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Russia, China, and Others Seek Greater Control Over Internet

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the whoever-controls-the-cat-pictures-controls-the-universe dept.

The Internet 174

kodiaktau writes "A proposal put forth by Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates seeks greater international control and government of internet addressing. 'A leaked draft (PDF) of the Russia-led proposals would give countries "equal rights to manage the Internet including in regard to the allotment, assignment and reclamation of Internet numbering." This could allow governments to render websites within their borders inaccessible, even via proxy servers or other countries. It also could allow for multinational pacts in which countries could terminate access to websites at each others' request.' The move would basically undermine ICANN and decentralize control of internet addressing: 'The revision would give nations the explicit right to "implement policy" on net governance and "regulate the national Internet segment," the draft says.'"

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Oh FFS (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42232947)

Well, I knew it was coming. No "free" source of information can remain free forever. Here's to hoping they fail.

Re:Oh FFS (4, Insightful)

Armakuni (1091299) | about a year and a half ago | (#42232961)

They likely won't fail completely. They will get some small victory, at least. Next time, they will get a little more. And the time after that. This is too important to governments to ever give up.

Re:Oh FFS (5, Insightful)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42232973)

They likely won't fail completely. They will get some small victory, at least. Next time, they will get a little more. And the time after that. This is too important to governments to ever give up.

Sometimes I fear that I'll be telling my grand kids about how I remember when the internet was free. Actually, my biggest fear is that they'll be so indoctrinated they'll compare it to the wild west, and tout how all the regulation of the mature internet made it a safer place. I fear they'll just file my complaints about lack of freedom under "old man rambling" category.

Serenity's Core Planets (5, Interesting)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233013)

This reminds me of the scene at the beginning of Serenity in which the children question why the Browncoat rebels would reject civilized living.

Re:Serenity's Core Planets (5, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233189)

Remember that the next time some idiot starts blathering about the need for gun control. Freedom can be dangerous. The most dangerous thing of all is an idea.

Take away people's ability to defend themselves, then take away people's ability to educate themselves. The last hurdle is taking away people's ability to think for themselves.

"1984" was a warning, but a lot of governments seem to be using it as an instruction manual.

Re:Serenity's Core Planets (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233385)

Then wouldn't it be wise of us to read a copy of Sun Tzu's Art of War and take them out that way?

Re:Serenity's Core Planets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233889)

"1984" was a warning, but a lot of governments seem to be using it as an instruction manual."
So damn true!

Re:Serenity's Core Planets (1)

Gonoff (88518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233997)

Take away people's ability to defend themselves,..

I am not sure how having a load of armed civilians around me would make me feel freer. They certainly would not make me feel safer!

Re:Serenity's Core Planets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42234739)

You aren't thinking it through, then.

A) having a gun doesn't automatically make a person stupid, evil, or dangerous. Nearly all advocates of right-to-carry are also advocates of mandatory training courses, too.

B) Criminals seek easy targets. If there is risk that a target (or group of targets) may resist with lethal force, the criminals move on to other targets.

Your armed neighbors make you safer because they discourage violent crime in the area as a whole, just by virtue of having guns, even if they never use them.

People with an irrational fear of guns tell themselves very strange stories about how self-defense situations play out and where the benefits come from. The truth is simple, and the value of a well-armed society is real. Also, freedom is important. And lastly, the way hollywood portrays shootings is ludicrous, but unless you have been trained you have no idea what is realistic and what isn't.

Re:Serenity's Core Planets (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42234907)

If you don't like guns, you are free to not own them.

If you force your neighbors to relinquish THEIR guns, then you are taking away THEIR freedom, and thus YOU are the oppressor.

See how that works? You can't both have freedom and also stop others from doing things you don't like.

 

Re:Serenity's Core Planets (4, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233275)

What's interesting here is that these countries already have plenty of control over the internet at home. They want to extend that control further abroad.

Re:Serenity's Core Planets (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233867)

you hit the nail on the head. they already have all the control they NEED (over their own people).

thread over; you win.

Re:Oh FFS (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233047)

my 7yo logged on to his 1st Linux desktop at age 2. He wants anything between him and flash games gone.

Re:Oh FFS (2)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233279)

I already tell them that The Internet used to be about content and not about advertising. And they are not even grandkids or kids. They are people of my own age.

I remember the outcry when sites did not just had one but TWO banners.

Re:Oh FFS (4, Insightful)

kesuki (321456) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233533)

you can do something about that here and now.
the government tried taking away alchohol, the people stopped following laws.
it's not like the government can just make us think whatever they want us to think. even if they control the information people find ways to fact check, there have been people who sneak in digital cards with non state approved data on them in countries with tight controls.. before that they snuck in microfilm, and used whatever magnafier they could find.
before that they printed papers and before that they wrote cyphers that could be decoded with innocent looking canes.
the government has a contract with the people not just the top 1% they truly are the servants of all the people. the sooner they realize they are servants the better.
the internet isn't free on the whole earth and probably never will be, freedom is fought for daily, almost everywhere. i know a lot of smart people and i know that i benefited greatly from freedom on the internet, maybe the internet will be reduced to walled gardens, but for some reason i think people will not tolorate the loss of the 'free' internet.

