×

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

Thank you!

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

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

EU, UN to Wrestle Internet Control From US

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the fight-fight-fight-fight-fight dept.

The Internet 1974

Anonymous Coward writes "The Guardian is reporting that the EU, obviously unimpressed with the US's refusal to relinguish control of the Internet, will be forming several comittees and forums with a mind to forcibly remove control of the Internet from the United States." From the article: "Old allies in world politics, representatives from the UK and US sat just feet away from each other, but all looked straight ahead as Hendon explained the EU had decided to end the US government's unilateral control of the internet and put in place a new body that would now run this revolutionary communications medium. The issue of who should control the net had proved an extremely divisive issue, and for 11 days the world's governments traded blows. For the vast majority of people who use the internet, the only real concern is getting on it. But with the internet now essential to countries' basic infrastructure - Brazil relies on it for 90% of its tax collection - the question of who has control has become critical."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

1974 comments

Heh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13729947)

The EU and UN doth suck. Verily.

The UN has finally lost it (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13729948)

I'm not one to regularly use strong profanities, but fuck 'em. Negotiations are one thing, and the EU/UN can feel free to negotiate until they're blue in the face. But if they want to force the issue, I'm thinking that we should "remind" our foreign allies that a country with our military might cannot and will not be forced. If need be, I highly recommend that the US resign from the UN and see how long it holds together without our monetary support.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The internet root servers are working fine. The UN has presented no compelling arguments as to why it should be turned over to an overly beaurocratic entity that has a poor track record for making joint ventures work. In absence of a compelling argument, the only thing that the UN should hear is, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Keep in mind that the root servers are currently under the control of a private organization. While the servers themselves may reside in the US, the organization that controls them is a true international entity. The US government does not exert direct control over ICANN, and will not agree to do so in order to satisfy a UN hissy fit.

I can only speak for myself, but I would be ashamed of my government's actions if I lived in one of the UN countries that is pushing this resolution. I think this quote from the article sums it up:

"The idea of the council is so vague. It's not clear to me that governments know what to do about anything at this stage apart from get in the way of things that other people do."

Amen.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730004)

I'm thinking that we should "remind" our foreign allies that a country with our military might cannot and will not be forced

Moron.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (2, Insightful)

SECProto (790283) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730019)

The UN was not formed to allow countries to do what they want - even if they supply half the budget or whatever. It was formed so that countries could act together in times of need. I surely cannot see the US resigning from the UN and flexing their military might at other membercountries of the UN simply because they dispute who should control the internet.

And on another note, the US should not necessarily control the internet. It is used by many people around the world. Its not even like the US invented it, either...

Re:The UN has finally lost it (5, Insightful)

aicrules (819392) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730075)

Its not even like the US invented it
And who did? Aliens? Certainly not the UN! I'm pretty sure it wasn't Russia, China, Japan, Mexico, South America, Canada, Europe, or Antartica. Maybe it was Santa Claus?

Re:The UN has finally lost it (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730149)

And who did?

That was easy: Al Gore of course!

Re:The UN has finally lost it (1)

elmerf9000 (653148) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730086)

Idiot, Where was tcp/ip invented? The USA Where was it first used? The USA Whose taxpayers $$$ funded it and still do? The US taxpayer The same could be said about medicine. The US taxpayer funds the R and D costs and the rest of the world gets it at a discount. Everything the UN gets involved in turned to shit.... They are ineffective and powerless. Dafur is a good example. Leave all well enough alone

Re:The UN has finally lost it (0, Troll)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730091)

While I think you're joking about that last part (at least I hope you are) I agree with the GP poster, withdrawl our forces from all UN operations. (of course I've wanted that for a long time).

To our comrads in the UN who want to yank the the root servers: Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.
-nB

Re:The UN has finally lost it (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730134)

Its not even like the US invented it, either...

Ummmm yes it was... DARPAnet (the predecessor to the Internet) was funded pretty much (if not entirely) by the US Department of Defense. Thus, the Internet is an outgrowth of the much-reviled Military-Industrial complex [wikipedia.org] .

Also, control over root DNS != control of the internet.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730152)

It was formed so that countries could act together in times of need.

Agreed. Now find me a "time of need" in this situation. All I see is a bunch of member countries who want control of the toys, and have no clear direction on why or how they need them.

I surely cannot see the US resigning from the UN and flexing their military might at other membercountries of the UN simply because they dispute who should control the internet.

If they're going to try to "force" the US, I can certainly see the US resigning. The UN has been nothing but a pain for the longest time, passing resolutions that no one but the US is supposed to carry out. Then when we do carry out UN resolutions, we're censured as being an "empire builders" or "warmongerers". Isn't it nice that so many countries can tell us what to do while they sit on their high horses?

