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Governing the Internet Report Released

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the new-for-summer dept.

The Internet 344

An anonymous reader writes "After the speculation on earlier this week, the Working Group of Internet Governance (aka the United Nations attempt to govern the Internet) has just released their much anticipated report. News coverage and a helpful summary point to the four options on the table and the likely outcome in the months leading up to a final conference in Tunisia in November."

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Already prepared to take over? (4, Insightful)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071593)

I'm not very informed about this, but have they set up a group to take over, even before the US has agreed to giving up control?

Re:Already prepared to take over? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071643)

USA was supposed to turn over control of ICANN to an international body so I guess they was prepared. Then USA decides 'SCREW YOU WE ARE KEEPING IT TO OURSELF', hopefully USA will lose all control now that the rest of the world has seen USA's intentions.

Re:Already prepared to take over? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071717)

Absolutely. And hopefully China, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and Cuba are on the advisory panel, and any sort of political speech is outright banned.

I figure it's what you fuckers deserve anyway.

Re:Already prepared to take over? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071894)

Because, as we all know, those are the only countries outside the U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

what the US should do (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071721)

I've said this many times but I'll repeat once again, this general purpose net connection stack tcp/ip has to go. In its place a large defined set of protocols can allow broadcast style networking for the internet savvy consumer, and if Microsoft had the lead in engineering this, you can be sure that most computers would be compatible, and Microsoft could also sell "Microsoft Gateway" products to let Apple participate.

This set of protocols could allow trusted machines to receive properly licensed and authorized content but still filter out other less useful but more dangerous content/extentions like exe's, zips, tar.gz's, bz2, py, and iso's, and additionally any encrypted content, and the major webserver venders would have to outlaw application/octet mime types to regain control of the internet-turned-piracy haven that the thieves like warez groups and gnu have perverted, not to mention all the pornography and child molesting an open internet produces.

Its time to make the net safe again for our families and businesses.

Re:what the US should do (1)

Dasch (832632) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071764)

I see you're back, Mr. President...

Re:what the US should do (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071969)

Yeah, right. Bush would fall far more into the "Leave the Net alone" crowd. Now Gates? Oh yeah, he'd love this (above post).

Re:Already prepared to take over? (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071865)

I know, ain't it cool? You turn this Internet over to the U.N., Jules, and I'll shoot your ass on general principle!

Re:Already prepared to take over? (3, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071871)

To be perfectly honest, having the internet run by a group where most of the members don't have much of a technology infastructure isn't very comforting either.

Shit, some don't even have running water for most of their population, let alone electricity.
=Smidge=

How much control does the US really have? (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071718)

Managing the root servers is one thing, but that is not overseeing the Internet. Truthfully Interpol is the only recognized international police force. Interpol is not a court it is a police force. A police force in a country outside the US will be more willing to heed a warrant from interpol then one from the US. Interpol isn't playing with creepy agendas like the US has been of late.

Re:How much control does the US really have? (1)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072009)

Interpol was made mainly to help in kidnapping and murdering producers and traffickers of certain drugs and substances that can be used to make those drugs. Drugs which lawmakers in the member countries have officially deemed to be something they don't want other people to use, because they just kicks out of being authoritarian statists I guess. Though its mandate has grown wider than that.

I would call that a creepy enough agenda.

Re:How much control does the US really have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13072062)

Interpol is not a police force.

"The International Criminal Police Organization - Interpol (ICPO-Interpol) was created in 1923 to assist international criminal police co-operation"

Re:Already prepared to take over? (2, Insightful)

caluml (551744) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072033)

even before the US has agreed to giving up control?

Pretty hard to avoid "giving up control" if everyone around the world starts using different root servers. It's like talking about Google refusing to give up controlling the search engine market. Only because people use it do they have control.

Re:Already prepared to take over? (5, Insightful)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072044)

Ok, how bout a little analogy. The rich man and his wife were riding in a nice cart with 4 well bred horses. They were going along delivering goods, minding the horses, maintaining the wagon. The rest of the town sees this and thinks: "wow, thats nice. I like that." Then as time goes on, the city council likes the way the man and his wife are doing things, espescially since everyone is clammoring for their goods. So the City council says "Hey, why don't you let us drive the cart. Oh, and we'll tax everyone who uses it." The man replies that he wouldn't like that at all. So the City council meets and decideds on a course of action. One day they attack. The turn over the cart, burn it, kill the horses, rape the woman, and drown the man. Now they build a cart with about 25 people conversing on how to build it and it works. However, it takes 10 million to repair and if it fails once.... everyone in the town has to have a meeting to talk babout how to fix it.

nooooooo!!!! (2)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071606)

i just don't see the benefits of having people govern the internet.. i guess it will decrease things like spyware and virii.. but other than that, its obviously a cheap attempt to watch every fucking move we make.. Internet2??

Re:nooooooo!!!! (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071707)

i'll just switch back to BBS's...

