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Showdown Set On Bid To Give UN Control of Internet

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the taking-the-wheel dept.

Government 316

wiredmikey writes "When delegates gather in Dubai in December for an obscure UN agency meeting, the mother of all cyber diplomatic battles is expected, with an intense debate over proposals to rewrite global telecom rules to effectively give the United Nations control over the Internet. Russia, China and other countries back a move to place the Internet under the authority of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a UN agency that sets technical standards for global phone calls. While US officials have said placing the Internet under UN control would undermine the freewheeling nature of cyberspace, some have said there is a perception that the US owns and manages the Internet. The head of the ITU, Hamadoun Toure, claims his agency has 'the depth of experience that comes from being the world's longest established intergovernmental organization.' But Harold Feld of the US-based non-government group Public Knowledge said any new rules could have devastating consequences. Some are concerned over a proposal by European telecom operators seeking to shift the cost of communication from the receiving party to the sender. This could mean huge costs for US Internet giants like Facebook and Google."

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On the one hand... (5, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#41803881)

On the one hand, we have the US and the insanity over copyright who randomly takes a small number of domains off line with no due process.

and...

On the other hand we have the rest of the world, who, to a greater or lesser extent take a large number of domains off line with no due process because of various censorship requirements.

I'm not American, but keeping the internet under the control of the US is far better than the alternative.

If you disagree, tell me one country which would do a better job. And then tell me how much influence they'd have over the ITU.

Re:On the one hand... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41803973)

...tell me one country which would do a better job...

That right there is your problem. The truth is that NO ONE WANTS ANY COUNTRY TO CONTROL THE INTERNET. PERIOD.

What people want for the internet is a persistent stateless anarchy, with no oversight or governence.

I disagree with you because I don't want either in control, to be honest.

In true internet fashion, I refute BOTH of your options, and write in my own.

Re:On the one hand... (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41804139)

So, the question becomes: How do we protect ourselves from these people to make sure nobody gets control, including our service providers, who can at ant moment cut us off completely?

Re:On the one hand... (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41804217)

Sure wish I could see.... ant -> any

Re:On the one hand... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41804471)

Pretty sure your service providers will always be able to cut you off.

Re:On the one hand... (3, Interesting)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41804541)

Exactly, so we need to make them obsolete. Mesh networks will probably do it, but they still aren't ready for prime time. But we have to start somewhere..

Re:On the one hand... (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41804927)

Mesh networks won't work worth a damn in the US.

Maybe in the metros and suburbs, but that's only about half of the population.

Re:On the one hand... (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 2 years ago | (#41804989)

+1 (I'm out of mod points atm).

Lots of wireless accesspoints using whatever internet connections available from the usual providers, turning them into dumb pipes. If one decides to do something stupid, it is easy to disconnect it.

This comes with the necessity of a strong crypto layer, to avoid inspecting by all the intermediate parties. We probably already have all the technology required for such a system. The only thing missing is the social initiative (which includes the initial funding).

Re:On the one hand... (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#41804513)

So, the question becomes: How do we protect ourselves from these people to make sure nobody gets control, including our service providers, who can at ant moment cut us off completely?

If you still support power structures where one man or group of men can 'legitimately' use force to make another man do his bidding, then stop doing so.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, "but *I* only want to force other people to do good things!" That's what they all say, and think. The FTC, the ITU, the UN, the OAS, et. al.

In the meantime, encrypt everything and work on getting global p2p DNS humming along nicely. If you're building a service that has popular support, do everything you can to ensure that it only works if these sorts of preventative measures aren't taken away (by force, for the children).

Re:On the one hand... (4, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41804167)

I think you're mistaken. I think every country wants to control the internet and very many people (certainly not the Chinese and others who live in Oppression States) would rather see their own country control it than a foreign entity.

Re:On the one hand... (3, Informative)

Enonu (129798) | about 2 years ago | (#41804393)

You write in your own, but you don't acknowledge the hierarchical DNS system which has a root managed by the IANA, a department of ICANN, based in Los Angeles, CA. Without providing a secure, non-centralized (those two tend to contradict each other) alternative to DNS, which every country in the world can agree to use as a replacement, your proposal can't go anywhere.

Re:On the one hand... (5, Insightful)

elloGov (1217998) | about 2 years ago | (#41804395)

NO ONE WANTS ANY COUNTRY TO CONTROL THE INTERNET. PERIOD. What people want for the internet is a persistent stateless anarchy, with no oversight or governence.