The next natural step after resigning would be to setup defensive positions in case someone wants to take it farther than that. I'm hoping that the member countries would be smart enough to leave things alone and recognize that a US resignation would be their own fault.

And on another note, the US should not necessarily control the internet.

Again, the US doesn't "control" the internet. ICANN does. Check the first letter there: International

Its not even like the US invented it, either...

I hope that was sarcasm? Because you may be surprised at what you find in the history of the internet's invention.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (2, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730156)

And on another note, the US should not necessarily control the internet. It is used by many people around the world. Its not even like the US invented it, either...

Huh? You can't be serious. The US did invent the internet [isoc.org] , and has always owned and controlled the root servers. ICANN was created to take direct government control out of the equation, but it is still overseen by the US government (I'm not sure which branch, but I think it's the commerce department).

I, frankly, think the EU and UN are acting like a couple of spoiled children. "wah wah wah, we want the internet! wah wah!" Sheesh. We designed it, we built it, we control it. End of story. If they want to use it, great, and they should be thankful to us, like they should be thankful to us for a great many things, for opening it up to everybody around the world. There was no requirement for us to do so, just like there is no requirement for us to turn over root server control now. If we choose to, that's our business. If we don't, that's our business too.

I'd like to see what happens if the UN passes a resolution "requiring" us to turn over server control. Let's see them enforce that. It'll be just another example of how far beyond the UN's original mandate that organization has gone, and how useless and impotent it has become as a result.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (1, Troll)

WiFiBro (784621) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730052)

"recommend that the US resign from the UN and see how long it holds together without our monetary support."
Silly guy, the US is not contributing to the UN, both financially and military.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730150)

So remind me, who provides the bulk of the so called peace keeping forces? Oh yeah, the US. And which country pays more than 20% of the total UN budget? The US.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (0, Troll)

Dusabre (176445) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730056)

[i]But if they want to force the issue, I'm thinking that we should "remind" our foreign allies that a country with our military might cannot and will not be forced.[/i]

Can and will do anything the fcuk it likes because only might is right?

A redneck on Slashdot?

Re:The UN has finally lost it (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730087)

US resign from the UN and see how long it holds together without our monetary support.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Learn some history dolt, the UN ran for quite some time while the US refused to pay its dues. You think thats some kind of a threat now? "Waaaah waaaah! Give me what or I'll pay you even less than $0!" The worst the US could do is kick them out of the country, and they'd probably be happy to relocate to a country where security means more than just making peoples' lives inconvenient and pandering terror to soccer moms.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730090)

f-off moron yank. go wave your flag somewhere else...
America may be world policeman for now, but they don't own the world!
military might? haha. you can even put down a handful of
barefooted, rock throwing savages...

Re:The UN has finally lost it (3, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730099)

Your argument is very sloppy. At the beginning you note that this is a push from the UN and the EU, but then continue on solely in an anti-UN tirade. All of your anti-UN arguments cannot necessarily be applied to the EU, so you are missing about half of what you need to convince someone who disagrees with you.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730157)

That's what happens when you get your information from AM Radio.

Funding (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730103)

Forget 'force', remember its our ( the US ) funding that keeps the UN functioning.

We should have pulled out of this idiotic thing a long time ago, and perhaps this will be the final straw. Once can hope.

Re:Funding (5, Funny)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730173)

We should have pulled out of this idiotic thing [UN] a long time ago, and perhaps this will be the final straw
Maybe you should just obliterate the rest of the world so that there will be no problem after that with any foreign entity. What do you think?

Re:The UN has finally lost it (1)

Bobzibub (20561) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730117)

You will see more of this in other areas.
The US has snubbed the UN and the EU where ever it can.
Don't expect them to cowtail just to be nice.

If the US drops the UN enntirely, I'm sure Toronto would be a nice place for it. = )

Cheers,
-b

First poster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730153)

I'm thinking that we should "remind" our foreign allies that a country with our military might cannot and will not be forced.

why must every american first response be "my guns bigger'n yurs?"
i had some respect for batman...

ps:
i think the american military might is having enough trouble just holding down a chunk of sand covered oil at this time, and couldn't even respond to a lil' natural disaster on it's home turf...

Re:The UN has finally lost it (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730155)

WHAT monetary support? The US is billions upon billions of dollars in arrears with regard to UN dues. Besides, based on American Foreign Policy, the UN would probably be very thankful for the US dropping out... then you'll have to pay for your own messes when you invade sovereign nations under false pretences.