The four options... (4, Informative)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071616)

... from TF summary:
  1. ICANN stays but the governmental role changes through the creation of a Governmental Internet Council. The GIC replaces the GAC and assumes the role currently held by the U.S. Department of Commerce in ICANN oversight. There are advisory roles envisioned for the private sector and civil society.
  2. No need for oversight organization. Stronger GAC and creation of international forum for discussion of Internet issues.
  3. Creation of International Internet Council that would assume responsibility for the Internet governance issues that arise on the national level. ICANN's mandate would need to be altered based on the development of the IIC.
  4. Start from scratch by creating a World Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers as well as a Global Internet Policy Council.
Personally, I'm wary of the first option's reference to roles for "private sector" and "civil society." I have a hard time not reading "private sector" as "Microsoft" and "civil society" as "political lobbyists."

Re:The four options... (1, Insightful)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071681)

I recognize that the rest of the world makes a valuable contribution to the internet, however:
The United States developed the internet, with many large investments (DARPA etc.), and now we are expected to just give it up?
The United States has perhaps the most to lose, economically, if the internet were to "go down(whatever that means)"
The universal access tax scares me. You don't need a tinfoil hat to see why a worldwide tax is a bad idea and an awful precedent.
The internet has become a security issue- Aside from all the defense networks etc, we need to be able to keep tabs on extremist groups on the web, note that there is a widely circulating how to video about how to cause the most damage with a b#mb on a bus.
As popular as "America is an Imperialist" sentiment has become, we still believe in freedom of speech. What happens when China decides that no one should use the word democracy? What happens when France decides that the word Nazi can't be used?
Just some thoughts.

Re:The four options... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071735)

You're an idiot. No, the Internet is not an american invention (seriously, lots of other nations took part in the actual development of what is the Internet) and there's a lot more people on the net than americans.

Sheez. What's with the nationalism. Grow up and smell a larger world. The USA is rapidly becoming (is) a fascist nation and your so-called freedom is all but gone. Most other western nations are a lot more free than yours.

Re:The four options... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071827)

Do some research fool, the internet was created in the US.

Re:The four options... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13072016)

No, "the Internet" as we know it wasn't. Do your own research instead of watching Fox all day long.

Re:The four options... (3, Insightful)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071766)

The United States developed the internet, with many large investments (DARPA etc.), and now we are expected to just give it up?
Well, the scots created the TV, give up your cable network now!
The United States has perhaps the most to lose, economically, if the internet were to "go down(whatever that means)"
Every country has something to lose.
The universal access tax scares me. You don't need a tinfoil hat to see why a worldwide tax is a bad idea and an awful precedent.
Don't you pay now to get an internet address? What's the difference with a tax?
The internet has become a security issue- Aside from all the defense networks etc, we need to be able to keep tabs on extremist groups on the web, note that there is a widely circulating how to video about how to cause the most damage with a b#mb on a bus.
Somehow I expected the terrorist issue to be raised! It's irrelevent to the subject of ICANN
As popular as "America is an Imperialist" sentiment has become, we still believe in freedom of speech. What happens when China decides that no one should use the word democracy? What happens when France decides that the word Nazi can't be used
What has this got to do with domain names?
Just some thoughts.
You managed to mention terrorists AND nazis. Congratulations.

Re:The four options... (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071888)

What has this got to do with domain names?

Picture this. China becomes a member of the committee to "control" the internet. They show up to the first meeting with a list of addresses they want removed from the root servers for having "illegal" (read anti Chinese Communist) content and demand that the addresses be removed.

I do not doubt that if the UN gets oversite control of the root servers this WILL happen. I'm not saying that these sites will be eliminated, but the organization would definately go from oversight of the internet to giant political fights to control content really quickly.

Re:The four options... (1)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072006)

Good point. Although I guess China would be better of, in this case, to block access to the root DNS and make one for Chinese access where all the "offending" sites would be blocked.

Re:The four options... (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072072)

I don't care if they get control of the root servers, I can always enter IP addresses. It's when they get control of IANA, or the regional IP registries, that I get worried.

Re:The four options... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071988)

"The universal access tax scares me. You don't need a tinfoil hat to see why a worldwide tax is a bad idea and an awful precedent."
Don't you pay now to get an internet address? What's the difference with a tax?


British monarch to American revolutionary:
Don't you pay now to get your tea? What's the difference with a tax?

Re:The four options... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13072193)

This post is not insightful! Give up tv...hey I payed for my tv. I don't see the scots managing all broadcasting. By all means go and build your own internet and do what you will. But get over the fact that we don't have to just give it up.

"You managed to mention terrorists AND nazis. Congratulations."

Total troll. Perhaps you live in some utopian world were buses and cars don't get blown up.

To everyone that actually believes this will happen. You are wrong. Dead wrong. The US of A is not gonna give up control (if that is what you want to call it) of the internet. This is a capitalist country...rememeber. Everything here is driven by money. Find a way to make the USA profitable and sure the internet will be given up.

Sheesh. get a clue people. Oh BTW I would like to have you nice blue shoes...give them to me now. Stupid.

Re:The four options... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13072206)

Well, the scots created the TV, give up your cable network now!

