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House Panel Backs 'Internet Freedom' Legislation

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the for-select-brands-of-freedom-only dept.

The Internet 87

GovTechGuy writes "The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed legislation on Wednesday once again affirming the current management structure of the Web. In doing so, the lawmakers made one thing clear: the only government that should have its hands on the underpinnings of the Internet is the U.S. ' It affirms the importance of an Internet free from censorship and government control and codifies the existing management structure of the Internet. ... Notably, however, lawmakers dropped from the legislation the phrase “free from government control,” which had threatened to derail the April 11 markup by the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. ... [Democrats argued] it could undermine the U.S. government’s ability to enforce existing — or future — laws online.'"

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And yet... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43477763)

nothing about freedom from corporate control or censorship. Interesting.

Re:And yet... (1)

guises (2423402) | about a year and a half ago | (#43477801)

This is sort of what the “free from government control” business was about, I'll quote from the article:

Eshoo told CQ Roll Call she had a “sneaking suspicion” the Republicans were using the Internet freedom legislation as a pretext to implement their anti-regulatory agenda.

In other words, they're talking about net neutrality.

Re:And yet... (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#43477839)

The terms get muddied. Net neutrality is regulation: Regulation to prevent service providers from doing things which are in their business interests, but would be detrimental to the internet as a whole. So an 'anti-regulatory agenda' is in opposition to net neutrality. Right now the internet is built in part on a set of very informal 'unwritten rules,' and it's dubious how well those will hold up as commercial pressures become ever greater.

Re:And yet... (2)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43480525)

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all packets are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Propagation, Transit and the pursuit of their Destination. --That to secure these rights, net neutrality is instituted among ISPs, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Regulation becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Regulation, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Sure it's regulation, the Bill of Rights is regulation... but there's good kinds.

Re:And yet... (2)

t4ng* (1092951) | about a year and a half ago | (#43477841)

They wrote a bill that essentially says, "We affirm that we think the internet is fine the way it is." Wow! What a bold move!

Re:And yet... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478173)

I think they that since they don't understand the internet they make break it and are afraid of doing so. I think they are actually wise to limit any changes until they are fully understood. The main drive to change things are the content creators who think that every pirated song or movie is a lost sale. They have a lot of influence but I think even they are somewhat unsure of just what to do, at least I think they lack a consensus on the matter. The internet just kind of happened for the most part without a lot of governmental guidance and it is a wonderful but dangerous creation.

Re:And yet... (3)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478717)

Basically it all boils down to net neutrality. To maintain net neutrality requires laws, these laws basically protect the individuals right of the nature of access and establishes hard limits upon controls being placed upon that access. Now the right is opposed to that because they want unfettered corporate controls upon individual access, including unlimited monitoring, censorship and alteration of communications, with a greed is God mentality.

Regardless no matter where in the world, the internet always crosses and is embedded in government territory ie where all the cable is laid and crossing state and national boundaries, hence the justification for government control and limits placed upon business that operate it or the preference for a government provided essential utility (as for any claims that the internet is not an essential utility, don't bother talking utter rot).

Re:And yet... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43477865)

In fact there are thousands of Scientology missions, churches, and groups spanning the globe on every continent and over 100 countries of Earth, and millions of Scientologists to be your friends.

Re:And yet... (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year and a half ago | (#43479143)

Well what forms of corporate control or censorship are you referring to?

Only two forms of "corporate" censorship come to mind, one being acceptable and one being half-acceptable.

The first one that I would call acceptable is, for example, in a private forum (such as slashdot, a corporate owned entity) being allowed to remove content that most of us consider to be disruptive from its own forum. This really is no different than a barkeep throwing a catholic doomsayer out of a bar because he's annoying the paying customers.