For the most part I agree agree with you in sentiment. However, there are those who want to control the internet, specifically governments and multi-national corporations whose sole business is built on IP and corporations who want even greater control over the physical infrastructure they currently maintain. With the dawn of something precious comes the vultures who want all of it under their control. This is mankind's nature. Through fear, propaganda, lobbying and sometimes force these vultures will eventually get their way. Cyber-attacks, piracy, SOPA, lack of bandwith, child pornography, ... It's all power grab.

Cyber-attacks - The door of company/gov't entity A was open and thieves stole X amount of value, therefore, everyone should send in their keys so we can protect you all, or better yet, we'll build one big door out front and decide who gets to come in and who does not. FUCK YOU, fix your security holes

Piracy - We push digital formats of IP that we own into the public domain with insufficient security and oversight. We are neither going to acknowledge our short-comings in protecting our IP nor are we going to adapt to the changing times and seek out new creative outlets for our products (i.e. rock band), instead we are going to lobby hard for the uber-privilege of regulating all content on the world wide web. FUCK YOU either evolve or don't publish your IP if you can't protect it.

In both of these instances, their fault is spun into request for greater control through fear (economical and national security). I draw a clear distinction between regulation of content and infrastructure. I too wish the internet to remain a "persistent stateless anarchy", however, there needs to be regulation and oversight of infrastructure, NOT content, when appropriate; i.e. detect/protect against DOS attacks, DNS spoofing, etc... But don't tell me what content I can consume and what content I can't.

Like you, I refuse the choose the lesser of the two evils.

Re:On the one hand... (5, Insightful)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 2 years ago | (#41804803)

Hacking probably isn't even the biggest threat on the internet, it's fraud, probably followed by something crazy like human trafficking : why CL requires you to have an account now. The problem is that governments want control over the internet in entirety, every last packet. While this may work for China & Iran because they control such things as the media & speech, the internet is right along those lines, but the problem is the rest of us, there's not a camera on every street corner (sorry UK), there's not a phone tap on every citizen, so why should the internet be controlled in such a manner? Most plans for the internet tend to incorporate something along the lines of such control. Having said that, in my opinion, we should let the internet control itself and treat crimes on it on a per case basis just like we do with everything else.

Re:On the one hand... (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#41804401)

This is the only correct option. Truth be told, either one group (ITU) or the other (US) is going to have to accept this, because the public is sending clear signals they will accept no less than complete and total lack of control.

Re:On the one hand... (4, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 2 years ago | (#41804537)

Unfortunately, history shows that the public ... will accept a lot of shit, especially if it is tracked into their living room one dirty shoe-full at a time. They only get upset if you ask them "would you like some crap on your carpet?". So, nobody is going to ask them.

Re:On the one hand... (4, Insightful)

elloGov (1217998) | about 2 years ago | (#41804685)

This is very true. A working man/woman simply doesn't have the time and resources and has much more to risk to dissent over such matters. More importantly, fear is the reason of not challenging such abuse of personal liberty. As civilized as we are, we all know deep down that if we dissent enough, we'll be dealt with, ultimately by force.

Re:On the one hand... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#41804447)

That right there is your problem. The truth is that NO ONE WANTS ANY COUNTRY TO CONTROL THE INTERNET. PERIOD.

Quite so.

But the thing is that someone has to have some kind of control, since if people don't agree on the basics then it doesn't interoperate.

Given that the US is (IMO) better than every single other country in the world, I don't see how a collection of countries would be better. Especially as it would include extremely censorship-happy countries like china.

In true internet fashion, I refute BOTH of your options, and write in my own.

Well, OK, then who should have the final control over the root DNS then? It ahs to reside somewhere.

Re:On the one hand... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#41804605)

What people want for the internet is a persistent stateless anarchy, with no oversight or governence.

Baloney, they want governance that's driven by the network operators. Or don't you think backbone providers should agree on peering arrangements, BGP carriage, etc.? The network operators work for their customers, so what people really want is customer regulation.

I think this is probably what you meant, but it's important to not play loose with the terms - those gaps are where States and NGO's sneak into the cracks.

Anyway, go support Tonika [mit.edu] if you're a tech person interested in making this happen on a massive scale.

Re:On the one hand... (4, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#41804811)

The truth is that NO ONE WANTS ANY COUNTRY TO CONTROL THE INTERNET. PERIOD.

Wrong! Every government wants *their* country to control the internet.

Period.

Re:On the one hand... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41803975)

If you disagree, tell me one country which would do a better job.

Iran. Then we could stop allowing blasphemy against the great prophet and Allah.