And when the US demands everyone else stop using networks of networks, that will be an apt analogy, but I won't hold my breath. Nobody's stopping anyone from throwing up a second (or third, now, I guess) internet.

Re:The four options... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071784)

"The United States developed the internet, with many large investments (DARPA etc.), and now we are expected to just give it up?"

Considering that the present United States is itself a colony of people from all over the world, your point is a bit moot. The internet transcends geographic boundaries and the control must be international.

"The internet has become a security issue- Aside from all the defense networks etc, we need to be able to keep tabs on extremist groups..."

The more important security issues we deal with everyday are caused by poor design and regulation of the internet and related services - DDoS, spam, etc. The UN could make a fresh beginning and make the internet really secure.

"we still believe in freedom of speech..."
You seem to have forgotten Freedom of spam?

-

Re:The four options... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071786)

The internet is little more than a large group of servers all cooperating and speaking the same protocols. The US can not give up control over the internet, because it doesn't have it. No one controls the whole internet.

Re:The four options... (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071817)

A lot of countries invested a lot in the internet, and, at this point, the Master Domain Servers could be replicated by any country with a moderate amount of knowhow. That's a simple fact.

A lot of countries have a lot to lose. Putting control of something in the hands of the people who have the most to lose is a bad idea.

There is already a universal tax. It's called a "Registration Fee".

There is nothing stopping us from keeping the same tabs on extremists. It's like you think the internet is in a building somewhere. All we control are ten or so big domain servers. And, if you want to google "How to build a Nuclear Bomb" you'll find plenty of video on that. Not like Terrorists need the internet to figure out how to bomb a bus. They do have a bit of experience.

China != the UN. We may "believe" in free speech, but the surest way to make sure it stays free is to make sure that no one entity has complete control over it.

Just my opinion.

Re:The four options... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071876)

One has to remember that the Internet would not be the same without all the contributions other countries have put in. HTML and the whole World Wide Web is something that the US did not create. The US might have created DARPA, but that doesnt mean there hasnt been work done after that, and much of this work has been done by other countries than the US.

Re:The four options... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071968)

The United States developed the internet, with many large investments (DARPA etc.), and now we are expected to just give it up?

You may not even realise it, but the thinking exemplified by the above quote is exactly the reason the international community is so wary of leaving the US with any controlling interest in the Internet at all.

The US did not create the Internet. It may have played a larger part in some aspects than other countries, but it is neither responsible for all of the technological innovation, nor for even the majority of the investment, nor for keeping it running as it stands today. The fact that ICANN and its overlords are effectively US-government-controlled is an anomaly, not the norm.

The current US administration has demonstrated a great willingness to interfere in the affairs of foreign nations economically, legislatively and even militarily, essentially to further its own economic interests. This doesn't exactly engender trust on the part of those nationss' governments, and you can't really be surprised that they don't trust the US to "do the right thing" any more.

Re:The four options... (4, Informative)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072132)

I recognize that the rest of the world makes a valuable contribution to the internet, however:
The United States developed the internet, with many large investments (DARPA etc.), and now we are expected to just give it up?


Europe invented and developed the wheel. Clearly your cars and roads belong to Europe.

Stop cooking right now, Africa invented the fire.

Clearly we need an international patent system, so that each country can hoard and control its own inventions.

What happens when China decides that no one should use the word democracy? What happens when France decides that the word Nazi can't be used?

International collaboration through organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union [itu.int] must be brought to an end immediately. What if China decides that no one should use the word democracy on the phone? What happens when France decides that the word Nazi can't be used on the phone?

Note that the names and numbers that would be assigned correspond to the international country codes for telephone. For China to censor your Internet usage they'd have to invade your country, just like they'd have to do for censoring your use of the telephone. It's the same thing.

One question. If the root servers and the assignment of TLDs and numbers were controlled by Europe, would you like it to stay that way? Or would you, maybe, perhaps, want the US to have some part in it?

-- The price of eternal vigilance is a dollar a day and half an hour of your time.
Carefully choose a responsible newspaper. Support it, read it, write to it.
Do your part.

Re:The four options... (2, Interesting)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072138)

" we still believe in freedom of speech."Unless
  • The FCC is involved,
  • a public library is involved,
  • The Supreme Court of the United States has decided that what you're saying doesn't count as speech, or
  • a moneyed interest (Mattel, Church of Scientology) declares your speech to be libelous.

Re:The four options... (4, Insightful)

saider (177166) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071715)

This is NOT about the UN looking out for the best interests of the world population. This is NOT about liberating the internet from the evil Americans. This will NOT impact censorship or any freedoms that we enjoy on the internet.

This is about the UN trying to get control and power where they currently have none. They want this power so that they can be more like a government. The problem is, they are a treaty organization, not a government. They are not elected. They are not accountable to the people they want to govern.

Please stop trying to make the UN into a world government. It is nothing more than a forum for countries to discuss their issues and posture on the international stage. Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:The four options... (1)

dfjghsk (850954) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072154)

seriously... the genocide in Sudan has killed a half million people, and displaced 2.5 million...

The UN isn't discussing that.. they're to busy talking about US control of the internet...