The fact is that the Internet has moved beyond the national level. Whether you like it or not, the US' role WILL WANE. Taking a hard-line stance will, potentially, simply ensure that the rest of the world forms an international network to the exclusion of the USA. Your choice... share or be marginalised and excluded. Put another way, share your toys or perhaps in a few years you'll be the one asking to share ours.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (2, Insightful)

Zeveck (821824) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730178)

So the argument there is that because a private company controls the Internet the many foreign governments and populations that rely upon it should be content?

Why should any foreign government merely trust ICANN to run the Internet smoothly and fairly? Being a private company ICANN is controlled by a board that can choose to allocate resources in ways disregarding world politics, traffic flow, advances in technology, country-specific regulations (that aren't the US), and the like. It is a very dangerous bet to just presume that ICANN will continue to work in everybody's best interest for all time.

The argument of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" seems a little optimistic. What is to say that ICANN will continue in its current form and direction in the future? Or in response to shifting allegiances and political realities? Or, perish the thought, in response to profitability? As a central part of the international infrastructure it seems naive and dangerous to allow a private entity with no direct input from those involved to serve as the sole architect and arbiter of the Internet.

(and all this is aside from the various complaints that have been levied against ICANN over the years)

Re:The UN has finally lost it (1)

Daveznet (789744) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730187)

I highly recommend that the US resign from the UN and see how long it holds together without our monetary support.
They pretty much have resigned, they owe the UN billions in dollars, but no one is going to say anything to the states about getting paid. The only reasont he US stays with the UN is because there would be a public backlash. The United States doesnt listen to the UN no will they ever.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (1)

szaz (890101) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730199)

You silly prick. Mililtary might has nothing to do with it. What do you want to do - invade Europe? Not a chance.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (1)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730200)

The UN has presented no compelling arguments as to why it should be turned over to an overly beaurocratic entity that has a poor track record for making joint ventures work.

... because naturally, US companies are making it work without a hitch [slashdot.org] ...

It's broke, and needs fixing.

Re:The UN has finally lost it (4, Insightful)

Malc (1751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730223)

"I'm not one to regularly use strong profanities, but fuck 'em. Negotiations are one thing, and the EU/UN can feel free to negotiate until they're blue in the face. But if they want to force the issue, I'm thinking that we should "remind" our foreign allies that a country with our military might cannot and will not be forced. If need be, I highly recommend that the US resign from the UN and see how long it holds together without our monetary support."

Let's see how long the US holds together without the monetary support of the rest of the world. If countries like China were to just stop buying your government debt (let alone trying to get rid of it) then you won't even be able to pay for your mighty military. You've already given up control of your country and destiny to foreign powers who could crush you and the global economy if they had to.

And people with your attitude wonder why there is so much rampant anti-Americanism around the world today. You're too arrogant and conceited to see it. Thank goodness 99% of the Americans I know are fantastic people and don't live up to this stereotype.

This again? Where's the problem? (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 8 years ago | (#13729959)

It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce.

Is that a fact? Right or wrong have you looked at our Government lately? Do you really think that international consensus will bother us in the least?

I'm sure my friends in Europe will take exception to this line of reasoning but why shouldn't the US retain control over the root servers? We built the Internet in the first place. Do you really want to see it turned over to the UN?

In the early days, an enlightened Department of Commerce (DoC) pushed and funded expansion of the internet.

Not only did we invent and build it -- we paid for it. That doesn't entitle us to something? The British got to define the Prime Meridian based on their global empire. Subsequently this has defined GMT. Wouldn't it make more sense for GMT to be based on New York (the center of the World Financial System and headquarters of the United Nations)? Isn't that whole argument just as silly as insisting that DoC hand over the root servers? Where is the problem here that they want to fix?

Re:This again? Where's the problem? (4, Insightful)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730059)

I don't agree. Control of the root servers effectively means that they could seriously damage a country's internet structure (and subsequently economy) IF they wanted to. It could effectively mean war by technological starvation. There SHOULD be a united body handling the internet. Full stop. Whether it's the UN or not is a null issue, the UN do a heck of a lot of good generally, so I have no problem with it.

Re:This again? Where's the problem? (0)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730169)

I don't agree. Control of the root servers effectively means that they could seriously damage a country's internet structure (and subsequently economy) IF they wanted to. It could effectively mean war by technological starvation.

Because if you take the root servers away from the US we won't be able to hurt your economy. The simple fact of the matter is that the United States could destroy most of the economies in the World simply by telling our citizens not to buy or sell things from/to them. You might begrudge us for having that kind of economic power but it's the reality of the situation and it isn't going to change anytime soon.

the UN do a heck of a lot of good generally, so I have no problem with it.

I have a whole lot of problems with them and since it was my tax dollars and not the EU's that paid for the Internet in the first place (from the R&D to the initial deployments) I'll be damned if my Government turns it over to the World. The UN does a lot of good? I doubt anybody living in Sudan would agree with you. I seriously dislike Dubya but he and his cronies are dead right about the UN.

