×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

ITU Meeting May Decide Governance of the Net

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the battle-of-the-acronyms dept.

The Internet 135

NickFitz writes "The Register has an article on the forthcoming World Summit on the Information Society, organised by the International Telecommunications Union. It seems that the United States, Europe and English-speaking partners are happy to let ICANN carry on running the show, while developing nations would prefer control to be handed over to the ITU. As the second stage of the process isn't due until November 2005, it could be some time before we see any changes."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

135 comments

Pure Energy (-1, Flamebait)

Coventry (3779) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550190)

Wait until the RIAA gets a hold of this news, they'll sue the pants off that puny entity known as the ITU, and These guys [amazon.com] wont even get a penny.

Re:Pure Energy (1)

Coventry (3779) | more than 10 years ago | (#7551499)

How is the parent, an obvious Joke if you follow the link, flamebait? if you don't like the humor, thats fine, but flamebait is a post designed to instigate an argument - I don't think anyone with 2 brain cells would say a silly joke is flamebait...

Reliability is all we need. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550191)


I don't care if it's ICANN or ITU so long as it doesn't interfere with availability of the .cx TLD.

Re:Reliability is all we need. (3, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550300)

Well you should. Find anything by the ITU that is free. Even standards.

Re:Reliability is all we need. (1)

gorilla (36491) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550374)

That's not really the ITU's fault. Their only income is selling their standards. In the past, that worked out really well for them, since the only people who were interested in the standards were big telcos, who just considered it the cost of doing business.

Re:Reliability is all we need. (3, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550468)

Well... And nowm, do you expect anyone but the telcos to participate in an internet run by the ITU? 'cause I do not. It will just become yet another phone system regulated to death and used to feed a few incumbents in a few years time.

Re:Reliability is all we need. (2, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550604)

The phone system may be regulated to death, but it's never been the ITU that's done that. The phone system is regulated by individual governments, most of whom (the US and Canada being exceptions) took it as far as owning the telephone systems in the past.

The ITU really isn't much more than a standards setting body. It is, however, an important one because ultimately the Canadian system has to be able to talk to the Irish system, the French to the Australian, the Cambodian to the Mexican, and without an impartial, respected, body in place that represents the technical interests of the industry as a whole, such a thing isn't going to work very well if at all.

Whether this means ICANN should be replaced by the ITU is open to question. Ultimately I know two things: ICANN sucks. But the ITU seems like overkill for the job.

Re:Reliability is all we need. (3, Informative)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550680)

The ITU really isn't much more than a standards setting body. It is, however, an important one because ultimately the Canadian system has to be able to talk to the Irish system, the French to the Australian, the Cambodian to the Mexican, and without an impartial, respected, body in place that represents the technical interests of the industry as a whole, such a thing isn't going to work very well if at all.

Actually its more than that. The ITU has been incorporated into the United Nations (even though it actually predates it). As a result it is a diplomatic treaty organization and has diplomatic immunity. Useful when the main risk is harassment by lawsuit.

The other thing the ITU does besides setting standards is to perform a whole rack of registration functions. Slots for satelites in geosynchronous orbit are allocated by the ITU, as are radio frequencies. In other words pretty much what ICANN was set up to do.

I suspect that there wont be much movement unless the US directs ICANN to do something completely assinine like cutting off Cuba from the net if the Bushies think they need to impress the Florida voters.

"Developing nations" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550201)

You mean the ones who want government control of the media? Like they did in UNESCO so many years ago? Fuck that.

Re:"Developing nations" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550355)

It might be the ones who think having a slave trading nation (Libya) as the head of the UN human rights committee is a good idea.

Re:"Developing nations" (2, Insightful)

t0ny (590331) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550477)

IMO, unless you are contributing to the technical base of people who are running the internet (America, Europe, Australia, etc), you really have no right to say how it is run.

Its like complaining about politics, but never voting. Every time you give the third a voice in how things are run, you end up with chaos- take just about any UN action as an example.

IMO, the third world should focus all their attention on the WTO, and forget the stupid shit like the UN and ICANN; the latter two are not really helping them any.

need more enegry (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550205)

for drunken dwarf anal fisting

All Hail... (5, Insightful)

j0keralpha (713423) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550216)

The Great Emporer ICANN.

The real question is who would do a better job. ICANN has made some questionable decisions in the past regarding delegation of authority *cough* Netsol *Cough* Considering that whoever we get is going to be a largely bureaucratic body, what can the ITU give us that will make them a better solution? Bear in mind as well that handing control to the ITU could cost us in that ICANN has traditionally been a bit more... Anglo-centric in terms of policy.

