorship of news (facts), criminalization of the act of circumvention in addition to distributing circumvention tools, etc.

Now, I am not one to defend ICE or any of the US government's Internet censorship, but let's be clear: the difference between what China, Russia, and others are doing and what the US does is the difference between night and day.

The UN is not a government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40870013)

International Relations is basically "civilized anarchy", the UN is a device for governments, which ALL can act as they please, to coordinate, exchange information, etc. nothing more nothing less.

Because, as we've seen with Syria (1)

JBMcB (73720) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870019)

When the majority of the U.N. really, really wants to solve a problem, the U.N. can manage to accomplish nothing.

For all it's failures... (3, Insightful)

physicsphairy (720718) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870059)

The one thing the US does much better is protecting free speech. We can post pornography, hate speech (who defines that, by the way?), how to make bombs, things that our society and often our government both view as repugnant, but somehow, it's still legal. Not that we don't have occasional attacks on that, but our free speech tends to hold up in the end.

There are few places that would be as good as the United States to to host a network of free discourse. It may well be because of that that the most successful such network is based there.

The UN is a constituency of pro-censorship entities. The only reason they want to control the internet is so that they can control the internet.

this thread is all the evidence needed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40870083)

This thread is all the evidence needed to prove the USA are too dumb to look after the internet.

Hyperlinking? A BT invention. HTTP? Swiss.

Yet because you THINK you invented it (including the ones taking the piss out of Al Gore for saying he'd been instrumental in inventing it, go go self delusion...), you think is yours alone?

And the blind psnic? You need to grow brains and a sense of proportion before you can be treated like adults.

Simple, UN (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#40870191)

Build your own Internet. Then turn total control over it to power-mad dictators like Putin and the PRC, as is your wont...
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