Re:On the one hand... (3, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41805041)

I can see it now:

"allah ACK!"

and

"the prophet, may packets be upon him"

Re:On the one hand... (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41804001)

I don't think you understand the way the ITU works, despite the fact it's been covered here many times now. Part the problem is as in the summary here a muddying of waters on the issue. For example, the threat of European telecomms operators has nothing to do with the UN taking over the internet as said law relates to the underlying telephony equipment and how charges are handled at that level. This is already something in the remit of the ITU, so has little relevance to an ITU takeover of say, ICANN's responsibilities.

As has been pointed out here before many times, the ITU works on consensus and as such the only way the European proposal could pass anyway is if the US supports it.

The reason I believe ITU control would be better than the status quo is quite simple - I believe that 193 vetoes (including the US') are a better safeguard against the passing of controversal changes to the internet, than simply relying on the US only to forever do the right thing.

It's a simple question as to whether it's better to have a single dictator determining some policy, or having unanimous support for a policy from near 200 people - I know which I'd rather put more faith in in ensuring the fairest option to all is chosen, and it's not the single point of failure option, but hands down the option that requires all 193 points of failure to fail, something that's unlikely to happen nad is inherently better anyway, when you consider that one of the 193 points of failure that has to fail is the single point of failure in the other option itself.

Re:On the one hand... (5, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41804041)

The US is the devil we know. It isn't perfect but by and large it leaves the Internet alone. The UN has this predilection for, quite frankly, giving very repugnant regimes equal say with democracies.

Leave it where it is.

The US will remain a player. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804143)

So in cases where the USA were "good" for the internet, THEY WILL REMAIN GOOD FOR THE INTERNET.

And guess what? In cases where the USA were "bad" for the internet, SOMEONE ELSE COULD BE GOOD FOR IT.

And please stop with the bollocks about "by and large it leaves the internet alone".

PS At least Saddam was a known devil. But you didn't want to leave him in charge, did you. Nor Iran.

Re:The US will remain a player. (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41804735)

I see no evidence of any country of note who would be better for the Internet than the US. Look at Australia and the UK, with governments falling over themselves to try to censor it.

Re:On the one hand... (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41804437)

You do know what the word "unanimity" means right? If not then go look it up and then come back and see why your post makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

It means every single member nation would have to vote on an issue for it to pass, including the US. For the ITU to change against this requirement of unanimity it would also in itself require a unanimous vote.

As such, how would said repugnant regimes subvert the process exactly? The only way your view makes sense is if they can gain support of the US, but if that happens other countries can still veto. How is that worse than the status quo exactly where if said repugnant regimes can win over the US, then can do so currently anyway without the safeguard of other nations?

The only downside of unanimity is that it can make processes of change slow, but as I think the internet is best left to evolve naturally anyway I'm not sure in the context of the internet that that's a bad thing.

Re:On the one hand... (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41804727)

The Internet does not need the UN. So why should the UN have any say over the Internet?

Re:On the one hand... (1, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41804793)

The Internet does not need the US. So why should the US have any say over the Internet?

Do you actually have any valid argument against it or are you just a nationalist? I'm failing to see how increased protection for the internet against bad laws is a bad thing. That's exactly what unanimous vote at the ITU grants it.

Re:On the one hand... (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41804865)

The Internet does not need the ITU. Hopefully within the next 10 to 15 years, any attempt at control, short of putting an ax through the wires, will be moot.

Re:On the one hand... (1, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41804949)

Really? is that your only argument? that what you say is right and that's all their is to it? you don't need any facts, evidence, or data to back up your point, you don't even have to make sense, it is the way you say it is and that's it? As I say, the internet doesn't need the US either.

I feel sorry for you I really do.

Re:On the one hand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804357)

Dude! The chinamen are not the issue here!

Re:On the one hand... (5, Insightful)

Artraze (600366) | about 2 years ago | (#41804595)

And that veto is cast by who, exactly? No one we elected, and no one that we really know. Are you so politically naive to think that those vetos and passes aren't going to be traded for others within the UN machine? And that the people that could be held accountable (elected representatives) can't so thoroughly distance themselves from the UN proceedings to make it a literal non-issue come election time?

It's not so much as 193 point of failure so much as 193 palms to grease. The UN has way more politicking than accountability and that's never a good thing. Do you really think that this would somehow prevent the Berne Convention (165 parties) won't be used as club to beat the ITU into line? Or that free speech [slashdot.org] isn't going to be a huge issue? And that we could see concessions made on that front in exchange for some other favor within the UN?

