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Citing Snowden Leaks, Russia Again Demands UN Takeover of Internet

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the transit-zones-for-all dept.

Government 275

Lauren Weinstein writes "In a clear demonstration that actions do have consequences, often unintended ones, 'The New York Times' reports that Russia is again demanding a UN Internet takeover of exactly the sort repressive governments around the world have long been lusting after, and using Edward Snowden's continued presence in Russia as a foundation for this new thrust. Acting as a catalyst for a crackdown against freedom of speech on the Net was certainly not Snowden's intention — quite the opposite, it's reasonable to assume." Not to worry.

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Just economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44295853)

The world's biggest bastion of internet crooks* advocates raising the barrier to entry for internet crookery. Nothing to see here.

*By which I mean botnets, spam, and internet-conducted dodgy transactions of all sorts.

Snowden leak: Microsoft added Outlook.com backdoo (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296127)

NSA praises Redmond for 'collaborative teamwork'
There are red faces in Redmond after Edward Snowden released a new batch of documents from the NSA's Special Source Operations (SSO) division covering Microsoft's involvement in allowing backdoor access to its software to the NSA and others.

Documents seen by The Guardian detail how the NSA became concerned when Microsoft started testing Outlook.com, and asked for access. In five months Microsoft and the FBI created a workaround that gives the NSA access to encrypted chats on Outlook.com. The system went live in December last year – two months before Outlook.com's commercial launch.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/11/snowden_leak_shows_microsoft_added_outlookencryption_backdoor_for_feds/ [theregister.co.uk] [theregister.co.uk]

Better Idea: (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 9 months ago | (#44296259)

Fuck the UN, and why not have ICANN and suchlike be it's own independent NGO? Each country pays into it to keep it going.

It would only take a few nations to support it, and it can stay independent. I can see a few housekeeping items that would have to be addressed, but at least this way the UN can keep their grubby paws off it, yet no one can bitch about the US owning it anymore (in spite of the whole shebang originating as a US gov't project, etc...)

Re:Better Idea: (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44296683)

It can stay independent? Of what? It would be presumptuous to say big NGOs are any less corrupt than anything else. The only workable solution is to abandon DNS and any other protocol that is vulnerable to such abuses. Nobody's stopping the Russians from setting up their own 'internet' with their own servers for their own purposes.

Re:Better Idea: (3, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#44296743)

People who wanted influence would work their own people in there. They are much more determined than a bunch of people who just imagine it will remain independent. Something, by the way, history sbould give them absolutely no confidence in.

Re:Better Idea: (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 9 months ago | (#44296791)

Nobody's stopping the Russians from setting up their own 'internet' with their own servers for their own purposes.

Yeah, because that won't have negative consequences of it's own.
Hey look 14,000 root DNS servers. Half of which are MITM attacks. Which ones do you use, or your ISP, or the next DNS hop?

Re:Better Idea: (4, Informative)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 9 months ago | (#44297115)

While you can decentralize DNS, you cannot decentralize IP address assignments.

DNS is just kind of a starting point for stupid US politicians because they don't realize that what ultimately matters is being able to access the IP, so they frequently target DNS for filters in their stupid proposed laws (e.g. sopa.) However after their attempts at DNS based filters fail, they'll eventually get the clue that they've been barking up the wrong tree, and then you'll be back where you started, only this time a return to the late 90's where all kinds of people would snap up whatever domain name they could with the intention of doing nothing other than parking on it with the intent of selling it for millions. That, and snatching up domain names when somebody doesn't catch their expiration, and then holding them for ransom. No, the current system where DNS has accountability against that kind of thing is preferred, in my opinion.

Chinese, Iranian, Russian, and Pakistani politicians have already realized that blocking DNS is ultimately fucking useless and do their blocking by either BGP route poisoning or massive IP blacklists. Russia wants control of ICANN so that this becomes easier for that consortium; namely they get to say who gets what IP addresses, which makes their filters much easier to establish and maintain.

It is rather sad just how technologically illiterate our politicians are compared to theirs, but on the upside it currently works in our favor, and indeed the world's favor, because their technological ineptitude leaves them unable to figure out how to censor proper, and for that reason alone I think it is probably better that the US Department of Commerce holds the keys as they do, unless something changes.

As for NSA spying, this can and will happen regardless of who holds the keys to ICANN, and regardless of whether the internet is censored. Snowden is NOT at any fault here - not by a long shot.

Re:Better Idea: (4, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 9 months ago | (#44297153)

Another thing to add that the "lameness filter" wouldn't let me post in that post:

Prism appears to operate at the provider level, which means that so long as you actually have a functioning network, even if it is a censored one, you aren't going to harm prism in any way. So long as e.g. google, microsoft, and facebook provide access to the NSA, prism can do its magic. I think Russia knows this, but they're hoping to be able to catch the attention of politicians equally as ignorant as US politicians.

