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Senator Wants to Keep U.N. Away From the Internet

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the keep-your-peanut-butter-out-of-my-chocolate dept.

The Internet 1149

Martin Boleman writes "ZDNet reports that Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican from Minnesota, said his nonbinding resolution would protect the Internet from a takeover by the United Nations that's scheduled to be discussed at a summit in Tunisia next month. "The Internet is likely to face a grave threat, If we fail to respond appropriately, we risk the freedom and enterprise fostered by this informational marvel and end up sacrificing access to information, privacy and protection of intellectual property we have all depended on." he said in a statement."

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1149 comments

well that would suck. (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827126)

I need my internets.

Re:well that would suck. (2, Funny)

LikwidFlux (924068) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827383)

Or else you wouldn't be able to post blatant worthless material just so you'd be a first poster?

freedom? (1, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827127)

From the same country that brought you the monopolizing telcos and DMCA? [not to mention crippling patent system]

HAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Tom

Re:freedom? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827150)

Ok Troll, Your precious Canuckistan is no better.

Re:freedom? (2, Informative)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827173)

Since when did Canada run the UN?

I guess you missed the bit of the UN being a global [often waste of breath] effort.

You'd be surprised to learn that while the US started the net it's other nations that carry it to where it is today.

You think all that routing, networking and software you use was invented in the US? Oh, ok.

Tom

Re:freedom? (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827297)

Hey, we gave them powered flight. That's enough.

Re:freedom? (3, Insightful)

jarich (733129) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827155)

You would rather China have a say in the administration of the internet?

Re:freedom? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827204)

What gives you the right to forbid China from having a say in the administration of the Internet?

Re:freedom? (0, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827217)

Where did I say that?

Typical american-zealot bullshit. It's either "the right american way" or "the evil horned trolls of the commie reds way!"

What if, and I'm only spitballing here, the day to day operations of the net, the same net that is supported by 100s of countries over the world (like doing business with europe? Want it to continue? You gonna pay for their net access?), actually have a say in how the net will evolve?

Tom

Re:freedom? (3, Insightful)

SteveAyre (209812) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827278)

There's no harm in letting them have a say in it.
After all they won't control it. They can suggest ideas, yes, but they would then be voted on and all the other countries would have to agree too.

Re:freedom? (2, Funny)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827325)

"You would rather China have a say in the administration of the internet?"


Nope. If you read the article again you'll notice that it's not about China, but the UN.

Re:freedom? (4, Insightful)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827373)

No...I prefer the old days, when the ICANN membership was voted in amongst the greatest nerds and hackers in the world. Too bad the ICANN forced the voted-in members out.

Re:freedom? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827178)

You're right! Better have the bastions of liberty - Nigeria, China, Cuba, and Iran!

Re:freedom? (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827215)

Consider first that France demanded that eBay remove auctions of historical WWII Nazi items from their site.

Consider next that Germany outlawed Wolfenstein 3D because it contained various symbols of the WWII Nazi regime, despite the game hardly being sympathetic to the Nazis.

If there's a country that stands for defending freedom of speech, it sure isn't either of them. Perish the day when we can't even register domain names like "naziscansuckmyballs.com" because Europe is too afraid to deal with the realities of its own history.

Re:freedom? (3, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827299)

cough, cough, GTA:SA ...

American censorship is no better.

As for the nazi stuff, maybe it's not good to celebrate a regime that murdered millions. And keep in mind that stuff is LOCAL. As in, you can sell the game, just not there. So really your point has no bearing on the general theme of running the the internet.

Tom

Re:freedom? (2, Insightful)

FlailofFury (922924) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827323)

It may be local censorship but if they control the internet their local standards will be forced upon the internet. Americas standards are much easier then some European countries standards.

Re:freedom? (5, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827338)

Oh, and how was that censored? It got its rating upped to AO, which caused stores to voluntarily drop it until the content was removed, and Rockstar to voluntarily remove the content that upped its rating. It is in no way, shape, or form government sponsored censorship. Period.

Re:freedom? (2, Insightful)

swimmar132 (302744) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827339)

GTA:SA wasn't censored in the least.

They included AO material in a game that wasn't AO. And got busted.