The second one I would say is half-acceptable, namely copyright takedowns. Hear me out on this one before downmodding me. I hate DRM more than anybody, but I do believe that when you produce any digital content, you should have the right to control the means of distribution. I myself wrote free software once, and when I found out somebody was selling it on ebay and elsewhere, and expecting me to support it, I was pretty well pissed off and went out of my way to make sure that it would only be distributed by the means I chose. However it isn't acceptable to stick DMCA takedown notices on anything you don't own the rights to, or that somebody is using under fair use. This is already illegal, but currently it is too easy to avoid that issue by simply having a lawyer issue the takedown, and then he himself can claim "under penalty of perjury", only he can't be found guilty of perjury because he can claim that either he was doing as instructed by his client, or that he had reason to (e.g. a false positive).

Re:And yet... (2)

Let's All Be Chinese (2654985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43480565)

I do believe that when you produce any digital content, you should have the right to control the means of distribution.

Why? What makes "digital" so different from, oh, music, books, anything with copyright on it, that suddenly the first sale doctrine wouldn't apply?

I myself wrote free software once, and when I found out somebody was selling it on ebay and elsewhere, and expecting me to support it, I was pretty well pissed off and went out of my way to make sure that it would only be distributed by the means I chose.

Yes, that is more than a little annoying, but the fix isn't DRM. It's enforcement of your copyrights. That is in fact how the GPL works. If that software was public domain (or similarly loosely licenced) then that includes allowing reselling, though the "NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY OF ANY KIND" disclaimers are the usual CYA against having to support it. Some people will still be unreasonable about it, of course, but some people will be unreasonable in any case.

There is no requirement whatsoever that enforcing your copyrights includes DRM. DRM doesn't guarantee lack of false positives or preclude rampant DMCA abuse either, far from it. So you'll have to think this one through again, sorry.

Re:And yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43485231)

What makes "digital" so different from, oh, music, books, anything with copyright on it, that suddenly the first sale doctrine wouldn't apply?

Because until this century, all music and novels and everything else copyrightable was delivered on a physical medium, and in fact the law said that you could only copyright something "affixed to a tangible medium." You don't own the novel, you own the book. You don't own the movie, you own the DVD. You can resell the book or DVD. With an ebook or movie download there's no book, so there's nothing to resell. When you "buy" a song or movie or ebook from Amazon, you haven't bought anything at all, you've just paid for the privelege of listening, watching, or reading. There is no right to resale because there's no sale in the first place. When Amazon or iTunes say they're selling music, they're lying.

Doctorow and a lot of indie musicians have the right idea -- if you have quality work, use downloads to sell physicality. It got Doctorow on the best seller list, and the old outlaw Napster revitalized Roger McGuinn's dead musical career.

Note that in the old days, you didn't buy software, you licensed it.

You can't sell what you can't touch -- not to anyone with half a brain, anyway. Now, if you bought a boxed set of Windows CDs, first sale doctrine should allow you ro resell those CDs.

The House? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43477773)

I'm going to assume that house republicans snuck provisions into the bill that take money from the poor, distribute it to the wealthy and rape both our country and our future unless proven otherwise.

Seriously - give me one example of a bill passed by the Republican controlled house which doesn't enthusiastically the GOP's dick in our national punch-bowl.

Just one.

You can't name one, because they can't stop ruining the country at every opportunity.

Re:The House? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43477829)

I'm sure there was a Reverse Robin Hood amendment or two that was added, or that will be. One of their favorite tricks is to try to stick unpalatable (to most) amendments onto spending resolutions. Although, to be fair, the Democrats have done the same. I think the House Republicans think that since they know that most of the things they pass will be stopped by the Senate and/or the President, they might as well throw as much wing-nut stuff in there as possible to sate their far right supporters. "Hey, we're trying." Unfortunately, most rational people with a decent memory will hold them accountable and once they get out of the primaries these tactics can and will be used against them. The real problem here is that somehow the Republicans have commandeered full control of a lot of state Houses and Governorships, and are using that to gerrymander districts and in some cases even attempt to change the way the electoral college votes are assigned to try to get a Republican into the White House. Their problem is that they are unable to gerrymander entire states or the entire country, which means the Senate and the White House may be out of their reach for the foreseeable future, unless some rules are changed. This is also the reason for the assault on voting rights.

