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US Refuses To Sign ITU Treaty Over Internet Provisions

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the not-a-chance dept.

The Internet 154

An anonymous reader writes "The United States said today that it will not sign an international telecommunications treaty thanks to the inclusion of Internet-related provisions. According to the BBC, the U.K. and Canada have also pledged not to sign the treaty in its current form, while delegates from Denmark, the Czech Republic, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and Kenya also have reservations."

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Norway too (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42285951)

Norway is also refusing to sign

Re:Norway too (5, Informative)

ajdlinux (913987) | about 2 years ago | (#42285965)

As is Australia. [dbcde.gov.au]

Re:Norway too (2)

Bigby (659157) | about 2 years ago | (#42287949)

As is myself [slashdot.org]

Re:Norway too (2)

crypticedge (1335931) | about 2 years ago | (#42287259)

America refuses to sign generates more outrage than everyone except Iran refuses to sign.

Treaties (-1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42285955)

Treaties no longer apply to the United States. Our promises aren't worth the paper they're printed on. We've withdrawn from more of them than we've signed. Even a purely declarative treaty about the rights of the disabled -- with no enforcement provisions at all, we rejected because we didn't want to be perceived as supporting anything from the UN! And the irony is, the treaty was modeled after our own Medicare program. We've become like Darth Vader when it comes to our treaties: "I have altered our agreement. Pray I do not alter it further." I find it as absolutely no surprise they won't sign the ITU treaty... though it probably has less to do with control over the internet than the admission that something that started here is now better pretty much everywhere else but here. Mobile phones cost a fortune, our internet service is overpriced crap, and yet we cling to the idea that because we gave birth to it, it's ours. Yeah, okay mom. The internet moved out of the house 30 years ago. It has a life of its own now, and apparently, you don't even want to call and see it anymore except on birthdays and holidays.

Re:Treaties (4, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about 2 years ago | (#42286023)

Thanks for condensing every anti-American platitude into a single post for easy two-minutes of hate consumption. You get bonus points for using Star Wars references while citing exactly zero facts to support your arguments and pointing out exactly zero treaties that the U.S. has "violated".

Re:Treaties (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286055)

International Treaty on Torture Fucking Contard.

Which we still belong to. Which is a WAR CRIME.

Re:Treaties (1, Troll)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 2 years ago | (#42286467)

International Treaty on Torture Fucking Contard.

I never heard of this "International Treaty on Torture Fucking Contard", and from what I can tell we only interrogated "Fucking Contards". I see where you could be upset and will do my best to get the US to start torturing these Fucking Contards ASAP.

Re:Treaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42287845)

Troll? Satire is dead...

Perhaps you should bother reading those treaties. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286595)

It is only a war crime if it happens during an armed conflict - which requires a state of war - the terrorists don't qualify.

Re:Perhaps you should bother reading those treatie (1)

backslashdot (95548) | about 2 years ago | (#42286895)

No it's a war crime, crime against humanity etc,. It's a matter of can you recognize that. For example, the declaration of Independence would have no validity by British law .. yet it is valid by innate human rights granted by God. In the same way, all human beings have a right to fair trials and not to be tortured. It's a matter of are you willing to recognize that right. And the argument that terrorists dont have the right to a fair trial is just silly. How do you know if someone is a terrorist without a trial? What if they were they were setup by a neighbor or forced onto the battlefield because of threats to their family etc. ? Everyone deserves a reasonable chance to explain their story and be released if it can be verified. Also, if you are going to hold prisoners without certainty of their guilt/innocence you should at least not torture them.

Re:Perhaps you should bother reading those treatie (1)

backslashdot (95548) | about 2 years ago | (#42287059)

Also want to point out that the Bill of rights/constitution does NOT grant us our most important rights .. it merely respects and acknowledges them. Our rights (and those of all humans) come from the Creator/nature. If you read certain amendments you can tell from the wording that the right is something pre-existing and the document is only forbidding its infringement. For example, -- where is the right to bear arms granted? It's not. "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" It doesn't grant us that right .. because we already have it -- from God. It's not something you are provided with. Or amendment 4 "right of the people to be secure [..] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated" .. again .. we see that the right is not granted .. merely respected. Amendment 7: "the right of trial by jury shall be preserved". Amendment 8 "nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted" .. we can see that the government is forbidden and neutered from inflicting those things .. it's not granting the right .. it's preventing government from doing something it shouldn't and it's respecting rights we all have.

Re:Treaties (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286129)

Yup, this seems to be girlintraining's typical mode. She makes some wildy idiotic statement and if she gets modded down, she gets all indignant. She seems to get off on how many +5 posts she can get, which is quite a few when you understand the mentality of the Slashdot groupthink.

Re:Treaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42287547)

Maybe when she gets tit's she'll behave a bit more rationally.

Wait...what am I thinking!?!?

Re:Treaties (5, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42286391)

while citing exactly zero facts to support your arguments and pointing out exactly zero treaties that the U.S. has "violated".

A correctable problem, if you'd just ask nicely instead of being a total jerk and assuming that just because I didn't list them means they don't exist and I'm therefore wrong.

List of Notable Treaties the US has withdrawn from (broken)

  • Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty; Signed 1972, withdrawn 2001.
  • Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) and Draft Proposal. Signed 1972, ratified 1975, withdrawn 2001.
  • Chemical Weapons Convention. Signed 1993, ratified 1997. Originally would have allowed countries to inspect other countries (including the US) for evidence of banned chemical weapons production. The treaty was modified to exempt only the United States from it.