The long and the sort of is it that moving to to the UN spreads the accountability so thin as to be non-existent. At least with the US there is enough accountability (see the defeat of SOPA) and principal (see as one of the freest speech countries around) to keep the internet what it is.

Re:On the one hand... (3)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41804907)

What are you on about? the vetoes are passed by your national represenatives appointed by your government. Unless your government backs the stance then it can veto it.

The Berne convention passed precisely because the US government did want it, I'm failing to see how your argument eliminates the US government as still being a clear point of protection even under the ITU.

There isn't some separate entity at the ITU, it's still the representatives your government appoints.

"The long and the sort of is it that moving to to the UN spreads the accountability so thin as to be non-existent. At least with the US there is enough accountability (see the defeat of SOPA) and principal (see as one of the freest speech countries around) to keep the internet what it is."

Great, and what about counter-examples like ICE domain seizures? You're using a really weak tactic here to try and push your viewpoint with this and your mention of the Berne convention - it's called FUD. The Berne convention has nothing to do with the ITU and the US has done as much wrong as it's done right in terms of internet governance in recent years.

If the US hadn't carried out the ICE seizures, or if US citizens had protested against them and got them stopped I'd be with you, but this hasn't happened so we're already past the point where the US can pretend to be a protector of the freedoms of the internet.

Re:On the one hand... (4, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#41804621)

1, If control is transferred to ITU, pricing will become the new censorship.

2. Most legislatures put the lie to the concept of the wisdom of the masses. Leave this alone. The U.S. is not perfect, but I'm having a hard time choosing even three other nations that would be trustworthy enough for me. UK, France, Netherlands? No, wait... UK, Netherlands, israel? No, wait... OK, Netherlands, Japan? No, wait... UK, Japan, South Africa? Sorry, a third nation eludes me right now. All others are either too willing to go along with truly socialist options, or are corrupted by dictatorships/religious law/centralized government, or are just even more corrupt than the others.

Leave it alone. Pricing fixes itself when you realize the complainers have customers who will pay for the access. Pricing as censorship needs to be kept out of governance. Oversight masquerading as benevolence is neither. It is tyranny. And besides, the Internet will recognize it as damage and route around it.

Re:On the one hand... (2)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41804855)

"1, If control is transferred to ITU, pricing will become the new censorship."

Sure if the US supports it, so how is that any different to now where the US could support it anyway?

Re:On the one hand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804691)

While I agree with your statement and sentiment, Congress is a large body of people that in theory have the same protection based on numbers.

But it's well known that a single individual with enough money could purchase enough of them to swing a decision.

The problem is that Psychopaths both desire the power and have the necessary skills to acquire it. Would I trust the 200 people not be psychopaths? Or perhaps to vote for the betterment of society rather than the Addition to their bank account?

errrr.....uhhh...

Re:On the one hand... (4, Insightful)

CRC'99 (96526) | about 2 years ago | (#41804011)

If you disagree, tell me one country which would do a better job. And then tell me how much influence they'd have over the ITU.

I'm not sure if there is ANY country up for the job - hence the UN is supposed to represent everyones interests. With the downward spiral being the norm for the US these days, its more scary to me to have them in charge of anything. A few successful lobbies (read $$$$$$) and the internet that we know of is over. No country should have veto powers on the Internet. This includes the US.

Re:On the one hand... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804063)

the UN is supposed to represent everyones interests

And how's that working out so far?
For all its flaws, no other country anywhere takes free speech as seriously as the USA.

Re:On the one hand... (2, Informative)

ToadProphet (1148333) | about 2 years ago | (#41804205)

According to the Press Freedom Index [wikipedia.org] there are 46 countries that do it better, at least when it comes to freedom of the press.

Re:On the one hand... (5, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 2 years ago | (#41804539)

That index is complete and utter bullocks. UK better than US? Hardly. The UK can and does prohibit all sorts of "news" from being published, especially about the Royals, yet it ranks significantly higher than the US. This is an OPINION survey, not actual reality survey.

Sorry, but people who hate the US will always rate it lower than other more oppressive regimes simply because of hate.

On the other hand, our government arrested the maker of the video at the heart of the controversy with Bengazi. So, perhaps we are going down the road of Soviet Russia.

Re:On the one hand... (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#41804655)

He was arrested for violating parole. That was not a free-speech issue.

Bradley Manning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804791)

'nuff said.

Re:On the one hand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804251)

are you seriously THAT brainwashed?

