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Internet Power Struggle Reaching Climax

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the who-needs-international-consent dept.

The Internet 791

Fredden wrote to mention a BBC piece discussing the U.S.'s poor image when it comes to Internet management. From the article: "It has even lost the support of the European Union. It stands alone as the divisive battle over who runs the internet heads for a showdown at a key UN summit in Tunisia next month. The stakes are high, with the European Commissioner responsible for the net, Viviane Reding, warning of a potential web meltdown. " We've previously covered this story.

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No new solutions, no new news (5, Insightful)

Agelmar (205181) | about 9 years ago | (#13767607)

This story has been covered on /. at least three times, as noted in the post itself. There are really no new solutions offered here. Comments in the previous post have revolved around setting up alternate root notes for each country which may result in conflicts or fracturing, setting the root nodes to point to some authoritative German node for .de, Japanese node for .jp etc, but this still allows the controller of the root to start 'war'... where are the solutions? I don't see any coming down the pipe - this seems to be the political equivalent of an 'NP-hard' problem, and until someone proves otherwise with a feasible solution, can't we stop re-hashing old news? (Granted, there were a few more ideas offered in the comments to previous posts, but none of them really seem to solve the fundamental issue of decentralized control while maintaining a single Internet that uses DNS.)

Who Cares?!! Slashdot need a flamewar! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767694)

Obviously, this article was posted and the subject covered yet again because slashdot likes having this incendiary debate over and over every week.

Watch as +5 posts slamming the US for wrongdoings from the past 200 years appear, and other people who blame the US for terrorism, environmental wrongs, rainy days and other ills will be come out of the woodwork.

This "politics" section is nothing but a giant troll site, or dailykos for nerds. Don't expect news or any intelligent discussion here.

Re:No new solutions, no new news (0)

Surt (22457) | about 9 years ago | (#13767729)

Actually, I think the per country root node solution is the right technical solution. The internet and its protocols should learn to deal with this since it is bound to happen eventually.

It would be annoying, but we probably need to allow for something like this:

de. [] not being the same as us. []

Kids will be kids (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767775)

The thing is, it's all based on the politics of mistrust. No one is pointing to actual problems with the administration of the net. Other countries just don't like the idea of depending on a network that is controlled by someone else.

OK, so build your own. Really. What's that you say, you want to have access to the one run by the US? OK, fine. But we run the servers. We won't screw it up, honest.

It's like a bunch of kids came to a playground and found one kid playing with his basketball. He's really good at it, and showed them how to play, too. After a while some of the kids decided they didn't need the first kid controlling the ball any more, so they said he should give it to them. They took a vote, and sure enough, the kid with the ball lost.

Guess what: it's our ball. You want to play with our ball? Fine, we want that, too (basketball is not much fun one-on-none). Just don't go claiming it's yours.

Re:No new solutions, no new news (0, Troll)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | about 9 years ago | (#13767847)

In Soviet Russia, internet power struggles climax YOU!

Re:No new solutions, no new news (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about 9 years ago | (#13767864)

True. But has it made it to Foxnews/CNN front pages yet?

Go USA! (-1, Redundant)

Afecks (899057) | about 9 years ago | (#13767610)

If the internet becomes fragmented at least we'll still have slashdot!

Re:Go USA! (5, Funny)

CupBeEmpty (720791) | about 9 years ago | (#13767654)

DNS be damned forever!

Re:Go USA! (5, Funny)

kai.chan (795863) | about 9 years ago | (#13767791)

Great, you've just slashdotted


Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767782)

how is this offtopic? must have been a mod from the EU lol....

Chinese script is the thing to learn ... (0, Flamebait)

foobsr (693224) | about 9 years ago | (#13767614)

... having to face Afronet, Amerinet and Eurasianet - hmm, sounds a bit 84 :(


What meltdown? (4, Interesting)

ploafmaster general (920649) | about 9 years ago | (#13767615)

The sheer pomposity that these people have, believing this struggle over a collection of DNS servers is going to cause an internet meltdown, boggles my mind. Stupid politics.

Re:What meltdown? (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 9 years ago | (#13767731)

What will melt down are the share prices of certain companies that are totally dependent on DNS. :-)

Wasn't the point of the Internet....? (4, Insightful)

xiphoris (839465) | about 9 years ago | (#13767622)

That no single organization runs it? That destroying pieces of it will not disrupt the rest?

The success of the Internet is that its peer-peer nature has allowed it to evolve and struggle past any sort of obstacles, most of them having been technical. Now we have a political obstacle. Why is it necessary that any one organization "control the Internet"? Isn't that exactly not the point of its design?