AC post below this one suggests that Snowden was paid to do this for example - it's nonsense, and I really hope this doesn't detract from the work he is doing in the eye of the otherwise uneducated public.

Snowden is well paid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44295855)

...This is an obvious consequence.

Oh no, it's Roland! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44295881)

Oh wait, no it's Weinstein. Who the fuck is Lauren Weinstein and why does an article pointing to her own blog make it to Slashdot's front page?

Re:Oh no, it's Roland! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44295983)

I guess we haven't discussed Snowden enough here.

I used to disagree (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44295887)

On the basis that there was no reason to change the status quo. Now that the US has proven to be not worthy of trust, the UN should take control over the DNS root.

Re:I used to disagree (2)

erroneus (253617) | about 9 months ago | (#44296209)

I think not only DNS but they should oversee the major internet carriers as they participate on the public internet as well.

Compromise by government is still compromise.

How about alt roots instead? (5, Insightful)

magic maverick (2615475) | about 9 months ago | (#44295889)

I can't see how the UN could fuck the domain system up much more than the USA already has. But still, how about fuck the statists? Let's get a proper decentralised DNS system in place, and use that instead. Meanwhile, we can use alt-roots.

Seriously, the USA has proven that they can't be trusted with control of the Internet. Demonstrated it totally. Anyone who thinks otherwise must be insane, or suffering from selective blindness.

Oh, yeah, we're going to take your domain of you because you link to sites that host torrent files (which themselves aren't copyrighted material, but merely link to copyrighted material). For example.

So yeah, fuck the USA, fuck ICANN, and maybe let's see if the UN (who manage the international postal telephone systems) can't do a better job. Or even better, let's say "fuck authority", and go it alone.

Re:How about alt roots instead? (5, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | about 9 months ago | (#44295941)

No government can be trusted with control over the internet. There should be a separate body for that, 'manned' only by robots. Or something else completely separated from anything that even remotely has to do with real world politics.

Re:How about alt roots instead? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296249)

You want to give the control of the internet to Skynet?

Re:How about alt roots instead? (1)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 9 months ago | (#44296305)

This comment proves what I've been saying all along - Skynet already controls the internet. Now it starts an astroturf campaign to turn that control from de facto to de jure.

Re:How about alt roots instead? (5, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 9 months ago | (#44296145)

I can't see how the UN could fuck the domain system up much more than the USA already has.

Then you are seriously lacking in imagination.

I'm not suggesting the gTLD fiasco is anything but, but never underestimate the ability of bad people to make things worse.

Seriously, the USA has proven that they can't be trusted with control of the Internet. Demonstrated it totally. Anyone who thinks otherwise must be insane, or suffering from selective blindness.

The trouble is, so has everyone else, and demonstrated it even more convinvingly.

At least the USA (unlike my own country, the UK) is one of the few not constant pushing for massive scale filtering.

Re:How about alt roots instead? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296549)

The trouble is, so has everyone else, and demonstrated it even more convinvingly.

No.

I could ask you to name an example but you would only bring out China.
In what way do you think Norway have demonstrated that they can't be trusted with control of the Internet?

Re:How about alt roots instead? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296759)

"At least the USA (unlike my own country, the UK) is one of the few not constant pushing for massive scale filtering."

No, the US just abuses control of ICANN to arbitrarily seize domains of foreign businesses that have not committed any crime instead in their country of residence and are using international TLDs.

Why filter when you can just perform outright global censorship like the US does instead?

Re:How about alt roots instead? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296229)

It's sensationalism.

The FUD about "demanding a UN Internet takeover of exactly the sort repressive governments around the world have long been lusting after" is just that, FUD. It's been pointed out time and time again that the ITU works via consensus so nothing bad can happen under US control unless the US supports it, and if the US supports it (i.e. ICE domain seizures) it can already happen. The advantage of UN control is that if the US supports it (again, i.e. ICE domain seizures) and even one other single country doesn't, then it can't happen. That's why UN control is better.

But this discussion has been had here before, most people here have too poor an understanding of the UN, the ITU, to see through the "OMG RUSSIA CHINA INTERNET CONTROL CENROSHIP!!!!!1111111" screams that are quite clearly FUD propagated for the purpose of making the US retain control and allowing the US to hence continue to unilaterally impose it's will on the domain name system negatively despite the fact we could stop anyone imposing it negatively, but still easily get consensus on the positive uncontroversial stuff.

That's of course providing you can get through all the tosh spread by the new world order kooks proclaiming that there are some unnamed actors running the UN and just attempting to control the whole world via it.