Re:On the one hand... (3, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#41804813)

"No country should have veto powers on the Internet. This includes the US."

Um, that's the problem. The ITU and many other nations think that the US has veto powers over the Internet. Which it does, and has used so sparingly (if at all) that it is a moot point, even now.

It is worse than that (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41804047)

The ITU typically designs standards with two goals:
  1. Interoperability
  2. Promotion of service provider monopolies

You need not look any further than X.25 to see what sort of provisions the ITU would try to work into future Internet protocols.

Re:It is worse than that (1)

HexaByte (817350) | about 2 years ago | (#41804321)

Let's not forget, that the UN doesn't have enough money now, so they'll naturally have to put a tax on the internet to be able to afford to govern it.

Then, with the establishment of that precedent, they'll start asking for other taxes from us, too.

And the refusal for .xxx domains. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804097)

The unilateral insistence on US control of .com despite the RFC and the .co.us domain.
The blocklisting of TPB by the USA and its insistence on having EVERONE ELSE do the same (or be labelled an Axis of Evil).

Not forgetting THE USA IS PART OF THE UN!!!!!

Re:And the refusal for .xxx domains. (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about 2 years ago | (#41804577)

Lol, if you are going to point out the RFCs as a reason the US shouldn't have control of the .com domain, you should read the original RFCs first.

Re:On the one hand... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804197)

Don't forget other countries have leverage against the US. You think SOPA and PIPA were stopped by US citizens? Nope. It was stopped by other countries telling the US that if they blocked their sites, it would be similar to a naval blockade -- an act of war.

Now, in the hands of the UN, think there will be any leverage? Nope. What will happen is that the loudest people will get their mandates. Which means that anything that criticizes Islam will be banned on the spot, regardless of location. Same with anything Falun Gong or other political dissidents.

Of course, there is security. The UN has zero experience in dealing with Internet threats, so their ICANN replacement will be open season for attackers. One compromised CA, and any place in the world, anywhere can be spoofed.

Re:On the one hand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804515)

Don't forget other countries have leverage against the US. You think SOPA and PIPA were stopped by US citizens? Nope. It was stopped by other countries telling the US that if they blocked their sites, it would be similar to a naval blockade -- an act of war.

Er.. No, it was stopped when the fuckheads who proposed it realized that if they went through with it then they would be pissing off a very large portion of the technology industry that give them lots of money.

Re:On the one hand... (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about 2 years ago | (#41804571)

Shouldn't putting the Internet under UN control actually safeguard it from single countries' censorship attempts?

Re:On the one hand... (2)

Eil (82413) | about 2 years ago | (#41804603)

If you disagree, tell me one country which would do a better job. And then tell me how much influence they'd have over the ITU.

The nice thing about the design of the Internet and its protocols, is that no one controls the whole thing(1). Any given entity only has the ability to control their own access to it. This is something that the Internet has flourished because of, not in spite of. If you don't like the Internet as it currently stands, you always have the option to build your own and/or build a firewall to manage access between your subnet and the rest of the Internet at large. As much as we loathe China for blocking off large parts of the Internet from their citizens, they're at least doing it right. They're not standing up on stage and demanding that the whole world's Internet change for their sole benefit. They just built a firewall.

1. I understand, however, that this doesn't apply to certain Internet technologies such as DNS and SSL certificate chains of trust. These are broken by design and will never be fixed until they are fully decentralized.

Re:On the one hand... (1)

Yoda222 (943886) | about 2 years ago | (#41804781)

Iceland ?

Get over it already (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41803885)

X.25 lost and no, we are not going to put stamps on our packets.

Sender already pays (1)

biodata (1981610) | about 2 years ago | (#41803887)

Didn't these guys check the pricing models of all the cloud hosts?

Re:Sender already pays (1)

heathen_01 (1191043) | about 2 years ago | (#41803953)

But the sender has lots of money and only pays once. While they're making new rules, they should require that the sender pays me too...

Re:Sender already pays (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41804243)

It depends on what you're talking about. The sender pays for its storage and for copyrights that it passes on to the receiver and charges the receiver back for its service. But when it comes to email, the receiver pays most of the cost. This is why you receive so much spam. It costs the sender next to nothing and he has no concern over how much of your ISP's storage space he uses by sending his shit to every email address he can discover, think of or make up because the ISP has no way to charge it back to him. They charge you for it.

Re:Sender already pays (1)

poity (465672) | about 2 years ago | (#41804275)

And isn't most web data pulled by the receiver, not pushed by the sender? How can anyone justify the sender paying in such a context, except to mask the desire to grab money from deeper pockets?