Re:Wasn't the point of the Internet....? (1)

Shnizzzle (652228) | about 9 years ago | (#13767670)

Standardization actually helps fulfill the goals you have mentioned.

Re:Wasn't the point of the Internet....? (5, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 9 years ago | (#13767684)

That no single organization runs it? That destroying pieces of it will not disrupt the rest?

Yes, and then DNS was invented.

Re:Wasn't the point of the Internet....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767862)

The root servers could go away tomorrow, and all that would happen is that the downstream DNS servers (the ones everyone actually *uses*) wouldn't be able to get updates to their cache.

Because that's what politicians DO all day (4, Insightful)

panurge (573432) | about 9 years ago | (#13767751)

Look for power coalescing around a resource, then acquire the resource and control access to it so they get the power. Which, come to think of it, is just what most of the human race does, given the opportunity. Including the recording industry, Rupert Murdoch, and your friendly neighborhood crack dealer.

Unfortunately, the function of scientists and engineers is to have good ideas, make them work, and then watch the wealth obsessed and power mad take them over. It's a pity really. If we had the ability to organise, we could collectively hold the politicians to ransom - but it's not in our nature to do it, while it is in their nature to exploit.

Well, duh! (-1, Troll)

CaptainFork (865941) | about 9 years ago | (#13767630)

...[the US] has even lost the support of the European Union. It stands alone...

Those damnable Euros won't support anything the US does. The b*****ds!

Re:Well, duh! (1)

irablum (914844) | about 9 years ago | (#13767795)

The Euros Killed Kenny!

Kyle Broflowski: You bastards!

Yeah, let's turn it all over to China and Iran! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767631)

That'll show Chimpy McBushitler! More dictators in charge, that's what the internet needs!

Wasn't it P.J. O'Rourke who noted, "Who gives a shit what the French think?"

Re:Yeah, let's turn it all over to China and Iran! (4, Insightful)

stupidfoo (836212) | about 9 years ago | (#13767709)

I know a lot of the leftist Euro slashdot readers currently have a great disdain for America, but most of the countries who want the US to give up some of its control over the internet aren't doing so because they're OSS fans or just want information to be free. Most, if not all, of them want to be able to excercise an even greater amount of control over what is available, not only to their own citizens, but to the rest of the planet. What do you think China, North Korea, Iran, etc will be pushing for once they have a little bit more say?

So what? (3, Insightful)

RWerp (798951) | about 9 years ago | (#13767636)

This is making a fuss about nothing. All these years, the USA have never -- never -- abused its position of the Internet governor. There was no corruption scandal concerning the DNS root servers, which cannot be said about many "international" organisations (which are simple ruled not by a single country, but by an oligarchy of the USA, the EU and several other nations). So why change it?

What's wrong now people? (2, Insightful)

imboboage0 (876812) | about 9 years ago | (#13767704)

Quite honestly, I don't see the problem. What is the argument for seizine the governing of the I-Net from the USA? What have we done wrong? I know it's still working, as I am posting on Slashdot. So, out of the blue, The US of A is evil for governing that which is provided to all? Can someone explain what the problem with the current situation is?

Re:What's wrong now people? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767849)

We're afraid the USA will do as good a job as they do in all their other politics lately..

Re:So what? (0, Flamebait)

ericdano (113424) | about 9 years ago | (#13767721)

Exactly. So why does the EU want to run it? Profits? Power? Bragging rights?

Seems that the world's biggest democracy should run the worlds biggest, free net.

Re:So what? (1)

Fishstick (150821) | about 9 years ago | (#13767797)


Re:So what? (4, Insightful)

hunterx11 (778171) | about 9 years ago | (#13767728)

I think ICANN has done wonderfully on keeping out politics, as it should, with one exception: revoking domain names. But this is actually an argument against UN control, as ICANN has only started doing this at the behest of WIPO.

Re:So what? (3, Insightful)

crotherm (160925) | about 9 years ago | (#13767760)

From TFA...

In the face of opposition from countries such as China, Iran and Brazil, and several African nations, the US is now isolated ahead of November's UN summit.

The only reason I can see is that since Bush and Co. badly screwed up the reputaion of USA, many of our biggest detractors want to put our feet to the fire. They think our global dominance is in jepordy and they want to hasten our decline by any means necessary. I can see where the countries listed might want things changed, but as bad as USA is, do I want China to have more say over the Internet? Or some unnamed countries in Africa where solid, stable democratic countries are hard to find? Hell no... And Iran?? haven' they read the paper, they are next of Bush's world wide tour.. gads...