Re:This again? Where's the problem? (1)

praksys (246544) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730125)

Where is the problem here that they want to fix?
If you examine UN discussions of control over the internet the problem appears to be free speech and political dissent.

Re:This again? Where's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730207)

Indeed, that is the problem -- there is quite a bit of speech that the UN would like to ban in every medium if given the chance.

Re:This again? Where's the problem? (3, Insightful)

hethatishere (674234) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730206)

Not only did we invent and build it -- we paid for it.
"We" (Americans) didn't invent it. It was a much more impressive collaboration from people from many countries, not the least of whom is Tim Berners-Lee [wikipedia.org] [Wikipedia.org]. I'll agree that we funded it, and greatly helped it come to fruition but let's not make it look like "We" think it was the singular efforts of one country and one people that birthed the Internet as we now know it. To do so not only makes "Us" look quite egocentric. I don't believe any one country should control the internet, but am I behind what the UN/EU is doing? Not really, but at minimum it'll get people thinking about the implications the internet has had on countries with access to it and hopefully build efforts to expand it to other countries. Am I for the dismissive rather antisocial tactics currently employed by our Government? Nope, because nothing good has yet to come of it. This battle will be stretched out for years and hopefully politicians in the meantime will become more educated to how the internet operates and how technically it is very difficult for one country to "control the internet."

Re:This again? Where's the problem? (5, Insightful)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730209)

Wouldn't it make more sense for GMT to be based on New York (the center of the World Financial System and headquarters of the United Nations)?

No. Because then the date line (meridian opposite of the prime meridian) would pass through heavily inhabited zones (Asia) rather than through the Pacific, which would be kind of disruptive.

If the EU hasn't noticed (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#13729970)

We don't really care what the world opinion is. The United States will never relinquish control of the internets. Ever. They can create all the committees they desire. It isn't going to happen.

Re:If the EU hasn't noticed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730015)

Hmm... Can the US really stop it? ICANN isn't owned by the US. US does have vito power, but what if ICANN just said "Alright, that's it! Good night, folks!"? Would the US be able to do anything?

Re:If the EU hasn't noticed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730070)

As a UK resident i cant think of a single reason to shift the power to the EU, all i can see would happen as a result is censorship. There is no need to give control of such an international entity to a bunch of politically correct wasters. The internet is surviving alright on its own where it is now, it doesnt need to be changed or moved or given to someone else.

i suggested this in the previous discussion (5, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13729984)

It's their obvious strategy. There is absolutely no reason they have to live with us controlling the internet. Just put their own root DNS servers in place, and legally mandate that all of their ISPs switch over. It's not rocket science, but it will fragment the internet a bit.

And thus.. World War III was created. (2, Funny)

IcyNeko (891749) | more than 8 years ago | (#13729997)

The battle for the future of the internets. And in the end, we will all be destroyed by the Chinese hackers. :)

non-governmental control? (4, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730001)

Do we really need a government, or super-government in charge of this? Can't we have a decentralized network of root servers working together on this co-operatively? If one server or network became consistently unreliable, people would stop using it.

Re:non-governmental control? (5, Insightful)

exi1ed0ne (647852) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730081)

I've been saying this all along. The only debate that seems to be out there is which government should control the Internet. The best answer is NONE. Not the US, not the EU, but private citizens. Once Gov't gets their dirty little claws on a thing, you see things like China's little section of the Internet.

I honestly don't believe that any government has the right to control it. What needs to happen is for private citizens to take it back.

How do you control the internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730002)

How exactly do you control the internet to begin with? It's a distributed network.

How do they plan on doing this? (0)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730003)

Are they going to come into the US and take all of the DNS/Registar servers?

Is this going to lead to some overblown political war that may just have the US removing itself from the UN?

I understand that we (the US) created the internet in the first place and have the most invested, but we have to tread lightly.

We don't need to shoot ourselves in the foot again in our relationship with the UN.

Re:How do they plan on doing this? (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730073)

We don't need to shoot ourselves in the foot again in our relationship with the UN.

I'm normally a big fan of the UN, but in this case, a few bullet holes in the feet might be warranted.

sure... (1)

kjcdude (809669) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730013)

the eu/un arent seen as any threat in the US
no companies nor government officals care or will care about there rullings...

Let them make their own internet... (1)

aicrules (819392) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730024)

if they're so keen on controlling it! Besides, this new internet could be IPv6 and solve all the problems of the current internet...such as HAVING only a small number of computers that are the only way the internet can run.