There's also a number of treaties we haven't signed that are notable. For example, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Convention on Discrimination of Women (Iran and Sudan are amongst the very few countries that also haven't signed on), Convention on the Rights of the Child (142 have signed so far), Mine Ban Treaty, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

There's also a number of treaties that, while we haven't formally withdrawn from or issued a statement on, we're in clear violation of and have stated our intent to continue doing so. Guantanamo Bay, for example, is a violation of numerous Geneva Conventions.

Re:Treaties (4, Insightful)

Raul654 (453029) | about 2 years ago | (#42287245)

Withdrawing from a treaty is not the same as violating it. In international law, the rule of thumb is that a country is only obligated to comply with the laws (treaties) it has ratified, and is not bound by those that it has not ratified. (Note: One debatable exception to this is the Nuremberg Principles [wikipedia.org] )

Furthermore, countries are free to withdraw from ("repudiate") any treaty at any time, unless that treaty has provisions that provide specific steps for (or prohibit) repudiation.

Re:Treaties (4, Insightful)

SonnyDog09 (1500475) | about 2 years ago | (#42287381)

Guantanamo Bay, for example, is a violation of numerous Geneva Conventions.

Have you actually read the Geneva Convention (which one)? You should at least read the first page or two of one of them before you comment. In order to be afforded the protections of the Geneva convention, several things need to happen.

The combatant needs to be a member of the armed forces of a sovereign state that signed the treaty. They need to be in uniform or clearly marked as being in the military. They need to be carrying their arms openly. They need to be under clear military command and control. A state of war needs to exist between the two sovereign states. The terrorists in Gitmo meet none of these conditions.

If you want to be afforded the protections of a Treaty, you have to follow the rules and meet the conditions of the treaty. Here is a news flash for you: Terrorists don't follow the rules.

Re:Treaties (1)

Zalbik (308903) | about 2 years ago | (#42287445)

assuming that just because I didn't list them means they don't exist and I'm therefore wrong.

No, I'll assume you are wrong because now that you have listed them, you are, in fact, wrong:

Here's a few items you have gotten incorrect:

1) BWC is currently listed as an active treaty on the US department of state's website here [state.gov] . What makes you think the US withdrew?

2) I can't find any evidence that the US is exempt from the CWC. The US CWC website [cwc.gov] indicates no such exemption, and neither does wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , nor the UN website [un.org] on the treaty. Care to provide some evidence?

3) Withdrawing from a treaty is not the same thing as breaking it. The US gave 6 months [wikipedia.org] notice of the intent to withdraw from the ABM treaty as permitted by the terms of the treaty. Saying that's the same as breaking a treaty is the equivalent to saying not paying your car lease is the same as completing the lease and returning the car.

Treaties that the US has not signed have nothing to do with the discussion, but nice attempt at moving the goalposts.

Re:Treaties (1)

phlinn (819946) | about 2 years ago | (#42287775)

Withdrawal from a treaty is not the same as violating it. The ABM treaty, for instance, had a clause requiring 6 months notice for withdrawal, which the US complied with. There were good reasons for withdrawal, even if you disagree with the final decision to do so.

BWC: from a quick search, we didn't withdraw from the treaty, but did refuse to sign on to an additional protocol for it. Maybe you have a better link.

CWC: we appear to be in the process of destroying the declared stockpile, although we missed the deadline. Where was the the treaty modified for us?

Each of the other treaties has a reason for not signing, and it's quite arguable that guantanamo Bay doesn't actually violate the Geneva Conventions. Despite what it's opponents suggest, the treaties as written only explicitly protect uniform soldiers, and the definition of a "competent tribunal" is not made within the treaty.

Re:Treaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42288309)

Convention on the Rights of the Child is a poor example, due to the US's separation of power between state and federal the US legally can't ratify the treaty in it's current form due largely to provisions about education. The applicable laws on the subject however are just as strict if not stronger, much like most of the protection under the international treaty on the disabled which was also recently not signed by the US.

Ever thought that the sentiment may be deserved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286401)

And what's this about Star Wars needing references? Are you too young to remember Ronnie's SDI? What about the recent release of info about the USA wanting to put nukes on the Moon in the early days of the space race?

Really, all you have is "If you're going to say nasty things then I'll dismiss them as angry rants". Tell us, oh pratt-face, how do you say nasty and deserved things about someone without someone being able to call it "hate"?

Re:Treaties (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42286471)

To be fair, the US government does have a pretty long and distinguished history of signing agreements (or for that matter, domestic laws or, well, our own constitution) and then ignoring them if whatever administration is in power feels that the other parties can't stop them.

Not to say this is a US specific thing, it is probably a product of having enough power to ignore rules and not be stopped.. so the US gets highlight since we have quite a bit of power (both economic and military) so we end up on the 'winning' side of such violations more often then not.

Re:Treaties (0, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42286981)

To be fair, the US government does have a pretty long and distinguished history of signing agreements (or for that matter, domestic laws or, well, our own constitution) and then ignoring them if whatever administration is in power feels that the other parties can't stop them.

Yes, but pointing that out lands you in "-1, troll" land usually, as my OP demonstrates to great effect. In most developed countries, there's been major historical event that they lost on. Germany lost WWII. Britain was bombed back into the stone age. The French... well... 'nuff said. Poland, Switzerland, every European country has at one point been steamrollered and had to eat crow. So their sense of patriotism is tempered by the understanding that they can lose, that they have lost, and that while they're proud of who they are, they're not insensitive to the fact that they've also screwed up before.