Thanks Bush for being such a dork that even Iran, China, and some African countries to be named later have more pull in the UN that us.....


Re:So what? (2, Insightful)

RWerp (798951) | about 9 years ago | (#13767819)

Don't worry. "The USA is isolated" only in some journalist's minds. The only real player against the USA is the EU. Without the EU (and I can't comprehend why Barroso is playing this game, I think he wants to please some European America-haters to keep them from doing more damage), such countries as Brasil, Iran or even China mean NOTHING in the UN. China can obly block something in the Security Council, but not push anything through.

Re:So what? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767766)

All these years, the USA have never -- never -- abused its position of the Internet governor.

Then how can you explain ICANN's rejection of its supposed open and democratic process? Or what about the USA turning around and point blank doing exactly what it said it wouldn't by saying ICANN can run .net etc for even longer? Or ICANN's ridiculous sitefinder mayhem?

Re:So what? (1, Informative)

jerw134 (409531) | about 9 years ago | (#13767845)

Or ICANN's ridiculous sitefinder mayhem?

That wasn't ICANN, that was VeriSign. Two completely separate organizations.

Re:So what? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767823)

The US has abused its position, though perhaps not in the way
you imagined. A bunch of insiders have been able to siphon off
a lot of money from the internet community as the cost for domain
names has been held artificially high.
The UDRP rules were also set up to favor trademark holders more
than they should have been.
ICANN has also dragged their feet on approving updates for CCTLDs
in order to coerce the CCTLD managers into signing contracts with
They have let Verisign/Network Solutions get away with terrible
service and they were not properly slapped down for wild carding .com in order to allow them to sell adverising for mistyped
URLs while causing problems for other services.

We say farewell to our old Internet Overlords..... (0, Redundant)

8127972 (73495) | about 9 years ago | (#13767638)

.... from the USA and welcome our European backed Internet Overlords!

If that's the case... (5, Funny)

Tikicult (901090) | about 9 years ago | (#13767682)

... I'm going back to running a Wildcat BBS on a USR Courier 14.4 modem & a 386... who wants a login?

It just seems to be a question of pride... (4, Insightful)

Aeron65432 (805385) | about 9 years ago | (#13767643)

Y'know, other than US control, I don't see any real legitimate beef that the EU/UN could have. As far as I know, (which isn't much, as a casual internet user) the internet has been run fine under US control.

What is their real complaint?! Please enlighten me!

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 9 years ago | (#13767680)

What is their real complaint?! Please enlighten me!

They don't get to feed their overinflated sense of self-importance. That's the complaint. They're threatening to tank the internet - which runs fine right now - over their desire to play politics.

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (0, Flamebait)

Quasar1999 (520073) | about 9 years ago | (#13767701)

The real complaint is the dangerous attitude the US government has shown lately. Everything is fine right now, but the US has made unilateral decisions in the past (Hello world, we'd like to attack Iraq. What do you mean you won't support us? Screw you, we're doing it anyway!). If they decide to do something like that with the internet, there's nothing stopping them. That's scary.

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767787)

The real complaint is the dangerous attitude the US government has shown lately.

In your opinion. The UN wants control over the entire world and this is just one step they want (but aren't going to get) towards it.

Why should the rest of the world care what the US does with the Interent? If the US did do something crazy the EU/UN whever else can setup their own Internet. Until then if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Right... (2, Insightful)

benhocking (724439) | about 9 years ago | (#13767788)

And if we decide to nuke Europe, there's no stopping us there, either. Of course, no one's afraid we're going to do that. So, why are they afraid we're going to do something abusive with the internet? I think you might have something with the Iraq issue, though. Kinda like, "Hello face, I'm going to cut off my nose!"

Seriously, as the GP asked, without resorting to general complaints, is there a reason to believe that we would do something abusive with the internet? Again, the problem with the general complaints, is that it seems that if we're as crazy as we're accused of being (and I'll admit that the foam at the mouth doesn't help), then why is the internet the object being protected? Wouldn't it make more sense for France to start building up their nuclear arsenal if they're really that frightened of what we might do?

(Before you get on a soap box about arms races, I'm not seriously suggesting France do that. I'm just pointing out that the internet doesn't seem as important as national security, even though it could be argued that it is a part of national security.

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 years ago | (#13767831)

Almost as scary as the unilateral decision to create the internet in the first place. ;p

The EU has no trouble spending the money to launch their own version of GPS for the same exact reason - let them set up their own DNS servers as well. What's the big deal? Why should the US give up something just because of European's (so far unfounded) anxiety?