Re:Oh FFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233911)

"i think people will not tolorate the loss of the 'free' internet"
Well said, I hope you're right.

Wild west (4, Insightful)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233705)

Nostalgia aside, there are significant parallels to the wild west.

- The Internet has been a place of wide open spaces and unparalleled freedom.
- Everybody who wanted to could go stake a claim (domain name) somewhere, for next to nothing.
- If you don't protect your own turf (Web site, community, etc.), often nobody else will.
- Peddlers (Web ads) roam around selling goods you probably don't want or need, only to disappear when the goods don't turn out to be what was advertised.
- Outlaws lurk around the periphery, and sometimes roam around causing damage to established communities, or you own computer.

The wild west could not stay wild. As it became a more popular place to live, the old free-for-all could no longer be sustained. People demanded security and enforcement of laws to protect themselves and their communities. Whether we like it or not, the same thing will happen / is happening to the Internet. We must be vigilant to ensure that the new, "civilized" Internet is a place where people will want to live.

Re:Wild west (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42234193)

They wanted laws, not censorship. There is a difference.

Re:Wild west (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42234263)

There are parallels, but that doesn't mean the same changes are necessary or certain. The Wild West had to change as the population increased and resources diminished. The internet doesn't have those limits. We won't suddenly "run out" of websites[1]. Reddit isn't going to have to turn people away due to lack of food. And, no matter how insecure your personal site is, you are probably not going to get shot through it unless the sheriff is around at the time[2].

I guess all I'm trying to say is, there are significant differences between a physical place people lived in, and a communication method people that use, and these differences probably make it less useful than you'd imagine to extrapolate predictions on one from history of the other.

[1] Yes, we hit the IPv3 limit, and there's a theoretical upper limit to bandwidth, domain name availability, digital storage space etc. None seem to be obstacles that are urgent, practical, or insurmountable. [2] Yes, if you annoy someone online and they can get your address, they can theoretically come to your house and shoot you. This isn't anything unique to the internet.

Re:Wild west (-1, Offtopic)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#42234463)

Yeah well those are the same people who then wonder why they live in a state where KGB/stasi/DHS-like organizations stuffed them into a no-rights prison for eternity They deserve their tyranny for their laziness and entitlement attitudes. if they want freedom, they must fight for it, every day.

Your whole argument is based on popularity. I say fuck that. If you can't handle the real world, get out.. go back to the 'cities' where everything is locked down and controlled and 'safe.' In the case of the internet, just quit using it if you can't figure out the braindead simplicity of security 101.

Re:Oh FFS (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233031)

Don't pretend the US administration, donkey or elephant regardless, doesn't want this. Even our voice in the negotiations (the arguably honourable senator CONroy) is against these changes but being a lawyer with no understanding of tubes he may be hoodwinked into total control.

Re:Oh FFS (5, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233177)

Don't pretend the US administration, donkey or elephant regardless, doesn't want this.

Okay, I won't pretend. They don't want this.

The primary reason is that it's simply bad for business. Secondarily, they simply don't want Internet governance to become a matter of political and diplomatic negotiation with countries that don't love them. Tertiarily: There's a reason the EU, Canada, Japan and Australia are all lined up against these proposals: They actually do occasionally give a shit about human rights. I know it's not au fait to think so, but it's true.

And regarding delegates' stupidity: Judge for yourself [readwrite.com] whether the US Ambassador to this event sounds stupid or not.

Re:Oh FFS (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233563)

True, they don't need it, but quite for the reasons you suggest, though your statement that it's "bad for business" is spot on. Business, in particular the telecom industry and to a lesser extent the legacy "content providers" RIAA and MPIAA, dictates the rules to our government. Paid toadies (congressmen and senators whose elections were paid for by "business", simply rubber stamp those policies. Want proof? Look no further than the retroactive immunity granted to all the telecom players for the blatant civil rights violations those companies perpetrated at the behest of a run-away administration. Why tie your hands with international treaties when all you have to do is make a few phone calls and get the rules changed so that your position remains protected?

Re:Oh FFS (1)

jovius (974690) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233963)

The primary reason is that it's simply bad for business.

Well, you don't need a state to control the Internet.

Besides: censorship mechanisms are actively in place in many of the advanced western societies because of content piracy, and more often something new to block is proposed by concerned politicians. One of the problems raised is specifically the fact that the actions have no effect on the original sites. Darknets and Tor kind of systems are increasingly too under fire.

It's not so far fetched to think that US, EU and the other parties could come to an agreement. The common denominator could well be the protection of the businesses, children and whatnot from the terrorists du jour and to liberate people to the lap of government sanctioned information. The present basis is awkwardly similar although implementations differ. The argument is about who gets to set the rules and not so much about about the control mechanism itself.

Re:Oh FFS (1, Troll)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233315)

They don't want this... because they have it already, and are taking a big advantage of it. Most of the internet information passes already thru them, and they freely inspects everything that goes thru. Maybe there are some legal protection against abuses for US citizens (diminishing each day) but never were for foreigners.

I would prefer a way to control that isnt control, for anyone, specially including the major offender today: US.