Re:All Hail... (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550247)

The answer to "who can do better than ICANN?" is "it would be difficult for anyone to do any worse."

ICANN has managed to mismanage just about every aspect of the Internet, and has been too busy trying to keep itself in power and settle internal squabbles to worry about how their policies actually affect the modern Internet in the real, modern world.

I think it's high time a more international body took over what is, after all, an international network.

Re:All Hail... (0, Interesting)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550334)

ICANN has managed to mismanage just about every aspect of the Internet, and has been too busy trying to keep itself in power and settle internal squabbles to worry about how their policies actually affect the modern Internet in the real, modern world.

Sounds a whole lot like how the UN works.

Re:All Hail... (0)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550472)

you mean an american network world is using... go read a history book

Re:All Hail... (2, Informative)

jon787 (512497) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550746)

you mean an american network world is using... go read a history book

No, it started as an American network, it is most definetly and INTERNATIONAL network at this point.

Re:All Hail... (3, Insightful)

macshune (628296) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550273)

I don't see developing countries doing a better job managing the infrastructure of the internet either from a technological or ideological point of view.

The nice thing about having the USA, UK, etc countries manage the internet is that we are more often than not held accountable and have a great degree of transparency in our decision making. Yeah, there are some problems with seemingly shady dealings with ICANN vis-a-vis other orgs/companies, but compare that with, say, China, a country that blocks a large part of the internet and jails dissenters.

In the end I'd be for a more global approach to the government of the internet. yeah, it's romantic and idealized, but it could happen. there would just have to be total transparency and no one should be allowed to mess with dns.

Re:All Hail... (1)

mgoodman (250332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550535)

Sure they've made questionable decisions, but all in all everything has worked out so far.

So, netsol is a bit evil, yes, but their corporatization of the internet helped make it highly available to the masses. And let's not forget that with corporatization comes standardization (usually) and more importantly -- accountability. If something goes wrong then there is a higher potential for a huge class action...so not much goes wrong.

Oh, and let's not forget that whole sitefinder crap. ICANN stuck to their guns and netsol (verisign, whatever) took that crap down. ICANN clearly had their priorities straight there.

Be prepared... (-1, Troll)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550219)

Be prepared for "All your bases...", and "I for one , welcome..." jokes.

You have been warned.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Troll)

JPelorat (5320) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550229)

Jokes prepare YOU!

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550415)

Oh look, another pinched-assed retarded fuck stick with mod points and no sense of humor.

How ya doing, fuck stick?

Wel then (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550220)

> while developing nations would prefer control to be handed over to the ITU.

Build your own frickin' Internet.

The unwashed hordes (3, Insightful)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550223)

The ICANN vs. ITU battle is a stage in the ongoing wars (fought with instruments other than bullets and knives for my fellow slashdottians who take everything uberliterally) between the rich states and the stateless masses.

The ICANN (or should this be called the "UCANT") represents the rich west controlling the Internet, the ITU represents what is laughingly called the "United Nations".

There is about much chance of the ITU taking over the nexus of the Internet as there is of the UN relocating to the Pentagon.

Re:The unwashed hordes (5, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550333)

...the ITU represents what is laughingly called the "United Nations".

Funny how outside a certain country in North America, which got very upset twelve months ago when it found out that international opinion wasn't always going to be on its side, the United Nations is still well respected.

I find it the very height of hypocrisy that the US has been happy to veto otherwise unanimous Security Council and General Assembly resolutions condemning Israel for its heavy-handedness in the occupied territories but feels the need to shout it from the rooftops when the overwhelming majority of both bodies oppose a resolution that gives the US carte blanche to wage war.

Somehow, the US standing in the way of world opinion when it comes to Israel is called "diplomacy in action" but when world opinion doesn't tow the line and is heavily opposed to a US plan of action the United Nations is somehow "broken". Gee, nice double standards you've got there, pal.

The current US administrations, through its actions and words, has done more to harm the UN than any other country has ever done. Yet, somehow, that administration and the largely sycophantic US media continues to paint a picture of the UN being the one to blame. Flippant comments, such as the one made in the parent post, only serve to reinforce this absurd state of affairs.

Re:The unwashed hordes (2, Insightful)

cheezedawg (413482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550406)

The United Nations is a worthless institution that has doomed itself to irrelevancy. In its entire history, the UN has acted in only 2 conflicts:

- The Korean War (and then only because the Soviet Union was absent from the Security Council vote). That war ended in a stalemate, and most of the issues behind the war are still unresolved today
- The Gulf War. The UN got off to a good start, but then showed its true colors over the following 12 years in its inability to enforce its own resolutions against Iraq.