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (1)

daVinci1980 (73174) | about 9 years ago | (#13767859)

It's kind of sad that you consider someone futzing with the interned to be scary, but you don't seem to find a unilateral attack on a nation scary.

Hint: One of them involves people being dead.

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767892)

" (Hello world, we'd like to attack Iraq. What do you mean you won't support us? Screw you, we're doing it anyway!). "

Funny.. I thought it was more like...
UN, "You must let us in to check for WMD by X date or we'll use force."

US, "K, it's past X date... Let's do what we said we would so that people will take us seriously in the future."

UN, "Nah... You're on your own. We'd like to just continue to impotently make empty threats... Just give us a few years and we'll start making some about DNS servers."

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (2, Insightful)

OMRebel (920875) | about 9 years ago | (#13767902)

The US was inforcing UN sancations. That's right, the same UN that is having a hissy fit. Oh, I forgot, we aren't supposed to enforce UN sanctions. We should have just kept on telling Saddam to stop firing at US plans that were enforcing the no fly zones, and keep asking him to let the UN inspectors do their jobs, and eventually, because even though he used chemical weapons no his own people, he's just a great guy and would have been all buddy buddy with the whole world, and then there would be peace for all. What fairly tale do you live in??

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (1)

bellers (254327) | about 9 years ago | (#13767735)

The problem is that a benevolent tyrant is still a tyrant.

"It's just fine with the US running it" is a sentiment that really doesnt extend one millimeter beyond the US border. It's a lousy status quo if you're not in the US.

I dont see the US having any leverage here. If the rest of the world decides to establish an alternate route, then there's fuck all the US can do about it. It's not like ICANN can impose itself on peoples nameservers. /is fine with the status quo, personally // would also be fine with multilateral control

2000 lbs gorilla (1)

Mr Guy (547690) | about 9 years ago | (#13767789)

The US has leverage here in the purest sense of the word. It has the size and position to do whatever it wants, which is why the rest of the world is really upset. They can't just re-route because no matter how much hot air is made about the US losing the economic world, the rest of the world would still be equally devestated if they took their ball and went home.

That's what the moaning is all about, their is nothing they CAN do, and they are afraid that may be one day used against them. Another part of the problem is they fully intend to use to abuse their power if they get it, and they want to be able to regulate "hate speech" that the US refuses to block.

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | about 9 years ago | (#13767815)

The problem is that a benevolent tyrant is still a tyrant.

So the EU would be a better overlord of DNS? I don't see how that works.

I dont see the US having any leverage here. If the rest of the world decides to establish an alternate route, then there's fuck all the US can do about it.

That's funny. You really think that would work. All the governments that matter in this discussion are all equally bound to corporate interests. Fragmenting DNS in the way you describe would not serve those interests. If the US doesn't want to hand it over, and this group of countries that feels they know better keeps pushing the issue, businesses are going to get involved to maintain the status quo.

Welcome to the real world, where you don't have enough money to matter in discussions like this.

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 9 years ago | (#13767835)

Please explain to me how the current architecture harms those outside of the United States, or conveys some benefit to people in the US that others do not enjoy. At this point, I don't see either one.

If someone can come up with a real harm or advantage, then I'm willing to listen. No one has yet come up with anything, though.

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (1)

slashdotnickname (882178) | about 9 years ago | (#13767800)

What is their real complaint?! Please enlighten me!

Have you ever been clothes shopping with a kid that insists on only buying brand names even though there's something else of the same quality but cheaper?

It's all about labels. Currently, the "U.S." label is equivalent to "Lee" (versus "Levis") in the jeans world... and Europe is the spoiled brat.

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (-1, Troll)

MrMista_B (891430) | about 9 years ago | (#13767807)

:What is their real complaint?! Please enlighten me!


The US lied to the world and invaded a foreign soverign nation without cause.

Quite simply, and with good reason, the US just isn't trusted.

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (2, Insightful)

MaestroSartori (146297) | about 9 years ago | (#13767841)

Disclaimer: I am not American...

Perhaps their complaint is that no single country should be in sole charge of a major part of the Internet infrastructure? Seems like a reasonable complaint to me, regardless of how benevolent the rule of that one nation may be at this time. What if, say, the next US administration decided to completely censor all anti-American anti-Christian content passing through equipment within its borders? I know this is likely unconstitutional, and would probably never actually happen (shit, it might even be impossible, I don't know), but as a what-if it shows the kind of power the US wields over the Internet as a whole.