Seriously, it IS a creation of the US, and whether you feel it's right or wrong, the US and the UN aren't always looking out for each others interests. I'm not sure what the US would lose by giving up control, but I think I'd rather have it here than controlled by the UN where the servers would, I assume, be moved somewhere else. Or worse, moved from country to country as the UN wants to be fair to all united nations parties.

So... (4, Insightful)

theGreater (596196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730025)

...basically it amounts to "EU and UN say 'Give us the root servers" and the US says "No, we invented and paid for them and we're keeping them." All this seems to boil down to the E(U)N having to establish their own set of roots, which is where we started from, is it not? Wouldn't it have been a lot easier to just set up an alternate root system without all the political grandstanding? Does anyone in the E(U)N honestly think the US was going to invest billions in something, only to invest billions more to hand it over because Tunisia thought they should?

-theGreater.

PS: Yes, I realize only the -summit- was in Tunisia; I needed a smaller country to make my point.

Re:So... (1)

simonecaldana (561857) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730101)

PS: Yes, I realize only the -summit- was in Tunisia; I needed a smaller country to make my point.

do you also realize that USA is a smaller country compared to the rest of the world? (or even the EU, by the way)

Re:So... (1)

theGreater (596196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730213)

In what terms? Landmass? Economically? Population? Military? Helium Production? I'm not saying "Might makes right" I'm saying "Why should we alter the way a fundamental communication system works when it's not broken, and there is no perceived benefit to doing so." What is -wrong- that a change of this enormous nature will make right?

-theGreater.

Which country invented it first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730029)

Which country invented it first? Maybe they should control it.

Last time I checked... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730032)

... the UN's legal authority (assuming it HAS such) is based on the nation states making it up. I really doubt that internet access is up there with wars and the like - nations can and do regulate the bloody thing at their borders. Is the UN going to tell China to open up and stop banning things? Would they listen if they did?

Government bodies of pretty much any sort can posture and cajole, but the people running "their" network are going to continue as they have done so to date. The Internet might fracture at the border or regions of the world, but we dealt with Bitnet et al "back then" and can do so in the future.

Much of this Internet thingie consists of private individuals or enterprises paying money to private individuals or money. They're pretty tough to regulate at the UN level.

C.O.N.T.R.O.L. vs. C.H.A.O.S., RIP Maxwel (5, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730033)

But with the internet now essential to countries' basic infrastructure - Brazil relies on it for 90% of its tax collection - the question of who has control has become critical.


Which is, of course, exactly why the US wants to maintain control of it.

Stupid (1, Troll)

Rolan (20257) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730035)

All I have to say to the EU and UN is good luck. They can barely managed to manage themselves and they somehow think they can manage the Internet? The UN, as a body of managing anything, sucks. As a forumn to discuss and agree on things it works, sometimes. However, most anything that the UN "manages" fails miserably. Just what we want for the Internet that everyone sees as so critical to them.

If they (other countries) are so dependent on the Interent, then they should have set up redundancies LONG ago that would allow them to "survive" on their own. They should already be managing their own root servers, even though it is unlikely that the US will ever recognize them, or that software will without being manually changed. This is just moronic political positioning. They don't need to "wrestle control" from the US, and, frankly, they're not going to be able to. The US ignores most of the UN anyway, and only pays attention to the EU when it wants something from them. The whole point of this is the UN and EU trying to show some independence, and I suspect it will fail miserably.

In the end, this will fade from the media and the UN and EU will have another black eye of stupidity. Frankly, no one country has "control" over the internet anyway. Absolutely nothing stops any other country from setting up it's own networks (physical), root servers, dns servers, etc. If anyone decides to pay attention to what they set up is a completely different issue, and the real reason that they are trying to have the UN manage it.

As far as their statements on governments being invovled.... Uhm, duh? The UN is just a massive, dysfunctional collection of....you got it...GOVERNMENTS.

EU. EU. You management style is PU (3, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730039)

Remember Barbar the Elephant? That's what the EU running the Internet looks like.

Please god not the UN (2, Insightful)

jeffs72 (711141) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730040)

I don't mind an international body doing this, but I really mind the UN doing it. Couldn't we found an international geek body to do this instead? Like IEEE or ICANN or CERT or something?

Hilarious! (5, Funny)

antonymous (828776) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730042)

Anytime your story ends with:

The internet will never be the same again.

You've already lost the battle against melodrama.

Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730047)

It's called 'democracy', American sons of bitches. Suck it down.

Re:Democracy (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730177)

Actually, the phrase is "suck it up", meaning "chin up", "walk it off" and that sort of thing.
But you're correct.
Ths "I" in ICANN is for "International"

Prediction (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730048)

This thread will ultimately devolve into a US-bashing thread, with +5 Interestings for all the posts that describe all the US-wrongdoing in the last 200 years.