Re:Sender already pays (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804531)

Stupid ass. Maybe you should learn how the fucking internet works. Dumb motherfucker.

Strings (0)

Wowsers (1151731) | about 2 years ago | (#41803891)

I'm no fan of what is widely seen as America pulling the internet this way and that, especially with the media cartels having politicians in their pockets, but the thought of the UN controlling the internet is even worse. Think of free speech, and kiss that goodbye.

Putting anything under UN control is scary (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41803901)

So, this is the same UN who keeps batting around the idea of making blasphemy universally illegal. Great! Can't wait to have them handling my internet traffic!

Re:Putting anything under UN control is scary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804129)

Yeah, since the US is also part of the UN, does that mean that the US also wants to make blasphemy universally illegal? Guess I just rendered your point moot (hummm... did you even had one to make?!).

Re:Putting anything under UN control is scary (2)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 2 years ago | (#41804327)

Nothing is more petulant and frivilous than when your writing includes filler words indicating periods of time where faux-thought is occurring.

You are the reason why we, the human race, can't have nice things.

Ideally... (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 2 years ago | (#41803965)

The TECHNICAL details of any cross-border communications method would be manged by either private actors or an international governing body or all affected governments working together, not by any one country's governing body or a private actor beholden to any one government.

The cross-border ECONOMIC details are best left to private industry. If governments have to become involved (e.g. to keep industry from running roughshod over customers, to prevent red-lining, to ensure universal access, to address taxation issues, etc.), then, as above, it should be a multi-national or international body making the decision, not one government imposing its will on everyone else.

Within a single country other than my own, regulation of the Internet isn't my business.

Re:Ideally... (3, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41804119)

You cannot separate the technical details from the economic details. Imagine, for example, a technical specification that separates nodes into "consumer" and "service" systems; it is almost certain that ISPs would enforce the distinction between clients and servers, charging large amounts of money for connecting a "service" node to the network.

Now, would ITU actually do such a thing? Probably. In fact, almost certainly. That sort of distinction can be seen in numerous other ITU standards and proposals. Take a look at NGN some time...

Pick your master (4, Interesting)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#41803993)

So what, we get to choose between control by Big Content or Big Brother? At the moment Big Content appears to be the more benign choice.

Re:Pick your master (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804091)

This is the same UN that said free speech is imperative, but religious tolerance trumps it.

Re:Pick your master (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41804347)

It has ever been thus, and the wise nation has a strong constitution limiting the number of things those with power can enforce throuh government. The power itself is the problem, not what's done with it.

US sucks at managing the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804009)

But every other option is worse.

Besides, as China and Iran have shown, countries can still manager, or try to manage, the Internet within their own boundaries.

How do you know every other option would be worse? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804317)

Besides, there are 165 other countries other than the USA, China and Iran. Each of those would have to agree to something. If the USA would agree with it, then even if the USA remained in charge, that would STILL HAPPEN.

So please show us your evidence for "every other option is worse".

Or was that just complete self-satisfied bollocks because YOU happen to be in the country in charge? As one numbnut american said once, "it's good to be the president".

Decentralize it (1)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | about 2 years ago | (#41804031)

The idea of someone "owning" the internet is pretty ridiculous. Between the IANA and maybe a revisit of the ol' DNS infrastructure guidelines, I don't think anyone globally would need to have the final say.

Re:Decentralize it (1)

ichthus (72442) | about 2 years ago | (#41804529)

No it isn't. The USA owns the internet.

We also own the moon [milkandcookies.com] -- ever since our astro men landed there and planted Old Glory firmly on the surface.

Ads? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804149)

Some are concerned over a proposal by European telecom operators seeking to shift the cost of communication from the receiving party to the sender. This could mean huge costs for US Internet giants like Facebook and Google.

And ad networks. Imagine what would happen to those scumbags if they had to pay for us to see their crap over and over again. Annoying the shit out of us would no longer be profitable...

Copyright censorship vs political censorship. (0)

fufufang (2603203) | about 2 years ago | (#41804151)

If US retains the control, we will see global censorship based on copyright claims, like what's happening right now.

If we let UN to take control, we will still see global censorship based on copyright claims, as US will exert large influence on the Internet and the UN. We can also get the bonus of possibly international censorship policies coming from places like China and Middle East countries.

Now take you pick...

Political censorship is very different to copyright censorship. Not being able to express discontent about your president is very different to not being able to "pirate" some films.

