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U.S. Insists On Keeping Control Of Internet

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the we're-not-going-to-share-our-toys dept.

The Internet 1167

veggie boy writes "A U.S. official strongly objected to any notion of a U.N. body taking control of the domain servers that direct traffic on the Internet." From the article: "'We will not agree to the U.N. taking over the management of the Internet,' said Ambassador David Gross, the U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy at the State Department. 'Some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable.' Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly concerned about the U.S. control, which stems from the country's role in creating the Internet as a Pentagon project and funding much of its early development."

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1167 comments

nothing to see move along (-1, Offtopic)

jzeejunk (878194) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683871)

ohh!! no no i'm in the US. why move along?

Re:nothing to see move along (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683899)

Before this thread turns into yet another Anti-America/Anti-George Bush Slashdot flame war. . .

America did in fact invent the thing so that's probably a good reason why America wants to keep control over it.

Besides shouldn't we ask Al Gore before we go making an important decision about this :)

Re:nothing to see move along (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683949)

I agree. Every country should have to pay royalties to the US-government for letting them use their TCP-IP-technology.

This just shows the ungratefulness of the European-contries and the Jappers. At least China is developing its own standards.

Re:nothing to see move along (2, Insightful)

AdeBaumann (126557) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684012)

...and royalties to Switzerland for using the Web, which was invented in Geneva (the original Geneva, not the one in NY).

We'll be expecting your cheque/credit card number.

Thank you for your business.

Re:nothing to see move along (1)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684094)

Every country should have to pay royalties to the US-government for letting them use their TCP-IP-technology.

Ok, then where do we send the bill for you using binary computing, packet switching, WWW and most of the other base technologies that make up the internet? These were invented by folks all around the world, what the US DoD did was fund a load of academics to couple all of the systems into a robust network.

Thank God (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683882)

Thank God

My turn (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683888)

calls on Thursday for a U.N. body to take over control of the main computers that direct traffic on the Internet

Which is Europes way of saying, "gimme, gimme, gimme, my turn to play with the toys!"

Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly concerned about the U.S. control

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? What do developing countries have to do with jack? They're small and tend to have very poor Internet infrastructures. Does this mean that we're now supposed to turn over control to them so they can screw it up?

Cripes. The Internet works. If it's not broke, DON'T FIX IT.

Re:My turn (5, Insightful)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683971)

What do developing countries have to do with jack?

I am assuming you have heard of a country called India, which is a developing nation. If you still don't get it, then get out of your basement and watch the real world. We are not in 70s anymore.

Talking to myself (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683975)

Hmm... I suppose that did come off kind of flame-baity, didn't it?

Let me put it this way, I just stayed up most of the night documenting in my blog how the Chinese government abuses its people and ignores the very laws it put in place to protect its people. Now first thing in the morning, I hear that the UN wants to turn over full control of the DNS heirarchy to countries like China. Countries to whom "freedom" is just a word to be filtered. Countries where a constitution is just words on some expensive paper. Countries that care little for anything except maintaining their own power.

If we turn even the slightest control over to these people, it's a surefire guarantee that they will abuse it. They would use the technology to further oppress their people (illegally, I might add) and attempt to extend their influence to elsewhere in the world.

So I will repeat, the Internet is not broken. Don't fix it.

Re:Talking to myself (5, Insightful)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684021)

Countries to whom "freedom" is just a word to be filtered. Countries where a constitution is just words on some expensive paper. Countries that care little for anything except maintaining their own power.

I think the above is pretty much why the rest of us are unconfortable with the current US administration being in control of the internet.

Re:Talking to myself (1)

Fallus Shempus (793462) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684033)

I hear that the UN wants to turn over full control of the DNS heirarchy to countries like China. Countries to whom "freedom" is just a word to be filtered. Countries where a constitution is just words on some expensive paper. Countries that care little for anything except maintaining their own power.
You mean away from contries like the US where ...
But like you say it ain't broke ... at the moment.

Re:Talking to myself (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684048)

As another poster said, I think you need to get out more. Maybe travel a bit.

Internet governance is a tough issue. And clearly the US has no lessons to teach anyone in this area.

Besides, I find it hard to argue that granting control of CCtld to the countries that the CC represents is not a fairly decent idea.

You talk about abuse and control. I see paternalism and convenient imperialism.