Don't they have more important things to discuss?! This just illustrates why the UN needs reforms.

Option 4 looks good... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071720)

This would be a great time to implement IPv6 as well... The US invented and implemented the internet... thanks for that, but we need to move on. Starting from scratch in conjunction with IPv6 should be a good idea.
-

Re:The four options... (1)

HoosierPeschke (887362) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071776)

I concur with your view on "private sector" and "civil society". First off, ICANN's site [icann.org] states that is a private, NON-profit organization, translated means not under government control. So, simply because it used to be contracted by the US Government, it is automatically bad. Ask yourselves this, is ICANN doing its job? If after thinking about that, you would still like to see ICANN functions handed over to the UN, heaven help us. I can't fathom why people work by the philosophy, "If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is".

Option #4 (5, Funny)

lord_paladine (568885) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071625)

Option #4 - Start from scratch by creating a World Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers as well as a Global Internet Policy Council.

W.I.C.A.N.N?

I always knew it tooks a certain amount of magic to make the internet run smoothly.

Re:Option #4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071841)

W.I.C.A.N.N

ROFLMAO!!!

Let me guess (1, Funny)

Official Bastard (900041) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071637)

Its full of porn.

OT: Wow - /. IDs break 900,000 mark (1)

sczimme (603413) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071875)


Official Bastard (900041)

I'll be darned.

huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071641)

and like all things, people will find ways around the law, so what good will being an obnoxious, inconvienant big brother do?

of course, i bet now they'll track me for saying this and send the gestapo to my door. :P

LOL (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071647)

I couldn't bother to read the report as I know it will never fly. After all, who's going to accept Tunisia as the center of the internet. LOL

In any case, IF the europeans where to branch off with their "own internet" it would only last until it became inconvenient for the USA. At that point the US would declare that the internet should be free and it would "liberate" it from the europeans.

Hmmmm (0)

squoozer (730327) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071650)

I am sure that there is something witty or even intellegent to say about this but it's just another case of USA vs Rest of World. I vote that we have a little poll here on slashdot about who should get to control the Internet. Now I know that I would never ever get a poll accepted so I vote that we use this message as a poll (karma be damned).

Any one who wants the UN to control the Internet (root servers) mod this message up.

Any one who wants to see the USA run the Internet mod this message down.

Ooooh I can smell the karma buring already.

Re:Hmmmm (2, Interesting)

Official Bastard (900041) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071687)

I think the creators of the internet should have final say, since it was not governments or business that created it. I am not just saying it belongs to the geeks, but also the universities and other students of computing had their fair share.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071757)

you mean the military ?

Re:Hmmmm (1)

Official Bastard (900041) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071838)

Well they may have started the infrastructure, but it doesn't mean they were the creators. If you put of scaffolding for a house it doesn't mean you built the house. Same goes for online forums, if there are no visitors or posters does the forum even exist?

Re:Hmmmm (1)

JudicatorX (455442) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072100)

Yes, otherwise how could it have no visitors?

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071788)

That's right. What does Al Gore want to do?

Re:Hmmmm (4, Interesting)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071708)

Define "control".

It's not so simple as "US vs. rest of world"--it's a balance between "how much do you trust the US to be a fair custodian" vs. "how much do you trust an organization giving weight to what Libya and South Africa and Papua New Guinea want to be a fair custodian".

As far as I'm concerned, having an organization in the US, with some involvement by the US government, "running" things is not a great solution but a lot less worse than, say, whatever the ITU would come up with.

That said, remember that the Internet works on the principle of routing around failure. Neither the UN nor ICANN nor the US government are known as organizations which always work quickly, logically, unbureaucratically and in the best interests of both their constituents and the greater community at large.

The "US", aside from a few fun Internic fuckups in the 1990s, didn't ever "turn off the Internet" or come up with idiotic international requirements. Carnivore? Try enforcing that in France. Nobody's stopping me from using encryption between Ghana and Mongolia. I wouldn't, however, put it past some atechnical third world level 50 career bureaucrat to come up with something stupid wthich might try to do just that.

Not that it'll ever work, but it'll just create more work for everyone. Another thing I'd like to see pro-UN-control folks to ask themselves honestly would be "is this just a pure control question"? I hate to say it, but like Magellan, anyone can always build their own...

Re:Hmmmm (1)

Siener (139990) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071892)

It's not so simple as "US vs. rest of world"--it's a balance between "how much do you trust the US to be a fair custodian" vs. "how much do you trust an organization giving weight to what Libya and South Africa and Papua New Guinea want to be a fair custodian".

I can understand your problem with Libya, but what's wrong with South Africa and Papua New Guinea? Both are democracies.

The good thing about the UN is that everybody has a say in the decisions and it's therefore hard for one country to dominate. All countries depend on the internet these days, so it's maybe not a good idea to let one country run the show.

The bad thing is that everything in the U.N. happens slooowly.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

JoeQuaker (888617) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072051)

I really don't see this as happening any time soon myself. (WARNING: SARCASM HERE) And remember... the US is the best country (with an inferior broadband network compared to the UK) and we don't take orders from spineless Europeon countries that don't agree with us.