The United States hasn't had that pivotal moment yet where it simply, unquestionably, lost. Failed. Beaten. Destroyed. It will happen, eventually, but until it does, people here are going to be highly resistant to the idea that we can screw up. They have untempered pride in their country, blind patriotism. And that's why so many people are irritated with Americans -- it's the lack of humility, it's the idea we can do whatever we want because we'll always win. But we're paying an enormous cost for this attitude; The south now resembles the living conditions commonly found in the suburbs and smaller towns of Egypt. Detroit is a wasteland full of crime, murder, and destroyed infrastructure. Several of our major cities have been reclaimed by nature due to economic neglect. Many americans are starving or close to it, and our food reserves dangerously low. People talk about the recession like it's over, but it's never been worse. Our pride is killing us. Literally. Every predator drone launched is a denied college education. It's food that could have been put on the table of a hungry family.

We need to jettison that pride, but as you can see, even here on Slashdot, that's amazingly hard for people to do. They'd rather just scream at the top of the lungs "You're wrong! You're wrong!" They're dragged kicking and screaming to the truth, and they hate me for it.

Re:Treaties (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about 2 years ago | (#42287553)

The United States hasn't had that pivotal moment yet where it simply, unquestionably, lost. Failed. Beaten. Destroyed.

It is quite strange that you try to preach to others about history, when you don't even know it your self. Perhaps google can enlighten you if your school has failed you.

Or perhaps you were only talking about history within the last generation?

Re:Treaties (5, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#42286029)

Not signing a treaty in the first place because you don't like whats in it is a sound and rational thing to do.

The US is doing absolutely nothing wrong in this case.

Re:Treaties (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286155)

Like not signing treatys that allow you to be punished for war crimes. Then well signing into law a law that says they will invade the Netherlands and forcably remove
anyone held for war crimes. Yes, nice responsable country. The sort of views you want for a nuclear power.

Re:Treaties (-1, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42286237)

Not signing a treaty in the first place because you don't like whats in it is a sound and rational thing to do.

That's not why the treaty wasn't signed. Lay off on the koolaid; Even Jon Stewart on the Daily Show dedicated a full 15 minutes to mocking the stupidity of not signing the treaty. Even "Binders full of women" Romney only got half that time of being mocked for that comment.

Re:Treaties (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286335)

Jon Stewart, the Comedy Central spoof news show host, really? Well, that is quite serious.

Perhaps, Vint Cerf or Tim Berners-Lee are better experts in how the Internet works, though? See Berners-Lee comments http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20594779 [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Treaties (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42286405)

Perhaps, Vint Cerf or Tim Berners-Lee are better experts in how the Internet works, though?

They probably are, but they're not as funny, and they aren't commenting on the UN treaty about disabled people in that article.

Re:Treaties (1)

Omestes (471991) | about 2 years ago | (#42288353)

They probably are, but they're not as funny, and they aren't commenting on the UN treaty about disabled people in that article.

But what does a UN treaty about disabled people have to do with the topic, a UN treaty about the internet? For that I'll listen to Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee, as they probably know a thing or two about the internet.

So you're saying we should sign this treaty then? Why?

Re:Treaties (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#42286701)

I think she is going on about the "rights of the disabled" treaty in the post you're replying to, not the ITU treaty.

Re:Treaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286501)

So you are using an appeal to authority argument using a comedian as your authority. You really have an interesting logic pattern.

Re:Treaties (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 2 years ago | (#42286721)

So you are using an appeal to authority argument using a comedian as your authority. You really have an interesting logic pattern

Even better, (s)he's using a strawman as well, as Tridus's "a treaty" is likely referring to the current ITU one, but "the treaty" in girlintraining's direct reply to that post is (by his/her own admission later down) referring to "the UN treaty about disabled people."

Illogic is yours: Ad hom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286779)

He is a comedian. But that doesn't make what he says WRONG.

You will see a lot of "George Carlin had it right". Bill Hicks made a LOT of social commentary too. What about Colbert?

Indeed the fool is often the only person who can tell the truth when a despot is in power. And you americans ARE under a (willingly allowed) despot. This one AND the last one were despots.

But you seem to want to complain MERELY because he;s a comedian, he must be wrong.

Ad hom.

Prove your assertion.

Re:Treaties (5, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#42286045)

Treaties no longer apply to the United States.

Well, not if they don't sign. That's kind of the point. If you don't sign it doesn't apply. And they won't sign. That sounds entirely reasonable.

There are many bad things sure, but this isn't one of them. For various reasons most of the western world don't seem to want to give the ITU control over the internet, and would rather control resides with the USA for the time being.

As a non American westener, I'd agree that this is by far the best choice.

Re:Treaties (1, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42286279)

Well, not if they don't sign. That's kind of the point. If you don't sign it doesn't apply. And they won't sign. That sounds entirely reasonable.

I was referring to them backing out of, rejecting, or not acknowledging, a few dozen treaties lately, not honoring extradition requests while stealing other citizens out of their own beds in other countries without that government's consent, and withdrawing from the Geneva diplomatic conventions, etc. When you've violated so many of your own treaties (Hello, Native Americans! How 'ya doin'?) your word no longer means anything. Treaties are contracts between countries... if you don't honor them, they become meaningless.

Whether they sign or don't sign isn't the problem: It's that the signature wouldn't mean anything anyway. But I can't blame you guys for having such terminally short memories... just ask Julian Assange about international treaty law. Or did you forget about him already? :/

Re:Treaties (1)

DigitalReverend (901909) | about 2 years ago | (#42286347)

Citations needed

What is it with you MTV generation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286619)

Really, do you have NO SKILLS or MEMORY ***whatsoever***????

Germany have a warrant for a US soldier for crimes committed in Germany. The soldier got back to base before arrested and was sent back home and is refused to be extradited to Germany FOR QUESTIONING even.

The UK wanted several US pilots to come over to testify in a case, not face charges, and the USA refuses.