Re:freedom? (1)

starwed (735423) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827300)

While the US is pretty good (possibly the best) for enforcing freedom of speech in political matters, considerlike the recent FBI crackdown on porn. That wouldn't happen in much of Europe. (Of course, political speech is probably more important for society than the right to porn. But it's still not true that the US is 100% more free than Europe. ^_^ )

Re:freedom? (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827356)

Thanks for all that FUD. The way I see it, countries should be able to control their own domains. The U.S. will keep the null domain (i.e. no country suffix), but domain names in the .uk area will be controlled by an organization appointed by the UK government, .cn by the Chinese government, etc. and all countries should agree to propagate the changes.

This issue first came to my attention when the South African government tried to sieze control from the US-nominated administrator. Can anyone remember what happened in that case?

Who decides where .cn domain names go at the moment?

Phil Hibbs.

Re:freedom? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827233)

From the same country that brought you the monopolizing telcos

Hey now, leave Britain out of this!

Tempest in a Teacup (1)

DavidNWelton (142216) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827330)

... and also the same country that brought you the internet. Or one bit of it at least.

Apparently there are more politics going on with this conflict than most of us realize from reading slashdot stories about it.

The Economist had a pretty good editorial about the whole thing here:

http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id =E1_QQRRGQQ&tranMode=none [economist.com]

unfortunately it's content you have to pay for. The gist of it is that things are working pretty well right now, and that the countries who really want to change the current situation are countries like China and Iran. If someone were proposing to hand over ICANN to Switzerland or something like that, maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but a big UN committee? That's not likely to improve the situation.

The ideal solution would be less government intervention from everyone involved, the US included, not more from a bunch of authoritarian regimes.

And by takeover... (1, Flamebait)

Ignignokt (803398) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827128)

they mean isolating themselves?

Statist Musical Chairs (3, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827130)

Norm Coleman ranked very pro-freedom by the RLC. While he's still a Statist, he seems to have a lightly more freedom oriented strategy for the Senate.

The provisions for the Internet being taken over by the UN or any political body will likely bifurcate the Net into multiple separate networks still interconnected but ready to dissolve from those that censor or regulate the information more than the billions of users want.

Seriously, is DNS control even necessary? My 'utopian' internet future doesn't see much need for DNS. Bit-torrent doesn't need it, Google lets me find information anywhere without needing to remember domain names, and portable bookmarks make my life simple.

My Internet doesn't need DNS as it is set up today. E-mail is dependent on DNS for now, but a combination of BitTorrent and LDAP will shut that need off if DNS gets ripped apart.

There are three reasons for government control of DNS:
1. Censorship
2. Regulation/licensing of certain speech (campaign, medical, educational?)
3. Profit!!! (for the cronies who sell domain names)

There is zero need for any regulation. The Internet could be usurped by any big business but isn't. The ultimate proof of anarchy in action. Companies that try to control the users are beaten by those that provide open access. Companies that want to break free from the global structure will anger their users who want access to anyone else. Verizon could separate their phone network completely but its in their best interest to communicate with their competition.

The UN just wants monopoly power through force and coercion. The private corporations want to be #1 but have to constantly compete with others.

Re:Statist Musical Chairs (3, Informative)

duerra (684053) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827181)

Norm Coleman is my Senator, and I must say that I have been pleased with his approach to consumer rights and technology in general. He's also a supporter of HR 1201, the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2005 [loc.gov] . While people may disagree with him, I definitely think that he's making an attempt to look out for the best interests of technological advancement with his constituents in mind, and not a corporate pocketbook.

Mine as well.. (1)

kcb93x (562075) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827249)

I think I'll be writing a letter thanking him...I'm trying to think if he's done anything I should reprimand him for though, I haven't been paying much attention.

Re:Statist Musical Chairs (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827262)

I'm pretty open about my "Drop the Vote" anti-voting stance, but I do openly support the RLC [republicanliberty.org] for their voice. If you like Coleman, consider voicing to his office what you don't like. He's noteably affiliated with the neoconservative war-welfare machine, but I think his support there is wavering. Hes a surprising good listen on CSPAN, but talk is just talk.

The DMCRA is interesting but will end up as a pork conveyor belt. The best way to protect consumers' rights is to destroy laws curtailing them.

Rights can never be provided by law, they can only be destroyed by law.

Re:Statist Musical Chairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827197)

Could not agree with you more, though who is 'running' the internet now?

Re:Statist Musical Chairs (3, Informative)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827222)

Seriously, is DNS control even necessary? My 'utopian' internet future doesn't see much need for DNS. Bit-torrent doesn't need it, Google lets me find information anywhere without needing to remember domain names, and portable bookmarks make my life simple.