Re:Copyright censorship vs political censorship. (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41804313)

Not being able to express discontent about your president is very different to not being able to "pirate" some films.

No, not on a technical level... and that's what it comes down to.

Don't mess with a formula for success (4, Interesting)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41804155)

The internet works because everyone forwards everyone else's packets, costs are low and regulation is low.

Please don't mess with that formula or you'll make the internet become a lot like the older forms of media it is replacing.

People seem to think that increased regulation is the solution. I'm not so sure. I think big companies tend to find ways to manipulate regulation more than small ones do.

Roll it back to 1993 and keep the open, free and wild west internet.

Re:Don't mess with a formula for success (3, Insightful)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41804353)

Please don't mess with that formula or you'll make the internet become a lot like the older forms of media it is replacing.

But that's clearly the objective here... or is it really not that obvious??

Re:Don't mess with a formula for success (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#41804425)

Exactly, and not only that who else is pushing for it? Older media.

So, what will be the end result? if they really do push for this we'll end up replacing the internet, just like every other technology that becomes dated because a bunch of idiots who don't understand it make it crap.

This cycle seems to appear frequently (1)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41804649)

if they really do push for this we'll end up replacing the internet, just like every other technology that becomes dated because a bunch of idiots who don't understand it make it crap.

I notice this happens a lot, unnervingly frequently. Not just with technologies, but also with brands.

There's a local sandwich shop here that eventually got popular enough to be sold. The new owners must've known some MBAs, because portions shrunk, quality of ingredients declined, but service, speed and uniformity improved. It's now much more convenient (like 1500%, if you don't mind a semi-facetious hyperbolic estimate) to get the sandwiches, even if they're $1 more.

What they didn't grok was that the audience who kept this business going was very specific. It was composed of people who liked the sandwiches because they were high quality, at a decent price, and reasonably convenient. By raising the price and lowering quality, the shop squeezed out this audience, and transitioned to the same people buying other types of fast food. In doing so, they've lowered the quality of their brand as perceived by the general public, and set themselves on a course for being unexceptional and thus not particularly sought, where before they had a die-hard constituency.

This seems to happen a lot. Why, I wonder.

Fuck the UN (3, Insightful)

gavron (1300111) | about 2 years ago | (#41804169)

The Internet thrives because it's free of the bullshit that the UN and the ITU would impose on it. If they had a hand in it, it wouldn't be what it is today.

FUCK THE UN. Let the ITU continue to manage international phone calls. They tariff'd those to expensive death.

The United States invented the Internet. The United States BUILT the Internet. The UN can go take a flying leap.

Please don't mod me down for language. English is my second language and perhaps I don't express myself as well as I might if I could speak my native tongue. When I say FUCK THE UN what I'm trying to say is "FUCK THE UN!!!"

Ehud

Re:Fuck the UN (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804297)

The United States BUILT the Internet.

Not in most places, no it didn't.

Re:Fuck the UN (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804961)

Your English is beautifully expressive, and as a native English speaker and college graduate, I am in a position to give you at least qualified assurances that your English is also grammatical, clear, natural, and precise. Well done.

Let them build their own (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804187)

They want to control it, let them build their own;

For various reasons they ALL agreed to our control when they signed up, got their country codes, IP address allocations, etc.

We've gone well out of our way to give them everything thy could ever want. In fact now the complaint isn't about any single tangible thing; they will get 'nothing' out of this, other than control.

Well.. build your own.

You did it for GPS (galileo, glonass, a few more even); do it again.

What, you can't because the US has most of the technology you want to use? So what good is this 'control' you seek if even AFTER that we still have 'control'?

Your fly might be open (but don't check it) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804201)

what now i know YOUR not spying
im not wearing pants or anything with a zipper

Follow the money (2, Interesting)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | about 2 years ago | (#41804203)

"...Some are concerned over a proposal by European telecom operators seeking to shift the cost of communication from the receiving party to the sender. This could mean huge costs for US Internet giants like Facebook and Google."" The real reason.

The UN? (2)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | about 2 years ago | (#41804249)

You mean the body that, by flexing its muscle and getting everyone to agree when all hope was lost, has prevented countless wars and solved dozens of conflicts for 70 years?

Yes, a thousand times yes!

Re:The UN? (1)

HexaByte (817350) | about 2 years ago | (#41804457)

You mean the body that, by flexing its muscle and getting everyone to agree when all hope was lost, has prevented countless wars and solved dozens of conflicts for 70 years?

I'm sorry, but are you a visitor from a parallel universe where the U.N. actually works?