McKinnon, Abu Hamsa and three Muslims have all been deported.

Do you know what native americans are?

NAFTA. Signed by the USA. Abrogated in an illegal levvy on Canadian softwood lumber imports.

WTO. Signed by the USA. Abrogated in internet gambling.

These have ALL been reports in the news in the past year and on slashdot.

But I guess you never read a discouraging word. Which means that any citation given would not be read either.

Re:What is it with you MTV generation? (1)

bossk538 (1682744) | about 2 years ago | (#42287723)

Obviously you don't read all the news, AC. The UK refused to hand over Gary McKinnon. Ditto for Switzerland and Roman Polanski. The EU will not hand anyone over to the USA in cases where the death penalty may be sought.

Yeah, it was Richard O Dwyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42288057)

And of course there's the Nat West Three.

Re:Treaties (0)

cavreader (1903280) | about 2 years ago | (#42286365)

I support the US actions just so I can watch people like you implode in a fit a mindless rage while using half-truths and outright lies to support your ravings. The best sign the US is not all lost is it's growing reluctance to concede any decision making power to the UN which as an orgranization is worthless and should have been shown the door a long time ago,

Re:Treaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286571)

Hello Africa this is your bestest buddy Europe stopping by to carve your continent up and to rape, pillage and plunder all your resources. We wont go into depth about the slave trade of your people conducted by the Arabs from the north and the Europeans. Shall we go into depth about the persecutions done by those Europeans that you seem to never want to say anything bad about?? Silly, silly person placing blame on only the new comer to the worlds countries and politely forgetting about all those "others".

Re:Treaties (1)

Q-Hack! (37846) | about 2 years ago | (#42286713)

Whether they sign or don't sign isn't the problem: It's that the signature wouldn't mean anything anyway. But I can't blame you guys for having such terminally short memories... just ask Julian Assange about international treaty law. Or did you forget about him already? :/

Wasn't aware that Julian Assange was charged with breaking international treaty law. At least not yet anyway.

Re:Treaties (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42286749)

Wasn't aware that Julian Assange was charged with breaking international treaty law. At least not yet anyway.

He wasn't charged with it; He was the victim.

Re:Treaties (2)

bedroll (806612) | about 2 years ago | (#42286781)

And yet, none of that pertains to this treaty at all. There's not even a need to defend the US and its actions here, because this entire argument is a derailment of the primary one: whether or not the US should sign this treaty. Instead we're ranting about completely unrelated treaties on topics that hold no bearing to this discussion. The only tidbit of the entire rant we can apply is that the US does not always consider itself beholden to treaties it signs.

If we apply the only relevant part back to the actual topic what are we left with? Well, I would say that your standpoint is a great argument against signing this treaty. This is because any effort to hand control of the core systems that support the world wide web must be binding and complete. If the US is not going to honor those then what will happen when we have competing regulatory agencies and systems? I don't think it will be pretty.

It's interesting that the only useful nugget of that rant seems to work in favor the US actions, considering the rest of the rant is against it.

Re:Treaties (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#42286797)

I was referring to them backing out of, rejecting, or not acknowledging, a few dozen treaties lately

Well, ok. Given that the original post was about the US not signing a specific treaty, you can perhaps forgive my confusion :)

Re:Treaties (-1)

logjon (1411219) | about 2 years ago | (#42286999)

Good Lord. You're a raving fucking loon, aren't you?

Re:Treaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286075)

who are the idiots voting parent insightful? did you even read the article?

Re:Treaties (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 years ago | (#42286103)

The types who have been following news on things like Guantanamo.

Re:Treaties (4, Informative)

tech10171968 (955149) | about 2 years ago | (#42286099)

FTFA: "Some countries at the table, however, have submitted proposals that would also give the UN some power when it comes to Internet regulation, which the U.S. and other countries oppose. Ambassador Kramer has been speaking out against the Internet component of the treaty since before the conference started on Dec. 3, but more than a week later, they are still included in a draft that's on the table."

Maybe you missed that part. Seems the countries opposing this (no, not just the "evil" US) are doing so precisely because no one actually "owns" the internet as it stands now. The second we allow a governing body, *ANY* governing body, to do so is the second we start seeing people get censored by tin-pot dictators wishing to cover up the evidence while committing all sorts of atrocities against their own people - and, yes, that goes for the US as well. If you look at quite a few of the countries who back this treaty (China and Russia are two of them), it's easy to come up with a list of folks who'd love nothing more than to narrow down the avenues through which information gets out, and for some pretty nefarious reasons.

I think the only reason you were modded "+5 Insightful" was because of your anti-American rant, not due to actual logic.

Re:Treaties (2, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#42286239)

The merits of the ITU being involved in Internet protocol discussions aside, the notion that the Internet is some kind of anarchic, ungoverned, network that's not "owned" by any group, groups, or governments, is a ludicrous meme that has no basis in reality.

Every user of the Internet is governed by, at the very least, their local laws, and frequently affected, if not bound by, the laws of governments they would otherwise not normally be associated with. Content on the Internet is frequently censored, and people have suffered penalties from enormous fines to actual imprisonment, due exclusively to things they did online. ISPs are, actually, required to abide by local laws, and frequently are compelled to take a role in law enforcement, be that simply giving up names, or in some countries, filtering content and identifying people who attempt to get hold of content legislated as illegal.

Given that, the uproar about the notion that the ITU - which is hardly a political body and thus far has never made any decision you could reasonably suggest is content based - might be involved in provisioning the Internet because somehow it means the UN now governs the Internet - is faintly ridiculous. Nobody is going to deported to a dictatorship from their home country thanks to any rules imposed by the UN or ITU. And Kony (or whoever the Godwin-violation of the week is) isn't going to be able to take down criticisms of him hosted on US websites thanks to decisions by the UN.