The current US administrations, through its actions and words, has done more to harm the UN than any other country has ever done.

This is pure bullcrap. The UN killed itself. Any organization that can't even enforce its own resolutions is worthless. The United State's actions in Iraq this year have saved the UN from itself.

Re:The unwashed hordes (2, Insightful)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7551040)

The United Nations is a worthless institution that has doomed itself to irrelevancy. In its entire history, the UN has acted in only 2 conflicts:

Right wing poppy-cock [in the original meaning of the word].

The security council is not the UN. Only fifteen members of the UN are on the security council and of those only five have significant power.

The UN has been involved in pretty much every conflict going on since it was founded. In particular you will find that almost without exception the UN has been involved in the peace negotiations in pretty much every case. The recent ending of the occupation of East Timor was entirely performed under UN direction.

As the French pointed out at the time, the UN does not have the military capability to stop the US invading Iraq. However having invaded the US is quite likely to end up regretting having done so and call on the UN to provide them with an exit strategy.

Since the start of the invasion more US soldiers have been killed in Iraq than were killed in the first three years of Vietnam. The Iraqi resistance has steadily increased in its effectiveness. This might have been anticipated and planned for but it was not.

The bottom line is that the Administration called the UN irrelevant when their plans for post invasion Iraq were limited to the routes for the victory parades. Now that it is clear that the situation there is not "a cakewalk" cooperation and consultation with the international community does not look such a terrible idea.

Re:The unwashed hordes (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 10 years ago | (#7551617)

Since the start of the invasion more US soldiers have been killed in Iraq than were killed in the first three years of Vietnam.

And the reason for that, is that the three first years of Vietnam, the US only had a few advisors present. It's hard to get killed if you're not there. The US didn't really start getting heavily involved with combat troops until a couple of years into the conflict.

Re:The unwashed hordes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7551699)

FWIW, the number of US troops in Vietnam didn't reach the levels in Iraq (about 130,000) until near the end of 1965. The first "official" troops were sent in March of 1965. At the end of 1964, there were only about 18,000 US troops in Vietnam.

Not only the numbers count. The early US presence in Vietnam was as "advisors". The troops that were there did less front-line fighting compared to later in Vietnam, or currently in Iraq.

Re:The unwashed hordes (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550427)

Funny how outside a certain country in North America, which got very upset twelve months ago when it found out that international opinion wasn't always going to be on its side, the United Nations is still well respected.

Well, we'll see. Certainly Syria, Libya, Sudan, Cuba, Mauritania and the rest of the "UN Commission on Human Rights" think the organization is just fantastic. But the Internet exists in its current form because of a certain country in North America. I wonder how many of the people who are happy to entrust human rights to countries with, in two of those cases, systematic slavery might be less enthusiastic about trusting them with the Internet.

Re:The unwashed hordes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550949)

The internet would wotk just fine without the US. Disconnect yourselves from the rest of the world now!!

Re:The unwashed hordes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550431)

The UN put Libya in charge of human rights and Iraq in charge of something to do with the disarming of weapons.

Yeah, they're real geniuses.

Re:The unwashed hordes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550720)

We own the bitches, case closed. The US says "Jump!" and the rest of the world says "How High" or they better because not one thing is going to get done without our say so. Get used to it because we own it and if we don't then we'll break it.

Sucks to be you "rest of the world".

Re:The unwashed hordes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7551208)

No it doesn't suck at all. But it definately would suck to be an upstart colonialist like yourself.

Re:The unwashed hordes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550493)

You so silly! You say 'rich', 'West' and 'control' as if they are bad things! Who else is going to run things? Panama? Bangladesh? The Congo? YOU?!

Your delightfully condecending yet largely pointless post is a fine example of largely pointless, condecending posts. Just like that one!

Grow up, understand the way the world works, and then we'll talk.

Re:The unwashed hordes (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550497)

in the ongoing wars (fought with instruments other than bullets and knives

In space, or on the tops of very tall mountains...

Re:The unwashed hordes (2, Insightful)

bigpat (158134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550611)

"between the rich states and the stateless masses"

How exactly do you see the "stateless masses" working through the ITU?

Only states and corporations are represented in the ITU.

Re:The unwashed hordes (0, Troll)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550618)

Literally, screw the rest of the world. Screw them early and screw them often. The only reason there is an "Internet" is because the United States gave birth to the damned thing. Allowing the UN to have any part in running the thing would be a very bad joke. The UN is a hopelessly inept organization and we would all have been better off without it.