Even though most of the eventually flamewars will have nothing to do with the DNS, it's all about US-bashing on slashdot. Offtopic be damned, Slashdot wants pagehits, and trolling anti-US sentiment is the way to do it!

Who should have control? (5, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730051)

We are presumably discussing the Internet as an international network, and here the answer is obviously, "no-one can own this", because ownership will mean subversion of the Internet for political goals and thus its destruction.

But if we mean the millions of small and large (e.g. China) internets, each of these can and probably should be owned.

The problem of root DNS servers appears to be an artificial one, relatively easily solved if there was the political will to relinquish control and allow the free creation of arbitrary top level names. There are parallels where control has successfully been relinquished and the results are a nice mix of anarchy and order, suiting everyone. Newsnet is a good example.

Let the internet be divided! (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730054)

I think it would be very interesting to see a divided internet. Once in a while things need to shaken up in order for progress to be made. IPV6 is too long in coming and ultimately since it's easier not to change, things are at most moving very slowly. But really, "the internet" is a global entity with global interest and should be managed globally. And if it takes segmentation prior to reunification, then so be it -- I'm ready to wait out the storm... but then again, such a separation will harm the US far less than any other part of the world. It would be REALLY interesting, though, to see what happens to the SPAM industry if such segmentation were to happen.

slowdown... (1)

-ryan (115102) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730061)

Before this turns into an us vs. them (no pun intended) please take into account the business, regulatory, and legislative tempermemt of each of the opposed parties. Also consider how special interests in other countries *will* influece a governing body's decisions, the same way they have in the states. I personally would want to keep something so crucial to us, close to the vest. But that's just my nationalistic tendencies, after all, I went to war for this country.

Future wars (1)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730064)

There are two issues here. One is that "who controls" amounts to "who maintains". Well, I trust ICANN to maintain the root servers a lot more than I trust the UN (or even the EU).

Second is that "who controls" means "who can lock out the other side's internet access". But if anyone did this to anyone else, it would rightly be viewed as an act of war. So, who's more likely to lock out somebody's internet access: ICANN or the UN/EU? I kind of think that the UN/EU combo is more likely (say, to "protest" some US action, or Israeli, or even Brazilian), but I'm not sure that's correct.

Did the US lean on ICANN to lock out Iraq during Gulf War II?

Ah, excuse me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730076)

I don't mean to sound stupid but, where does 90% of the internet physically reside? Where are all the web servers and routers and fibre and backbone providers?

If I am not mistaken the VAST majority of all of this infrastructure resides within the borders of the United States along with the majority of internet consumers. So, if the EU or anyone else wishes to cut themselves off form that 90%, will anyone miss them? I know for a fact that I couldn't give a rat's ass!

Why is this an issue? (0, Flamebait)

ellem (147712) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730080)

Hey EU you like this internet stuff so much, build you own.

Re:Why is this an issue? (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730164)

Well, i dont remember any americans building or supporting our backbones over here, so go fuck yourself.

Get real. (1)

sweetnjguy29 (880256) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730082)

All your internets are belong to U.S. :-)

Come on, who really has a problem with Iran, Mexico, Swaziland and China having control over the Internet? Whats the worst that can happen? *sarcasm*

Seriously, this is a real political issue. This is a matter of national security of the utmost importance to the United States. Contrary to popular belief aruond the world, the U.S. is not an evil place. George Bush might be a moron, but most Americans believe in free internet access for all.

Re:Get real. (1)

CupBeEmpty (720791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730168)

EXACTLY. I am not sure the EU has really thought what it means to open up control like this. I know that it is in their best interest to have at least some control over DNS servers in their countries, but what is really happening is that they will be setting a dangerous precedent for control by authorities far less free than the US or any European Union member. Despite the fact that a lot of Europeans love to vilify the US, we are still one of the most freely expressive countries in the world. As far as I know ICANN has been extremely free from government intervention considering the amount of autority that organization can weild. I am not sure why we need to rest control from ICANN? And where is the EU's plan. From what I read in the article it seems like typical UN blowhard shows of force that amount to little more than talk.

Error in submission grammer (1)

fair_n_hite_451 (712393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730088)

The original poster said "For the vast majority of people who use the internet, the only real concern is getting on it. "

I believe what he meant was that, given the content on the net, for the vast majority of people, the only real concern is getting it on! "

1mod up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730096)

of OpenBSD. How Usenet is roughly Moans and groans KReskin of the warring that supports Creek, abysmal product, BSD's playing so it's a full-time GNAA

Quite frankly... (1, Insightful)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730100)

This country is starting to look a bit like a fundamentalist theocracy. From a free speech perspective, it's probably better that the UN control it, rather than our own flaky and corrupt congress.