The Internet is not broken. Its current governance mechanism are not acceptable to most of the planet (read 190 states minus the US).

Not that it matters much. Leapfrogging will eventually occur if nothing gives.

Re:Talking to myself (2)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684064)

So I will repeat, the Internet is not broken. Don't fix it.

Not to offend you, but are you republican by any chance? (Coz you know republicans never listen during a debate and just keep ranting). Who said any thing about some thing being broken. Do yourself a favor and READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE. Internet is not broken, people are not trying to fix it. But what they are trying to do is to make sure that US is not the only country incharge of it. They have good reasons, do you want me to list it?

Re:Talking to myself (1)

VC (89143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684076)

"If it aint broke dont fix it": Doesnt mean it cant be improved...
The DNS system's great, it recognises many contries and sub communities that are contrivertial (spelling my own) like Norfolk island, and yet manages to be uncontrovertial (SMO) due to [the late] Jon Postels, brilliant tactic of using the ISO standards to resolve all disputes.

But the internet is growing, and arguably the TLD's are now more important than the ISO country codes, and Everything becomes political eventually.

So its right and proper that the TLD's now be controlled by the United Nations, and not by the United States of America.

Re:My turn: Democracy (2, Insightful)

VC (89143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683984)

My turn. Firstly i'm an Australian living in Europe. Im not anti-US in any way: i disagree with the current administration, but i value the anglo-european view of the world and the US is a big part of that.

Now: The anglo european view of the world is one of Freedom and Democracy. And no where is that espoused more than in the US. So what kind of hyprocracy is it to say: you can cant control your own countries identity on the internet. And you cant have a say in how its run.

Let the US keep control of .com, .net .org, and .us for sure but let the root servers be controled by the UN.

Case in point. The .iq (iraq) domain STILL hasnt been handed back to the government of Iraq.

Anyway, the US was founded on idealism and "self evident truths" and its breaking collective our hearts to see it fall before the alter of real-politik, pragmatism, and partisan politics.

Re:My turn: Democracy (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684036)

Good post. :-)

Now let me ask this: What does Iraq need with their domain name? What does any country need with their domain name?

There are hardly any horrible restrictions on registering a domain name. If you live in Iraq and need an Iraq domain name, go register it. If you need a UK domain name, go register it. There's nothing standing in the way.

Right now there are specific guarantees we have about the quality of service the DNS system provides. Doling it out to different countries without a good reason is a good way to destroy that quality, especially when a country lacks the proper resources to maintain the systems.

Re:My turn: Democracy (2, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684069)

Case in point. The .iq (iraq) domain STILL hasnt been handed back to the government of Iraq.

That just goes to show you how little influence is exerted by the US government on the internet. Do you really think the administration wouldn't love to have a big ceremony "reopening" the .iq domain?

Like people have been saying. It is not broken. Don't fix it. And moreso please don't let the UN fix it. I wouldn't be worried about many of the European contries some crontrol, but letting China get anywhere close to even having any say on controlling the internet is incredibly stupid.

Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683998)

I wonder what other countries would think if we insisted that the oil fields in the middle east be turned over to the UN?

The US designed and built something of great value, and invited the rest of the world to enjoy it. It is their choice.

For FucksSake! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684053)

No way that the UN should take control of anything! No way! Can you imagine how much money would be wasted?? For freakin' Hell, the UN overpays their secretaries let alone an admin! How much corruption would we get?? Oh, lets not forget the UN has geographical distribution in recruitement, that means your root server admin is probably gonna be Robert Mugabe's gay neighbour!

Re:My turn (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684061)

I'm not completely sure why the above post is flamebait... Although he was a little coarse and naive, he is still technically correct. The internet is a DoD project, and contains an infrastructure that the American government relies on. Most people only see the "public/commercial" side of the internet, and never the side that deals with national defence. Giving the UN control over the internet would certainly not be wise in terms of national security. Lets say the UN got mad at the US one day, and turned off our access to the servers, we would be crippled, not to mention the making it easier for the rest of the world to access American secrets, that would not behove her to let out.

UN control of something important?! (2, Insightful)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683890)

Yes, we're going to put the UN in charge of the Internet.

The organization that put Libya in charge of human rights. Yes, Brilliant.

Re:UN control of something important?! (2, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683925)

> The organization that put Libya in charge of human rights. Yes, Brilliant.

Exactly! Libya hasn't supported or condoned anything like as many human rights abuses as the United States!