All of us meaning of course the horrible people in the "rich west". Like I said, screw the rest of the world.

Re:The unwashed hordes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550914)

Cause, Dubya said so? Right? I think that since the US seems to have no respect for international treaties and cooperation, they should get out of it all. Build a wall around their country (the world to them) and live happily there for ever after, as would everyone else.

Re:The unwashed hordes (1)

tamuct01 (726718) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550734)

I'm sure the Internet will be managed so much better by the ITU (subset of the UN) than a private organization. Just look at the UN's track-record for examples. Soon they will want to ban certain content (albeit some content needs to go), but first comes management, then comes censorship!

Re:The unwashed hordes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550979)

A good ironic comment about the politicisation of the Net.
Let's flame the bastard.

Follow the money... (2, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550239)


It seems that the United States, Europe and English-speaking partners are happy to let ICANN carry on running the show


That's that, then.

Simon.

Sensationalist media at its best (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550243)

Ahhh, the Register. Isn't it the computer equivalent to In Touch / People / Hello Magazine?

ITU needs to work (2, Offtopic)

bigjnsa500 (575392) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550277)

Before you start building network infrastructure in developing countries, lets get the countries to feed their starving first.

Re:ITU needs to work - homeless/starving (1, Offtopic)

HermanZA (633358) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550301)

As the USA has such a large population, it probably has more homeless and starving people than most other countries, so maybe you should feed them first...

Re:ITU needs to work - homeless/starving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550353)

Nope, China and India have more.

Re:ITU needs to work - homeless/starving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550401)

There are no starving people in the US (not counting brain damaged, comatose, etc. people having the plug pulled on their feeding tubes).

In fact, the major nutrituion problem among the poor in the US is obesity.

Re:ITU needs to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550321)

Before you start building network infrastructure in developing countries, lets get the countries to feed their starving first.

And how do you propose they pay for it if they have no industry or communications infrastructure? Don't get me wrong as it may not apply to you, but many people seem to think the first world is somehow responsible for financing the development of third world countries. That seems a little preposterous to me unless they have something to offer in return.

Re:ITU needs to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550388)

What does growing food in the ground have to do with "we don't have anything to offer"? Does it take network infrastructure to grow corn? or wheat? or rice?

We (being the US) can't help countries who don't want to help themselves. The 3rd world countries continue to be third world because their leaders are corrupt and the people are uneducated.

Why does China spend 1/3rd of its GNP on defense when 1/3rd of its population are homeless and starving?
Why do African countries continue to commit genocide on their OWN people?

See, there are a lot more things to do first before we get "developing countries" on the Internet.

Re:ITU needs to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550776)

Why does China spend 1/3rd of its GNP on defense when 1/3rd of its population are homeless and starving?

Because it's northern neighbor has about as many nukes as anyone else in the world, it's right there with those crazy N Koreans (and the respective S Korean arsenal), it's close enough for missiles with India and Pakistan, and eventually it would really be nice to give some back to those bastards who raped Nanking and take back Taiwan. Seriously, they're modernizing their military because without it no one will ever consider them a serious military power enough to consider them for diplomatic and economic power. Military spending and buildups have tended to push the civilian markets, since factories that built last years chips for missiles can be retooled to built tomorrow's gameboys.

As for growing food, you realize that the US farm industry is basically only wallowing on subsidy now? We're the role model for the world in luxury use, which everyone wants. We couldn't feed ourselves without healthy kickbacks and our strong trades market, it should stand as no surprise that other countries would try for a similiar business plan.

And genocide? Gee, Europeans and Americans do that pretty good too. Mass graves in Bosnia, concentration camps, the communist purges and the atom bombs - heck, when it comes to good old fashioned DEATH, we make the Africans look like amateurs.

Parallels to the UN? (4, Insightful)

Slider451 (514881) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550279)

ICANN = Unilateralist, pre-emptive "improvements" to the Internet, whether you like them or not.

ITU = Lots of diplomatic talk barely concealing greedy power grabbers, in the end accomplishing little.

On a side note: What does Switzerland do for Internet access?

Re:Parallels to the UN? (2, Interesting)

pvt_medic (715692) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550369)

Just let the Red Cross run the whole thing. They are the protectors of the Geneva Convention, and headquartered in switzerland. That way we have an unbias group running it.