This is a topic that barely anyone on Slashdot has the mental competence or background knowledge to have with any degree of rationality nowadays, so cue the nonsense in 3...2...1...

mmmm (1, Insightful)

houbou (1097327) | about 9 months ago | (#44295893)

Russia does NOT have the credibility to demand anything when it comes to the Internet. Some of the best cracks and software pirates come from the Soviet Union. I would venture that the only reason Russia would love to the the UN as the world Internet Caretaker is that it would allow them more freedoms to do as they please.

Re:mmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296721)

it would allow them more freedoms to do as they please.

/me scratches head.

Is this an argument for or against? I thought this is the definition of FREEDOM.

Well, he called it... (5, Insightful)

Shoten (260439) | about 9 months ago | (#44295897)

Bruce Schneier saw this [schneier.com] coming. And he's got a point...on one hand, we argue against the policies of countries like Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, China when it comes to free, uncensored and unmonitored use of the Internet (or lack thereof in the aforementioned countries). And then, oh...look what we're doing with all those network links that pass through our own country. You can argue that the motives are different, the means are more surgical (but only to a point since 1, they are classified programs and 2, intelligence agencies lie their assess off, by necessity, to foreign powers) but the argument still won't carry much weight.

Re:Well, he called it... (4, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 9 months ago | (#44296073)

Politicians using a high profile incident to further their own agenda? Well well... color me thoroughly unsurprised. And that's all this is. The USA may have been caught snooping on our stuff, but clearly the solution is not to give control from one peeping Tom nation to other nations that will not only snoop but lock down and censor as well. And I firmly include the proposed UN body in that category; the danger is that every nation with a burr up its arse about something (IP infringement, religious sensitivities, cultural encroachment) will not only find a willing ear at the UN as they always do, but will also have the means to enforce their own petty rules in other countries. The Internet under UN control will become a politically correct, culturally sanitized My Little Pony land.

Re:Well, he called it... (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#44296185)

Let's face it, when the argument for leaving the US in charge was "they have stood up for internet freedom and neutrality", a failure like this was ultimately inevitable. I just don't think anyone expected it to be practically immediate. The choice now is whether to let nations establish their own internet authorities with their own goals, yielding the idea of the internet as a universal commons; or to create an ostensibly neutral overseer, something the UN is hideously inefficient at.

Re:Well, he called it... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#44296275)

(The third option is to get the US to respect the privacy of foreigners' internet traffic as it respects the traffic of its own citizens, but that's never going to happen.)

Re:Well, he called it... (1)

Holi (250190) | about 9 months ago | (#44296595)

The do respect the privacy of foreign traffic as much as the do the domestic, that is to say they don't respect privacy at all.

Re:Well, he called it... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#44296883)

Hey, at least you have some legal recourse under your constitution. If I'm reading US politicians' reassurances correctly, the NSA can do whatever the hell it likes with my data, and your local press will consider that perfectly fair.

Re:Well, he called it... (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 9 months ago | (#44296635)

(The third option is to get the US to respect the privacy of foreigners' internet traffic as it respects the traffic of its own citizens, but that's never going to happen.)

Thanks. I just snorted diet coke out of my nose!

Re:Well, he called it... (2)

JWW (79176) | about 9 months ago | (#44296639)

I'm not worried that the UN would be hideously inefficient with overseeing the Internet, I'm worried that they would be hideously evil overseeing the internet.

Re:Well, he called it... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296341)

Yes, Russia, the country that's in the middle of anti-gay scapegoating/witchunts. The country that put a band in jail for insulting their leader. They're the bastion of internet freedom.

The fact that Russia is asking for the UN to takeover is reason enough to fight against it. I'll stick good 'ol American corruption and incompetence thank you very much. (At least it's predictable)

Re:Well, he called it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296849)

Bruce Schneier saw this [schneier.com] coming. And he's got a point...on one hand, we argue against the policies of countries like Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, China when it comes to free, uncensored and unmonitored use of the Internet (or lack thereof in the aforementioned countries). And then, oh...look what we're doing with all those network links that pass through our own country. You can argue that the motives are different, the means are more surgical (but only to a point since 1, they are classified programs and 2, intelligence agencies lie their assess off, by necessity, to foreign powers) but the argument still won't carry much weight.

But that still doesn't explain how giving the UN control of the DNS system would do anything to prevent governments from sniffing comms traffic.

Re:Well, he called it... (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#44296891)

Fair enough on the monitoring aspect, but we demonstrably arent arresting people for political opnion blogs or tampering with web site queries for politically "hot" topics. Ie, you wont be arrested or detained or disconnected for googling "Google NSA PRISM". Try that sort of thing in China.

So theres a point to be made, but we're still a lot less "dangerous" as caretakers of the internet than folks like Russia or China.