The US doesn't want the UN in charge of anything, so this isn't very suprising.

This is only the first internet. There'll be others.

Re:UN control of something important?! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684005)

If Libya is such a glorious Utopia for human rights, then why don't you go live there? Bring your girlfriend and see how much she likes it.

Wrong about Libya (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684026)

"Exactly! Libya hasn't supported or condoned anything like as many human rights abuses as the United States!"

Does Libya's working toward its foreign policy goal of exterminating the Jews in Israel count? I guess not. If it is against Jews, it is not a human rights violation.

Re:UN control of something important?! (4, Insightful)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683946)

rrrright, and you'd rather have control of a very important and integral communication medium of the world in the hands of trigger happy US. Its sad that Libya doesn't have a marketing team like US government. Mind you, I am not supporting Libya but blindly saying US is a saint is an overstatement at the same time. What if a cowboy in the govt decides to switch off all traffic to China or Iraq; you know if he doesn't do that terrorists have won!

Please give me a break!

Re:UN control of something important?! (4, Insightful)

zymurgyboy (532799) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684019)

What if a cowboy in the govt decides to switch off all traffic to China... I wouldn't worry about that. Some cowboy in the Chinese government is already seeing to it without our asking. :^P

Re:UN control of something important?! (1)

portwojc (201398) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684092)

Better it be in the hands of the trigger happy US than an organization that would do nothing except issue a yet another sanction that would be ignored. Nuff said about that as we can argue that all day.

The late comers gain a lot more than the early adopters. So granted the IP address assignments and such would be less BUT consider the technology advancements. Lot's of viable techniques can be used to conserve IP address space now. Not counting connectivity advancements in both speed and cost.
They will win out in the end.

Don't get me wrong. The world does need to have a say with the Internet.

Re:UN control of something important?! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683963)

As opposed to the country which imprisons without trial and tortures in Abu Gharib and Guantanamo, then lies about it?

Re:UN control of something important?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683965)

Who have the Libyans invaded recently? Qadaffi is throwing his arms away, the US are dropping their's on Iraq.

Re:UN control of something important?! (0, Troll)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683973)

Rather UN than USA which is a far from fee and democratic. It's corrupt legal and political system is many times worse than UN. No thanks! I prefer UN over USA. A country where schools want to teach creationism and were a White House political staffer were arrested in the West Wing and lead out in handcufss, doesn't instill any confidence in me.

Re:UN control of something important?! (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684075)

were[sic] a White House political staffer [was] arrested in the West Wing and lead[sic] out in handcufss[sic]

So, you would rather that he not have been arrested?

As bad as the USA is (and don't get me started, I hate G.W. Shrub as much or more than anyone else on /.), we do change regimes every 4 to 8 years, and the current Republican dominated gov't is not going to be such for much longer if current trends continue unabated. The UN is just as corrupt as the US, if not more, with a lot less accountability. I would rather the Internet (which is working fine right now) stay put. If political pressures become great enough, maybe NATO can take control.

Re:UN control of something important?! (2, Insightful)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683990)

I'm not gonna say that I'd rather have Libya in charge of human rights than the US, but it's a damned close call.

Re:UN control of something important?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684081)

Maybe so, but I'd be more scared of the US being in control of the Internet.
No offense guys, but your country really doesn't get my vote when it comes down to anything that affects me personally.

The UN is incompatible with the internet (3, Insightful)

mcgroarty (633843) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683902)

People laud the internet for its freedom. But the only reason the Internet is free is because the companies controlling its infrastructure are not only in a free country, but in the only country founded on individual rights.

To hand the Internet over to the UN is to hand control to a body based on the interests of free and non-free countries alike. The UN has no principals placing individual rights above consensus and political expediency. And wherever the UN cannot find consensus, it defaults to inaction, even where inaction allows continuous decline.

This is not a critique of the UN. The above works fairly well for mobilizing to help small countries in crisis. It works well when trying to avoid provoking a war, which is usually appropriate. The above does not work however, for furthering the spread of free* access to - and dissemination of - information.

Speech, not beer.

Exqueeze me? (2, Insightful)

Jordan Catalano (915885) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683939)

And the U.S. is the bastion of the free? Remind again why the FBI needs to approve my encrypted VOIP software.

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (2, Funny)

mcgroarty (633843) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683941)

Yes, yes. Principles. Not principals.