Good Point (4, Insightful)

Orien (720204) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550394)

You make a good point. We should definitely be aware of the underlying politics involved here, because it will have a big effect on how the internet is played out. One important thing to keep in mind is that when capitalist western countries like the USA are in charge of the internet (or have the biggest influence or what-have-you) the policy changes are most likely to be ones that are good decisions for business application, or will make someone some money somewhere. If the internet is controlled by third-world countries the decisions will lean toward crippling the bigger powers to boost their own 'net presence (of course they wouldn't word it that way, but it amounts to the same thing even if you use the words "fairness"). If the internet is controlled by a world organization such as the UN the internet will start to be shaped to answer the objections of the nations involved such as China who wants to guarantee censorship to it's citizens. Change needs to happen, and ICANN has defiantly made some bad decisions but my point is, let's not rush into a change just because we don't like what they have done. Another group could do FAR worse if we are not careful.

Concentration vs expansion. (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 10 years ago | (#7551043)

Actually this is moe like concentration (what the western buisness men wants, all drool at night over monopoly or being the obligatory passage for any sort of application) vs country which want the pwoer be mroe democratic and think that too much power in the same individual (USA anyone) is imperialistic and none too good for the world at large. And seeing on how on the diplomatic field USA is handling the democratic process (Guatamalo bay, Irak, Afghanistan etc...), then one cannot do anything but understand why many country watch anything americano centrist as the ICANN or any instance under the ehavy hands of American very very carefully. The objection would be probably far far less if ICANN was , let us say german or Italian.

Or... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550483)

We could just hand it over to a bunch of monkeys on crack. There'd be a lot more squabbling (and poo flinging -- there's almost never poo flinging in the other organizations) but there'd be a lot less power grabs, they'd often make more sense and we could get on with taking our network back from the corporations.

I'm with you... (1)

hurtstotouchfire (664278) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550750)

At the risk of following a well-trodden groove, isn't there some nice third-party group I can root for?

I've always been a big proponent of accessibility. We try to write clean html code so blind people's programs can read it (right guys?) we use moderation systems, we let everybody in and we let the good stuff float to the top. You know, like that whole free market theory.

But then, like that whole free market theory, we can think the internet is free and unfettered all we want, but dig down deep enough into anything big and there's always someone with money.

So I guess I don't want it to be ICANN because they're blatantly anglo-centric, and they're "...a quasi-autonomous arm of the US government, a private Californian company of technical and business experts created in November 1998. Its remit was to oversee the increasingly global Internet with a view to becoming autonomous in a few years. " Quasi-autonomous arm of the US government? Yeah, that sounds reassuring.

But then I don't really want ITU either. The ITU ...is the body that has been responsible for the roll-out of virtually every form of modern communication. It was started 140 years ago by countries across the world to standardize the telegram and has been at the forefront of every international telecommunication effort since. Logic would appear to dictate that the ITU be in charge of the Internet. And it would be so except for the extraordinary history of the Internet.

I definitely think that the 'governance' of the Internet (I love how they capitalize it, like a country) shouldn't just follow the norm. I think it needs a new model.

Bah (3, Funny)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550310)

Let's just all switch our root hints files to the ORSC [open-rsc.org] root servers! Then we'll show them ALL who's boss!

Mwahahahahahaha...

Re:Bah (1)

mgoodman (250332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550691)

they'll only really be taken seriously if they scrap "confederation" from their name...sounds too much like gun-toting white trash with confederate flags hanging out of the back of their beat-up pickup truck with no muffler and a rottweiler in the back.

Keeping things straight: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550311)

I always get confused. Are we supposed to like ICANN this time?

Re:Keeping things straight: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550410)

ICANN is actually a special case, even compared to all the other special cases, and is quite easy to keep track of. We only like ICANN on days of the week that don't exist.

Re:Keeping things straight: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550423)

What about VeriSign, mister AC? eh? Eh?

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550320)

What is to be gained from international management of root name servers?
If the US gave over control of any vital part of the internet to China, India, Brazil, South Africa and others it would be a disaster and the end of the internet.

for those who don't know (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550324)


Can someone explain to me exactly what ICANN controls besides the policys on domain naming?

Everyone posting keeps talking about how they are doing a horrible job of controlling the internet, but I thought they only controlled DNS stuff and nothing else?

your right + link to article in Dutch on this. (1)

Raindeer (104129) | more than 10 years ago | (#7551241)

That my friend is exactly the problem. Many people/governments think that there is alot more to internet governance than what ICANN does. They think that ICANN can control harmful and illegal content, cybercrime/terrorism, regulate internet access, create competition/stop competition etc.