Re:The UN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804695)

The UN is often like a spam filter: you only see it when it doesn't work.

Blinders (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804253)

I can't say whether it would be better or worse for the ITU to "control the internet", especially since the article doesn't even explain what control it is about (DNS? BGP routes? IANA? ...). But the article does contain a whole lot rosy-coloured-glasses stuff:

"These proposals, from the Russian Federation and several Arab states, would for the first time explicitly embrace the concept that governments have a right to control online communications and disrupt Internet access services," Feld said on a blog post.

"This would reverse the trend of the last few years increasingly finding that such actions violate fundamental human rights."

As others have already mentioned, the US everything but shies away from doing those things. It isn't carrying out drone strikes yet, but getting sites removed from Google [nytimes.com] because they offer travel to Cuba (from Spain!) to taking down various sites (often hosted outside the US) for infringing on US copyright law are fairly common.

Rohmeyer said it was unclear whether a conspiracy was at hand, but that "the suggestion that the Internet is a dangerous place could be used to justify greater controls."

Yes, because the US would never do that. *cough* Echelon *cough* warrantless wiretapping *cough* Thomas Drake [democracynow.org] *cough* *cough* *cough*

Observers are also troubled by a proposal by European telecom operators seeking to shift the cost of communication from the receiving party to the sender.

Yes, because US telecom operators are completely united in favour of network neutrality and would never dare to make Google pay [slashdot.org] for the massive bandwidth use triggered by youtube and the like.

Well Known.. (3, Insightful)

lionchild (581331) | about 2 years ago | (#41804369)

While it could easily be said for the US government as well, the UN is not really well known for doing anything well, or effeciently. While ICANN does have to come under the laws of the US, it would have to come under the laws of someone else, depending on what country it was based in, but at least it's got a track record for having some control over how things work.

Oh, wonderful. (3, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | about 2 years ago | (#41804389)

The US has not been the best of stewards, but has nevertheless proven itself a much better henhouse guard than the foxes would be.

Re:Oh, wonderful. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#41805009)

This is quite true. Especially after various muslim countries have started screaming that they want censorship on the intertubes to "protect people from defaming their precious prophet" the most recent case Saudi Arabia. [jpost.com]

Yay I am happy! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804433)

Collectivists can ALWAYS be trusted to make sure Individual Inherent rights are respected and protected!!!!

They are doing it for ALL out OWN good, right?

So if they are doing it for the "Collective Good" I am sure they will first start with making sure individual rights to post whatever we wish to express our feeling will most certainly be respected!

Re:Yay I am happy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804829)

Collectivists can ALWAYS be trusted to make sure Individual Inherent rights are respected and protected!!!!

They are doing it for ALL out OWN good, right?

So if they are doing it for the "Collective Good" I am sure they will first start with making sure individual rights to post whatever we wish to express our feeling will most certainly be respected!

We know it's you roman_mir/udachny. Report to the Finnish Nightmare Collectivist Re-Education Ministry immediately.

I don't know... (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 2 years ago | (#41804455)

I don't know about all of the stuff being proposed, but I kind of like the idea of shifting the costs back to mega corporations like Google and Facebook. Maybe then, they would few the users as customers instead of the product to be sold to others.

No existing nation/organization should control it (2)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | about 2 years ago | (#41804593)

I propose that the Internet be declared a sovereign entity or a federation of sovereign entities (one per nationwide network, perhaps) similar to the way the Holy See is a sovereign entity (headed by the Pope) with whom nations can maintain diplomatic relations. I nominate Vint Cerf for the title of chairman of the Internet Federation (in part due to his RFC 3271 [ietf.org] .) The Internet Foundation would be responsible for global guidelines that nationwide networks must follow to be considered part of the Internet; nationwide networks would be allowed to come up with other guidelines as long as they don't violate the global guidelines.

un internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804725)

how can we stop this who do we write to

UN can control the internet when they build one... (4, Funny)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#41804751)

In the meantime, the internet (formerly a DARPA project, and funded by the USA's taxpayers) can stay under USA's control, thank you very much. If the UN feels the need to steal something they didn't create, try Argentinian beef. Isn't that a world resource, after all?

Easy Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41804763)

1. Setup high tech fancy control room full of big screen monitors displaying lots of colored maps and whirling thingamajigs.
2. Tell the UN this is the control room for the Internet.
3. Let them play.
4. Everybody's happy.

They can't do worse than ICANN (3, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 years ago | (#41804957)

ICANN is an epic failure. The UN couldn't be more incompetent if they set out with that as a goal.
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