Frankly, I don't see what the big deal is on any side of this manufactured argument: the UN are making a big fuss about wanting to take control away from the US (even although it's not a major or intractable problem), the US are making a big fuss about not seeing what the problem is (although it's an entirely obvious and easily solved problem), and the EU for some reason are trying to pose themselves as a peacemaker while openly agreeing with the UN (god knows what's going on there).

There is no technical reason why other countries can't just do what they like. And maybe we should do exactly that, why depend on any other country more than you have to? Think of it like the fuss a while back about GPS, and how the Galileo system came about as a result. This is like that, but more politically noisy.

Re:It just seems to be a question of pride... (4, Insightful)

drmerope (771119) | about 9 years ago | (#13767900)

It's all about taxes. They want to levy taxes on domain registrations to pay for laying fiber in Africa.

Its all about money, money, money; also about sex because the clamoring for this really only got loud after ICANN approved the .sex domain.

And its being cloaked in stories about the evil dictatorial "government control" that now exists. There is no government control of Internet. The US government certainly does not control the DNS system--perhaps it does nominally, but right now the entire system is based on voluntary consent. People around the world are voluntarily deciding to use the ICANN monitored servers as the root.

What is so disgusting here is that these governments (including the EU) are attempting to abolish a voluntary system to institute something based on involuntary compulsion so that they can collect rent payments.

They are trying to claim they are just transfering a "power" that already exists but that's simply untrue.

Further, their desire to depose the IETF and give the ITU control over internet standards is also suspicious. First we might ask why? Then we might notice that China chairs the ITU. Then we might notice that the ITU has stated they want to introduce stronger point-of-origin guarantees to make it easier to track down individuals. Its obvious why they want this: you just need to watch the Chinese efforts to crack-down on dissent via the Internet.

suggestion! (4, Insightful)

Deanalator (806515) | about 9 years ago | (#13767645)

why not make a nice clean ipv6 network, and then we in the US can join them once we realize how much better it is?

Re:suggestion! (5, Insightful)

NastyNate (398542) | about 9 years ago | (#13767695)

Yeah, just like we joined them in using the metric system.

Re:suggestion! (1)

Shnizzzle (652228) | about 9 years ago | (#13767772)

You're comment is funny but this would be like not driving on their roads instead of measuring just your speed differently.

Re:suggestion! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767832)

Probably because like it or not, no other country has the resources or infrastructure in place to undertake such an action.

Re:suggestion! (1)

Danathar (267989) | about 9 years ago | (#13767873)


If the EU mandated that all ISP's move to IPv6 within a couple of years I can gaurantee you that the vendors would jump. If the EU/ASIA decided that a new set of ROOT DNS servers would service this space there would be practically nothing the U.S. could do since the U.S. is WAY behind the rest of the world (especially the far east) in deployment of IPv6

In the short term Europeans would lose out to U.S. web sites, but I'd be willing to bet that companies here would be looking to get onto the EU "Net" anyway they could and as quickly as possible.

Yippi! (5, Funny)

bomek (63323) | about 9 years ago | (#13767655)

"Imagine the Brazilians or the Chinese doing their own internet. That would be the end of the story.

No, it would be the end of spam!

Re:Yippi! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767742)

...for them. An overwhelming majority of spam comes from the USA.

Softening their tone? (1)

Paladin144 (676391) | about 9 years ago | (#13767664)

"We have no intention to regulate the internet," said Commissioner Reding, reassuring the US that the EU was not proposing setting up a new global body.

This is fine. I have no objection to this, but the last time this story was up on /. the EU and other UN states were talking about a coup! It sounds like they've backed down from this, and that's a good thing. I'm all in favor of an international forum for discussing internet-related issues. Their earlier statements smacked of "taking" the internet ("Wrestling" control of it, I believe was the phrase /. used). Hopefully, that was all diplomatic bluster to make their current demands seem infinitely more reasonable. It's worked on me so far. But I think this issue bears watching.

Let it will be a GOOD thing (1)

Danathar (267989) | about 9 years ago | (#13767665)

The current design of a semi-centralized set of root servers is what is causing the whole problem to begin with. I say let it happen, let DNS fracture. I'm optomistic that some new decentralized way of doing domain name mapping will come of this.

Climax? (-1, Troll)

alphapartic1e (260735) | about 9 years ago | (#13767668)

I'm coommmiiiinnnnngggggg!!!!!!!

Re:Climax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767725)

Maybe Arnold can shed some light on the situation. :) []

members (2, Interesting)

PacketScan (797299) | about 9 years ago | (#13767672)

So if i'm reading this correctly put a few un memebers on the Board of Icann and thus solves the problem. Now they Fell like they have control when in fact they still have NONE.