But the only pressure points you have to kind of control who gets access to the existing net and under what conditions, are the DNS and the distribution of IP-numbers. Most of the DNS is done nationally by the ccTLD's and most of the IP-numbers by RIR's, so not much room for ICANN there.
One might think that governments would show there face at the places where the new internet gets thought up. New standards are done by both IETF and ITU/ETSI where the IETF generally thinks up the ones that get accepted by the people implementing the technology. But nobody ever sees governments at IETF meetings, whereas they do attend ITU/ETSI meetings. Let alone that they have a clue of what the new IP-based technology will mean for them in a regulatory sense. (encrypted voice over IP peer to peer networks?)

And when it comes to what runs over the internet many governments still belief that voice runs over phones and webpages and e-mail over the Internet. Many of them have no idea of an integrated/converged IP-based network where application layer services switch as easy from IP-network as IP-connections switch from physical/datalink layer. Heck, many of our laws are still not ready for that. (see for instance media laws vs telecommunications laws)

If you can read Dutch, you can read a bit more about this at hte following URL: http://www.netkwesties.nl/editie73/artikel1.php

"Developing Nations" (4, Insightful)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550329)

Whereas developing nations, China, India,...

Whaaa? How long is it going to take these nations to develop, anyway? I mean, they've only been civilizations for, um, how many millenium was it last time I checked.

My brothers, it's time to get off your backsides and get cracking! You snooze, you lose!

Re:"Developing Nations" (1)

subzero_ice (624972) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550548)

Wake up DUDE! If you make an effort to understand the global political scenario you would understand why the developing nations never developed. The people living in the developing nations don't enjoy living in poor living conditions. Welcome to world of politics.

Governance? (3, Interesting)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550347)

Who's kidding who here?

Ultimately, my network will connect to someone elses however we decide to do so.. and the same will happen with large networks.

The Internet is not a governed, closed system... we pay attention to what the IANA and others do only because they make logical decisions that everyone basically agrees to follow. The only way they can govern is by making good decisions.. their power only comes from cooperation.

In my opinion (4, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550382)

Nobody asked me, but in my opinion and experience, non-technically oriented people have no business running the Internet and determining it's course.

Re:In my opinion (2)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550534)

If I had known you were going to give that answer, I would have asked you.

Seriously though, I agree completely. I assume they would be given recommendations from some kind of committee composed of technical folks but they would still have the final say and probably wouldn't understand the technical recommendations. Technical and non-technical people have different ways of viewing problems and situations.

From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550621)

The people chosen to run ICANN in 1998 were those who knew more about the technology than anyone else - computer scientists. It was an apparently logical decision but tragically flawed. The characteristics that make a computer scientist are not those that make a good politician or decision-maker.

No doubt believing they were acting in the Internet's best interests, the ICANN decision-making process soon became an abomination. The ICANN Board agreed in private what was going to happen to their invention against the hordes of people outside all clamoring for a piece of the action and it then implemented it despite whatever opposition there might be. It rewrote its rules to make sure outsiders weren't admitted to the inner sanctum so it could keep control of which way the medium went.

Re:In my opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550716)

As the ITU is also a technical standards body, that achieved some kind of functionning international phone network from largely heterogenous networks from everywhere in the world, I guess they shouldn't be despised as 'non-technically oriented'.

It is harder to get already existing networks to speak together than re-create a new network from nothing, after all...

Re:In my opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7551724)

someone needs some help with its and it's http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail89.html

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550387)

In Soviet Russia, all our bases belong to you!

/got nothing

Wait a minute...this isn't Fark!

Governance? (4, Insightful)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550391)

The Internet is supposed to be free. Free as in freedom free.

The model in microcosm is this: I have a cable modem and a wireless access point. You have a DSL and a wireless network, too. We agree to share the wireless network to route data on each other's landline. If one of our landlines is down, the other takes the load. If you get impolite with your usage of my network, I block your access, and vice versa. Each of us polices the Internet at our own router.

The power-hungry politicians and small-minded bean counters think my Internet needs "governance". They worry, "Someone will make a profit!" or "Someone will send spam!" or "Someone will have access to {information|music|software} without paying for it!" Someone will charge too much, or not enough, or not let people with green hair use their ftp site, or whatever. Or someone will go untaxed.

Hands off.

Re:Governance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7551302)

Reminds me that I need to add an ACL to my router blocking green haired people today.

Governs the internet? What? (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550398)

If nobody really owns the internet, how does one own the internet? I mean, that's why I joined up with OpenNIC [unrated.net] earlier this year - is because nobody ever really owned the network.

Unzipping WSIS (1)

adelayde (185757) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550399)

An interesting read here on the WSIS [hubproject.org] by a chap called Alan Toner. There's a fair bit of hyperbole used to get the point across but it's a sound one and covers a lot to do with the problems of intellectual property amongst other things.