Thanks Obama! (1)

MacDork (560499) | about 9 months ago | (#44297041)

Seriously. Thanks to Obama's administration we have this problem. He has single handedly wrecked trust in US operating systems, web hosts, hardware, online services... everything.

I know someone's gonna say this started under Bush, but Obama could have stopped it. In fact, Obama ran on the promise that he would stop it. [cnet.com]I know someone is going to split hairs: "He's NOT wiretapping!!11!!ONE He's only collecting teh metadatas." Obama's running mate, Joe Biden would like to have a word with you. [youtube.com]

Fuck you Obama/Biden. You've broken the trust of everyone who elected you.

The problem with the US system of democracy is there's no way to FIRE dirtbag politicians who run on specific campaign promises and then turn around and do the exact opposite. That mother fucker promised to end this shit and instead made it worse, intentionally. He should be fired without a pension or golden parachute. Where are the calls for impeachment over this direct breach of the Constitution that he swore to protect?

Re:Well, he called it... (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 9 months ago | (#44297077)

The links are still uncensored. They just happen to be listening to what is being said over them. And as far as monitoring goes, the day they can use that information to actually arrest someone for something other than a bona-fide national security issue, let me know. Then I will start becoming actually worried.

The reason I am not concerned is that they are going to have a similar capability to listen no matter what you do. UN control won't change anything in that regard. It's not like they were using the DNS system to listen to people; they used plain old cooperation with private entities and the usual spying and hacking techniques. It's not that the law is some sort of stopgap before some technical solution is put in place to prevent snooping. There never will be a technical solution, or at least, none that the general public will have available to them.

It is ridiculous to assert that because the US does spying that they "can't be trusted". Everyone does spying. Everyone. If you thought otherwise, you were living in a dream world. The Internet has always and everywhere been 99.9% able to be compromised by whoever has the resources.

Point being, if you thought the US was the best caretaker of this system, then really, nothing has changed. The US was spying before, and it is spying now. Submitting control of the Internet or just the DNS system to the UN is just wishful thinking that somehow gridlock will make things better. All it will end up doing is making it take longer to get functional changes pushed through.

Come again? (1)

rogueippacket (1977626) | about 9 months ago | (#44295899)

So let me get this straight - it's better to have all of your actions monitored and recorded online by one of the most warmongering and paranoid countries on the planet, than to have the Internet controlled by an international organization which "might" abuse the privilege? Makes sense...

A one world government is inevitable (0)

arcite (661011) | about 9 months ago | (#44295971)

In the not-so-distant future, and it will be controlled by the US, deal with it. Russia is a dying a slow death, as they continue to depopulate. After Putin, no one will really much care what Russia does or says.

Re:A one world government is inevitable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296217)

US of Ahahahahaha.... No, seriously. Thanks for the laugh.

Don't drag the net down with USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296569)

A quick wakeup call:

You have a debt of $16 trillion, an annual deficit of $900 billion, you collect $2 trillion in taxes and spend $2.9 trillion. To cover this shortfall, the Fed is printing $80 billion a month in new money and buying debt, most of it government debt bought at negative rates (80*12 = 960 billion more than the deficit). Negative rates means the repayments from the government will be worth less than the money originally printed. Fed isn't allowed to do that, but hey, you have no choice.

It has nothing to do with inflation vs deflation BTW, the government would have to borrow that money no matter what, the *borrowing* creates the inflation not the Fed. The only difference is the interest rate would be high, as US govt would have to pay interest to borrow. Something in the 6-10% range is modest.

You also run a huge trade deficit. The recent NSA problems will make that substantially worse as USA kit is no longer usable by a lot of businesses abroad.

There is a big problem here, if Fed throttles back, then the economy will shrink and taxes fall. If they throttle back interest rates will rise, suppose they rise to 7%, and taxes shrink to 1.12 trillion. Then the tax doesn't even cover the interest = USSR style meltdown. Yet if he doesn't throttle back the dollar becomes toilet paper, it won't suffer hyper inflation, but raging inflation of 12%+ is quite possible if value is driven from the dollar.

So its unlikely the future will see a US dominated world.

Re:Come again? (4, Insightful)

Talderas (1212466) | about 9 months ago | (#44296191)

Any nation on the planet can implement PRISM and just like the US they can only really adequately collect data that is within their borders. Any data not within the borders requires the complicity of other nations. Who has "control" of the Internet (by virtue of top level DNS servers) really has no impact on whether the programs can occur. In fact, maintaining freedom of speech is actually in the interest of a program like PRISM as people would feel freer to speak more and with others more permitting a bet data collection.