Re:Oh FFS (2)

Kergan (780543) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233525)

Don't pretend the US administration, donkey or elephant regardless, doesn't want this.

I wouldn't be as sure as you are. The current situation is in their best political interest, in every manner you can possibly imagine, and they've no material reason to make the slightest concessions. Think about it for a moment, and forget for a moment that they wouldn't mind banning an islamic website or three...

They currently control ICANN et al. If they cave in to the demands of authoritarian States, they'll need to forfeit ICANN. So this is dead in the water to start with. Not to mention the NSA.

Also, consider that for every website or page that the US seeks to take down through courts (e.g. torrent sites, hacker sites, the occasional prophet caricature, etc.), there are millions upon millions of other pages that the likes of China or Iran can do absolutely nothing about. These broadcast the Western lifestyle in its full glory, complete in its individualism and variety, its freedom of speech, its demands for democracy and transparency, its shameless cult of wealth and well being, its abundance of scientific knowledge and know how, its undaunted religion bashing, its supremely libertine sex practices, its borderline-rabid feminists, et cetera, ad nausea. Adding insult to injuries, pesky plebeians who question their situation to the point of deciding to take down (and occasionally shoot) their oppressors do so live over the internet. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

Re:Oh FFS (1)

amoeba1911 (978485) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233061)

I agree, it will be a gradual change, at each step we'll lose a bit more one day we'll wake up and there will be no Internet. American lawmakers are already pushing their own agenda trying desperately to gain control of this beast that has escaped. It's only matter of time until greedy bastards ruin everything. Greed disgusts me.

'Controlling' the internet? Good luck with that. (4, Interesting)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233181)

With today's centralized structure of backbone connections, it shouldn't be too hard for governments to 'squeeze the pipes'. Which for most users, should do the job of blocking 'undesired' sites. I don't see why a government would even need the help of outside organizations (or other countries) for that.

Technically inclined users will be able to find ways around that. And it'll be very hard (if not impossible) to stop those users. That is, unless a government is prepared to f**k with such basics as encrypted connections. Which would make many legitimate uses (eg. online banking, webmail) impossible too. So from a government's POV it's basically a choice between "no internet at all", or "a mostly controlled internet, but with loopholes for those who know to find them".

With wireless routers becoming very common, it's not hard to imagine that some mesh networking protocol will pop up. Retrieve firmware from your neighbor (to get around what government allows to be sold commercially), upload to your router @ home, send messages around the net by passing them to a neighbor's router, that router passing it onto the next neighbor, and so forth a 100 times until it reaches its destination. All in P2P style with full use of encryption technology. Maybe not efficient (or a replacement for general web browsing), but good luck blocking that.

Control? Easy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233597)

Step 1: Pass law making it illegal.
Step 2: Make trucks that drive around neighborhood detecting "Illegal Signals" that issues "Ticket" for amount that will ruin the average person financially.
Step 3: Those who don't pay their fines and show up to court, send the SWAT team to kill their dog, their children, and themselves.
Step 4: Make the whole operation outsourced and privatized (because gov't can't do anything right and private companies can do it cheaper)
Step 5: Profit!

Notice, there is no ??? step.

Re:Oh FFS (1)

flyneye (84093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233627)

Yeah, they will control the internet within their borders. Smells like victory to me, oops, no, that's fish from yesterday.
I'm so sure that somewhere, some country is saying, I bet the internet would be better if we just let China/Russia step up and control what we read/do, what a bargain!
Man you must be a psychic or something.

News Flash (2)

flyneye (84093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233611)

Russia, China and others seek power over others. Shocking surprise. More shocking, no one trusts them enough to give them a f**king drop of it outside their borders. Film at 11 with pie charts,timelines and product placement.

Control (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | about a year and a half ago | (#42232953)

Control of internet numbering.. so these countries don't want to move from IPv4 to IPv6 to aid in their controlling of device / service blocks?

Looks perfectly in line with the ITU (5, Interesting)

Halo1 (136547) | about a year and a half ago | (#42232967)

From the official speech [itu.int] delivered by the ITU's secretary-general at the first Plenary of World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai last week:

We have the power to create a brave new world, where social and economic justice prevails – together.

And no, that quote is not taken out of context.

Re:Looks perfectly in line with the ITU (3, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233145)

"Social and Economic Justice" = Totalitarianism in a nutshell.

Re:Looks perfectly in line with the ITU (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233175)

"Social and Economic Justice" = Totalitarianism in a nutshell.

I completely disagree with that statement, although it can be perfectly abused for that purpose of course. Then again, so can "spreading democracy".

Re:Looks perfectly in line with the ITU (4, Insightful)

Halo1 (136547) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233197)

Seems like my browser decided to log me out. So, again, logged in this time:

"Social and Economic Justice" = Totalitarianism in a nutshell.

I completely disagree with that statement, although it can be perfectly abused for that purpose of course. Then again, so can "spreading democracy".

Re:Looks perfectly in line with the ITU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233775)

The key to "spreading Democracy" is establishing the Rule of Law.

Social and Economic "Justice" is not compatible with the Rule of Law. It is only achieved through the Rule of Men.