Re:The House? (1, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478219)

The reason that the Republicans rule the House is simple. When Pelosi and her cronies ruled they stunk it up so much anything at all seemed better. The way the Democrats ran amuck with control of both Houses of Congress and the Presidency ignored one simple political reality, that elections come every 2 years. For 2 years they acted like it was all about them ignoring and ridiculing an electorate that still leans slightly to the right overall. I can't believe the ignorant fuckers didn't see the backlash coming. If the Republicans could ever pull their heads out of their asses for a minute or two the Senate would fall too. I don't see them doing it though. Maybe they'll get some glass belly buttons though, at least then they can see where they're going.

Re:The House? (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478449)

In the end, both Republicans and Democrats can't help being themselves - politicians. What we need are statesmen and they're always in short supply.

Re:The House? (2)

zephvark (1812804) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478637)

In the end, both Republicans and Democrats can't help being themselves - politicians. What we need are statesmen and they're always in short supply.

The definition of "statesman" is "a dead politician". While I don't think those are in short supply, I am rarely disappointed when their numbers increase.

Re:The House? (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year and a half ago | (#43480243)

The way the Democrats ran amuck

The USA in your head must be very interesting. Unfortunately, it bears little resemblance to the one in the real world. Try to focus, okay?

Re:The House? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478451)

I am not sure what you mean by "Reverse Robin Hood". I do know that attempts by Democrats to pass "Robin Hood Taxes" are ludicrous. The idea that you can imitate Robin Hood by taking money from anyone and giving it to the government is to not understand what Robin Hood did. Robin Hood robbed from the government (usually the tax collectors) and gave the money to the people. Many people want to take money from people and give it to the government and then compare that to Robin Hood because the people they are taking money from are richer than average. That is how Robin Hood became an outlaw. He was one of the rich that weren't part of the government, so the government took what he had and called him an outlaw when he objected.

Re:The House? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43477873)

Funny, everyone on the other side of the isle says the same thing about democrats.

Can't imagine why.

CAPTCHA: pattern

Re:The House? (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#43477963)

That sounds like the democrats too. They put on a big show together of fighting over things, but on most issues they are really very similar. Just find me any recent act passed by congress in which they gave up any significant amount of power.

Even when the parties aren't screwing the people over, there are lobbyists to make sure they do. Look at healthcare reform, for example: It started out as a well-intentioned plan to set up a minimal level of universal health care. By the time the lobbyists from the insurance industry were done, all it did was compel everyone to have an insurance policy and hand out mountains of money in subsidies. Not even subsidies to directly pay for medical care, but subsidies to private insurance companies.

I agree that the Republicans are, on balance, worse than the democrats... but that just means the democrats are less bad.

Re:The House? (2)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478355)

That's what the "free from government control" bit was about. Republicans wanted to sneak that nice sounding line in there so that they could kill off net neutrality. Democrats saw through their scheme and stopped it.

Internet freedom legislation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43477853)

And they say Americans dont get irony.

Hey, the rest of the world (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43477885)

Can come up with its own protocols, build a network and tell the U.S. government where to go, and what to do upon arrival.
Such an effort is hindered by. . .uh. . .

Re:Hey, the rest of the world (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43477971)

They've already built up their own networks, and the protocols are open source and free for all.
This isn't about infrastructure, its about regulation.

Re:Hey, the rest of the world (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478743)

Your comment does not explain the technical reasons why competition is impossible.

Re:Hey, the rest of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43480509)

We all should already know the answer to that. In short: Balkanisation, here we come. It'll be a while, but it'll happen. We're already seeing shades of that, if you look carefully.

The only fix, really, is for the USoA to stop being so damned arrogant, claiming to own the moral high ground while flouting the values they're championing wholesale. In particular, the internet should be free from any sort of meddling interest. Observe that due to its lobbyist infestation, the USoA government is just as unsuitable as any crackpot dictator. China, of all places, is more consistent and predictable, and thus stable, in how it treats its domestic internet. But of course the USoA regards humble pie as if made from crow so that'll never happen. These bumpkin politicians are simply too petty by far to be able to do the right thing on an international stage.