There may be legitimate reasons to oppose the ITU's involvement in the Internet. The "If the ITU is involved, the Internet will be governed by POL POT!!!" one really isn't.

Re:Treaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42287867)

There may be legitimate reasons to oppose the ITU's involvement in the Internet. The "If the ITU is involved, the Internet will be governed by POL POT!!!" one really isn't.

What a nice strawman. Don't you mean "If the ITU is involved, the Internet will be governed by HITLER HIMSELF!!!11eleventeen"?

Just because the ITU is (supposedly) apolitical, doesn't mean they aren't going to fuck it all up, if they ever lay their hands on the Internet.

Case in point: the fucking telephone system (you know, that thing which we let the ITU have control over?). Guess what? It fucking sucks. As someone already pointed out... if the ITU had been in charge of the Internet from day 1, you'd probably pay different prices if you were sending an email to Washington or to Seoul.

You know when was the last time that giving something for bureaucrats to control ended up being a good idea? I'll tell you when: NEVER.

As you said: the Internet is anything but "anarchy"... people are still governed by their respective local laws and whatnot. So, again, why the fuck should the ITU have any saying over ANYTHING at all?

Between the known issues with "US governance" of the Internet and the unknown issues with "UN governance" of the Internet, it's very easy to choose.

Re:Treaties (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#42288079)

Nobody is going to deported to a dictatorship from their home country thanks to any rules imposed by the UN or ITU.

That's a straw man argument.

Most people worry about their own home country, that's why they'll take great care to ssh into a foreign country that won't tattle-tell on them.

And we're not talking solely about so-called "dictatorships" either. If you're a whistle-blower, or if you are of the wrong religion, or if you like to sample music from P2P, or if you're married and are having an affair, there can be negative consequences for not selecting a foreign jurisdiction to ssh-in that's more likely to protect your anonymity.

Re:Treaties (1, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42286313)

I think the only reason you were modded "+5 Insightful" was because of your anti-American rant, not due to actual logic.

Yes, and now I'm -1, Troll, apparently due to your pro-american rant, not due to actual logic. You missed my point -- I wasn't discussing the pros or cons of the treaty, but rather that it doesn't matter whether we sign it or not. I was mocking the idea that the United States has any diplomatic currency left to spend after we've pulled out of so many treaties and failed to sign others even when they're clearly aligned with our ideological values and would cost us nothing! We talk about how we're "world leaders" and a "beacon of hope" and the "police of the world", but it's a joke. It's total propaganda. And everybody else except the citizens here who've grown up on CNN and Fox News know that.

When I was talking about how the internet moved out of the basement 30 years ago, what I meant was that the government hasn't been directly involved in it for some time. It's already out of the control of the government -- it's being controlled by private american companies with no oversight, no laws to govern them, etc. So why would it matter if we signed the treaty or not? The government has no actual control! It'd be like me signing a contract to put you on the moon -- I have no way to deliver.

Re:Treaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286407)

Thank you for clarifying that you have no clue as to how the Internet works, what involvement American companies have with it, and that you were off topic.

All in one thread. Kudos.

Re:Treaties (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 2 years ago | (#42288393)

In debate they call what you said a claim without a warrant.

Re:Treaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286675)

So when China pulls the plug on its people or Egypt or Iran or.... This is fine with you? I bet these very same countries voted FOR the treaty for this very reason. The UN has been such a strong force for good. They stopped Syria in its tracks, Stopped Iran from moving ahead on its nuclear project, stopped the genocide in Bosnia, stop the genocide in Sudan and Ethiopia. Yeppers this is the best group to handle everything because they have such an excellent track record. / sarcasm Well ok I will give you Korea, they did get goat roped into that by the evil American. Oh also the Cuban missile crisis too but that one really rests on the Russians walking out.

Re:Treaties (1)

Omestes (471991) | about 2 years ago | (#42288397)

I wasn't discussing the pros or cons of the treaty, but rather that it doesn't matter whether we sign it or not.

So a valid mod would been "-1 Off-Topic", then?

Re:Treaties (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286125)

Wow, what an amalgam of off-topic wrong. We aren't signing the treaty. So it doesn't matter about anything else you said - as wrong as what you said was. We (and several other countries) don't want to give Iran, North Korea, China, etc. the ability to use the UN to censor the internet. This is a GOOD THING that the US, UK, Australia, Norway, etc. are doing by not validating this treaty.

Re:Treaties (5, Informative)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#42286177)

I find the US' anti-UN attitude as irritating as you do, but it's not just the US. As the summary mentions there are many other nations in opposition, and the European parliament attacked the ITU as vocally and before the US did. This move was supported and partly spearheaded by MP Amelia Andersdotter of the European Pirate Party. When she's against something concerning the internet, something just might be wrong with it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Telecommunication_Union#Proposed_Changes_to_the_Treaty_And_Concerns [wikipedia.org]
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/24/european_parliament_votes_against_itu/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Treaties (-1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42286435)

I find the US' anti-UN attitude as irritating as you do, but it's not just the US.

But I'm not talking about those other countries because I don't live in them. I live in this one, not those. And regardless of how few or many other people agree with the position, we're not doing it for the same reasons -- we're doing it because the Republicans have their panties in a knot about supporting UN actions regardless of how humanitarian and cost free the signing of a given treaty would be. So all this crap about how the ITU treaty being wrong and such may be valid, but that's not what I'm addressing -- I'm addressing the fact that the United States wouldn't sign it even if it created the perfect utopia, fed all the hungry people of the world, and cured all disease. And only that fact.