First time for everything. (-1, Offtopic)

todd10k (889348) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071651)

First time ive read an article that didnt have GNAA or FRIST PROST somewhere. but then again, theres always the next post.

Give control to the ISPs (5, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071658)

They have effective control anyway. If they all decided to point their DNS servers to a certain place, then that would be adefacto domain name registry. I'm sure the same applies to IP addresses.

Sort out some fair means of representation, and get them to select a root administrator. They all have the same ultimate goal - a stable internet - and they al understand the internet. The same cannot be said of the US government or the UN.

Re:Give control to the ISPs (2, Interesting)

theseeria (849566) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071697)

IMHO does it really matter who controls the internet....? As long as they aren't messing/manipulating it for their own good does it really matter?

Re:Give control to the ISPs (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071743)

Yes it does mattewr. They might be messing/manipulating it out of incompetence.

Re:Give control to the ISPs (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071867)

Heh. The UN is too untrustworthy, but commercial telephone and cable companies aren't? They've got corruption already built into the system. Talk about a universal tax. You'd be charged for every pageview, and DNS lookup.

Whoever controls it, they have to be accountable to the users of the system, or they need not exist at all.

Just for the record, I'm fine with the "not exist at all option." If various groups set up their own master domain servers, we could have a little biological competition to determine which ones are the most efficient and respectful of the rights of users.

Re:Give control to the ISPs (1)

hhghghghh (871641) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072046)

They have effective control anyway. If they all decided to point their DNS servers to a certain place, then that would be adefacto domain name registry. I'm sure the same applies to IP addresses.

And in actual fact, the EU guideline on telecommunications (which is implemented in National laws) states quite clearly that government is in charge of any and all adressing (be it numeric or names) for all public networks.

It just happens that for now, European governments don't feel the need to intervene and let ICANN/Verisign/ccTLDs and RIPE/ARIN/APNIC do their thing. In future, European governments might just choose to cede control to a different body, such as the EU, or the ITU. Whether this happens tomorrow or in 50 years remains to be seen; this is probably mostly dependent on how much ICANN can screw things up.

Legally though, in the EU, the national governments are in charge of appointing the naming/numbering authorities. They just haven't bother to appoint any one.

I know Internet != Web but (1)

fa2k (881632) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071678)

It would be nice if they got their CSS/HTML right (opera)

Nationalized, Fractured Internet? (4, Interesting)

Jerle0 (899471) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071692)

3. Creation of International Internet Council that would assume responsibility for the Internet governance issues that arise on the national level. ICANN's mandate would need to be altered based on the development of the IIC.
All of the negatives aside, one thing I like about ICAAN is there is one point that everything leads back to. If control over the internet is split among various nations, it seems it would be too easy for the pieces of the internet to become segmented if the nations involved ever had a dispute over something. That might give countries like China, who already do strange thigns with the internet, the possibility of completely cutting themselves off from the rest of the world.

Re:Nationalized, Fractured Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071773)

They ALREADY can do that. Others nations can't pass cables or install internet servers through China whitout their permission. So, what's the point ?

Option 5. (3, Interesting)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071695)

Option 5: Realize this entire discussion is about as pointful as the UN discussing how to run Steak and Shake, should they ever acquire it.

Free the DNS ! (4, Informative)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071698)

It's not a matter of who gets what hostname. A hostname is juste a convenient way to reach a server, it is definitly NOT the killer feature that will boost marketting for a website. Anyway I see hostnames disappearing in the future. It is already happening, a good rank in Google search results is already way more important than the proper domain name. Another solution implies the distribution of signed IP/hostname pairs by renowned organizations. Such pairs could be copied and distributed by any ISP. If gnu.org, google.com and heywhynot microsoft.com all tell me this hostname relates to that IP I may choose to trust them. I can also be a paranoïd freak and only trust pairs signed by my grandmother, which might limit my browsing experience - the point is I can choose. This is, in my opinion, the right approach to take. Trademark conflicts ? Typos spoofing ? All of this can be resolved by the suggested system. I may choose an authority which privileges hostname on a first-to-claim basis or I may choose an authority privileging a "saner" approach (granting trademarked hostnames to their owners and not to the smartass who registered it first and put pr0n instead).

Re:Free the DNS ! (2, Interesting)

Cerv (711134) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071889)

(granting trademarked hostnames to their owners and not to the smartass who registered it first and put pr0n instead).

What do you do when two or more different organisations share the trademark on the same word? E.g. Apple computers and the Apple music label; Frosties the breakfast cereal and Frosties the sugar coated sweets.

Re:Free the DNS ! (2, Interesting)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071967)

What do I do ? I give apple to the computers and frosties to the cereals because that's the one I know. Now you are free not to use my dns associations. You can use one from organization XYZ that has a specific policy for resolving this kind of issues, including - for example - redirecting you to disambiguation pages ala wikipedia on their servers OR, selecting the statistically most seeked site, OR preferring the apple candies because their policy is not to show anything related to cereals. (replace cereals by porn and you get the idea... you can choose to accept dns signed by the safe-for-kids-dns-association, you can also be a huge perv and use SeXdns to be redirected to porn whenever it is possible) The possibilities are endless. Best thing, it is backward compatible with classic DNS... one could lanch a local DNS server on their machine as a tunnel to access this signed DNS protocol.