That aside, the US still does have one of the best freedom of speech while the UN doesn't seem to have any desire to enforce or even go after member nations that are hostile to freedom of speech.

Come And Get It If You Can (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44295903)

The USA is the mightiest, richest and most powerful nation on Earth, we control the Internet, and nobody can do anything about it
Lets see you try to take it and see what happens.

Re:Come And Get It If You Can (2)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 9 months ago | (#44296049)

It is exactly that sort of attitude that makes the USA the wrong ''controller'' of the Internet.

Re:Come And Get It If You Can (1)

spacepimp (664856) | about 9 months ago | (#44296753)

I am fairly certain the anonymous coward, was making a self (as in country) deprecating joke.

Re:Come And Get It If You Can (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296943)

How can you tell?

Re:Come And Get It If You Can (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296989)

It is exactly that sort of attitude that makes the USA the wrong ''controller'' of the Internet.

So a post by an AC on slashdot, who could be from anywhere on the planet, is what you're using to form your opinion of the US in general?
I guess we don't really have a monopoly on fucking idiots after all.

Good Luck with that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44295905)

I wish the UN good luck in trying to take over the internet. They don't have a standing army of sysadmins ready to enforce oppression, and I imagine assembling such a thing would be near impossible. Ask the NSA.

KC

Irony (1)

arcite (661011) | about 9 months ago | (#44295909)

Somehow I doubt Russia would really want the UN controlling the internet, considering the US already contributes over 1/5 of the budget, the largest individual contributor by far.

UN is not the governmemt, its the planet. (5, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 9 months ago | (#44295927)

Why do americans get so paranoid that letting the world itself control the worlds telecommunications network, instead of the spooky us government is a somehow a threat to freedom.

I'm sorry but as a non american, reading about PRISM doesn't fill me with confidence that letting a foreign power control my communications is "freedom".

It SHOULD be controlled by a democracy of the world, not Obama and the NSA.

Re:UN is not the governmemt, its the planet. (5, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 9 months ago | (#44296041)

Ideally, neither the US nor the UN should "control the Internet." The US might be bad, but don't think the UN is some sort of "democracy of the world." When you look at who's demanding UN control of the Internet (countries like Russia, China, and various dictatorships around the world) and what proposals they keep floating (things like prosecution for offending their religious sensibilities - yes, if they had their way, posting "Religion X stinks!" would be a crime), you realize that UN control of the Internet would result in LESS online freedoms, not more. About the best thing that might happen if the UN took control of the Internet would be if it bungled its control in such a way as to render it unable to enforce provisions. More likely, though, anti-freedom provisions would be rammed through and the Internet would fracture into "countries who refuse to enforce the provisions" and "countries who enforce them." (Or, even more likely, a shade of grey where most countries enforce some but not all of the provisions. Resulting in the near-impossibility of moving to a place where the provisions aren't enforced at all.)

Untrue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296985)

Because for every dictatorial country you cited, there is at least a western democratic country. It is not as if those various country could roughshod loss of freedom over the "no" from western democracy, or worst come to worst, the perfectly anti democratic security counsel. What youa re saying is actual non sense US propaganda "if we give internet to the UN, china will take us our freedom!".

Re:UN is not the governmemt, its the planet. (1)

thereitis (2355426) | about 9 months ago | (#44297161)

Given that US politics is controlled by corporations to a large degree, I'd be asking what corporations have a vested interest in making sure they^Wthe USA retains control of the Internet.

Re:UN is not the governmemt, its the planet. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296089)

They're conditioned from pre-school and up with "We're #1! We're #1!" nonsense, and "god bless America" several times a day. People in power never give up power, they only try to increase it.

PRISM is nothing more than what every other first would country is doing, and has been doing for a number of years. The real problem is the USA trying to bully the rest of the world into their singular way of things, and based on how right wing their "left" party is, and the fact they're dropped bombs on over a quarter of the planet's countries since the end of WWII, plus their unpunished corrupt financial institutions that brought down economies all around the world while stealing money form other countries and shutting up shop the same day, pretty much says the USA shouldn't really be in control of a global system that is a great leveler. But then, the UN is just as bad. They don't come down on China or Russia over their poor human rights records, likewise with the USA with their very public torture camps, Guantanamo Bay being expanded, incarceration and solitary confinement for years before being charged.

Re:UN is not the governmemt, its the planet. (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 9 months ago | (#44297075)

They're conditioned from pre-school and up with "We're #1! We're #1!" nonsense, and "god bless America" several times a day. People in power never give up power, they only try to increase it.

Every single country does this. It is called nationalism, and it is a fantastic way to make your public complicit, if not fully supportive, of whatever crimes their country are committing.