I am my own grammar nazi.

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (1, Troll)

11223 (201561) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683945)

The above works fairly well for mobilizing to help small countries in crisis.

Really? Where were the blue helmets in Darfur? And how many died in Rwanda while the world watched?

I'm not sure that the UN works fairly well for anything other than funneling Iraqi oil contracts to political cronies of Kofi Annan, Jacques Chirac, etc. "No war" for oil, indeed.

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (5, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684039)

I'm not sure that the UN works fairly well for anything other than funneling Iraqi oil contracts to political cronies of Kofi Annan, Jacques Chirac, etc. "No war" for oil, indeed.
The UN does work fairly well for its intended purposes (diplomacy, aid, peacekeeping), but like pretty much any other political body, especially as one that relies heavily on consensus, it has become bloated, inefficient, corrupt and incompetent. Like any bored civil servant or zealous do-gooder, they are also taking on more and more extraneous tasks... such as this Internet thingy. If they want control of it, they can build their own (and I'm saying that as a European, I might add). If the US starts doing a bad job or is misusing its control, then we can bring it up in the UN. But lets not mess with something that appears to be working out well enough.

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (1)

mcgroarty (633843) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684100)

I wish I could find it. Cox and Forkum [coxandforkum.com] had a wonderful depiction of the UN rolling up to a skyline of skyscrapers in a firewagon, finally here to help us with the Chicago fire.

I could have added "when or if it acts" to my original post, but didn't as I wanted to focus on the main point instead of attaching a UN-bashing/defending troll fest.

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (2, Interesting)

ash.connor (908279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683954)

America *free*, ye' right buddy...

Go back to bed, America, your government has figured out how it all transpired, go back to bed America, your government is in control again. Here, here's American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up, go back to bed America, here is American Gladiators, here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their fucking skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go America - you are free to do what we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!
- Bill Hicks

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683983)

The only country founded on individual rights? While I may not believe the UN is not all it should be it is certainly founded on individual human rights, look at the charter.

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684022)

The sovereign country of United Natiodonia.

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683988)

the only country founded on individual rights ... has nothing to do with it. It has everything to do with the US being the only country to have used nuclear weapons, the rest of the world is scared shitless of you barbaric oil-thieves.

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683994)

Besides, history has shown that if one way isn't an option, people find another way. Any country that wants control that bad can build their own internet, with the current one suplimenting it. I believe that's what the .co.uk and like domains are already doing, so what the hell is the problem?

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684001)

The UN has no principals placing individual rights above consensus and political expediency
That's not actually true. [un.org] You might argue that these rights are consistently ignored for the sake of political expediency (and I'd agree with you), but a cynic (i.e. me) might suggest that's equally true in the US.

"Free Speech Zones", anyone?

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684006)

More and more of us don't think the US is a free country. The only freedom is that most of it's citizens seem to think it's free. The rest of us watch in disbelief and sadness.

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684020)

The extent of the american blind belief in their limitless "freedom" is remarkable. We're talking about a country that isn't even remotely close to religious freedom and a secular state for example. No doubt the US has one of the best political systems out of the giant countries of the world (China, India, Russia etc), but seriously, you people need to get some perspective here. At one point simple patriotism will turn into plain blindness.

Re:The UN is incompatible with the internet (2, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684047)

", but in the only country founded on individual rights."

Emphasys mine.

If you believe that bullshit ideologic and ignorant statement, then i guess maybe you should have learnt history and looked around in the world. Shame that the USA still thinks its the "best est democracie" in the world while they are violating human rights on a daily basis.

MIlitary-Industrial Complex Insists (+1, True) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683903)



on keeping control of Al-Quaeda [whitehouse.org] .

Remember: F The President.

Sincerely,
Kilgore Trout, C.E.O.

its ours (-1, Troll)

chuckfucter (703084) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683908)

The US has the knowledge to keep it running, the equipment, the infrastructure, etc... Letting other countries in on the goods would absolutley ruin the Internet. The Internet is a privledge, not a right. These coutries should be very flattered that we even let them in on the act. It's not simply a matter of the US being greedy with the thing, we are afraid of what could happen if ran by someone else.