Here's hoping (5, Interesting)

Oopsz (127422) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550413)

Maybe if we turn over the internet to an international organization, some of the americo-centricism will drop. Hey, maybe the american government will be forced to .gov.us, to match all the other countries in the world!

(yeah, and maybe pigs will fly)

Re:Here's hoping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550794)

maybe the americo-centricism is because...we built it???

i don't see a problem with the .gov and .mil domains, they should stay the same...think of it as a history lesson about the origins of the net.

Re:Here's hoping (1)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550986)

So would this site be forced to be slashdot.org.us?

Re:Here's hoping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7551353)

I think, as an Amerocentro, or whatever, that I'd just modify my local DNS responder to assume a tacking of .us onto any bare .com .net and .org it was sent.

Other than people with (in)security issues, is there a solid reason why anyone hates bare .com .gov .mil etc?

Re:Here's hoping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7551735)

Yeah! And let's all vote to deprive the US of the telephone country code "1". Such blatant favoritism!

Time to accept it folks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550418)

World government is coming and you'd better just get used to it. It's going to be a socialist/authoritarian system and if you don't like that well then too bad. You'll have to turn all of your guns in, give up your free speech, and "show your papers" when you travel to the military authorities. You will not have any say-so in the matter. You will be controlled every minute of your life, but I think that it's necessary to prevent terrorism from people who are against a new world order. You are here to serve the state, and if you cannot serve it then you need to be destroyed. You're a slave. If you don't want to see more "Wacos" and "Ruby Ridges" then you are a sick terrorist who needs to be scrutinized by the authorities. You don't want to live in a socialistic/authoritarian dictatorship of the global elites? ...then jump off a cliff. Look what's happening to the expendable trash in Miami protesting against the FTAA. The FTAA is coming and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. Accept global government and slavery and you'll be better off for it.

A more robust and resistant net (2, Interesting)

Mageaere (726231) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550456)

With Big Governments and Big Companies all fighting over how they control a very big part of our lives I would like to see research on making the internet more resistant to control. The internet was originally designed to be resistant to nuclear attack by being decentralised and able to adapt to interference upon the network. I think we need to develop new protocols to actively protect the internet from being vulnerable to control.
I think what we need it a pure peer to peer protocol to replace the heirarchial TCP/IP protocol so that we no longer need anyone to assign numbers and names to us all.
Of course this brings up the question as to how we then find each other. One solution is to do something similar to what NIC's do on a network segment and only allow each host to receive information intended for them. Of course we don't trust host to only read their own packets and not try to spoof other hosts. What we use is umbiquitous encryption. Everything is encrypted and signed and we use various algorythms to make sure that wandering packets do not wander for ever in the network.
With the improvements to the various wireless and other networking technologies the advent of robust, long range, high bandwidth, secure, point to point networking technologies is no longer a pipe dream.
With such technologies a network that spreads from a user to trusted friends, partners to their trusted frends and partners to their ...
would create a uniquely difficult to manage network.
Let Big Businesses and Big Governments keep their heirarchial network protocols.
We can use friend to friend protocols.(a bit sappy I know :-)

Bad decision to move it to an international medium (4, Insightful)

TyrranzzX (617713) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550515)

First of all, most of the internet's equipment is in america and europe, with an exception being made for china, japan, tiawan, and korea which also have substancial investment in the internet. So, letting some small country in africa dictate how the internet is run isn't a good idea, to start with. It can be looked at in a viewpoint of economic warfare; if Britan can get wal-mart.uk and register it to a britan based company instead of to wal-mart the international corperation, they could potentially make a lot of money importing.

After that, you've got problems with international corperations greasing the wheeles all over. The UN is even more corrupt than the US goverment. All the UN does is make "deals" (some of which involve bullying) between nations for resources as well as making it possible for GE to dump toxic waste in korea and if korea doesn't like that they can kiss the UN's sweet behind. This is why, as Jello Biafra says, the kidnapping rich people and corrupt goverment officials in mexico is what corperations like to call a growth industry.

So, if we move all the internets services to an even more corrupt govermental system with absolutely no responsability to a people but rather to goverments who want to supress people, what do you think will happen?

If china wants xyz banned internationally they can probably pull the strings to do that. If some "terrorist" group in the US puts leaked files on a website prooving conspiracy such as Diebold, what do you think the probability of them pulling the DNS registry would be? As long as the DNS stays under control of and protection by the biggest bully on the block it'll serve the needs of the biggest bully and so long as you don't fsck with it, the bully will leave you alone. It's a lot better than throwing it into the middle of a room with people ranging from weak babies to 500 pound strongmen and watching the freeforall.