What's worse though, even if we were to sign it, it would mean nothing because of our past record of violating treaties. How many times does a person have to lie to you before you stop trusting them? The international community has to ask that question every time they look at a treaty they've signed with us now because of how many times we've backed out of something we signed because we no longer agreed with it. Well... I don't agree with having to pay taxes -- but I don't get to stop paying them. Unless, of course, I'm armed with nuclear bombs and millions of soldiers, in which case I suppose I could do whatever I want. And that's sorta the point here. Treaties signed by us don't matter -- our word is not what people are going off of anymore, it's our massive armaments.

Re:Treaties (0)

logjon (1411219) | about 2 years ago | (#42287057)

Good. Fuck the UN.

Re:Treaties (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#42286327)

The problem with disabled rights is that they are not a natural right, but requires massive governmental spending. That doesn't mean that countries are banned from implementing it, only that they aren't forced to do so. Some countries are simply not in the economic position to be able to afford that, and forcing them to spend all their money on medicare instead of trying to get out of poverty is unfair.
And the current treaty isn't really an international agreement, because many countries oppose it, not only America. And if you think that leaving American control will somehow free the internet, you are very naive. The ITU will still be controlled by politicians, the difference is that most of them will be unelected.

Re:Treaties (1)

weiserfireman (917228) | about 2 years ago | (#42288331)

The other problem with the Disabled Treaty is it is modeled on the American's with Disabilities Act.

While the ADA has done a lot of good for disabled people in our country, I don't see any value to signing a Treaty which would essentially duplicate it. It would unnecessarily complicate the discussion about accessibility and what is required and what isn't.

Re:Treaties (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#42286441)

If there's any entity in all this acting like Darth Vader, its other governments wanting to censor and control.

In the larger picture, there's also the meme growth mechanism lodged in most of your brains to knee-jerk run to government as solution, and only solution, such as this treaty's call for government control mechanisms for spam, which I am sure will never, ever be misused for other types of data filtering.

Spam bad. Government mass murderous. Are citations needed?

Re:Treaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42287503)

Queer fuck.

Re:Treaties (1)

phlinn (819946) | about 2 years ago | (#42287893)

There are actual reasons to reject the treaty other than the fact that it comes from the UN. Just as an example, it does not have [cato-at-liberty.org] the exemptions for small business that are present in the ADA.

Re:Treaties (1)

Omestes (471991) | about 2 years ago | (#42288297)

Which might be true or false, but doesn't really have a thing to do with TFA. Further, the US not signing this one is a good thing. And if the US signed it, and didn't honor it, I wouldn't have much of a problem with that either.

Do you have anything to back up your claim that we're not signing this because some deep character fault of the US rather than the fact that it is a very bad treaty which erodes freedom and rights, and puts control of the internet directly in control of states with a deep tyranny streak? Lacking any evidence, this becomes a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation, which leads me to wonder if your just trying to find faults for the sake of maintaining a pre-existing bias.

Would you rather that the US ratified this treaty, just to make it clear that they lay no claim to the internet?

Yes, the US has some deep faults, and have done some deeply disturbing things in the past (not-so-recent and recent), but they aren't all bad. Also, government is an immensely complex beast, thus it is hard to characterize isn't a single bile soaked ideology. Perhaps there are voices in the government leading to this decision for the "right" reasons? How could one ever prove this either way?

Disappointing lack of conviction (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42285967)

Too bad the U.S. is acting by inaction, instead of proposing a proper treaty that spells out our position, we just refuse to sign one that we don't like.

Re:Disappointing lack of conviction (3, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#42286013)

Too bad the U.S. is acting by inaction, instead of proposing a proper treaty that spells out our position, we just refuse to sign one that we don't like.

An opinion based on the unfounded assumption that there needs to be a treaty.

Why did the ITU propose a treaty that nobody noteworthy is willing to sign? To quote one article on this, the ITU Director General said that he was "surprised" by the dissent. The lesson we can take from this is that the ITU is obliviously out of touch.

Disappointing lack of knowledge: (2)

Hartree (191324) | about 2 years ago | (#42286117)

The treaty was a result of proposals from many different countries including the US that were voted on in the meetings over the last several days. The language that is most being objected to was inserted in a late night session just before the end.

Attempting to force a whole US written treaty on the proceedings outside of the normal UN channels would be a far greater act of disregarding the ITU process than just refusing to sign the final version.

There's an amazing amount of misunderstanding in your post for it being so short.

Re:Disappointing lack of conviction (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42286553)

The US is not inactive in this regard, our government simply isn't going the 'open treaty' route. They have, however, been sending diplomats to various nations pressuring them to implement US friendly internet laws, and they have been using the US's place both among financial institutions and internet infrastructural to basically set the rules for the internet in other countries. Where countries are more oppressive, we have even been funding darknets to help subvert their own government....

The US is against this treaty (well, ok, there are many reasons since it isn't a good treaty) in part because it codifies the rules and gives other countries a say. Right now the US pretty much unilaterally acts as the internet ruler, spreading US law across it, free to do and change whatever they want whenever they want without any judicial review. Pretty sweet deal.

Re:Disappointing lack of conviction (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#42286685)

The US did invent it after all. Other countries are free to build their own networks.

For now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286021)

...we're safe.

The current status quo is preferable to an entirely new system which, if this treaty would have been ratified, was to be in control of an 'independant' organization and nations themselves. Yes, it has to change, but not in the way proposed at this conference.

I'd rather have the US spying on me than China, Russia and Arabia forcing the world to split up the internet into national networks with no external access.