Are you kidding?
- Most BT torrents reference trackers by domain name. Of course this could change, but existing torrents would break instantly if DNS went down.
- Google links pages by domain names when they have them. They might be able to reindex everything by IP address, but it would certianly be nontrivial. Also, I'll bet you load Google via its google.com domain name and not by its IP address.
- I'd also wager that over 95% of your bookmarks link domain names instead of IP addresses. Expect every one of them to break if DNS were to suddenly disappear.

DNS will never go away simply because business don't want to put raw, hard to remember IP addresses on advertisements when they can put www.mcdonalds.com instead.

Re:Statist Musical Chairs (1)

starwed (735423) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827259)

I think the point was that, in the long term, DNS isn't needed. Not that it's sudden shut down wouldn't cause problems, but that those problems are only short terms one. (And remember when all advertisements had, not domain names, but AOL keywords?)

Re:Statist Musical Chairs (4, Informative)

SteveAyre (209812) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827316)

Plus every website using NameVirtualHost or equivalent to share the same IP with other websites would become inaccessible, whether you know the IP or not.

Re:Statist Musical Chairs (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827234)

How does LDAP and BitTorrent improve anything? LDAP still requires a degree of centralization.

Re:Statist Musical Chairs (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827244)

Bit-torrent doesn't need [DNS], Google lets me find information anywhere without needing to remember domain names, and portable bookmarks make my life simple.

Bittorrent is an itty-bitty part of the services available on the Internet. And if you let search engines serve as your source for finding the location of resources you need, how is that better than DNS? It seems to me that you're just swapping one directory service for another, the second being corporately owned and changeable at their whim. Besides, without DNS, how are you going to even get to Google? http://64.233.161.99 [64.233.161.99] ? Or maybe you prefer http://64.233.161.104/ [64.233.161.104] or http://64.233.161.147 [64.233.161.147] ?

Maybe you don't use DNS a lot, but the rest of the world sure as heck does. It's a basic network service that the Internet is almost useless without. Personally, I think it's pretty scary that one country that, frankly, the world doesn't find very trustworthy right now, controls it.

But I guess that's just me. Oh, and the rest of the world. (And for what it's worth I am American...)

Huh? (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827281)

Seriously, is DNS control even necessary? My 'utopian' internet future doesn't see much need for DNS. Bit-torrent doesn't need it, Google lets me find information anywhere without needing to remember domain names, and portable bookmarks make my life simple.

How do you find your trackers, by IP?

How does Google find all that wonderful information when you go asking for it?

Maybe you mean there's a way to do without root servers (I imagine there is with lots of peering ala bit-torrent), but DNS is a necessity as long as we can't ensure that IPs are constant.

If you think I'm the clueless one, visit my web site at http://65.39.170.204/ [65.39.170.204] and leave a comment, unless of course the server IP has changed since I checked, or if I happen to move my site to another hosting service.

Re:Statist Musical Chairs (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827285)

The point is that it's not the right of the United States to force this lack of censorship upon every country in the world.

I agree, it's awesome that information is free like this, and in the United States, it damn well ought to be free.

But we as a country don't have any right to be telling China that they can't block out freedoms. Yes, we try to all the time, because they're violating basic human rights, but this doesn't mean that we have any right to demand, and force change upon them.

As a show of hands, if you agree that the US should maintain controll of the internet for the Freedom of Expression for All Humanity (even though outside of the US jurisdiction), and you agree that US should have invaded Iraq even if they hadn't had WMD, because we were deposing a hated dictator, who was a threat to world security.

It's the same thing. No, we're not going in with soldiers and dictating our will upon China, Iran, and other countries with censorship. Rather, we're going in with our culture, and our technology, and doing the same thing. One country forcing another sovereign country to do something against its own will, is wrong.

But then we trade-embargoed Cuba, Iraq, and all sorts of other countries that we don't agree with, and make their economy suffer, and their citizens sufffer, in order to force them to do something, like pay attention to human rights. We all see how that works... apparantly the Internet is a safe "non-hostile" way to force these people to see things the way we do.

Re:Statist Musical Chairs (1)

revscat (35618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827369)

As a show of hands, if you agree that the US should maintain controll of the internet for the Freedom of Expression for All Humanity (even though outside of the US jurisdiction), and you agree that US should have invaded Iraq even if they hadn't had WMD, because we were deposing a hated dictator, who was a threat to world security.

I oppose the Iraq war. I support the notion that the US should encourage freedom, because liberty is a human right, not an American one. How this affects the current debate about control of the root DNS servers I am still contemplating.