Re:Hey, the rest of the world (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43480711)

"Observe that due to its lobbyist infestation, the USoA government is just as unsuitable as any crackpot dictator. China, of all places, is more consistent and predictable, and thus stable, in how it treats its domestic internet."

Oh, really? One should like to position you there, or Egypt, for a while, to see if your spew holds true.

Re:Hey, the rest of the world (1)

phlinn (819946) | about a year and a half ago | (#43482605)

Death is consistent. That doesn't make it good. I'll take chaotic freedom over the peace over overwhelming censorship.

Re:Hey, the rest of the world (1)

Let's All Be Chinese (2654985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43480519)

By the network effect, entrenchment, that sort of thing.

The practical fix? Make the internet be its own country, and put all infrastructure (especially the DNS) and international servers in it for legal purposes. Then every country needs only make "internet extradition" treaties with "the internet", not with every other country possible. That is also the only way to ensure cencorship as well as warrantless wiretapping stays within bounds.

You can't prevent all damage, but you can contain it, and route around it.

Re:Hey, the rest of the world (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43480721)

Seriously. If the U.S. becomes that odious a benevolent overlord, the rest of the world will not TALK, it will DO.
If you want to complain about a U.S. institution, start with the Federal Reserve.

Re:Internet freedom legislation (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43477957)

And they say Americans dont get irony.

Boy you got that right....

From the story

the only government that should have its hands on the underpinnings of the Internet is the U.S.

I could name a dozen countries I would trust to manage the web more than the U.S.

Re:Internet freedom legislation (1)

thereitis (2355426) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478049)

One good thing about the US is it's big enough to stand firm against opposing interests. Good as long as the interests they are protecting are in the Internet's best interests.

Re:Internet freedom legislation (5, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478127)

And they say Americans dont get irony.

Boy you got that right....

From the story

the only government that should have its hands on the underpinnings of the Internet is the U.S.

I could name a dozen countries I would trust to manage the web more than the U.S.

The U.N.?

Re:Internet freedom legislation (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478243)

Oh man. No mod points but you deserve +5 Funny if anyone ever did. I laughed so hard I almost ruptured something.

Re:Internet freedom legislation (3, Insightful)

green1 (322787) | about a year and a half ago | (#43479679)

Actually the UN would be perfect. When was the last time they actually accomplished anything? Pretty much every motion they ever make is vetoed. It's perfect, put the Internet under the control of an entity so dysfunctional that they simply can't get their act together to mess it up.

I would trust the UN over the USA to run the internet any day.

Re:Internet freedom legislation (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43480557)

They couldn't agree on a global form of censorship, but if you count all the countries who'd like some form of censorship I don't think there'd be any problem to find a majority to open the door. Then you start building international treaties like the Berne convention saying we'll help you with your censorship if you'll help us with ours. Cue the obvious poster children that nobody* can object to in order to get the ball running then start poisoning the well. Or to put it another way, no matter what other constellation they make up I sincerely doubt more would be permitted on the Internet than today. All the other options range from somewhat less to a lot less.

* that'd like a political career.

Re:Internet freedom legislation (1)

green1 (322787) | about a year and a half ago | (#43489663)

Considering how horribly the US has been running it so far, It wouldn't likely be worse. At least at the UN the USA isn't the only country with a veto, Right now the USA can screw it up without any oversight (and have on many occasions). At the UN the USA would still need to want to screw it up, but they could no longer do it on their own, they'd ALSO need to convince the other veto power nations.

There's really zero downside to this compared to the current situation.

Of course a better solution would be a new internet that NO country can mess up... but that's really just a pipe dream at this point.

Re:Internet freedom legislation (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478551)

I could name a dozen countries I would trust to manage the web more than the U.S.

Please name some.

Other countries to run the Internet? (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a year and a half ago | (#43479225)

Trying to regulate any major international infrastructure with a single country in charge of almost everything is always going to be troublesome, but if I had to pick an alternative to the US, I can think of a few credible choices.

Switzerland, maybe? Their position on neutrality in international matters is promising.