As a young kid (perhaps 4th or 5th grade US) I learned in a lesson that "excessive nationalism" helped lead to World War 1. Then right after that another teacher goes on with the "We're #1! We're #1!" bullshit. Looking back that is the point where I realized that blindly following anything can lead to disasters, and that most people were blind to it.

Re:UN is not the governmemt, its the planet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296139)

Why do americans get so paranoid that letting the world itself control the worlds telecommunications network, instead of the spooky us government is a somehow a threat to freedom.

I'm sorry but as a non american, reading about PRISM doesn't fill me with confidence that letting a foreign power control my communications is "freedom".

It SHOULD be controlled by a democracy of the world, not Obama and the NSA.

What exactly does the UN have to do with democracy?

How about NOTHING. It's day-to-day agenda is pretty much controlled by dictators and thugs.

And you want THE FUCKING UN to protect your freedom? What planet are you on? Go find out what the UN thinks of religious freedom, or even free speech.

Re:UN is not the governmemt, its the planet. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 9 months ago | (#44296207)

Unfortunately, we don't have one of those.

The UN(as its name might suggest) is representative(approximately, the details can be pretty ideosyncratic, and the Security Council is serious business) of Nations, not people. Given the revelations either connected to, or spurred by, about the spying programs various other countries(even the 'good guys', the fact that any 'bad guys' who can afford to do it are doing it has been known for ages), and other countries collaboration with the US spying program, do you feel lucky?

Heck, Mr. Secretary General himself, asserts that Snowden's 'digital misuse' has created problems [guardian.co.uk].

I certainly wouldn't trust the Americans to operate internet infrastructure without spying on it; but the list of people I would so trust is Not Very Long(and none of them are in power).

Re:UN is not the governmemt, its the planet. (2)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 9 months ago | (#44296211)

It SHOULD be controlled by a democracy of the world, not Obama and the NSA.

Agreed. However I don't think that the UN is the right body; it has shown itself spineless and prone to manipulation. What we want is an Internet that is not beholden the country/block intererests. This does not mean that it is not controlled (ie a wild west), but that the governanance is in the best interests of the vast majority of humanity. Something that is determinedly neutral.

Finding the bodies to do this will not be easy; I would readily vote for the likes of Jon Postel, but although his heart would be in the right place I don't know how he would cope with the inevitable political pressure. It is easier to say who not : Govt of USA, ICANN & UN are out.

Re:UN is not the governmemt, its the planet. (2)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about 9 months ago | (#44296505)

As an American, I am not opposed to our country relinquishing control of the Internet to another party. As has been pointed out, we haven't done a very good job proctoring it recently.

However, I'm not really convinced that the United Nations is the best alternative. I'd like them to be; the idea that the citizens of the world - rather than the citizens of a single state - have dominion over the Internet suits my egalitarian fancies. Unfortunately, the track record of the UN doesn't seem much better than that of the United States...

On the gripping hand, the United States - were it to live up to its ideals (or even if it were just to stop actively pursuing goals in direct opposition of those ideals, as is its current course) would be an adequate monitor of the Internet. Hopefully, one day we citizens can get our government back on path. Until then, I'm open to alternatives.

Perhaps Iceland wants a shot at it?

Re:UN is not the governmemt, its the planet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296553)

USA doesn't want maximum freedom for everyone, they want maximum freedom for themselves.

Re:UN is not the governmemt, its the planet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296591)

The UN is not the planet. It is a global forum to communicate in a way to prevent World War III. That it does well. It was never meant to do anything else, which is good, because it sucks at everything else.

Sad reflection of modern times (5, Insightful)

ulatekh (775985) | about 9 months ago | (#44295931)

So a "repressive" government (like Russia) is asking for a U.N. takeover of the Internet, to the great consternation of "freedom-loving" governments (like the U.S.).

Given recent revelations, it doesn't seem like the U.S. government is very freedom-loving any more.

So it's really between governments that don't pretend to love freedom, and governments that pretend to. No real difference except for the pretense.

What a sad state of affairs.

So Long Internet Freedom of Speech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296095)

So a "repressive" government (like Russia) is asking for a U.N. takeover of the Internet, to the great consternation of "freedom-loving" governments (like the U.S.).

Given recent revelations, it doesn't seem like the U.S. government is very freedom-loving any more.

So it's really between governments that don't pretend to love freedom, and governments that pretend to. No real difference except for the pretense.

What a sad state of affairs.

But if that happens, say goodbye to free speech on the internet. Try saying "sieg heil" in France sometime ... now imagine the internet like that.

Or look at the homeotherapists attacking critics in Great Britain. Now imagine that controlling the internet.

Or look at the band Pussy Riot in Russia ... etc, etc, etc.

The UN would be all about tradeoffs of suppressing free speech.