Rather, we're going in with our culture, and our technology, and doing the same thing. One country forcing another sovereign country to do something against its own will, is wrong.

No one, I don't think, is forcing China to do anything. They have many filters in place, their own technological controls, etc. Again, I am not necessarilly defending the US's unilateralism here. I don't know enough about the topic to judge.

DNS is also use full for other stuff (4, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827357)

Beside for finding a server IP dns names can be usefull for a lot of stuffs :

- providing load balancing.
By the fact they can point to different IP each time.
You can have a single domain name like "wikipedia.org" or "google.*" or "pool.ntp.org" pointing to numerous servers accross the globe and thus distibute the load.
Old way (providing a list of mirrors) requires the server the contains the mirror list to be able to sustain connextion from ALL users. And adds a cumbersome step to the process.

- server co-sharing.
A server is usually referred by a single IP addresse.
Assigning multiple name to the same server enables you to have different websites depending on used servername.
Most of the cheap server solution uses this. ...of course if one day the IPv6 rolls in, it'll be easier to have multiple IPs assigned to a single server (one for each website).

- dynamic IP
dynip.org and such. (see problems with load-balancing vs. on-line lists above) ..of course with IPv6 this may become less a problem.

- DNS used for everything else, including kitchen sink.
DNS are also used for listing Spammers,
listing botnets and other black-lists,
listing E164 number to VoIP maps,
what ever else.
DNS are often used as convenient lists, with standart interface.

Re:Statist Musical Chairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827372)

Isn't google rather restricted in China? I can see more than one POV to this whole thing. Frankly, I'd be more concerned about a private "internet" (sic) being run by a certain large software corporation whose only interest is income.

Um yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827132)

Cuz america will never ever screw anything up.

Pot, Kettle (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827140)

we risk the freedom and enterprise fostered by this informational marvel and end up sacrificing access to information, privacy and protection of intellectual property we have all depended on.

So his plan is to abolish the RIAA?

Seriously, the US government has been trying to erode protections for online privacy and information access for years, why does he think the UN would be any more dangerous?

Re:Pot, Kettle (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827208)

[i]we risk the freedom and enterprise fostered by this informational marvel and end up sacrificing access to information, privacy and protection of intellectual property we have all depended on.[/i]

"So his plan is to abolish the RIAA?

Seriously, the US government has been trying to erode protections for online privacy and information access for years, why does he think the UN would be any more dangerous?"

If you read his statement as if he were part of the RIAA, it makes more sense.... unfortunately.

Re:Pot, Kettle (1, Insightful)

TummyX (84871) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827231)


Seriously, the US government has been trying to erode protections for online privacy and information access for years, why does he think the UN would be any more dangerous?


You have got to be bloody kidding. Well, I guess you're right. Other countries haven't had this "erosion of protections" because they NEVER HAD THOSE RIGHTS IN THE FIRST PLACE. But let's not forget that Bush=Hiter, US=evil blah blah.

Do you really want Iran, North Korea and China having a say in how DNS is administered? Yeah, let's give countries that filter words like "democracy" and "tiananmen square" and jail anti-government bloggers a say. What a joke.

The UN is a forum for international diplomacy. It is NOT a world government. If countries want to control the flow of information, they can setup their own DNS servers. They won't ofcourse, because noone will use something that's controlled -- that is why they're trying to subvert the system everyone is already using.

Re:Pot, Kettle (3, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827376)

Do you really want Iran, North Korea and China having a say in how DNS is administered?

Yes, for the same reason I want criminals to be able to vote. Every nation should be represented in a fair and democratic Internet administration, not just the people we like.

If countries want to control the flow of information, they can setup their own DNS servers.

And therein lies the problem. If other nations do set up their own root servers, the Internet will be fractured and cease to be the useful network it is today. The whole point of the Internet is that it's run by rough consensus. You can't deny other nations a voice and still expect them to participate on your terms, it's an international resource that only has the value it has because it is singular.

They won't ofcourse, because noone will use something that's controlled

The Internet as it is today is controlled, you just turn a blind eye because you are the ones controlling it.

Re:Pot, Kettle (4, Insightful)

Ikeya (7401) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827269)

Remember that Norm Coleman also was trying to STOP the RIAA from filing all of the John Doe-style lawsuits and whatnot. He's one of the good guys.

Yeesh, how many times must it be said: (4, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827145)

We can't stop other countries from setting up their own root servers if they want to, except militarily. Are we really going to go to war to stop them (sadly, in this administration, this is not quite a rhetorical question)?