Re:Quite frankly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730205)

That's right. Lets put it in the hands of the UN, where every half-ass country which doesn't even have free speech (like, I don't know, China) has a say in how the Internet works. Brilliant!

How long until the French surrender? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730106)

Or at least come looking for a bribe?

Jingoists are idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730108)

But what do you expect from slashdot lamers other than being idiots. Nothing, right.

censorship (1)

54v4g3 (756080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730112)

It could become /very/ bad if everyone starts making their own root DNS servers. Websites that are accessible in some countries won't be accessible in others. Government censorship will reign.

It is working JUST fine the way it is. The last thing we need are 50 different internets for different countries, without ways for people on those internets to get to the internets of other countries/organizations.

screw the E(U)N. Leave it the way it is.

The EU can't even exert control (0)

ThaFooz (900535) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730114)

over its own members. Do we honestly think that an organization that cannot standardize immagration, currency, and language within its boarders is capable of running the worlds networks?

And how about the fact that the computer industry is anchord in SF Bay, Seattle, Boston, and New York? Aside form a couple notable companies based in Germany and Sweeden, on what ground does the EU think it is more qualified to handle this than the US?

Re:The EU can't even exert control (1)

geniusj (140174) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730158)

Don't forget Northern Virginia. There are a ton of peering points in NoVA..

Over my dead body (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730121)

A bureaucratic organization will never steal the fruits of real American mind labor. Time for the United States of America to resign from the United Nations! It's been a long time coming.

As I've said before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730127)

That's great. The EU has come to depend on an foreign country for its needs, and Brazil gets 90% of its taxes via the internet. Now they want to control that dependancy.

In other news, the US demands control of Middle East oil fields because we need them but someone else has control.

This just in, the response is the same: "fuck off."

That's OK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730129)

we'll just depeer them.

The Politics behind it are pointless.... (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730130)

We seem to be loosing site of the goal of this system. To work. It works. Let's move on. America can say it should be kept with them "since it works", but that probably isn't the real reason. The real reason is most likely for useless power and reputation. But at the same time the other countries seem to not have a goal with a good basis. It's international, so it should be controlled by an international body. Makes sense. But it works fine as is. To me, both cases seem to just be based on intangable concepts that don't really matter when you get down to it, and all that is left is "it works, let's leave it alone..."

Screw EU/UN (1)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730135)

From TFA:

>A number of countries represented in Geneva, including Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran and several African states, insisted the US give up control, but it refused.

There you go! A bunch of dictatorships and the bureaucratic EU!
WTF?
I really hope the US won't be stupid and agree to any of their demands.

The last thing you in the U.S. need is giving the control to these deadbeats and still having to pay for their screwing around (just look at the UN).

First, as a citizen of a country that isn't involved in this dispute, I'd never agree to use a root DNS server hosted in a non-democratic country.

Second, I haven't been inconvenienced by the US' control of the Internet.

Third, look at their track record - the EU is a terrible place for managing anything, and the rest of the bunch have scummy and/or non-democratic governments. Screw all of them.

Of course it comes to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730151)

I knew the countries of the world couldn't play nice forever.

Governments 1 - Users 0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730159)

No matter the appearance of this, the end result will be the same. A statist governement (US, EU, UN, etc) will either maintain control, take over partial control, or more likely like they will all get together at some point and divide it up in such a way that it still sort of works.

But in the end the result will be that the USERS of the internet will have NO voice in what happens.

Either the US maintains the "status quo" that DOES have plenty of problems many people have long posted about here. The whole thing get chopped up as mentioned earlier, and we get the Balkanized Internet. Or likely the worst result, they resolve their conflicts by sacrificing all the USERS rights to not be interfered with, as all goverments do at some point. Because in the end it really is about whats good for the governments - NOT - whats good for you ;-(

The UN, dictatorships and the Internet... (5, Insightful)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730161)

The UN is an international organization, and although I am not opposed to the idea of a forum where all countries can gather to discuss important matters, I am worried about the UN gaining too much power.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but won't dictatorships that terrorize their people have the same ability to vote in important matters as democratic countries? Hasn't there been a history of less than decent governments being represented in, say the Security Council? I mean, what is China doing there?

Regarding the Internet, I'm leaning towards saying "if it ain't broken, don't fix it". It's working OK the way it does today (although Verisign needs to get the boot). I also want to make sure that China and other such governments have no say over my Internet connection.

And the EU sure seems to be taking the hardball approach to this! I can't even see how they can possible force the control away from the US. They will be making complete fools of themselves if they end up splitting the Internet. Unlikely, but I'm sure they are willing to do so just to prove that the EU has the balls to stand up to the US...