Re:Free the DNS ! (1)

mrogers (85392) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071916)

a good rank in Google search results is already way more important than the proper domain name

Sorry, don't you mean a good rank in 64.233.161.104 search results?

The important thing is... (1)

James A. D. Joyce (742507) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071703)

...is this proposed UN working group for the Internet going to actually have any control over the Internet, or will they just be a figurehead? If they're going to actually do something, thank G-d - international cooperation will finally enable us to deal with problems like spam and malicious Eastern European hackers and virus authors. Unfortunately, I suspect that this is not going to be the case; it takes a lot of freedom and jurisdiction for an organisation to be able to extradite and punish Internet users from any country, and most politicians probably don't want to give that power to anyone.

Re:The important thing is... (1)

domnu (897494) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071858)

it takes a lot of freedom and jurisdiction for an organisation to be able to extradite and punish Internet users from any country

Indeed, it takes a great deal of freedom to put someone behind bars... That people find the idea of the UN taking control of the internet comforting disturbs me greatly. Such a transfer would run counter to the intent of the network: decentralized communication. The current US controls should be viewed as an unplesant but necessary bootstraping of the web, not a prototype for global control.

Insurgency (1)

CaptainFork (865941) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071706)

If the UN takes over the internet, they should be prepared for insurgency on a massive scale. It turns out that sometimes people don't like what they believe is theirs being forcably taken over by outsiders even if the stated aims are noble.

It's a luxury (3, Interesting)

therealking (223121) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071712)

16. Interconnection costs Uneven distribution of cost. Internet service providers (ISPs) based in countries remote from Internet backbones, particularly in the developing countries, must pay the full cost of the international circuits.
05.41622 -6-
Absence of an appropriate and effective global Internet governance mechanism to resolve the issue.


When did the internet become a NESSESITY of life???
Why must thier be a "even" distribution of costs?? If it costs more to get connectivity to your isp then it costs more for that isp to do buisness.

Not often is the question asked . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13072146)

When did the internet become a NESSESITY of life???

I'm glad to see that String.badSpelling.toUpper() Method is still being used by today's blooming programmers :-)

internet next generation (3, Interesting)

tines (806906) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071724)

They are basically saying that their proposal should be usefull since
  • there is an unneven distribution of cost in developing countries -- why not offer development grants and support the infrastructure
  • they fix internet stabilty, spam -- each country should make their own laws
  • intelectual property protection -- figures.
  • they will help developing countries with a "forum" -- no way to do this now, is it ?
Basically their proposal is ok as long as there won't be a single country in charge. But I do fear the expansion of this "governance" into other areas.

Screw the UN (-1, Troll)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071740)

I laugh at their attempts to try to be important. The UN is corrupt and it is Unconstitutional for the US government to give any sort of authority over the US to random leaders in small meaningless African countries.

The UN is just trying to justify its existence.

Re:Screw the UN (2, Interesting)

einar2 (784078) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071814)

How comes that the UN has a rather good reputation in Europe and such a bad one in the US?

How comes that the same people speaking about democracy and freedom have so much problems to give other nations the right to vote where they are concerned?

BTW, there are no small meaningless countries.
BTW 2, funny that you speak about "random leaders".

Re:Screw the UN (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071932)

To understand that, you have to get into the mind set of your average US citizen. Here's my simple three step plan for doing this:

1) Think of all the time you spent learning about the rest of the world outside your country of origin: geography lessons, watching or reading news coverage, research or even actually visiting the countries involved. Add all that time together.
2) Now imagine that instead of doing all those things, you spent that time in McDonald's stuffing your face with supersize portions of fat and sugar.
3) Success. You can now think like an American.

Re:Screw the UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071955)

1) Because in Europe, the UN is seen as a way to limit US power, and in the US, the UN is seen as a way to limit US power.

2) And who in those nations has the right to vote? It isn't terribly Democratic to give dictators a vote in any form of 'world government' when they haven't been elected to begin with!

3) There are plenty of small and meaningless countries. Many of them are in Africa; some are in Europe.

Re:Screw the UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071860)

It seems that americans only remember democracy when they decide to liberate some country. How comes other nations should not have a say about the matters of their concern? How comes that the freedom loving americans call other countries meaningless? And lets not talk about random leaders.

Re:Screw the UN (0)

seti (74097) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072024)

It's always funny to see uninformed, ignorant Americans making such rash remarks over the United Nations or over other "small insignificant countries".

If we're to get this world into any kind of peaceful place for future generations, it's through an international forum where every member, no matter how small or large, should have equal voice. The UN is the ideal place for that.

Every country in the world has it's merit, history and culture (of which you only have the first and a bit of the second), and thus contributes to the world as a whole.