North Americans (3, Insightful)

dark-br (473115) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684023)

I'm writing this in english so you can understand but are you aware that people speak french, spanish, portuguese etc... are you aware that the Internet is what it is becouse all those people can reach each other? It's a privilege for all of us, Americans included, that it is that way. Being the birth place of the Internet gives you no "right" upon it and even if it did the Net nowadays is nothing without its diversity. Want it for yourself? Okdokey then, let the rest of the world firewall the US out. New nameservices would arise, new backbones, new infraistructure. This things can be replaced. I wonder if you can replace the rest of the world and all the diversity it has.

And yes, I really don't give a damn if any "offended" American mod me troll, I'm saying the truth, you like it or not.

Good (4, Insightful)

Eslyjah (245320) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683909)

Giving control of the internet to the UN would mean giving China a say in how it is run. Given their idea of free speech (it's a Constitution right for the Chinese), that's really not acceptable.

From the Constitution of the People's Republic of China [people.com.cn] :

Article 35. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.

Re:Good (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683959)

Giving control of the internet to the UN would mean giving China a say in how it is run. Given their idea of free speech (it's a Constitution right for the Chinese), that's really not acceptable.

Right. God forbid we allow a country to have a say on something that concerns all nations of the world. That's totally unacceptable.

Re:Good (1)

11223 (201561) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684034)

What defines "a country" there? The whims of Hu Jintao? Political entities are not granted legitimacy by fiat. China can't exercise any legitimate authority over the Internet because it has none within its own borders.

Of course, I rescind what I've said if what was meant by "China" was the Republic of China on Taiwan, not the PRC.

Re:Good (1)

term8or (576787) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684011)

Yeah. You missed the unwritten part of the constitution.

Article 35. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.

Unwritten article 1. The government is entitled to kill, torture, imprison, molest, inconvenience, harm or deprive of any or all human rights any Citizen it choses for any reason it choses, regardless of Article 35 of the written constitution.

Talking this up... (5, Interesting)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683911)

Lots have people have people have been trying to make big news out of this, but it's really nothing.

i) Control of DNS is not the same as control of the internet.
ii) If the US started to exercise internet control via DNS, alternative root servers would likely appear almost overnight. Remember that old saw about "routing round censorship"? This time it's actually true.
iii) As a Brit, I applaud the current essentially hands-off control the US has. We get all the benefits, US tax payers cover the actual cost.
iv) The UN couldn't find it's arse with both hands. Of course, neither can Congress, but at the moment the system is up and running and they'd have to actively intervene to screw it up. Migrating something as important as this to a new bureaucratic body doesn't bare thinking about.

Re:Talking this up... (3, Funny)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684030)

Of course, neither can Congress, but at the moment the system is up and running and they'd have to actively intervene to screw it up.

Never give Congress any suggestions with the words "actively intervene" and "screw it up" in the same sentence - they'll likely take you up on it.

UN is worse (0, Redundant)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683914)

I'm against the US controlling the domain system because they have absolutely no accountability toward respecting my freedoms, and they are a huge overbearing bureauocracy. .... Now lets think about that a minute.....

I say... (3, Funny)

AdeBaumann (126557) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683917)

I say let the UN have it. It is the Internet after all, to be handled internationally. The US can keep AOL in exchange...

i hope this is a troll... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683953)

or you have never had any dealings with the UN. I work in international development. If you really do not want to make forward progress, you turn the activity over to a UN agency.

Al... (1, Funny)

joshsnow (551754) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683926)

Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly concerned about the U.S. control, which stems from the country's role in creating the Internet

Well, so long as Al Gore agrees he ought to have some say in who controls it - after all he did invent it.

Oh Noes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683931)

We give you our name servers... Ok, what do you mean you can't find "google.com"? oh, because the french are running the server

Unacceptable? (1, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683933)


Some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable.

This sort of attitude doesn't help create a warm fuzzy feeling about the US in the rest of the world. Someone in the Government should really take a step back and ask themselves why this would actually matter at all. The UN is the ideal place to run the internet rules at the moment, its got the largest reach and global membership and a stated goal of being independent.

That of course in unacceptable as co-operation with other countries is just plain wrong.

"We've been very, very clear throughout the process that there are certain things we can agree to and certain things we can't agree to," Gross told reporters at U.N. offices in Geneva. "It's not a negotiating issue. This is a matter of national policy."

A matter of national policy that cannot be negotiated? I don't seem to recall the 132nd ammendment stating that internet domain ownership is the right of every american citizen.