Example: Obama sees that Sandra Fluke apparently can't afford Birth Control so he unilaterally declares that Birth Control must be covered and in doing so violates [lifesitenews.com] the Constitution.

Social and Economic "Justice" demands that the Constitution be Damned and that the end result is more important.

When a sitting president laments he lacks dictator like powers [weaselzippers.us] you have to start taking a hard look at where we are as a society

Re:Looks perfectly in line with the ITU (0)

Halo1 (136547) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233891)

The key to "spreading Democracy" is establishing the Rule of Law.

You're seriously arguing that the foundation of George W. Bush' Iraq war was even remotely related to "establishing the Rule of Law"?

As for your examples: all they show is that governments can (try to) abuse their powers. There's nothing fundamental about social or economic justice in your examples. Or are you going to claim that warrantless wiretapping is also related to social and economic justice?

And of course the world is larger than the US. At least in my country several social and economic justice measures are fully entrenched in the law and compatible with our constitution (including abortion).

Re:Looks perfectly in line with the ITU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233209)

For some context - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World [wikipedia.org]

Also, the entire speech in the link above is worth reading - it's jaw-droppingly pompous, egotistical and pretentious.

Re:Looks perfectly in line with the ITU (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233287)

The Internet is such a great success today, precisely because the ITU was not involved with it. If it was their creation, it would be their right to regulate it. The other countries just want a piece of the action of Internet control because it is now such an important resource to the economy of the world.

Well, so is crude oil . . . so should the UN also declare that crude oil is a world resource and crude oil exploitation and distribution be regulated by the UN? Saudi Arabia might not be so happy about that.

Time for a political solution.... (5, Funny)

gadget junkie (618542) | about a year and a half ago | (#42232977)

Instead of opposing it and then caving in, The western world could rip a page off the dictatorships' book: "the proposal has merit, but it has to be studied thoroughly: We could form a committee with ,oh, all the countries in the world, chaired by a non aligned country, Tuvalu [internet domain: *.tv], and wait until they come with a legal and technical proposal behind which a qualified majority, for example enough countries representing 95% of world population and internet domains, gathering at least 85% of the number of countries involved, could be found. Do you mind if we of the ole US of A get represented by all the 50 states individually? We know for a fast that Canada wants to do likewise, and to be fair, all the European countries have a vote each, so it would only be fair..... See you in 3.100 AD, ok? Of course, if some technical advance has taken hold in the meantime, the whole process has to be restarted."

Re:Time for a political solution.... (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233025)

Where are the damned bureaucrats when we need them? You can definitely count on the EU, we even gathered our best bureacrats and placed them in one spot to concentrate their paperwork-producing powers.

Re:Time for a political solution.... (1)

gadget junkie (618542) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233821)

Where are the damned bureaucrats when we need them? You can definitely count on the EU, we even gathered our best bureacrats and placed them in one spot to concentrate their paperwork-producing powers.

Begging your pardon, it's untrue. we gathered our best bureaucrats in TWO places, Strasbourg and Brouxelles. According to, guess what, a committee, cutting one would save about 180 mln EUR a year [brusselsst...rgstudy.eu] . I am also guilty, in my original post, of not having put in fat salaries for the committee members. Nothing like an entitlement to make a problem into an eternal problem, see also the common agricultural policy [wikipedia.org] .
Personally, I think that any entity willing to have two capital cities and spend half its budget on a sector representing less than 5% of its gross domestic products is fit to be tied. But then, it's just silly me.

Re:Time for a political solution.... (0)

bbelt16ag (744938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233039)

go go gadet!!!! wow, i never thought of doing it that way.

Re:Time for a political solution.... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233121)

Instead of opposing it and then caving in, The western world could rip a page off the dictatorships' book:

. . . and impose martial law on the Internet.

. . . it couldn't be worse than letting Sudan and Algeria run it.

They don't like it as it is? Ok, let them build their own, with ITU ISO OSI protocols.

They will need access to our Internet, more than we will need access to theirs.

Folks on /. have been complaining about US control (4, Interesting)

StormyWeather (543593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42232983)

Now is their chanc to experience the awesomeness ofRussian and Chinese control.

Re:Folks on /. have been complaining about US cont (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233193)

Now is their chanc to experience the awesomeness ofRussian and Chinese control.

You are right. The vote for the lesser evil is still a vote for evil.

The West should stop censoring the Internet too (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233303)

I assume your statement's laced with sarcasm.

The moral standpoint of the US and other liberal democratic countries to resist such proposals is compromised by these countries' eagerness to "censor" the Internet for something as trivial as copyright infringement. However "evil" you might think it is, copyright infringement doesn't lead to ANY civil disturbance. On the other hand, the Arabs can argue that the propagation of anti-religious media like Innocence of Muslims can trigger riots and hence pose a security threat. Similar arguments may be made by the Chinese and the Russians.

We might see such justifications as flawed. But so is the argument that sites that promote copyright infringement or the sale of fake designer goods should be taken off the Internet.

Re:The West should stop censoring the Internet too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233415)

If you equate copyright infringement takedowns with censorship you're just proving the parent's point - and count yourself lucky this is the only "censorship" you have to complain about.