It's inevitable anyway... (5, Funny)

Peldor (639336) | about 9 years ago | (#13767676)

Just put Google in charge. It'll be that way in 5 years at the current rate.

This is crap (2, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | about 9 years ago | (#13767683)

Basically it boils down to the fact that smaller nations want the right to filter and censor everything for everyone they find objectionable. Good riddance, let them go, I say.

It's called expressing 'internet issues' (1)

MMaestro (585010) | about 9 years ago | (#13767752)

Instead Europe is suggesting a way of allowing countries to express their position on internet issues, though the details on how this would happen are vague.

You have to say politically correct. Nations such as China would censor the internet in order to 'express their position on internet issues'. And instead of "we give a flying fuck what the hell they're doing to their own people", you say '[...] the details on how this would happen are vague.'

Misleading article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767688)

I did RTFA, and still don't see what it has to do with Struggling to Reach Climax using the Power of the Internet.

I seem to have no problem...

let's discuss (-1, Flamebait)

ruiner5000 (241452) | about 9 years ago | (#13767697)

The UK's poor management of colonial America. Add in France and Spain to the discussion list.

Re:let's discuss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767732)

And how is that relevant?

Re:let's discuss (2, Funny)

ruiner5000 (241452) | about 9 years ago | (#13767750)

It demonstrates the poor history Europe has in managing new resources. Can't you at least log in? As an anonymous coward ironically you are not relevant.

Re:let's discuss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767830)

So the poor management of distant European colonies in the 15th to 19th centuries is relevant to this in your mind?

Re:let's discuss (1)

ruiner5000 (241452) | about 9 years ago | (#13767884)

We could clearly look at the current European economy for a current example. Educate yourself why don't you?

Threaten The Worst (4, Insightful)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | about 9 years ago | (#13767703)

Of course the EU doesn't like the US having control over the DNS name servers. The thing to remember is that these are politicians... they will threaten the worst possible outcome of not giving in, in an attempt to gain public support and force their opponent to give in. There won't be a "war" of any sort. It'll be all contained within the political arena. No politician will allow their constituents to be effectively cut off from the DNS nameservers, meaning the rest of the world will just have to deal with it until they can offer the US some reasonable trade for allowing the nameservers elsewhere.

It's like when one political group cuts funding in a certain area. The other group retaliates by threatening to adjust for the funding by cutting police, fire, and education services. They could just work to be more productive and cut things like gov. cars and employee cell phones, but instead will choose the most emotional service possible and threaten with that.

This is NOT going to affect us.

Damage that IP can't "route around" (1)

G4from128k (686170) | about 9 years ago | (#13767705)

Although the internet was designed to "route around" damage, its systems seem to assume an undamaged unified DNS system. I wonder if we need a new protocol (or tweaks to the old one) to create an international equivalent to NAT between countries with independently controlled DNS.

Re:Damage that IP can't "route around" (0)

Tim Browse (9263) | about 9 years ago | (#13767834)

IP doesn't use DNS. DNS is what you use to get an IP address so that you can create an IP packet. So we don't need a replacement for IP.

If the UN takes over, five words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767710)

Oil for zone files scandal.

longing for the good old days (2, Insightful)

sfjoe (470510) | about 9 years ago | (#13767712)

Remember back when the world respected the USA? A lot of that was because the USA also respected the world. Then the Texans took over...


Re:longing for the good old days (1)

DaltonRS (825261) | about 9 years ago | (#13767851)

I seem to recall a certain governor from Arkanasa, this little place called Kosovo, and something about an illegal military action.

Let's not start slippery slope discussions unless we are willing to note precedent from our chosen "side," whether that be left, right, middle, or whatever the case may be.

Re:longing for the good old days (1)

ivan256 (17499) | about 9 years ago | (#13767858)

When was that? Before you were born for sure.

The only difference between now, and say, 7 years ago, is that more of the world is willing to speak up over how much they dispise the US.

Don't worry though. All those other countries (for the most part anyway) all hate each other too. It's worse than a Friday night football rivalry.

Re:longing for the good old days (1)

Le Marteau (206396) | about 9 years ago | (#13767870)

The last thing in the world _I_ would want was the respect of the French, Iraqis, or Chinese (England does not matter because they're America's bitch anyway). When THOSE cats start respecting you, you know you're doing something wrong.

Their fear, sure. That is of value. Their respect? No.