Germany? They are successful economically, but also for obvious reasons very conscious of individual freedom and the dangers of centralising too much power.

The trouble I have with the US is that it tends to appoint itself the world's policeman, but primarily when doing so serves US interests. Similarly, what most of the world calls things like "human rights" that apply to all, the US tends to value as "Constitutional rights" that protect primarily US citizens. While these things are perfectly understandable and of little concern if you're actually from the US, most people on the Internet aren't, and that's always going to make for awkward relationships.

Re:Other countries to run the Internet? (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about a year and a half ago | (#43479451)

Neither Switzerland nor Germany have a high enough standard for freedom of speech laws for me to feel comfortable with them regulating the Internet.

Re:Other countries to run the Internet? (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a year and a half ago | (#43480657)

The US doesn't have a high enough standard for privacy and data protection laws for me to feel comfortable with them running the Internet either. But the freedom of speech issue can be fixed using a widely used "common carrier" principle that might well be acceptable in Switzerland or Germany and someone could easily detect whether this was being honoured. Unfortunately, the privacy issue cannot be so easily fixed, and I find it implausible that the US government would voluntarily surrender a chance to spy on the whole world's traffic given their demonstrated history of frequent abuse in this area. Indeed that history is one of the main reasons I don't think the US should be allowed to keep the kind of control they have.

In any case, the US attitude to freedom of speech is out of sync with social norms in much of the world, not to mention internally inconsistent, and frankly a lot of the ethically dubious censorship that goes on in the Western world is probably done by or at the direct request of the United States government, often acting in the interests of United States big business. Put another way, protecting freedom of speech is hardly a strong argument for leaving the US in charge anyway.

The USA is better? Tell that to 2600.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43481957)

DMCA? USA's fault.SOPA/PIPA? USA. And trying VERY hard to export it.

How about Abu Hamsa? How free is his speech?

No, the USA is only concerned about its interests, fuck everyone else if they get in the way.

Re:Internet freedom legislation (1)

nomadic (141991) | about a year and a half ago | (#43482295)

"I could name a dozen countries I would trust to manage the web more than the U.S."

How many of them invented the internet?

Re:Internet freedom legislation (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478001)

Er... who says that exactly? I could see the French saying that I suppose, but I thought it was just they looked down their noses past their pencil mustaches at everyone for not being French.

Re:Internet freedom legislation (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478023)

And they say Americans dont get irony.

Indeed, in this case they don't... they get coppery (as in: the cop of the Internet; nobody else has the right to police it)

Re:Internet freedom legislation (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478227)

Kind of like the term "People's Republic" isn't it.

Somewhat academic, really. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#43477913)

The power to control the internet rests with whomever has either control over the hardware, or control over those who have control over the hardware. They can blow all the hot air they want about an internet 'free from censorship and government control' - but in the end, a lot of that internet runs on hardware that isn't located in the US. If China, or Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan, or Turkey, or any other country with a government that decides the internet needs to be censored of 'harmful' political or social content, then there is nothing the US government can do about it.

Re:Somewhat academic, really. (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478025)

It's not the job of the US government to worry about censorship practices in other countries. If you live in a country that censors the internet you can take it up with your government. It is the US governments responsiblity to ensure that countries that do practice state censorship never have a mechanism to inflict their censorship across the entire internet. If anyone has a problem with that they are certainly free to build their own.

Re:Somewhat academic, really. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478077)

Are we so diseased we assume "control by government" is the natural and proper base from which to start thinking about topics? It's a truism that government, AKA people in power who want to maintain it -- including those in the US -- will automatically assume so.

Re:Somewhat academic, really. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#43480039)

Someone has to control it, and it is an unavoidable fact that that control will ultimately rest with either those who control the hardware or those who are able to coerce them. Building large-scale network infrastructure is beyond the budget of volunteer groups, so there are only two options: Either the government controls the internet, or private corporations control the internet. Pick your poison.

A modern Constitution would be a joke. (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478013)

"Notably, however, lawmakers dropped from the legislation the phrase “free from government control,” which had threatened to derail the April 11 markup by the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. ... [Democrats argued] it could undermine the U.S. government’s ability to enforce existing — or future — laws online.'"