Re:Sad reflection of modern times (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296247)

The U.S. might not be perfect, but they are a lot less oppressive than nations like Russia, China, Syria.

Re:Sad reflection of modern times (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about 9 months ago | (#44297231)

True...those countries block "offending" content, the US simply monitors it. Wait...how is that much better?

Re:Sad reflection of modern times (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296497)

Ha! Land of the brave and home of the free, indeed!

Re:Sad reflection of modern times (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 9 months ago | (#44296559)

When you think about it, domains are only as valid as people's willingness to use the commonly accepted DNS system and servers. It would be no more difficult on a technical level to replace the standard DNS servers with alternates of your own choosing.

Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44295967)

I don't see how that will help. It's not like the US approves intercept/wiretaps for the UK, Africa, etc.

Mixing things up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296081)

"Acting as a catalyst for a crackdown against freedom of speech on the Net was certainly not Snowden's intention — quite the opposite, it's reasonable to assume."

How is putting internet control in the UN hands a crackdown against freedom of speech on the net? It's actually quite the opposite! The UN is there as a middle ground between nations for cooperation and human rights, etc.. Putting whatever you call internet control to the UN is a direction in openness and freedom. What is this non-sense about the UN cracking down on freedom of speech?!

For one thing, Russia/Putin is asking for nationalization of private IT enterprises, which is not the same as putting the UN in charge of overseeing the ethical and equitable internet functioning.

It seems that blog is really mixing things up to try and make Snowden's actions look like they are helping the bad guys.

No real difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296087)

The internet we have today is a product of the UN security council's agreements, the transfer would be meaningless given the right of veto.

In soviet USA.... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296133)

internet takes over YOU !

Technology and Knowledge in Our Hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296171)

Once you give people the power, it's damn nearly impossible to take it back from all of them.

Fact is, even if the UN did take over the Internet, or worse, we still have the knowledge, technology, and capability, to construct our own, new Internet, elsewhere. And simply move computers onto it. Apparently, having private networks in the home is BEYOND impossible for the average consumer.

RIP oppressive jackasses; worldwide communication is beyond your stranglehold.

Re:Technology and Knowledge in Our Hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296509)

Keep dreaming. The last couple of weeks have shown otherwise.

World is tired of US grand stealing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296213)

I have to agree with Russia on this. Companies around the world have been badly damaged by US stealing technologies, companies secrets, lucrative contracts.
Spying on ordinary people sounds now less crime when you consider other criminal activity.
Thanks Snowden for exposing organized crime and their activities.

Better handled by the UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296219)

Transferring DNS & IP allocation to UN control is not a "crackdown against freedom of speech". That's simply false.

The USA has seized domains including Wikileaks, ones accused of copyright infringement, ones publishing stuff it doesn't like.
USA has seized Poker websites, despite blocking of online poker being an illegal trade barrier (on behalf of the Vegas casinos).
USA has seized torrent websites, defining a torrent as a copyright infringement.

Executive order "Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions," means the US President can seize control of the Internet, the whole DNS systems, IP routing tables, anything and everything in NSA terroritory:
This is clearly unacceptable in a democracy.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/07/06/executive-order-assignment-national-security-and-emergency-preparedness-

USA currently has journalists in prison on bogus charges, e.g. Barrett Brown, the journalist who wrote about anonymous hacks of HB Gary, the defence contractor who had a plan to smear Wikileaks and Glenn Greenwald. Anonymous broke into their servers, leaked it to the press, Barrett Brown covered the leaks. They made up a bogus credit card fraud charge and arrested him on it, currently in jail without trial for nearly a year:
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/7/11/jailed_journalist_barrett_brown_faces_105

USA is blocking encryption measures on the fiber backbone, and that change to whois they're proposing would put all the whois data into NSA controlled servers which is clearly unacceptable.

*Everyone* except for the USA wants control of the base protocols out of NSA hands, really we're very sorry, we see you are screwed, we see you are barely a democracy at this point, the puppet you vote for has almost no power. Sorry an all, but the Internet is bigger than USA.

Other telecom standards are already handled by the UN, so they're not dictated by a single government, and this should be too.

one corrupt country... (1)

catsRus (548036) | about 9 months ago | (#44296225)

...or a group of corrupt countries. WTF is the difference? They will all use it to their benefit. Put my cat in charge and we might have a chance of a "free" internet..

Re:one corrupt country... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296361)

The difference is that with one corrupt country we ALWAYS have to do what that one country says, but with a group of countries (corrupt or not) stuff only gets through if enough countries vote for it.

Not gonna happen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296333)

The U.S will never give control of the root servers to any other country or organization.

Re:Not gonna happen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296723)

And how would they prevent it? More than half of the physical root name servers are located outside of the US. If they (everybody except USA and US-based telcos) want they could in an concerted action take over the DNS system. It would require a lot of cooperation but it is possible.