And HOW will they do this? (1)

MudButt (853616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730163)

"with a mind to forcibly remove control of the Internet from the United States."

How in the world do they think they will "forcibly" do this without full US support? I'd like to see them try to land UN troops on US soil.

The FUD about the internet splitting in half... (1)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730174)

It's been suggested as a lively possibility, but one thing that won't happen is that if both sides do not compromise, we're going to have separate root nameservers for our country and the EU. And I'll tell you now that America, if we so chose to stand our ground, will be easily able to retain control because Europeans need to go to our websites. Those of you who are in the US and running a web server, just check your logs and you'll see a pie chart with plenty of slices dwarfing US tlds.

They can cry about it and use this to help characterize us as arrogant, but they ain't gettin' shared control so long as we don't want to let them have it.

And by "we" I mean the American govt.

This is stupid. (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730175)

This is stupid.

The US built the Internet with US funds. If the EU seriously wants to run the show, they don't have to be jerks about it. What exactly do they want control of again?

Domain name registration? Start your own registrar. Get everyone to use your alternate DNS servers. Compete.
Protocols? Build your own network, or get some seats in a standards body.

Seriously, making an international issue of this is stupid. It screams "we're jealous, we want control." Build another network. "But we can't." Fine, then don't. I don't care, just don't try to force your agenda on us.

People act like the Internet is some sort of revolutionary battleground. A new frontier. The Internet is... a really big computer network. Internetworking is cool. The Internet is cool. Is building another one silly? Perhaps, but this is still worse.

How about the phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13730180)

Does anybody control the phone system(s) of the world? I can call pretty much anybody from my cell or this black thing on my desk just fine without UN intervention...

Coup (1, Interesting)

Paladin144 (676391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730183)

From TFA: [Hendon] had just announced a political coup over the running of the internet.

Essentially, that is what this is. We're being hijacked and this could get ugly. What if the US decides not to go along with international consensus? Would the EU and others try to take over the root servers by force (hacking their way in)? Could they actually get away with it?

This is some pretty scary shit. Obviously, the US is currently in the hands of an illegal and diabolical regime, but they haven't really threatened the internet yet. Is this a pre-emptive strike on the EU's part? The Justice Department has announced a crackdown on pornography, but I doubt the EU is to concerned about that. What's going on here? There must be more to this story than squabbling over who controls root servers.

I'm not convinced these bureaucrats even know what they're talking about. Do they really understand how the internet works? Do they realize that DNS servers are not the end-all, be-all of the 'net?

I guess I'm just uncomfortable with the idea of the UN controlling the net. As I mentioned in a previous post about this, it's pretty obvious that the UN will soon look into taxing the internet. No other body could, but the UN is by definition an international body, and they would just love a revenue stream like that. But what about representation? The UN represents governments, not people.

I think dark times are ahead for the internet. The last thing we need is a bunch of know-nothing bureaucrats making stupid rules and standards for a communication medium that has thrived without them.

The Swiss (1)

arethuza (737069) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730208)

I say let the Swiss do it, or maybe the Norwegians.

Or maybe the Kiwis as everyone from NZ does seem unusually civilised.

Paraphrasing Chapelle (-1, Troll)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730214)

that's right U.N., we control the internet. We invested research and infrastructure into the internet, and now we control it. U.N. you have a problem with that? You know what you should do, you should come and take it from us. Come and take it from us with your army. OH! WAIT A MINUTE! YOU DON'T HAVE AN ARMY! I guess that means you need to shut the fuck up, that's what I'd do if I didn't have an army. I would shut the fuck up. SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP

Devils Advocate (4, Interesting)

jupiter909 (786596) | more than 8 years ago | (#13730220)

I posted these same words last week and I'll post them again.

I am anti-US on many things, but let back them by saying this.

The USA created the Internet as we know it today, it is their creation, from their tax payers money. As much as I dislike many things that the USA is doing and has done in the past. I'm going to have to say that I'm behind them on keeping control of what is theirs, which happens to be the foundation of the Internet as we know it.

Just due to the fact that it is now a globally used system that effects everyone in the modern world does not give any body/group the right to demand rights of control over that system. Just as new protocols are created over time and are layered ontop of the old to keep the system running regardless of 'obsolete' hardware/software that might be in some remote corner of the web, so to should the U.N create a system that runs along side the current one if it so desperatly wants control. That is the most logical solution to the problem at hand. Countries and corporations can create 'internal' networks that overide the current systems of the Internet.

The fact that the developing world does not see that as the most logical first step attempt at a solution at hand is evidence that they are not ready to have control over a system such as complex as the Internet.

I whole heartly back the US on their choice to not hand it over.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

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

Submission Text Formatting Tips

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

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

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

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

Loading...