He said the United States was "deeply disappointed" with the European Union's proposal Wednesday advocating a "new cooperation model," which would involve governments in questions of naming, numbering and addressing on the Internet.


Because co-operation is bad eh? Damn those pesky Europeans for wanting oversight on a random organisation like ICANN which has been so successful and caused no issues thanks to its openness and brilliant decision making.

The US Goverment does itself, or its citizens, no favours by continually persuing unilateral rather than multi-lateral approaches.

Re:Unacceptable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684099)

Do you actually believe the UN could manage it? I think the UN could manage to destroy it. Remember, the UN is not accountable to anyone. While we're at it, let me learn you a little about the United States, since you don't seem to have a clue. Policy is set by the President, and Congress has the option to trump the President. The constitution doesn't set policy.

It probably wouldn't matter (1)

fractaloon (454371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683936)

I bet that if the US tried to make some policy change that was very unpopular with the world at large, it would probably not be able to really enforce it.

The internet is to distributed to completely control it. Sure, things could get real messy for a while, but it would eventually get sorted out.

Kevlar Ducks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683938)

kill teh white peoplalp al lsl elekoooooooooooooooooo koooooooooooooo

Concern about Pentagon funding? (1)

theantipop (803016) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683942)

Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly concerned about the U.S. control, which stems from the country's role in creating the Internet as a Pentagon project and funding much of its early development.
Anyone care to tell me any problems that have arisen out of (50 year old) government funding? Are there any specific problems or is this an unfounded, possibly contrived concern? It seems to me as if governments are creating situations that, in reality, don't seem likely to occur in order to win over support.

The proper answer to the UN.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683958)

If you don't like it..

GO BUILD YOUR OWN..

When it dies before it even gets off the ground, maybe we'll think of letting you have a .un TLD

Sincerely,

    Those who couldn't give a damn about a corrupt wanna be one world government.

Re:The proper answer to the UN.. (2, Informative)

Chuq (8564) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684062)

You realise that the US funded and developed ARPAnet - it was only when it was linked to other networks (JANET, AARNet, etc) that it became the internet? That is, if the US was to cut off all links to other countries, the rest of the world would be bigger than the USA-net?

Different spin (5, Informative)

the bluebrain (443451) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683961)

The Register [theregister.co.uk] has the same story, with a different spin.

To me, looks like the US might not have a whole lot of choice in the matter, in the end.

I'm all for it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683966)

Then the RIAA and the BSA can't influence the FBI to shut down my warez server domain. Just kidding. Let's just give them Al Gore's Internet 2 domains and pretend its the "real" internet.

So, they should do it anyway... (4, Insightful)

MadMorf (118601) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683968)

It's still possible for other countries to do their own TLDs...

They just have to have the will to do it.

Then all they gotta do is convince/coerce all of the Internet entities in their respective countries to use THEIR TLD servers, they become the de-facto TLDs for those countries...

There's nothing to stop them but their lack of will...

Praise Be... (2, Interesting)

Brad Groux (918558) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683970)

I'm glad that our State Department stood up to the call for us to relinquish control of the internet domain servers to the UN. Let's be honest, the UN taints and screws up nearly everything they touch (ie Oil for Food) and they have no experience in technological matters such as these and supporting such a massive operation. Meantime, for over 30 years the US has rightfully controlled the servers and networks they financed in the first place. I wouldn't trust our networks with any other country in the world... feel free to call me cocky or chauvinistic but we foot the bill, so we should have control.

IANA (2, Insightful)

IainMH (176964) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683972)

I am not American.

However, if I were, I'd feel like saying. You don't like it? Don't use it. Build your own. You're very welcome to.

For the next few years at least, I think the status quo is the sensible way forward.

Turkey (1)

altinos.com (919185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683978)

I read somewhere that Turkey was looking to start their own internet. Maybe the UN should be part of that, then everyone would be happy. :)

In other news: U.S. insists on control of Nebraska (2, Insightful)

Distan (122159) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683980)

Like there is a big surprise here. The U.S. built the internet, so why should anybody else control it?

If the rest of the world doesn't like it, let them build their own internet with their own namespace and put their own DNS system on it. Since, AFAIK, the internet as we know it has grown by continual attachment to the U.S. developed core, nobody has a right to ask that the U.S. give up control.

Let them make their own internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683992)

All the work has been done. They just have to copy it to make their own internet.