Re:Yeesh, how many times must it be said: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827212)

Are we really going to go to war to stop them

Let's see what the American public think [thatvideosite.com] .

Re:Yeesh, how many times must it be said: (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827332)

Thank you, that was hilarious.

Re:Yeesh, how many times must it be said: (1)

Xarius (691264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827242)

They can't even do it 'militarily'. The USA may have large armed forces, but compared to the armed forces of everyone else combined, it's small. And playing the "nuke" card is silly, because everyone has some.

Norm Coleman? (3, Informative)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827151)

Norm Coleman? Is that the same Norm Coleman that got bitch-slapped by George Galloway? [onlinejournal.com]

Re:Norm Coleman? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827180)

If it is, it's badge of honor. Fuck George Galloway, the man with his tongue so far up Saddam's ass, it's amazing he can speak.

Re:Norm Coleman? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827185)

Is that the same treasonous George Galloway that calls for the death of his own country men and women in uniform??

Re:Norm Coleman? (2, Interesting)

PaxTech (103481) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827283)

If you consider that a bitch-slapping, you should watch the debate on the Iraq war between Christopher Hitchens and Galloway [booktv.org] . Hitchens not only bitchslapped Galloway, he completely took him apart. All Galloway could respond with were ad hominem personal attacks having nothing to do with the substance of Hitchens' statements.. It was the most one-sided bitchslapping I've ever seen.

MPs, Senators, and shooting fish in a barrel (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Meoward (665631) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827347)

I don't give two shits for Galloway, but let's be fair: the man made Norm look like a complete and utter fool.

Someday our Congresscritters are going to understand that:

  1. Other countries have democracies, even (gasp!) more vibrant ones than our own.
  2. Some of the legislators in those democracies are forced to think on their feet (Question Time, anyone?), unlike American senators.
  3. As a result, the rhetorical skills of those legislators put the skills of ours to shame.
  4. Corner any of these people, even from within your own chamber, and you will still manage to have your arrogant ass handed to you.

So pardon me for thinking Norm isn't all that bright.

Can someone explain this to me? (2, Insightful)

rudeboy1 (516023) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827153)

You know, I work in IT, have a moderate grasp of how the world network operates. Why exactyl is the UN so keen on forcibly taking over the management of the internet? A. We invented it, we set up the first networks, and were only later linked with other countries B. It doesn't appear to be broken, why fix it? Can someone explain this to me?

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827172)

Because other countries use the Internet much like we do, as a major component in much of their commerce. They don't like the idea of a major part of their daily economic and personal lives being controlled by another country where they have no say.

If the Internet were developed in, say, Sweden, the US would be the ones complaining that the UN needs to take it over.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827230)

Funny enough, aren't half the RFCs that control the 'net written in some scandanavian country or another?

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827235)

Too bad. No one is forcing them to use the internet. Set up your own goddamned network.

Or use someone else's fucking root servers. Why is this so hard? No one is making you use ours.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (2)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827257)

That's what they're threatening to do if we don't transfer control to the UN, and the US is throwing a big fit about it. Splitting the Internet in two like that would be bad for everybody involved.

The great thing about the Internet is that it's global. If we split it up along political lines, much of the power of the Internet would be eliminated.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827308)

then don't whine about it. the US doesn't have to cowtow to a bunch of corrupt global dictators and the rest of the turd world doesn't have to bitch about some non-existant oppression they are experiencing (i.e. stability and continued usefulness) when they use root servers we control.

hey i can use bold too! does that make me smart like you??

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (1)

rudeboy1 (516023) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827246)

I understand what you're saying, but can you be more specific? Exactly what do these countries have to fear? Even if we are war with a country, they still have access to our internet, unless they shut off access on their end. DNS assignments seem to be the only point of contention, and that comes down, as I understand it, to who gets to collect the money for things like domains and class A addresses. So, does that mean the UN sees us making money off of something that we designed and built without their help, and now wants a kickback? Still not clear on why this is happeneing.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827351)

I don't know if you've noticed, but the US has earned a reputation for being sort of unstable in their foreign policy decisions lately in the global community.

If one of these countries were to piss us off, and especially if we went to war with them, it's certainly technically feasible for us to disallow them access to our root servers, and even to block all of their IPs from accessing US content.

In addition, organizations like ICANN have already shown that they are prone to cronyism and making decisions based purely on politics and/or profit, and that sort of thing makes other countries nervous.