Re:The West should stop censoring the Internet too (1, Interesting)

poity (465672) | about a year and a half ago | (#42234117)

If slashdotters can support Obama, despite knowing full well that he's done some disagreeable things, in order to prevent Romney from taking power, then it is entirely rational and congruent for them to also support the US, despite knowing full well that it's done some disagreeable things, in order to prevent Russia/China/Saudi Arabia/etc from taking power.

What's the alternative, give it to Finland (the Ron Paul of the world) [wikipedia.org] ? You know what... that's not a bad idea

Re:The West should stop censoring the Internet too (1)

StormyWeather (543593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42234681)

Actually I wouldn't be against that, or Switzerland. Of course giving it to those pasty white countries is racism you know ;).

Another example of persistence of ... (1)

3seas (184403) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233033)

....ignoring the word "NO!"

Dictators' charter (2)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233049)

It's a dictators charter, pure and simple.

Now's a really good time to tell the world where to jump off.

Re:Dictators' charter (2)

1s44c (552956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233095)

It's a dictators charter, pure and simple.

Now's a really good time to tell the world where to jump off.

The current situation is a dictatorship. Sharing responsibility isn't.

Re:Dictators' charter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233249)

In a choice between dictators, I'll go with the current hands-off benevolent dictator.

end of US hedgemony is a Good Thing(tm) (5, Interesting)

1s44c (552956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233055)

The current situation:
One country can implement rules to abuse the whole world. Each country can implement rules to screw over its own citizens and manipulate traffic routed though that country. Many countries already abuse their own citizens ( China, UK, Netherlands, etc. )

Without US control:
Each country can implement rules to screw over its own citizens and manipulate traffic routed though that country. Many countries already abuse their own citizens ( China, UK, Netherlands, etc. )

How can this not be a Good Thing(tm)?

Besides the part in the summary about blocking access via proxy servers is bull. Even with the deep packet inspection currently implemented in the UK they can't block VPN links which can be easily hidden in other traffic.

Re:end of US hedgemony is a Good Thing(tm) (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233161)

Be fair. There is a matter of degree. The UK has an extensive internet surveilance system and a secretive committe who have the power to ban any website without any oversight or accountability and maintain a secret blacklist which all ISPs are obliged to block (In the name of fighting child porn, of course), true - but we hardly ever use such powers. China, on the other hand, frequently and as a matter of routine blocks websites for posting non-government-approved oppinions, revealing facts that could impact the government's support, go against the rulers cultural ideals or even that could compete commercially with domestic companies. They may do the same thing, but China does it to a far greater extent. The UK has a lot of catching up to do before it can claim to be in the same category of oppression as China.

Re:end of US hedgemony is a Good Thing(tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233583)

"a secret blacklist" which is voluntary. You can just use an ISP that doesn't subscribe. Of course if you pick such an ISP and then you say "Why is there all this filthy stuff on my Internet" then people will be very quick to point out that you're a hypocrite.

Yes, all the big famous ISPs subscribe. Yes, they have such wonderful TV adverts (you watch TV adverts? Yeah, the unfiltered Internet is not for you). No, that's not the only way to get IP service in the UK. Even better, since they do not subscribe to that blacklist when a judge says "So, I hear there's a blacklist, I want you to add Mr Rich's critics to the blacklist, or be in contempt" these ISPs say "Sorry, we don't do blacklists, you can add his critics to the list but we don't subscribe". Slippery slope arguments do apply in courts and the ISPs smart people choose don't take even one step down the slope.

Re:end of US hedgemony is a Good Thing(tm) (1)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233221)

The current situation:
One country can implement rules to abuse the whole world. Each country can implement rules to screw over its own citizens and manipulate traffic routed though that country. Many countries already abuse their own citizens ( China, UK, Netherlands, etc. )

Without US control:
Each country can implement rules to screw over its own citizens and manipulate traffic routed though that country. Many countries already abuse their own citizens ( China, UK, Netherlands, etc. )

How can this not be a Good Thing(tm)?

Besides the part in the summary about blocking access via proxy servers is bull. Even with the deep packet inspection currently implemented in the UK they can't block VPN links which can be easily hidden in other traffic.

Because without US control, other countries screwing over their own citizens is legitimised. US at least pretends that it cares about the citizens in other countries.

Re:end of US hedgemony is a Good Thing(tm) (4, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233259)

One country can implement rules to abuse the whole world.

It can, yes. But the problem, you see, is that it doesn't.

Oh sure, it plays fast and loose with its own law enforcement against individual sites and services that piss it off, but it does not implement rules to abuse the world at large. In fact, it doesn't even implement rules at all, for the most part.

What you're suggesting here is that we trade the potential for abuse of power by a national government that has a track record of avoiding any egregious abuses, for the certainty of abuse of power by a bunch of governments whose history is riddled with examples of some of the most appalling derogations of human rights in the history of the world.

How can this possibly be a Good Thing(tm)?

Re:end of US hedgemony is a Good Thing(tm) (4, Interesting)

cynyr (703126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233295)

some examples of breakage this would likely cause...