The only thing you have contributed to the world as a whole in the past few years is death, misery, suffering and sadness.

Re:Screw the UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13072137)

Oh, and BILLIONS of dollars in financial aid.

Watch out for india (1)

Thri11a (899181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071753)

We have said this time and time again, but soon enough india is going to be more important to the American infrastructure of service and support than americns. now there is a 10 year old girl who is more qualified than most of americans, i say this is the wake up call for many, and we need to re-adjust our strategy because it is obviously not working. i can see it now, next year ill be going to mcdonalds and ill hear gupta asking me if id like fries with that, mcdonalds outsourcing to india, it could happen!

Thoughts on the synopsis... (4, Insightful)

taneem (873769) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071771)

From the summary of the report 4 options were generated as a way of moving forward.

However looking at all the options it essentially boils down to three things:

1. The U.S. cedes real control to the international community

2. The U.S. cedes token control to the international community (option #2 proposes creating an international forum to "discuss" internet issues - read: eventually inconsequential)

3. Start from scratch


While it's tempting to hate on the Americans for refusing to give up control of the Internet's foundations, any kind of sharing would lead to power sharing with nations including China and Russia.

Slashdot has posted numerous articles about the Chinese iron fist when it comes to dealing with anything on the internet. I find it frightening to even think about the prospect of having my internet access dictated in some part by the blatantly power hungry government of this nation. Yes, the Americans are no white knights either, but I'd rather have their faulty system of checks and balances than the outright corruption and byzantine system of governance that still controls much of the world today.

Think about the recent stories of "adopting a Chinese blog" to protect the bloggers from chinese government reprisals. What do you think the Chinese would demand first if they were given real control of our internet access? Control of any content that originates from China - which means these bloggers who almost got away, would be tracked down again. :(

Eventually the answer is going to come from somewhere in between. There isn't going to be a peaceful transition of the entire system from the americans to the international community. But rather different parts of the world will begin to develop their own networks with differing levels of compatibility, and software and hardware vendors are going to make a killing in providing systems that can handle these multiple formats and networks.

This diversity will arise not only from politics, but from new technology too and I can totally see the European Union developing a "new internet" that provides alternative control to what the americans have -- and then subsidizing the cost of this network so that it is taken up by major subsets such as India and the Pacific, until it eventually supercedes the now "legacy" american systems...

Re:Thoughts on the synopsis... (3, Insightful)

Talonius (97106) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071863)

I agree with the above poster, and wish I had moderation points.

I think he does underestimate the requests of the foreign powers. The foreign governments want the Internet to become a single entity ruled under single law - Germany wants no mention of the word Nazi, France wants no mention of white flags, China wants no mention of freedom or pornography, etc.

This is the truly scary part of what turning control over would entail. Sure, there's a difference between technical and political control - but political control eventually corrupts the technical. How long would it be before incredibly stupid mandates begin to filter down?

As for those who are decrying the United States as corrupt and no longer free - you may very well be right. I won't argue that we as a nation have some very serious issues to answer for, and that our current governmental body is severely lacking in many areas, including integrity and honesty. However, do not confuse the American people with the American government. Outright acts of hostility and control will still be met with outrage and political action - most of the problems with our government have been created through subterfuge on our government's part, leaving nothing for the people to focus on.

Honestly, I'd like to know if any United Nations governance body was prepared to handle the issues like spam, virii, identity theft, etc., and how so? What benefit does this transfer of "power" garner the world? Listing things like "connectivity is expensive and the cost should be borne by the rest of the world rather than the third world countries" -- no, I'm sorry, we paid for our connectivity when we needed it. If you want help paying for said connectivity, ask the United Nations for grants, or other companies or organizations for aid. Do not build it into the governing body of the Internet to be abused by all.

I especially like the claim that Internet virii and spam are problems created by the Internet's current governing bodies and the third world countries have to purchase "at great expense" methods of dealing with these issues.

There's an off switch, folks.

The remainder of their problems are similar, in my opinion. Someone thinks that having control will magically solve their problems because they can issue mandates about how people are supposed to behave. Whatever.

Re:Thoughts on the synopsis... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071957)

It's a pitty reading all of these ignorant comments.
Americans!! grow!!! you're not alone, the world is not yours.

With a Madman in the White House, a Terminator in California and an illiterate in Florida How can you be taken seriously?

You're so called democracy is nothing but a bluff controlled by 5 or 6 corporations.

Please, for us all, GROW!

Re:Thoughts on the synopsis... (1)

dfjghsk (850954) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072112)

In theory I can see the EU developing a "new internet"... just like they are creating their own GPS network..

But.. let me know when they get the funding sorted out for Magellan (not even going to mention actually getting it up there)... then we can talk about them building their own internet.

This is probably why they would prefer to have us just hand over our network.. they know if they ever tried to get the EU to agree on something, it would never get done.

why bother with the US ? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071822)

I doubt the US will ever cede control over the internet, and frankly it makes me very uncomfortable that Bush is ultimately in charge. Personally, I think the UN should set up it's own DNS servers which every other country in the world can use, and if the US wants to sit in the corner and scream about how it should be in charge because God has given the US the right to impose it's view on the rest of the world, then let's just ignore them, and get on with it.