Bad journalism (4, Interesting)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | about 9 years ago | (#13767715)

Of course Slashdot prints half-truths and fearmongering 26 times a day, but it is fascinating to watch the mainstream press get this story wrong so many times. This argument is about the contents of a *text file*, one which the USA does not even currently control. ICANN publishes the root DNS information, and the root operators, who are dozens of independent, international parties, can choose to accept or decline. If the UN, the EU, or the National Hockey League wants to publish their own root information, they are perfectly free to do so. Why don't they put their zone out and see if anyone adopts it?

Re:Bad journalism (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 9 years ago | (#13767828)

And of course some posters on Slashdot ignore the fact that the US Dept of Commerce exercises veto power over ICANN decisions. This has been reported on /. several times, but is conveniently forgotten whenever the current topic comes up.

Hasn't been abused... we think... yet.

Disruption? (1, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 years ago | (#13767719)

The only disruption that will occur here is if the EU pulls the plug. I don't think that the US has such plans, so this is just irresponsible propaganda. And these people want more say? First demonstrate some responsibility. I have to say that the behavior of the Europeans in this dispute has reversed my position, and I think that the most stable path for the internet is to leave the US in charge for now.

The Solution will be no real solution, as always. (1)

Puhase (911920) | about 9 years ago | (#13767726)

ICANN will not change as the article says so. What will be created is a UN regulatory body without enforcement regimes. SOP for the UN solving problems. Abuses will not occur and stipulated in the charter for that body will be the fact that it should do nothing to violate the sovereign rights of each nation (ie. U.S. 1st Amendment). Although the "control" aspect will be a complete sham, I do think that this may have some positive consequences. This body could be used to coordinate the more technical nations in questions of global spam, copyrights and other IT issues, and negate the need for constant conferences. If we had a international group of people working together for years on these issues, we might actually make some progress.

Keep your U.N. off my Internet (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767736)

Kofi Annan, Coming to a Computer Near You! The Internet's long run as a global cyberzone of freedom--where governments take a "hands off" approach--is in jeopardy. Preparing for next month's U.N.-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society (or WSIS) in Tunisia, the European Union and others are moving aggressively to set the stage for an as-yet unspecified U.N. body to assert control over Internet operations and policies now largely under the purview of the U.S. In recent meetings, for an example, an EU spokesman asserted that no single country should have final authority over this "global resource."

To his credit, the U.S. State Department's David Gross bristled back: "We will not agree to the U.N. taking over management of the Internet." That stands to reason. The Internet was developed in the U.S. (as are upgrades like Internet 2) and is not a collective "global resource." It is an evolving technology, largely privately owned and operated, and it should stay that way.

Nevertheless the "U.N. for the Internet" crowd say they want to "resolve" who should have authority over Internet traffic and domain-name management; how to close the global "digital divide"; and how to "harness the potential of information" for the world's impoverished. Also on the table: how much protection free speech and expression should receive online.

While WSIS conferees have agreed to retain language enshrining free speech (despite the disapproval of countries that clearly oppose it) this is not a battle we've comfortably won. Some of the countries clamoring for regulation under the auspices of the U.N.--such as China and Iran--are among the most egregious violators of human rights.

Meanwhile, regulators across the globe have long lobbied for greater control over Internet commerce and content. A French court has attempted to force Yahoo! to block the sale of offensive Nazi materials to French citizens. An Australian court has ruled that the online edition of Barron's (published by Dow Jones, parent company of The Wall Street Journal and this Web site), could be subjected to Aussie libel laws--which, following the British example, is much more intolerant of free speech than our own law. Chinese officials--with examples too numerous for this space--continue to seek to censor Internet search engines.

The implications for online commerce are profound. The moment one puts up a Web site, one has "gone global"--perhaps even automatically subjected oneself to the laws of every country on the planet.

A global Internet regulatory state could mean that We Are the World--on speech and libel laws, sales taxes, privacy policies, antitrust statutes and intellectual property. How then would a Web site operator or even a blogger know how to act or do business? Compliance with some 190 legal codes would be confusing, costly and technically impossible for all but the most well-heeled firms. The safest option would be to conform online speech or commercial activities to the most restrictive laws to ensure global compliance. If you like the idea of Robert Mugabe setting legal standards for everyone, then WSIS is for you.

The very confusion of laws makes some favor a "U.N. for the Internet" model. Others propose international treaties, or adjudication by the World Trade Organization, to stop retaliation and trade wars from erupting over privacy, gambling and pornography. Still others assert that the best answer is to do nothing, because the current unregulated Web environment has helped expand free speech and commerce globally for citizens, consumers and companies.