UK decides that it would like to have control over *.com. Implements rules for it, and give out www.google.com to Microsoft (they paid more). Now what happens in the USA when I ask the root DNS servers for the IP(s) for www.google.com? Do I sometimes get UK Bing?

If your answer was "simple, each country runs its own namesever!" How do I get to www.bbc.co.uk? Does the BBC have to setup a server in the USA?

Actully what i think should happen is all non-countrycode TLDs should go away. Then we could have a international internet body (IIB) that basically agrees that the only allowed TLDs are country codes and that each country is responsable for maintaing them. *.com would then become *.com.usa *.gov would become *.gov.usa. In Australia they could have *.com.au, and *.gov.au. This would allow each country to have control, and wouldn't break the internet.

Also it could be decided by this IIB that all servers must use the country code of the country they are located in. Recognized countries are the same set that the UN recognizes. So if google wants to setup www.google.bz they would have to have at least a forwarding server in Belize.

Re:end of US hedgemony is a Good Thing(tm) (1)

1s44c (552956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233603)

There is already a country code for the US, it's .us.

Why not use this as an opportunity to replace the creaking DNS system with something more suitable?

Re:end of US hedgemony is a Good Thing(tm) (1)

cynyr (703126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42234885)

What do you propose we replace "the creaking DNS system" with?

Re:end of US hedgemony is a Good Thing(tm) (1)

poity (465672) | about a year and a half ago | (#42234145)

Is that like saying if Southern US states seceded and became some theocratically ruled Confederacy, the continent of North America would become a better place?

And I'd like.... (0)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233057)

And I'd like a resolution that advocates regime change of these oppressive, abusive governments around the world such as in Saudi Arabia that have no legitimacy whatsoever. But hey, it's not a perfect world.

Re:And I'd like.... (2)

1s44c (552956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233079)

And I'd like a resolution that advocates regime change of these oppressive, abusive governments around the world such as in Saudi Arabia that have no legitimacy whatsoever. But hey, it's not a perfect world.

The problem being that 'regime change' just creates a bigger mess. Look at Egypt right now, it was a bit messed up, now it's it's seriously messed up. Same with the French revolution. Same with Iraq and Iran.

Re:And I'd like.... (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233165)

'regime change' as practiced by the Arab Spring is simply trading one kind of dictator for another.

Re:And I'd like.... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233213)

It leaves an absence of power, in which new leaders can emerge. Leaders chosen by their political skill and their ability to capture popular support. In most of the middle east, that means hardline Islamists. In much the same way as a Republican over in the US can be fairly sure of getting party support by talking about Christ a lot, promising a culture built on traditional Islamic values tested through the centuries works there. Different language, same concept.

The only solution I see is to invade, but do so openly as conquerors. Don't put on the pretense of going in there to eliminate a threat or oust an oppressor: Send in the troops and declare that the country is now the US Occupied Territory of New Utah, with intention of eventual promotion to full statehood. But you can't do that any more because international politics frowns very heavily upon open attempts at invasion.

Re:And I'd like.... (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233965)

But but... I thought the arab spring was going to bring a pluralistic western democracy with full rights for women and gays and universal health-care for all! What's this you say? The majority of the people want to fundamentalist Islam [pewresearch.org] ? That this was predictable from day one [jihadwatch.org] ? The majority of the people want to impose their religion on the minority [jihadwatch.org] ? Why -- shouldn't that be forbidden by the constitution? What's this you say, the Salafists and their enablers are writing the constitution? Surely there will be a referendum on this? Oh? Well that's good. Surely the secular majority [pewresearch.org] will vote for a less religious constitution where Sharia is not enshrined in law. Surely they will!

Oppressive Regimes (1)

echogen (1166581) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233069)

"Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates"... So these countries proclaiming that they are supporting the revolution in Syria under the title of "Freedom of people", are now looking into more way to harass and oppress their own people (Much more than it is already)?

Re:Oppressive Regimes (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233345)

Reminds me another country that supports revolutions and even invades foreing countries for "freedom of people" too.

Re:Oppressive Regimes (1)

gtall (79522) | about a year and a half ago | (#42234329)

The U.S. did give Iraq back to the Iraqis less one brutal dictator who only served the interests of the 20% of the pop. that is Sunni. That the Iraqis decided they hated each other is their own fault. The U.S. didn't even keep the oil. Before that, it took back Kuwait from Saddam, and...gave it back to the fat boys in the robes. Before that, the U.S. took Panama away from the dictator Noriega, and then gave it back to the Panamanians...less one dictator named Noriega.

The U.S. also took Afghanistan away from the Pashtun storm troopers who were intent on driving all the other groups out of the place, and then, the U.S. gave most of it back to the Afghans and is on track to give the rest back.

Now, what point was it you were attempting to make?

Re:Oppressive Regimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233547)

wow, I haven't seen many who would defend Bashar Assad.. Go, Go, Go, you moron.

Re:Oppressive Regimes (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233827)

Brutal dictator Assad may be, he's also a predictable brutal dictator who protects minorities. Give Sunni al-Qaeda control and you can all but guarantee a genocide of Alawites, Shiites, Christians, atheists, and basically anybody else who is not a Salafist. It would also guarantee a detrimental effect on regional stability in general. Be careful what you wish for when you support revolutions, especially in the middle east. Well meaning fools such as yourself are the sorts that will one day bathe us all in nuclear fire.