Sorry, Democrats. Even your congenital desire to hold up cardboard with "Commerce Clause" on it the way a rainbow-haired guy holds up John 3:16 isn't enough to override the First Amendment.

Strange bedfellows -- what do you and the John 3:16 AKA religious folk have in common? 500 word paper due to tomorrow, turn in to Madison and Monroe.

Re:A modern Constitution would be a joke. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478255)

Man, I have no idea what you just said. Do you?

Let's change up that line that caused issues... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43478035)

free from government control

free from control by anyone with an IQ less than 140 and that hasn't had a minimum of 20 years of computer / networking related experience (management experience does not count)...

There, that ought to clear things right up and protect the internet from the fucktards in office today and for most of the rest of eternity...

Re:Let's change up that line that caused issues... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43478377)

free from control by anyone with an IQ less than 140 and that hasn't had a minimum of 20 years of computer / networking related experience

This is why we need more H1B's!

Sad aint it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43478053)

The US goverment is the least corrupt so we let them have the net...

Our corruption isn't crazy either like religious nuts or nothin. Nope. We're just flat out for the money.

I propose we change our motto from land of the free and all that bullshit... To... "Fuck you pay me!"

It fits us here in the usa much better.

Re:Sad aint it... (3, Informative)

t4ng* (1092951) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478251)

The US goverment is the least corrupt...

Citation please! [transparency.org]

Spoiler: 13 other governments are less corrupt than the US

Re:Sad aint it... (1)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year and a half ago | (#43479077)

Looks like 18 to me!

Re:Sad aint it... (1)

MadMaverick9 (1470565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43479215)

Yeah - I saw [thomsonreuters.com] that too. There is something fishy about this list. As if there is data missing.

Re:Sad aint it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43479119)

"No controlling legal authority." [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Sad aint it... (0)

MadMaverick9 (1470565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43479187)

Nothing there ...

I am using Firefox w/ NoScript. The so called "full table" is one big white space.

Stupid web developers. They can't even publish a simple list of countries without using Javascript.

Reminds me of this [slashdot.org] .

This [thomsonreuters.com] is how it can be done. A simple image [thomsonreuters.com] .

Re:Sad aint it... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year and a half ago | (#43479415)

Hmmm, lets see...

Based on that into, you have New Zealand, Finland and Denmark tied for equal first. Seeing as NZ jumped into the US pockets with the whole megaupload/kim dotcom thing a while back, you can rule out all three. I mean, clearly you can't trust the folks at the top. Next up, Sweden in 4th place. You can't trust those crazy folks, I mean...they are like Swedish. Enough said. I can't even find who they are tied with, so that rules them out as well. Switzerland is next up. You simply must rule them out, I mean like they have holes in their cheese, what's to say they don't have the same sort of glaring holes in all the regulations. Then you have Norway and Australia next up.

Seeing as we have crossed so many off already - that leaves the internet in the firm control of either a bunch of folks who can't pronounce W's and everything is a V as they sing along to absurd amounts of death metal - or in the steady hands of a bunch of beer swilling outdoorsey folk who are freakishly good at swimming and medal tallys at the Olympics and Commonwealth games based on the size of their population.

Goodbye internets... we liked you while you were around...

Re:Sad aint it... (1)

t4ng* (1092951) | about a year and a half ago | (#43495231)

k... well I guess I should not have expected anyone to actually read the page on how the index was created. But I thought at least the title might have been a clue. Let's take it one word at a time, shall we?

  • Corruption... ok, should be easy, it's the subject we are talking about.
  • Perception... So it is based on people's perceptions since corruption is difficult to uncover in absolute values.
  • Index... So the numbers are a score, which is why some countries have the same score, and there are gaps between index numbers.

Time to cut us off I think (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478061)

I'm waiting for the rest of the world to wise up and cut off the US from the Internet. Our "we control da wurld" attitude needs a serious slap down.

Re:Time to cut us off I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43478319)

... needs a serious slap down.