Countries don't like to be told what to do by other countries. Therefore, it makes sense for a global network to be controlled by a global organization. It doesn't matter that the US built the first part of the Internet. The infrastructure supporting the Internet in these countries was built by them, and they are just as much a part of the global Internet as we are.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (3, Funny)

Kafka_Canada (106443) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827256)

If the Internet were developed in, say, Sweden, the US would be the ones complaining that the UN needs to take it over.

No, the UN would be the ones complaining that the US needs to get out of Sweden.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827274)

I doubt it. If the internet were invented in Sweden, the US would act unilaterally and set up its own root servers. We don't like to do much through the UN.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827211)

Explanation:

The United Nations sucks. It is an organization designed to give little countries a voice. They use it to attempt to 'equalize' the world politically. Thier input and support is about zero, yet their expectations are that the rest of the world (G-7+) should be serving their needs...while they treat their own citizens poorly, use tyrannical leadership, and drain the rest of the world of 'loans' that will never be repaid.

It's a lot like welfare...but in this case the poor outnumber the not-so-poor.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (2, Insightful)

tommasz (36259) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827255)

Sadly, in the real world governments often respond to non-problems with short-sighted (non-)solutions. We like to give lip-service to the idea of representational government here in the US but the reality is that power is seldom in the hands of the majority. The UN ambassadors really only answer to whomever appointed them, so their voice is even less representational than an elected official.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (1)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827293)

This is the biggest problem with giving the UN strong control over anything: lack of accountability. If the U.S. congress really screws something up in a way that pisses off the average person, they will be made to pay at the polls. What can people do about an out of control UN delegate?

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (1)

Xarius (691264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827307)

I propose the United Kingdom take over the worlds telephone systems. After all, A. we invented it, we set up the first networks, and were only later linked with other countries

Please don't explain this to me.

I'm not pro or anti-UN control. I am, however, anti-US control. A totally decentralised model (which is what it was supposed to be anyway) is the ideal solution.

And, again, this is only DNS, which was an American invention (although Mockapetris and Postel don't sound very American to me). Should England/Europe have taken complete control of the WWW because it was invented by a Brit?

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827364)

Because in a lot of UN countries, the national-level government runs a lot more stuff than it does in the US (health care, education, etc). It makes them nervous to have something like the internet controlled by something that's not a government agency.

Plus, they claim that having it controlled by an entity that happens to be in the US (even though it's not at all a part of US government) gives us some kind of "advantage" or "biases" it toward us somehow.

hmmm (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827154)

"The Internet is likely to face a grave threat, If we fail to respond appropriately, we risk the freedom and enterprise fostered by this informational marvel and end up sacrificing access to information, privacy and protection of intellectual property we have all depended on."

... so Jack Thompson must immediately be put to death.

Tax Email? (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827186)

They want to tax e-mail? The UN wants to tax email.... Well they can go straight to hell.

Re:Tax Email? (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827361)

Taxing email is the best idea since slice bread. If the tax were 1/100 of one cent, it wouldn't be worth collecting from regular folks (like me and you), but the spammers would be shut down. Governments tend to look the other way when people make a nuisance of themselves, even if they bother 100 million different email users. However, when the spammers don't pay their taxes, you can expect jack-booted thugs to beat the money out of them.

What organization to choose? (1, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827191)

I would propose to have the root name servers entrusted to a coalition of:

China -- to protect the freedom of speech
Poland -- to ensure reliability of connections
Sierra Leone -- to ensure cheap and widely available services
USA -- to curb bottom dwelling scum-suckers like RIAA

But really... if an organisation is to take over the root servers, UN is not far from Al Quaeda and RIAA. Just add corruption and take away any traces of balls.

Re:What organization to choose? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827352)

So, your point is, because the UN would have corruption, let's spare lying to the people and let a publicly known corrupted govt. take over?

Great idea, indeed.(/sarcasm)

Re:What organization to choose? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827385)

I just embezzled a million dollars from Al-Qaeda you insensitive clod!

No, no, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827192)

I want the United Nations that is made up of US hating countries and others whose highest tecnology a few decades ago was a new sharp rock tied to a stick running the most important communications development of maybe ever, developed in the US, and funded by US taxpayers. Just give it away so Communist Chinese, North Koreans, and every Hell Hole festering pit of Muslum extremists have as much or greater say in what I google for.


NOT!

Take my Address Resolution System... Please! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827196)

It sure is an embarrassing time to be an American... I'd prefer the U.N. to have control of the Internet address resolution system to Bush any day.