Re:For now... (0)

logjon (1411219) | about 2 years ago | (#42287081)

it has to change

Why?

Re:For now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42287183)

While at the moment it's an issue of choosing for the lesser of two evils, the US still has too much power over some fundamentals of the internet - Or rather, the federal government has too much say about it. Patriot Act excuses come to mind, where all the top TLD's can be seized without warning and regardless of what country they're used from. This is now how 'an independant entity' should be run.

Congrats to Obama (-1, Offtopic)

onyxruby (118189) | about 2 years ago | (#42286105)

You finally had the epiphany to realize that not all treaties are good treaties. Now if Obama could get his head out of his ass about all the various **AA treaties that he keeps trying to get everyone to sign.

Re:Congrats to Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286153)

I'm an alcoholic and I find your post offensive. You do realize sir, that this means war.

So go buy your own! (5, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#42286169)

FTA: "In particular many attendees believed it was an anachronism that the US government got to decide which body should regulate the net's address system as a legacy of its funding for Arpanet - a precursor to the internet which helped form its technical core."

Yeah, that makes perfect sense, I can't imagine why the US didn't sign. "Hey, that thing you paid for, developed, and turned into a thriving platform for social and commercial activity? We don't like that you own it and we don't, so would you mind handing it over?".

Re:So go buy your own! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286515)

Well yes, but there's a difference in culture between the US and some other places that impacts how this is viewed.

In the US it is all about the individual. Collectivism is frowned upon. Europe is more socialist, which is a point part way between the US and countries like China, where in China the group is everything and the individual is nothing.

The more collective your outlook, the more it makes sense to take from the individual WHEN that is for the greater overall good. Europe strikes a balance between the extremes of the US and China. Point is, if it would improve the greater good for something to be taken away from an individual (in this case, an individual country), that should be considered.

The problem here is that it isn't clear taking it away from the individual IS better for the common good. Europe didn't buy into this treaty either. But there probably is some other way to go about this which will be better for the common good than either US control, or the form of control proposed by the UN. When that happens, you can be certain that the US will lose control or end up marginalized, because Europe has no love of the US controlling DNS and other key elements of the internet infrastructure. Countries have come to depend on it, so having the US in control is seen as unwise.

Re:So go buy your own! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42287713)

The problem with a lot of that is that 'the collective' or whatever is purely a subjective thing - it only really exists in peoples minds. Society is ultimately nothing but a group of individuals - anything more than that is all in peoples heads.

Socialism/Collectivism epitomize the attitude of "We need to destroy the village in order to save it" - because 'the village' is not a reference to actual individual people going about their lives in close proximity to each other, but instead some pretentious dumbass's romanticized vision of Society/The Collective/The Common Good etc.

Re:So go buy your own! (1)

ta_gueule (2795275) | about 2 years ago | (#42287203)

Come on, the Internet is not a thing "paid for, developed and a thriving platform", it's a fucking convention. It's a protocol, like a language if you prefer. It's not a "thing". There are several other network protocols and there has been several other protocols since way before the internet. In France we were surfing on transpac and X25 before we joined the internet. The world now uses the Internet, precisely because it is very simple and open. If you really wanted to call it your own, then have fun surfing on your own web site. If the British went around calling the English language their own, the world would juse use esperanto for good.

Re:So go buy your own! (2)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#42288151)

Come on, the Internet is not a thing "paid for, developed and a thriving platform", it's a fucking convention.

Absolutely true! And if you want to roll your own internet, hey, we've done the groundwork, feel free to implement those protocols (hell, feel free to just take the already-implemented public domain code) and you can have your very own internet, domestically controlled. But as the real problem here, you don't want "an" internet - You want America's internet. You even say as much:


In France we were surfing on transpac and X25 before we joined the internet.

Before you joined the internet. Good choice of phrasing. But hey, now that we've kindly let you use it, can we just hand over the keys so you can run it, too?


If you really wanted to call it your own, then have fun surfing on your own web site.

You mean "web", not "site". And I can live with that - With the exception of the BBC, every single website I visit on a regular basis comes from the US. You, however, can't live with that, because most likely the majority of websites you visit (*cough* Slashdot *cough*) also get served from the US - Even the French language ones, just one more rack in a SoCal CoLo.


And honestly, I appreciate having you on the internet, I think it makes it a better place for both of us, sharing ideas across cultures like this. But at the end of the day, we own the ball, and we will take it home with us. And I consider it pretty damned insulting that the rest of the team has pulled a stunt like this, trying to "vote" the ball as no longer ours.

Re:So go buy your own! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42287703)

Hey, that thing you paid for, developed, and turned into a thriving platform for social and commercial activity?

Possibly Tim Berner-Lee and CERN could dispute those honors in one way or another ...

Furthermore: should Italy demand that all number plates are to be registered with them, because they were the first ones to designate chariots by number?
Or would that be the right of France, because they were the first to do that for cars?

Re:So go buy your own! (1)

phlinn (819946) | about 2 years ago | (#42288053)

The worst part about that particular complaint is that there is nothing about the internet that requires that other countries use the US's root DNS servers. They are free to implement their own.

Didn't we BUILD the damn thing? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286189)

Why would the US give up control of the Internet? We built it, it's ours.

Don't forget kids, we are all here having fun on a network who's foundations were laid by the DEFENSE DEPARTMENT!
It's all likely been a sneaky way to spy on everyone in the world by getting them to voluntarily give out information on themselves.

Pay us rent then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286469)

"Your" internet is on OUR land.

Pay rent, sucker, and backdated.

It's our land.

PS give us back the languages, the TV, the Telephone, Electric lighting, the internal combustion engine, writing, arithmetic, medicine and so on. It wasn't invented in the USA.