As long as the USA controls the money supply and has the biggest guns around the oil supply, it won't happen. Besides, why build a second GPS, when one can simply join the US-ian network. China has some competing internet services, but English-speaking countries aren't joining them.

Re:Time to cut us off I think (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478363)

Who else? Who else would you have do it? China? Iran? Mexico? Germany?

Bitch all you want, but right now the US is the fairest playing field.

Re:Time to cut us off I think (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478583)

Who else? Who else would you have do it? China? Iran? Mexico? Germany?

How about all of the above, in some sort of collective organization that isn't controlled by any one government.

United Nations
WTO
OECD

Probably in that order.

As dysfunctional and impotent as the UN is, it is -precisely- the sort of organization for this. And the dysfunction and impotence is -precisely- the desired operational mode; you don't want an efficient dictator. you want the near deadlock that ensures little gets done that isn't acceptable to pretty much everyone.

Absolutely NOT. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43478975)

I'm a big fan of the U.N., but something like this absolutely is not a good idea.

Take a look at the recent ITU meetings/conferences and how they are run. Yeah, that's exactly what a U.N. controlled Internet would look like. Not a pretty sight.

For now, the U.S. is the best combination of large-enough-to-matter, and free-enough-to-be-mostly-nonevil there is. There's certainly no other country with the combination of economic/technical power that also has quite as much of a open society mindset. I'd love it if the Swedes or Norwegians or Dutch could handle it (maybe even the Finns), but they simply aren't Big League enough. And the E.U. as a whole is completely broken right now, so that's right out.

Fact is, the USA is the least-worst option. Which isn't a ringing endorsement, but sometimes, Perfect is the enemy of Good Enough.

Re:Time to cut us off I think (1)

phlinn (819946) | about a year and a half ago | (#43482821)

After seeing places like Libya on the human rights council without getting laughed out of the room, I'll pass on UN control. The US is mostly hands off compared to most of the countries on the UN.

Technically, anyone can create DNS servers (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478079)

Which means if China decides it wants to create it's own Internet, there's nothing we can do about it.

Re:Technically, anyone can create DNS servers (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478599)

no, the protocol only respects the 13 logical root servers, and ultimate control of that root zone is by the United States Department of Commerce. so good luck with your private Chinese internet

Re:Technically, anyone can create DNS servers (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478659)

However, local files determine where it finds those. Simple matter to rewrite the local tables and use those.

Who do you think manufactures most of our devices?

Re:Technically, anyone can create DNS servers (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478733)

nonsense, not a simple matter to subvert operating system of a machine (by some imagined manufacturing trick) and find and overwrite whatever dns system is in use. such a thing would be quickly noticed, and would only work in the two-way and more-way transactions of the internet if all machines were subverted. in other words, it wouldn't work. you can make a private internet, but the real internet won't work with it.

Re:Technically, anyone can create DNS servers (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478903)

But if said private Internet is all of China and they control all the routers and gateways, how could you stop it? They could then filter out all outbound traffic so that we could only block outbound packets, which would leave them up and running.

China has more devices on the Internet than existing in North America in the last century. That's pretty darned big.

real internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43478993)

What makes you think the Chinese private internet 'wants' to work with the real internet?

Re:Technically, anyone can create DNS servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43481233)

Please stop commenting on this, you have no idea how the internet or DNS works.

There are plenty of private DNS out there already, as well as alternative public DNS.
And all of those public ones are transparent with the current DNS out there too.

An operating system can easily be overwritten.
In fact, you can easily install new protocols entirely and uninstall unused ones.