Realistically Speaking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827199)

The fact that at least one Senator is doing this shows that there is some degree of understanding at some of the higher levels of government as to what exactly the Internet is all about and what is best for our beloved World Wide Web.

Unfortunately, in the current political climate (read: Bush) it may be that the United States ends up sacrificing the issue of Internet Control to the gods of Political Capital to get its other policies (read: War on Terror) in a better standing with the international community.

I'm all for internationalizing... (2, Insightful)

kaellinn18 (707759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827203)

...the internet, but the United Nations is a worthless waste of space and resources. It should not be allowed the remotest of control over the internet. I would be much happier with an organization set up independent of the UN that actually knows what they're doing.

Re:I'm all for internationalizing... (4, Interesting)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827340)

In reality, there's just three things wrong with the UN:

-VETO power; this HAS to be adressed; it has no place in a gathering of nations.
-lack of teeth; there should be a permanent peacekeeping force under UN controll...but this only works if veto power is revoked (or at least drastically reworked)
-too much diplomacy...lunacy like certain countries on the human rights commission...that would be like China on the internet-commission

What I never get is that organisations (and countries/corporations etc) are in a way set up like organisms, but always lacking that most effective way for positive evolution to happen: death. The UN charter (and any corporations charter, and every country's constitution) should include sections on it's own death and rebirth (for example a total revision after 50 years). Documents written hundreds of years ago might be relevant all those years later, but they just can't anticipate the way the world has changed, or the changed expectations of people. There's a reason why nature has this thing called death; it enables evolution.

nice to see... (0, Flamebait)

CDPatten (907182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827209)

that some of our politicians have OUR best interest in mind. Its worth noting that as usual, its a republican, while I'm sure Ted Kennedy will be pushing for UN take over... typical and not surprising.

The only real questions that remain to be answered is will Bush back down, and does the EU have the testicular fortitude to follow through with their threat (good luck with France).

YUO FAIL IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827220)

what t>hey think is

Taco - Flamebaiter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827229)

This story, with only slight variances, has been up 3 times and the comments this time won't be any different.

This is an obvious -1 Flamebait by Taco.

This was said the last time this story was posted so I'll say it again: Find a +5 mod and copy it and post it here.

A modest proposal... (4, Funny)

farrellj (563) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827237)

Time for the internet to declare it's independance!

Let's have a Boston DNS party!

Tell the US & UN to get stuffed!

ttyl
          Farrell ...with tongue lightly planted in cheek...

There seems tobe a misconception... (2, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827241)

That controlling the root DNS actually allows any control over the internet at all. DNS is no tthe internet. It's a naming mechanism. That's all.

Re:There seems tobe a misconception... (2, Interesting)

frank378 (736832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827341)

From TFA...

At the heart of this international political spat is the unique influence that the U.S. federal government enjoys over Internet addresses and the master database of top-level domain names--a legacy of the Internet's origins years ago. The Bush administration recently raised objections to the proposed addition of .xxx as a red-light district for pornographers, for instance, a veto power that no other government is able to wield.

So did you miss this, or are you disagreeing with it?

Anyway, this is no longer a uniquely American enterprise. Yes, the US innovated it but maybe it's time to consider opening up the control a little bit? I'm not personally in favor of the UN "taking over" but I think it is time for this discussion to happen in the interest of seeing the Internet continue to evolve.

How about: ... (1)

bcat24 (914105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827261)

... if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Does it really matter to anyone (not counting government officials that want to run everything themselves) who controls DNS? Also, I'm not sure I'd trust the UN to manage the Internet more than I trust the US.

Americans (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827266)

It is so nice to see so many Americans voice their opinion here and really show how little they know about the UN.

I eagerly await (1)

Dan Up Baby (878587) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827270)

The United Nations' firm reprimand--perhaps even a tongue-lashing, or a dressing-down--of the rogue Bonzi Dictator.

Reasons? (3, Funny)

E-Rock-23 (470500) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827272)

A few thoughts:

The US wants to keep control for purely financial reasons. They want to gouge other countries for access, and allow the big telecoms to maintain their control on the flow of information at asinine prices.

Or, they want to keep control for moral reasons. Remember, Alberto "Gonzo" Gonzales has started his Porn Squad (not to attack only kiddie porn sites, but consenting adult sites as well) in some sort of twisted moral crusade. Well, there is a buttload of porn on the net, isn't there. If we keep control, he can stamp it out...