Or better yet, what if they wanted to implement internet 2 so that stupid dinosaur people run the internet and not the smart people who do now (to put it in a blunt manner)? Hey, we don't like rantradio because it's a free, uncensored medium that's taking buisness away from RIAA affiliated companies so we're just going to take you off of DNS and fsck your internet connection.

I, as everyone else, would love to see the services ICANN trys to implement given real form and direction and be ruled by wise, progressive people instead of large international corperations and a goverment run amok as it does now.

eyecon0meter: newclear power outshines wwwhistfull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7550516)

no contest.

icann name a dozen or so formerly useful wwwords that have been hijacked buy corepirate nazis?

you won't be needing any gathering of stock markup execrable to be able to detect the direction of the winds of change, which are bullowing at gale force/farce?

some of you are still causing damage to the creators' innocents at an alarming rate. lookout bullow on that won.

there is no murder permitted by anyone. should y'all continue to overheat the main processor, nobody is going to be 'winning' anything, although there will be survivors. all this ?pr? ?firm? pretense of impending 'victory' is really scary.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators... the lights are coming up now.

I love assertions with no proof (2, Insightful)

djeaux (620938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550634)

The Register proclaims:
"The people chosen to run ICANN in 1998 were those who knew more about the technology than anyone else - computer scientists. It was an apparently logical decision but tragically flawed. The characteristics that make a computer scientist are not those that make a good politician or decision-maker.

Now, I'd like to know exactly what characteristics that make a good computer scientist are incompatible with being a good decision-maker. Is the point here that governance is inherently the domain of the clueless?

The choice seems to be between computer scientists (ICANN) & telecommunications suits (ITU). Isn't ironic that the U.S. government is on the side of ICANN?

obligatory simpsons quote (1)

ImpTech (549794) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550704)

ITU Meeting May Decide Governance of the Net

GO-VER-NANCE! GO-VER-NANCE!

Declaration of Principles - interesting addenda (4, Interesting)

Lodragandraoidh (639696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550757)

I found it quite enlightening to read the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action [itu.int] for the summit. The most interesting aspect of this document is the apparent riders that were added to the document later in the draft process [in brackets]. Some selected quotes:

We are resolute in our quest to ensure everyone can benefit from the opportunities ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) can offer...all stakeholders should work together to:...(list of items)...;foster and respect cultural diversity;[recognize the role of the media]...

Governments, as well as the private sector, civil society, and the United Nations and other international organizations have an important role and responsibility in developing the Information Society and, as appropriate, in decision making processes...[The media has a special role in the Information Society]...

[Strengthening the trust framework, including [network and information security] authentication, privacy and consumer protection, is a prerequisite for the development of the Information Society and for building confidence among users of ICTs...


The document seemed like a table tennis match, wherein the countervailing issues had no apparent resolution. In particular, the conflict between the fair use access to free information and the digital rights management and security issues seems irreconcilable. I applauded the emphasis on free and open standards - but again find it hard to reconcile with other issues attached to the document.

This item I found particularly interesting:

Volunteering, [if conducted in harmony with national policies and local cultures,] can be a valuable asset for raising human capacity to make productive use of ICT tools and to build a more inclusive Information Society.

Given the subject of the document, 'Volunteering' in this context would be helping people to learn 'ICT' tools and perhaps building infrastructure. I can not fathom how this would be conducted outside of 'harmony with national policies and local cultures'. This does, however, open the door for suppressing the assistance given to particular groups in a state, if such assitance is not approved by said government. This contradicts the whole idea behind an inclusive Information Society, which this document seems, at first glance, to espouse.

Hand it over to the ITU (2, Interesting)

XNormal (8617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7550944)

The ICANN is too new. It's still reeling from the bubble and exploring vast new realms of corruption and mismanagement. The ITU is an old, established organization that has already settled to an acceptable level of mediocrity. The amount of damage it can do is therefore quite limited.

Bring Back Jon Postel (1)

elfuq (89094) | more than 10 years ago | (#7551710)

OK, That's not entirely possible, given that he died a few years ago, but the whole thing ran a whole lot smoother when Jon was the dictator of the entire 'net.

However the institutions of that time, the Internet Architecture Board, the IETF and the Internet Society providing a corporate, but hands-off, home for it all ran a whole lot smoother than the overly beurocratic mess that we have now.

But the ITU would be worse. Remember how they fought TCP/IP tooth and nail?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...