The fact that you think the US can stop anything China does beyond its firewall is hilarious at best.
Things don't work that way. They never have and never will.
The entire internet system is based on trust between peers. Anyone can agree to not peer with anyone else. (same goes with secondary ISPs, the ones people typically sign up for with internet who buy or peer with the primary backbone operators)
This thing has happened countless times in the past, and has even resulted in entire sections of the internet and web being blackholed because someone introduced an incorrect or deliberately malicious routing rule.
This is the single and only fact of internet control: a country has control up to the point where the line leaves their country, beyond those borders any other country can do whatever they want with the internet, including shutting down other countries connections to other countries. (countries which mutually agree on sharing lines through each others countries to benefit being connected)
If a country went rogue, everyone else can trivially agree to disconnect them from the internet until they get their self sorted.
Other countries that might have lines running through that country will likely have to lay new lines through alternative routes, or suffer slower connections to other areas because they need to route through longer paths. (not particularly of any care for most people, but finance and gaming can suffer due to this)
Nobody is in control of the internet but the countries which run the backbones in their respective countries and those that have enough money or power to push other countries in to submission.

Re:Technically, anyone can create DNS servers (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year and a half ago | (#43496763)

you are the one who understands nothing, we're not talking about private DNS in an internet attached network.

Re:Technically, anyone can create DNS servers (1)

phlinn (819946) | about a year and a half ago | (#43482875)

The protocol is blind. Alternate root servers [wikipedia.org] have been done before.

Internet is not just DNS servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43480955)

I hate it when people talk about the internet as if it's a single entity. It is a machine with many well-oiled parts.

Half is software, half is hardware. China could make their own intranet, but there's no way they could ever achieve a global parallel.

End rant.

Megaupload was shut down around a year ago... (1)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year and a half ago | (#43478169)

Sometimes I do wonder if the US having all the control is such a good idea - Megaupload was shut down last January, without judicial due process. However I am pretty damn sure that I don't want countries like China to control my Internet...

What about monopolies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43478493)

I'm still stuck with AT&T DSL at 1.5mbit because South Carolina passed a law giving them a legal monopoly on fiber services in the State.

Fuck AT&T. Fuck the US Government. Anyone who thinks the government does anything with the best interest of "we the people" in mind is a fucking blithering idiot.

Re:What about monopolies? (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year and a half ago | (#43480217)

South Carolina passed a law ... Fuck the US Government.

So, planning on heading down to Ft. Sumter soon, are we?

Re:What about monopolies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43482455)

I'm still stuck with AT&T DSL at 1.5mbit because South Carolina passed a law giving them a legal monopoly on fiber services in the State.

Fuck AT&T. Fuck the US Government. Anyone who thinks the government does anything with the best interest of "we the people" in mind is a fucking blithering idiot.

So you're blaming the US Government on something your state government passed. Interesting leap there sport.

They have opened the door. (1)

bradley13 (1118935) | about a year and a half ago | (#43479973)

They have opened the door. From TFA: Notably, however, lawmakers dropped from the legislation the phrase “free from government control”

Which is to say: They have deliberately opened the door for further regulation by the FCC and whatever other federal agencies care to stick their noses in.

They can't stop anything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43481149)

Every other country can agree to blackhole the US and take control pretty easily.
It is exactly how the internet was designed. It is based on trust between peers. (which has been abused several times in the past)
If trust falters, so will the internet as we know it.

It is already at an uneasy point in its life where the US have been abusing their powers and the rest of the world is getting annoyed at it now.
The so-called Country of Freedom is no more, and it will likely only be a matter of time before other countries just say "fuck you" and disconnect the lines.
The American economy will tank if such a thing happens. So much of exporting is based on the internet and through media deliveries on boat and plane.
To disconnect all of those avenues would be catastrophic for the US.
In fact, it would likely drive the higher up morons in to full-out war, that is how pathetic it is.

I'll see you on the illegal global links, /.

FFS, what are you on about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43481815)

This wasn't "Internet Freedom", it's "US Control of the Internet".

Obligatory pedant rant (1)

anegg (1390659) | about a year and a half ago | (#43482175)

The Internet is not the world wide web. The Internet is not the world wide web. Its much bigger than that.

hmmmm (1)

handofpwn (2628313) | about a year and a half ago | (#43483331)

'Freedom' and 'Legislation' are two mutually exclusive terms as far as I am concerned. It seems to me that if the US govt were really concerned with internet freedom they would NOT be passing laws, as the nature of a law is to forcibly limit freedoms that would otherwise exist naturally.

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