Bastogne (1)

g_goblin (631117) | more than 8 years ago | (#13683993)

To quote the Allied Commander, at the Battle of Bastogne, in response to the German commander asking for an unconditional surrender - "NUTS!!!!"

Not a huge issue really (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13683996)

If a country wants to set up their own DNS that refers to the 'US' ones there is nothing stopping them. Introduce a law that requires people to use these non US servers.

Might be a problem for people in the US, but if it took off there would be nothing stopping integration.

It's a non issue.

Why? (4, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684007)

'One proposal that countries have been discussing would wrest control of domain names from the U.S.-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, and place it with an intergovernmental group, possibly under the United Nations.

Gross dismissed it as unacceptable.

"We've been very, very clear throughout the process that there are certain things we can agree to and certain things we can't agree to," Gross told reporters at U.N. offices in Geneva. "It's not a negotiating issue. This is a matter of national policy."'


The question is, why?

"Some negotiators from other countries said there was a growing sense that a compromise had to be reached and that no single country ought to be the ultimate authority over such a vital part of the global economy."

Could someone tell me why are they wrong? And if they are not wrong, what is this US opposition? If the USA doesn't like living in a world where there are multiple countries to deal with, they can just close their borders and shut down their trade. Noone will miss them.

It seems to me the US is playing "i don't want to do this and i won't tell why not". Those dealings are the most suspicious to me, as they are not only arrogant, but they cannot be sustained for a long time.

The Internet is of a growing importance, it shouldn't be held hostage by one single country just as no single country should have total control of anything which is used globally. I guess the EU thinks so too, because they set up their own GPS system. If the USA's position won't change, i guess people can just ignore the states and set up an alternative dns servers/architecture.

perhaps (1)

gryf (121168) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684008)

They'd rather see it in the hands of some organization with a more moderate tendency towards graft, corruption, human rights violations than the United Nations. People who are not in the habit of appointing nations controlled by brutal tyrants to highly visible committees.

Perhaps the Gambinos are available.

Seriously, maybe it's a good idea to skip the idea that the creator retain control. I can see good reasons behind having international control over such an international tool of commerce and speech, rather than any nation having sole control. However, there must be a better option than the United Nations. Putting it in the hands of the United Nations, while inviting corruption, would also mean that such control would quickly become a blunt weapon of international diplomacy. The fact that /Iraq/ under Saddam Hussein was appointed head of the UN 'Conference on Disarmament' is a clear example of just how un-serious the UN is about actual effective government.

So, rather than headlining this article by suggesting the US refuses to hand over control. How about 'US Official Sees No Credible Alternative for Control of the Internet'?

I know I don't.

Just to get them out of the way... (1)

Elitist_Phoenix (808424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684015)

All your internet are belong to us!
I for one re-welcome our ICANN overlords.
In Soviet America, The Internet finds you!

Won't somebody please think of the children?!

We're already sharing our toys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684017)

It's not like we're keeping the Internet to ourselves. We just don't want to turn over control of a vital resource to a body that has a sterling reputation for incompetence and corruption.

nothing new: Kyoto etc etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684024)

its nothing new - when has the US ever wanted to work with the world rather than against it? they've ignored Kyoto (although perhaps after a few more hurricanes someone in the Bush administration might take notice) withrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, failed to sign up to the International Court of Human rights... this is just yet another UN initiative that the US can ignore... who'll then (have the nerve) to complain about the UN when it doesn't do what the US wants (e.g. give them carte blanche to invade a few countries)

Come on guys! sort it out! I'm fed up of listening to European ideas for working together being scuppered by the increasingly isolationist attitude of the USA!

internationalisation of the internet (1)

Exter-C (310390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684027)

There are pros and cons to both situations. Having a central institution that governs the DNS servers will be a benefit to the community in some ways. There is to much b.s. when you have representatives from every country trying to get their own little bit in here and there. However there should be more input for the DNS as its not just a US based network any more.

The lesser of two evils? (4, Insightful)

Elrac (314784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684028)

Hmm, I don't know which Internet governance to worry about more:
  • The US, which shows signs of migrating toward a police state where media producers and religious zealots compete to think up ever more stringent limits on what Internet users may do, and that demonstrably has no qualms about invading its citizens' privacy on flimsy pretexts and imposing its values and standards on the rest of the world, by force if necessary; or
  • The UN, an ineffective body of sometimes well-meaning, sometimes lazy, often egotistical bureaucrats, known for glacial processing speed on the tiniest issues and concensus on nothing but the lack of concensus and growth of administration as an end rather than a means, a forum for squabbles about eternally conflicting interests, refereed by opposing power blocs.