Hell, the FRIGGING WHEEL wasn't invented there. Take off ALL your wheels (and cogs and springs) and give them back. WE INVENTED IT.

PPS I'm ASSUMIUNG you meant "invented". Because if you mean "built", then hand everything back to Taiwan/China, where it was fucking built you leech.

Re:Pay us rent then. (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 2 years ago | (#42287395)

"Your" internet is on OUR land.

It's there because you begged us for it. You're welcome. Feel free to disconnect from it and throw the cables back into the water anytime you'd like :)

PS give us back the languages, the TV, the Telephone, Electric lighting, the internal combustion engine, writing, arithmetic, medicine and so on. It wasn't invented in the USA.

We bought or licensed all of those things, or were given then directly or via emigration.

You're not a bright man, are you?

Re:Didn't we BUILD the damn thing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286533)

Actually you developed part of the internet and started the large scale infrastructure. You don't own routers and lines in other countries. Also www was invented at CERN as were numerous other things, which last time I checked is not in, nor from, the USA.

Re:Didn't we BUILD the damn thing? (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#42286639)

We built it, it's ours.

No see when I pay for something it's not yours anymore, it's mine. I realize that this is an archaic notion and every day the people who build things are trying to retain control of their cars/smart-phones/computer software/etc. But I'm an older person and not afraid to tell young whiper-snappers to get fucked. Don't worry, I'll be dead soon. By that time you'll realize what the next generation has cooked up just especially to screw you. We each get our turn.

Re:Didn't we BUILD the damn thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286663)

I hate this stupid myth, Arpanet has fuck-all to do with the internet.
Both of them shared a separately created system, packet switching, to route data around it. THAT IS IT.
And packet switching doesn't exactly take a genius to figure out, it was already pretty much done on other lossy signal wires under other names to ensure safe arrival, just not specialised for packets in the internet sense.

I find it more embarrassing that those idiots even in the UN think that!
Even DoD doesn't agree with it! Arpanet and Internet are two completely different beasts.

Not only that, it is impossible for any one single country to create "the internet", hint, the inter means international.
Intranet would be a more correct term, and there were plenty of countries with those being researched all around the same time, separately.
Internet was a joint creation with US and UK after they figured out they were working on similar systems and decided to scale it across seas. Then a few other countries (Canada and France I think) joined in when they ironed out a bunch of the low-level edge cases where it could fall apart, and so on.

Re:Didn't we BUILD the damn thing? (1)

mikael (484) | about 2 years ago | (#42287009)

Every workstation and network technology vendor had their own network protocols at some time or another (DECnet, TCP/IP, ...) Eventually they all decided to adopt a single theoretical model (ISO) to help standardize their designs by splitting everything into layers. Ultimately TCP/IP won out for the upper layers, allowing all sorts of different standards to exist at the hardware level (wi-fi, ethernet).

Bulletin Board Systems adopted Fidonet, which allowed long distance messaging.

Re:Didn't we BUILD the damn thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42287137)

Correction:
The "inter" means INTERNETWORK.

In other words, a method of connecting networks together.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with nations.

US REFUSES TO ALLOW ASSWIPE REGIMES . .. .!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42286447)

There !! Fixed and ribbed it for your pleasure !!

My control is better than yours (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 2 years ago | (#42286527)

That's what this is all about.

WTF with the title (4, Insightful)

Like2Byte (542992) | about 2 years ago | (#42286739)

Seriously? "US Refuses To Sign ITU Treaty Over Internet Provisions" is the title of this piece?

From what I could tell, even TFSummary mentions multiple countries refuse to sign. But, "OMG! Teh Un1t3d 5t4t3s refusors to p3n h4x moar documents! Roooaarrr!!1"

A more sensationalist title I've not seen on /. for a while.

How about a more neutral tone for story summaries? Maybe, I don't know:

Multiple countries fail to agree on ITU Treaty
Multiple countries disagree on ITU Treaty content
Differences still exist between countries involved in ITU Treaty
ITU Treaty content to undergo more revisions

sheesh.

Another way to look at it (1)

Ran_Sasson (1401345) | about 2 years ago | (#42286803)

It seems like the Final Acts of ITU at WCIT2012 will be remembered as crimes against humanity, no less. Read the act: http://www.itu.int/en/wcit-12/Documents/final-acts-wcit-12.pdf [itu.int] If you'll realize the the consequences you'll get the real tragedy: Governmental supervision on content in the name of "security & anti-spam"; the 'Free-Riders' (Google , Facebook, AWS & likes) will keep 'riding' on our infrastructure paid by our taxes; no mention of net neutrality & freedom of content even. As I see it, despite all the american 'Woo-Ha', the USA sold our freedom to China & Russia against the green dollars of the 'Corps'. It's about time Google will listen to Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2011/09/02/google-needs-to-drop-its-do-no-evil-thing/ [forbes.com] Sad day for our planet.

Re:Another way to look at it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42287333)

Google has betrayed its users and dropped its slogan several years ago by giving access to some countries allied with the US to all the data of users residing in them. Those countries are as bad as China when it comes to human rights issues...

The U.N. is worthless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42288329)

U.N. (1948): "Never again!"

Dictators (1948-present): "LOL!!!"

The U.N. has consistently failed at its primary purpose, which is to prevent genocides. All this outrage over the U.S. not signing on to some paltry and misguided attempt by less free nations to get their censoring mitts on arguably the most free medium mankind has ever known. No outrage against the U.N. when some regime starts slaughtering civilians by the thousands. Again. And again. The U.N. is nearly as worthless as the League of Nations it replaced.

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