Another reason could be "National Security," though I'm pretty sure they already spend an asinine amount of money to keep sensitive stuff off of the 'Net to begin with. The Internet is no longer a super-secret Pentagon project, and has been publicly available for over a decade. I remember reading somewhere that works of the Government are in the Public Domain. Dunno if that applys to just images and text, or to secret, non-military projects like the Internet (again, now that it's been made public, not prior).

I say we share control with the world at large. Except with the French. The French are too weird. And most certainly not with the UN, corrupt an organisation as that is. It should be a seperate, international consortium with equal power for all countries involved. There shouldn't be one "regulator," and especially not the United States.

But that's just me, and I don't count...

Re:Reasons? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827368)

The US wants to keep control for purely financial reasons. They want to gouge other countries for access, and allow the big telecoms to maintain their control on the flow of information at asinine prices.

Gouge countries for access to root DNS servers?

What the hell are you talking about?

Unilateral Actions... (2, Insightful)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827280)

For once I agree with the US taking a unilateral action against the world community, or at least the UN. I think laws and policies need to be informed by global actions. I also think most need to pass the global test [cnn.com] ". but just as Mr. Kerry preceded his global test statement with "I will never cede America's security to any institution or any other country", I believe that the UN should be kept away from things like root DNS servers, and any internet policy decisions. Arguments between members of the UN are much worse than any usenet flame war.

As Always... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827298)

The porn industry will decide...

Norm Coleman (2, Interesting)

tenchiken (22661) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827304)

A quick note for the few of you interested in Norm Coleman beyond the usual dKos drivel that infects slashdot. Norm Coleman is a freshman senator from Minnesota (he defeated Mondale) who has quickly become the leading UN watchdog in the senate. He is the guy who is driving a lot of the Oil for Food investigation, and actually called out Kofi Anan because of the conflict of interest between Kofi Anan's son and the Oil for Food program.

He is a up and rising star in the RNC. Keep a eye on him, he will be running for president sooner or later.

Non-binding resolution? So what? (3, Insightful)

smithmc (451373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827310)

How exactly is a non-binding resolution supposed to protect anything from anyone?

No, the UN doesn't want to take over the Internet (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827320)

That's fud and simply untrue, no matter how many times people repeat it.

What is happening is that several countries (not the UN) don't want to live with a situation anymore in which only one nation, the US, controls critical parts of their infrastructure. I don't know why such a sentiment should come as a surprise to anybody, I think it's pretty normal and inevitable.

And in case this comes up again:
It's not the EU pushing this, as /. falsely reported, but on the contrary the EU is right now trying to find a solution that both sides, the US, that doesn't want to give up control and other nations, the don't want the control in the hands of the US, could live with.

Finally, I'm sure we will be treated to about 100 posts whining about how the US invented the internet and the world was so unfair. This is of course utterly laughable, as it simply does not matter who invented what, or how would you react to the Chinese demanding you stop using paper, or, omg, firearms, because they invented the stuff?
But if you want to play this little game anyway, please keep in mind that the world wide web, or rather the technologies necessary for it, were invented in Europe.

One country alone, is not freedom. (1)

taylor_venable (911273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827353)

I would assume (given the content of the articles presented here) that most in the Slashdot community support the Open Source / Free Software movement. This movement is founded in the idea that the more people working on and watching over a project, the better that project will turn out. How is it any FOSS project different from the Internet? With one country controlling the root servers, with one organization under the Department of Commerce controlling the naming system, how can the Internet possibly be anything other than a manifestation of that singular country? One might argue against me, saying that all great FOSS projects have a benevolent dictator, say Linus for example. But Linus can only keep up with his project because he has a group of people to whom he trusts absolutely the responsibility to commit changes, &c. These people are his peers, just as the United States should have peers to aid in harnessing the power of the Internet. The power of control should be distributed. I'm sure the Senator is a freedom-loving man, by his statements; what kind of freedom is controlled by one land alone? That sounds an awful lot like the kind of rule that those who founded this country tried to escape from. It is the principle of both our country, and the idea of democracy itself, to balance power and evenly distribute rights and capabilities. Remember the three branches of government? Checks and balances? What about "all men created equal", with the rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"? So, why should the United States be the only country to control the Internet?

Let me run the internet (1, Funny)

doormat (63648) | more than 8 years ago | (#13827378)

I think I should be appointde to run the internet. I'll be a benevolent dictator. And I got lots of guns.

a safe heaven (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13827382)

give DNS root a new life ... move 'em to Vanuatu
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