No more Internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233071)

The Internet is basically define by the IP addresses that are reachable from anywhere. What they are really saying is that they don't want an Internet, they want local networks with government-controlled gateways.

Re:No more Internet (3, Insightful)

Cederic (9623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233153)

Which is fine, they can already do this.

Let them have their own IP based networks. Nothing's stopping them now. The technology's freely available.

Meanwhile, the rest of us will use the interconnected networks on which we can largely do as we please. When we can't, we'll switch to other interconnected networks.

The cat's out of the bag. Either you allow connected networks or you don't, and you can already make that choice.

Re:No more Internet (1)

grcumb (781340) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233299)

The Internet is basically define by the IP addresses that are reachable from anywhere. What they are really saying is that they don't want an Internet, they want local networks with government-controlled gateways.

Yes, but it's worse than that. In addition to sharing your every conversation with their Stasi buddies, they want national networks that work precisely like telephone networks. In other words, fuck the end-to-end principle; Ma Bell wants to get paid.

This is, after all, the International Telecommunications Union we're talking about.

Dis-unity (3, Interesting)

Commontwist (2452418) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233083)

So instead of working towards an Internet that blends everything together in a rich, international and multicultural mosaic they wish to deny everything in areas where a select, privileged few rule, creating a blander Internet that caters to their dogma. Nice way to block other people's viewpoints and thus create greater cultural, religious, and political misunderstandings.

Kings of the hill, indeed.

Re:Dis-unity (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233225)

True, but you need to think cross-culturally. From their perspective, multiculturalism is just a way of saying that their ancient, respectable culture or pure thoughts and holy justice is going to be corrupted by western heresy, perversion and blasphemy. It is their duty to defend themselves against these abominable ideas. And if doing so means securing their own grasp on power, so much the better.

Re:Dis-unity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233877)

Religious fanatics will always want to control everybody and everything around them. The sooner the people rise up and crucify the lot, the better. I say mandatory blasphemy or a bullet in the back of the head.

Re:Dis-unity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233979)

If they truly believed that, then a Great Wall for their internet, or a complete cut-off would have achieved that, much faster and easier.

To pull that off, they either need very strong political support for that issue alone, and be willing to forgo all economical benefits. The alternative, is to do something that grants them partial control at first, then complete later on.

China is an exception, but only because they've had decades worth of indoctrination, meaning their Great Wall only needs to be good, not perfect.

Re:Dis-unity (1)

gtall (79522) | about a year and a half ago | (#42234343)

Respectable culture? You mean the degradation of women, child brides, honor killings, taxing everyone not Islamic, no personal freedoms except those granted by an arcane moldy old book? That respectable culture?

Re:Dis-unity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233939)

But that is exactly the point of government power. Government power exists in order to prevent freedom, to prevent people from finding free market solutions to problems and to prevent free individuals both, from existing and from helping others.

Government is not there to help anybody, government is there to take away your ability to do things the way you want. Government power is not used to achieve any goal that the market (individuals in the market place) wants, government is there to prevent free competitive, capitalist market from working.

Unruled Internet is a very good case of what free market capitalism can achieve. This is troubling news for all the governments of the world who want control and have the power to steal individual freedoms from people, including freedoms of individuals on the Internet.

Until this is understood and actively opposed by a very large segment of population there will be no stopping of governments from stealing individual freedoms, on line or IRL. But of-course the large portion (maybe a majority) of population does not want individual freedom if instead they can have promises of various "free things" that government says it will deliver (and 'free things' in this case means taken from somebody else's pocket, and that means from pocket of a minority, because that's the only way to make it free for the majority).

As long as the majority continues with this lack of morals and economic understanding and with this absolute neglect for the long run consequences, the governments will always keep and increase their powers, including powers over such mediums of information exchange as the Internet.

This really spells trouble for the Internet, because the majority will never understand any principles and will not care about them. It will always be a vocal minority that will fight to preserve some form of freedom or another, it will always be a minority that will work on various technological means to avoid being ruled by the governments (Darknet, TOR, Bitcoin are examples). The governments will always keep fighting these technologies and the majority will explicitly and implicitly be on the wrong side of things.

sig [slashdot.org]

soviernty (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233143)

Why shouldn't these countries have the right to allow or disallow certain kinds of information coming into or out of their country? Despite what everyone wants to believe, countries other than those that you agree with have the right to govern their people as they see fit. Other countries can of course pressure them militarily or otherwise, but the fact remains as long as they are in power they have this right. Not every country has to be pro-internet. Not every country has to be pro technology.

Re:soviernty (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233373)

Right now internet is used as an attack vector. Both for incentivating/supporting revolutions or vehicle for stuxnet and other cyberweapons. Is bad that other countries control, but currently that is being very abused by the country that already controls it.

Re:soviernty (3, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233953)

Why shouldn't they indeed? But, what is a country?