Re:why bother with the US ? (1)

knewter (62953) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072179)

Just in case someone was browsing at score:0, and might think this comment has valid points, keep in mind that the U.S. put all the research into the internet (via the D.O.D., those big evil people). So it's not so much a God-given right as it is a purchased, sweated-for right.

Merely step 1.. (2, Insightful)

Tominva1045 (587712) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071823)


This is merely Step 1 in a long-term approach to txing internet usage.

1. Form a global council.
2. Make claims of global intellectual inequality
3. The UN, ACLU, and (insert names of politicians trying to buy votes here) decide to "level the playing field" by taxing those who have "won life's lottery" (have a domain name) and redistributing funds to under achieving locations.

Some time in the future.. U.N. Ambassador from Nauru (pop. 10,000) "Mr. Chairman, the people of Nauru beg this body to level the intellectual playing field by providing every man, woman, and child of Nauru a computer and high speed internet access..."

Four years after that..

EBay reports a 0.000002% bump in sales due largely to the army of Nauruvians selling brick-a-brack via their shiny 386 PC's.

I shiver at the thought of the "level playing field." Or, possibly, I've run off in the weeds on this one.

Happy Friday!

Make your own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071848)

After the huge investments of time and money the US has put in to it, really it's silly to ask them to give it up. Nothing at all is stopping any country or the un from making their own. Natural selection will determine sucsess or failure of them both until there's only one dominant net again.

Re:Make your own (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071974)

Seriously, what does this even mean? Make your own TCP/IP implementation? The on in Linux was written at my own university in Swansea (hint: Not in the US). Make your own protocols for exchanging information? How about HTTP, developed at Europe's very own CERN research facility. Lay your own cable? Guess what, the US isn't responsible for any of the cable laid by my ISP. Make your own root DNS servers? Why bother, all they do is hand-off to the first level servers - and these results are cached by DNS servers all around the world.

Far more Internet infrastructure is outside the US than inside it already. The rest of the world has `created their own', and joined it to yours. If you want to unplug from the rest of the world, then have fun watching your economy collapse.

Will the U.N. do better than U.S.A? (2, Insightful)

glyn.phillips (826462) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071849)

Given the honesty and competence demonstrated by the U.N. in its management of the Iraq "Oil for Food" program, what kind of job can we expect them to do with the Internet?

The U.N. needs to show the world that it can consistently manage its programs in a competent, honest and equitable manner before we trust it with such an important piece of world-wide infrastructure.

At least the U.S.A. has a vested self-interest in the internet continuing to work well.

Obligatory Neuman quote (2, Insightful)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071903)

"The U.N. is a place where governments opposed to free speech demand to be heard!" - Alfred E. Neuman

What are we fixing? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13071921)

I've read a few of these articles and I can't seem to figure out what we are trying to fix. The only thing I see is that the US has the root servers, and Europeans don't want it like that any more. I still find myself asking why.

What's broken?

If there's some legitimate problem that we are addressing, someone please educate me. I can't help but think this is little more than more Anti-American sentiment going awry.

I thought from such a technical crowd, this would be the first question that would be asked.

The Wicann ??? (1)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 9 years ago | (#13071980)

Oh thats going to go over real well.

What Happened to Separation of Church and State? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13072083)

Start from scratch by creating a World Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers as well as a Global Internet Policy Council.

WICANN? It's a conspiracy. The witches are always trying to push their sway into the international realm, and now the Internet! This must be stopped!!

Make your own Internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13072099)

You want to govern an Internet... make your own

I guess I should be used to this by now (1)

Puls4r (724907) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072153)

Wow. Yet another report from yet another government agency without any real answers. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that they danced around the real issues. Lets be serious, and consider, in english, what's going on. #1 The "World" (every country that has politicians in the UN) sees an opportunity for power and money by claiming a stake in internet ownership. #2 The "World" realizes that because the US created, invested, and built the majority of the internet, the US isn't going to voluntarily hand control of it over to someone else. Especially since there's a lot of power and money involved in running the internet. Here's my solution. Get rid of all domains that do not end in a country suffix. .org, .net, etc are gone. If you want www.slashdot.org, then it's gonna be www.slashdot.org.us. Each country handles managing it's own suffixes, or pays someone else to. Then, that country has full legal rights to enforce their own laws on their own domains, and easily BLOCK any domains from the subversive US, China etc etc etc. Why wouldn't it work?

Anyway, there is a problem (1)

Blyx (593294) | more than 9 years ago | (#13072204)


Internet is more and more an international network. It's a fact that the network was created and develloped in the US in the early age. So, it's natural that the US creates the ICANN to rule the distribution of domain name and ip address.

Today, the network is not anymore 100% US. A big part of it is owned by other countries and some companies. And every one of them help to maintain and distribute the domain name list. So the real problem is why, when somebody paid $10 to buy a .com domain name for a year, those counties and companies that made the network today don't see the color of this money ?
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