Using Snowden's presence? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296339)

and using Edward Snowden's continued presence in Russia as a foundation for this new thrust

Except I see nothing in the article or blog post that suggest they are using Snowden presence in Russia to advance their case. As far as I can see they are using just the revelations about the mass surveillance to push their ideas, and they could do that with Snowden rotting in US prison or being already dead.

In that light it's really interesting that NYTimes (and especially the blog) choose to inject the "Look! Look! Snowden is working for Putin" piece into all this. I guess it's all part of the smear campaign aimed at him and to derail the discussion about what US is doing with the Internet.

TFA is below par (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 9 months ago | (#44296407)

It sports only a link to L. Weinstein's blog, not even to the website of the NYT, although that newspaper is - misleadingly so ! - being named in TFA. Moreover, TFA has only one source. Below par, and so is Slashdot, I am sorry to say, for publishing this piece of emotional garbage and self-promotion for Mrs. Weinstein. Away with it.

Re:TFA is below par (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#44296465)

"Below par"? What the hell version of Slashdot are you reading, and can I have some?

Re:TFA is below par (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 9 months ago | (#44296537)

The same as you are. There are not so many places like Slashdot on the internet, believe it or not. I may be naive or overly optimistic, but I do try, sometimes, to remind the /. editors that there are such things as "standards of journalism". Not always in vain, thank fuck for that.

Just fork it (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 9 months ago | (#44296479)

The interenets is based on open source so just download, make, make install. Problem solved. It's not like your trying to build a soyuz capsule or somethin, sheesh *rolls eyes*.

Re:Just fork it (1)

mbone (558574) | about 9 months ago | (#44296833)

The Internet is mostly based on RAND, which may appear to be open source, but isn't [ietf.org]. (In some ways I would argue that RAND is better than strict open source; that, to put it mildly, is a matter for debate.)

And why would the US do this? (2)

sirwired (27582) | about 9 months ago | (#44296555)

As I've pointed out every time this idea gets floated, why on earth would the US agree to this? Diplomatic efforts are only effective if there is a carrot or stick behind them. Neither is in evidence.

Re:And why would the US do this? (1)

SLi (132609) | about 9 months ago | (#44297227)

What makes you believe the US needs to agree to this for other countries to take the control? As far as I know, there is nothing that would prevent other countries from just ignoring US protests and taking the control.

Uh, UN takeover is fine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296585)

The proposition isn't a UN takeover of the internet for a start, Lauren.

Secondly, even if it were to be the case, it would not be damaging to the freedom of the internet, it would almost definitely lead to a more open internet.

Just not more open to the US only.

Sure. That will work. (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 9 months ago | (#44296641)

The only people who could fuck up the internet more than ICANN is the UN.

Re:Sure. That will work. (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 9 months ago | (#44296939)

Can you explain your point? ICANN just is responsible for TLDs and Address Ranges, not Internet Policy.

Re:Sure. That will work. (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 9 months ago | (#44297093)

Can you explain your point? ICANN just is responsible for TLDs and Address Ranges, not Internet Policy.

Sure. ICANN is currently fucking up everything they control. The UN is currently fucking up everything they control. Adding the UN to the internet equation has no fucking chance in hell of being anything less than a horrible mistake. There are two types of people who want this. Those that will get jobs at the UN controlling everyone's lives and stupid people with no ability to learn and lots of education.

Once you "control" the internet, you kill it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296865)

Once the internet is completely controlled, it will die. This is what the powers that be want.

Now I'm not sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44296871)

Last time this came up I was against it.

This time I'm unsure.

It seems like one solution would be to get rid of non .country parent domains and have each country manage the domains within their .country.

Of course that leads to censorship but it seems the most fair and the least likely mechanism to allow unfettered and unlimited spying across countries.

Putin's exploits may be funny but he's no fool (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 9 months ago | (#44296901)

You have a former Colonel from the KGB running the country. You know damn well he likes having Snowden in his country so he can drive any Russian agenda by pointing back at the US and saying "Because the US 'owns' the Internet they can spy on all of us! Now excuse me while I chase Geese in my ultralight."
The agenda of the UN and specifically the ITU controlling the Internet is going to represent an end to free communications as we know it. Don't like something said in a blog? they'll be able to track you down at a whim. Using Encryption to protect your privacy? You'll be branded as a spy and arrested. It'll happen and the US has egg on its face right now over this whole Snowden episode. You'll also see it hurt US Companies in Telecommunications and Internet Services. Facebook, Microsoft and Google will become unwelcome in countries that view them as puppets of the FBI and the NSA, turning over information whenever the whims of the US government dictate.
I

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