If it is the leader, dictator, government, bureaucracy, then indeed they can and will set the rules, and they will need the valves on the intertubes available to them to control the flow of information - ideas, values, concepts, the like.

But if a country is to include the people, then perhaps the people will want to know things, things other than those approved of and delivered by their dictator, government, bureacracy.

The current Internet is already so ubiquitous that cutting off a country results in an immediate acknowlegement that the people of that country have been denied access to the most important and powerful forces we have - ideas, information, values, and the like. It seems, to me, that the ITU is being used by many countries' powers to regain control and be able to suppress the people even more efficiently. That alone is reason enough to oppose this, but the leaders of this movement are themselves potentially some of the least trustworthy and most likely to misuse these powers.

The US may not be blameless or without fault, but we should tell these other countries that if they find it necessary to exert this level of influence and control over the Internet, they should do so within their own borders, and leave us out of it please. Just have their ISPs rearchitect their systems, and give them the cutoff and isolate switch. No need to get us involved.

The second greatest attraction of freedom is its existence elsewhere.

Re:soviernty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42234191)

Sovereignty of the rulers is not the same as sovereignty of the people.

so what? (1)

Alien Being (18488) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233211)

They can run their own networks. Few Americans could care less if the foreigners opted out of the Internet.

You forgot to add U$ on the title. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233265)

Hypocrite.

Already been done? (1)

gravis777 (123605) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233289)

"equal rights to manage the Internet including in regard to the allotment, assignment and reclamation of Internet numbering." This could allow governments to render websites within their borders inaccessible, even via proxy servers or other countries. It also could allow for multinational pacts in which countries could terminate access to websites at each others' request

The idea of internal websites within a country's boarders doesn't sound like such a bad idea. Not really sure how they would stop you from accessing it via proxy. But can't you block access via geolocation already?

The second part is what worries me - the ability to terminate access to websites at each other's requests.

What gets me here is that they are proposing rules for things that there are already solutions for - geolocation and blocking at an ISP level or government level DNS addresses which would prevent access to websites.

Basically, it sounds like governments want to setup internal sites that people in their nation have access to while limiting access to the outside internet. Aren't there already tools that alow this?

What would prevent them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233311)

Any country is free to do whatever they want. They have full control over their territory, with the exception of some satellite links. The governments know where the international gateway nodes are located and can install any spyware or filtering software they wish. Furthermore, the governments can set up domestic social networks and other applications (as China is doing). They can set up competing DNS solutions and security protocols and distribute client software to their populaces.

I think this has more to do with others playing along, that is, having your cake and eating it, too. The Western civilization should open up the crucial fruits of their technological achievements while agreeing to withhold subversion and porn. That is overreaching. It is analogous to the West demanding that Russia, China et al. should police the West's copyright claims within their national networks.

Oh, terrific! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233355)

Wow, yeah, this is right up stupid liberal neckbearded geek alley. Let's dissolve the boundaries of the digital superhighway in the Tao of global equality. Let's give jihadists as much right as the NSA, man such a great idea. Right up the yin yang!

I have an idea (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233677)

how about China and Russia pull the plug on their WWW connection, and make something like a Local Area Network that functions like the internet but only inside their national borders so the rest of the free world can enjoy their internets without some draconian rules imposed by totalitarian state

in short i would like to say "FUCK YOU to the UN, China & Russia and any other totalitarian bigwigs that want to stifle free speech and the freedom to share ideas and free software, and free music and video

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42234069)

Ironically enough, one of the biggest promoters of the freedom to share free music and video is Russia

World Wide Web (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42233899)

It's right there in the web address. WWW. If a site listed under WWW can't be accessed world wide, then there's no point to it.

They can now do as they will within their borders. (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | about a year and a half ago | (#42233921)

The real goal is to require all other nations and institutions to actively cooperate with their censorship.

the larger the organization, the more corrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42234007)

governments, corporations, churches, unions, charities, etc etc etc

none of them can be trusted, all of them are the enemy of people who just want to be left the fuck alone

http://project-byzantium.org/
https://code.commotionwireless.net/projects/commotion/wiki/Newbie_How_it_Works
https://www.torproject.org/
https://freenetproject.org/
http://www.i2p2.de/
http://bitcoin.org/

these are the tools individuals can use to subvert the control of large organizations, anonymity is the only defense an individual has against the powerful

everyone can contribute a little bit right now to ensure individual freedom into the future, the cost to be a part of the solution is as low as little bandwidth and there is almost no risk

if you want to help more for a small investment you can buy or make dedicated hardware and be part of a disaster and censorship resistant mesh network

This Winston Churchill quote is more relevant than ever:

"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

NO FREEDOM (0)

p51d007 (656414) | about a year and a half ago | (#42234409)

Russia = communist = little freedom China = communist = little freedom Saudi Arabia = muslim = little freedom Algeria = muslim = little freedom Sudan = muslim = little freedom United Arab Emirates = muslim = little freedom Gee...I can't understand why these countries want greater CONTROL over the internet....hummmmmm

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42234745)

A tin pot dictatorship like sudan actually has the internet? There's a surprise, I thought they wasted all their money on weapons

Just exactly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42234917)

the countries you don't want to have control over the internet.

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