We favor the nonregulatory approach. But where laissez-faire is not an option, the second-best solution is that the legal standards governing Web content should be those of the "country of origin." Ideally, governments should assert authority only over citizens physically within its geographic borders. This would protect sovereignty and the principle of "consent of the governed" online. It would also give companies and consumers a "release valve" or escape mechanism to avoid jurisdictions that stifle online commerce or expression.

The Internet helps overcome artificial restrictions on trade and communications formerly imposed by oppressive or meddlesome governments. Allowing these governments to reassert control through a U.N. backdoor would be a disaster.

Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767744)

I only read site within North America anyway. And across the pond, they probably visit site in their own area mostly.

Freedom of Speech? (1, Interesting)

dasunt (249686) | about 9 years ago | (#13767748)

If the EU runs the Internet, would they ban holocaust denial or other forms of "hate speech" which are a crime in the EU?

While I don't agree with any of those groups, I'm rather fond of free speech.

(Personally, I think the US should have .com, .net, etc (due to ARPA's legacy), and every country should be responsible for their own country TLD. So Russia would be responsible for .ru, US would be responsible for .us, and Columbia would be responsible for .co, etc.)

Re:Freedom of Speech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767853)

Wait until we join the International Criminal Court. Then when you blog something the Chinese government doesn't like, they can charge you and ask the U.S. to extradite you to China. You won't be able to hide behind your national borders anymore...

Here it comes! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767771)


Wait? That's not the kind of climax you meant?

Sorry. My mistake.

4x internet = 4x /. dupes (1)

jnadke (907188) | about 9 years ago | (#13767774)

Four times the internet = Four times the Slashdot dupes.

God help us all.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767792)

I've reached my climax over the internet several times

Not the Internet! (2, Insightful)

Xarius (691264) | about 9 years ago | (#13767793)

1. The issue of contention seems to be the DNS roots, not the entirity of the Internet. It is an integral part, but by no means the only part.

2. As for the "America paid for the Internet" argument we hear often, they only paid for their own part of it. I'm quite sure they didn't nip over to England to lay cables, or Australia, or Japan.

3. As for "America invented the Internet", sure Americans came up with some key parts of the Internet. However a lot of it is International in nature. The WWW, arguably the most visible part of the Internet, is a European creation.

However, I don't think central control is a good idea. Wasn't the Internet built around the concept of redundancy? Why don't we have a root server in each major country? England, USA, Japan, China, Australia, Israel, Russia? And so on... Having one nation control most of the DNS roots seems a bad idea in the end, especially considering the slippery slope the USA is becoming in terms of privacy and control issues.

This is not a troll against the USA by any means though, I'm just saying that keeping control of a fundamental worldwide technology/system is a bit silly.

Re:Not the Internet! (2, Insightful)

HexRei (515117) | about 9 years ago | (#13767880)

"2. As for the "America paid for the Internet" argument we hear often, they only paid for their own part of it. I'm quite sure they didn't nip over to England to lay cables, or Australia, or Japan."

I have yet to seen anyone make this absurd claim to the extent you have taken it. America paid for the research that led to development of the protocols that are the foundation of the internet. Other countries are welcome to do whatever they like with their cabling, that is irrelevant to this argument- the internet would exist even if Britain developed their own protocols and created their own internet.
What we are talking about is control of the servers that govern the way the internet works, and I don't want some Chinese beaurocrat having the power to affect what web pages (for example) I can see in the US (which becomes a possibility as soon as they are running their own root server)

Why is US control so awful? (1)

HexRei (515117) | about 9 years ago | (#13767802)

Why exactly do so many slashdotters want other countries running the internet? Do you really want other nations vying to censor the net with their own particular topics, such as Germany making nazi propaganda and/or paraphernalia illegal, or a bunch of Muslim nations banding together and attempting to make the display of uncovered female skin illegal, or Holland making deep-linking illegal, or China making anti-PRC information illegal?

Well... (1)

SimplyBen (898147) | about 9 years ago | (#13767803)

Seeing how the internet was birthed out of US taxpayer dollars why should we let the UN run it?

climax (0, Troll)

sound+vision (884283) | about 9 years ago | (#13767816)

I think CmdrTaco is having trouble reching climax. :(

Inflammatory article (2, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about 9 years ago | (#13767820)

[The USA] is seen as arrogant and determined to remain the sheriff of the world wide web, regardless of whatever the rest of the world may think.

The first sentence of the BBC story is enough to discourage me from reading the rest of the article. Sheriff? So the USA polices the internet in some way? That is ridiculous. The only purpose of that article is to incite readers by scaring them into thinking the US has far more control of the internet than it actually does.

Dan East

Started in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13767822)

Didn't the internet start in the US?
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