Is there a third alternative? Maybe decentralized governance? Self-governance? A meritocracy? Unpaid volunteership? Management by 1000 chimpanzees randomly pushing buttons?

The Internet is important to me. I'll feel troubled so long as I don't see an approach that works well and efficiently, is relatively bias and value neutral and allows reasonable freedom and privacy to the average user.

If it ain't broke ... (0, Redundant)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684040)

If the UN thinks it can do a better job then I suggest it go build its own network and prove it.

Use IPV6 and divide up the pie (1)

RradRegor (913123) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684042)

Maybe we need to look forward to IPV6... Assign one byte pair to the current, US controlled internet, and the last four bytes represent all current IP addresses. Other countries get control of a byte-pair each, and they name them however they wish.

UN? No thanks! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684046)

Considering the UN's record on mismanagement (oil for food?) and spineless resolution after resolution against maddaS Hussein,
I don't fscking trust the UN or have ANY faith in them for anything. ANYTHING.

What do they REALLY want this for? So Kim Jong il can use his bomb bomb bombs?

Is this really a bad thing? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684071)

Before the inevitable US bashing starts, I've got to ask (as a non-American), whether this is really a bad thing?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that the current situation is in any way a viable long-term answer to the top-level administration of the net. What I am suggesting is that it's way better than letting the UN run the show. The status that the UN grants to some of the worst human rights abusers in the world (and no matter what your feelings about the current US administration, there is a vast gulf separating them from this status) would surely open the doors to all kinds of abuses. We've already seen how net restrictions can be applied in places like China and, let's be honest, there's not a single realistic indication that the US intends to move in this direction.

By all means, let's discuss a proper international framework for the administration of the net. But let's keep the UN, and nations which show blatant hostility to the free exchange of thoughts and ideas out of the picture.

What happened to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684085)

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

The Internet was created in the U.S. of A... (1, Interesting)

GecKo213 (890491) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684086)

and so I think control over it and the domain servers should stay in the U.S. of A. Now, it is a World Wide Web, but why should the US have to give up control to the U.N.? That could only have disaserous results. The Internet being a world wide network shouldn't have laws or rules or really a governing body deciding what can and can't take place on it, or who can or can't register a domain or put up a webpage. If the control of the Internet were to be passed to someone like the U.N. I would fear, much like the open source concern of slowing innovation and development by keeping source code private, that rules would be imposed for the "greater good" thus limiting progress and damaging the Internet as we know it. Worse yet, there may be a limitation imposed on the people or businesses that wish to buy and register domains. They may even try to standardize charges for purchasing and registering domains thus injuring businesses that are already in competition for your money keeping prices relatively inexpensive.

The US postal service has long been fighting to put a tax or "stamp" on every single e-mail sent via the Internet to recoup losses involved with instant communication and people not wanting to send letters any more. How can this ever really be accomplished? It really can't, unless there is a governing body that has central control and makes it a law. If this were the case, people would just begin to use another non e-mail means of electronic communication I would imagine. At which point some sort of stamp would be applied to that as well.

Leave the governing of the Internet to the people that create, maintain, and use it.

W.W.A.G.D (4, Funny)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13684087)

What does the creator of the internet have to say about this...

Next week on Slashdot, we ask you to send in your questions to Al Gore, creator of the internet. We'll give Mr. Gore the 10 best questions. So send them in.

[disclaimer: This is a joke, I am a democrate, I can make fun of my own, and G.W.B because... well because thats easy]

Minority rule? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13684103)

Antonio Porto (Brazil) "Nowadays our voting system in Brazil is based on ICTs, our tax collection system is based on ICTs, our public health system is based on ICTs. For us, the internet is much more than entertainment, it is vital for our constituencies, for our parliament in Brazil, for our society in Brazil. [With such a vital resource] how can one country control the Internet?"

Yang Xiaokun (China) "You cannot come to a meeting like this saying something is non-negotiable. You must show flexibility and compromise. [...] There must be change."

Even Great Britain isn't supporting the US on this. If even your staunchest suck-up^H^H^H^H^H ally isn't on your side
you're probably wrong.
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