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Will the U.S. Lose Control of the Internet?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the could-be dept.

553

MattSparkes writes "The first UN-sponsored Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meeting is taking place next week in Athens, which aims to 'contribute to a better understanding of how the internet can be used to its full potential.' It is likely that several countries will object to the US monopoly on Internet governance, as they did at the last meeting, where the US cited fears of a loss of freedom of speech as the reason for retaining power. Other topics to be discussed include online security, access for non-English users and spam."

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553 comments

Ministry of Mac here... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657617)

Die Fags!

Re:Ministry of Mac here... (1)

X-treme-LLama (178013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657901)

And it is insightful wisdoms like this that show why the internet couldn't possibly govern itself. It'd be pretty hard to get anything done with half of it's denizens screaming "teh fags!" and "joo sux0rs!"

n00bs :)

I don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657627)

Do you care?

So long as there is a McDonalds and KFC in every city of the world, what does it matter? You are 0wn3d

Re:I don't (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658071)

We don't have KFC in my country, Uruguay.
In the 1.5 million people city, we have about 10 of McDonalds, and one Burger King.

Re:I don't (1)

Instine (963303) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658189)

And as long as that is your messioner of 0wn3r5hip we won't worry to much about the likes of you...

Do I care that the internet is not multilaterally governed. A bit. I don't think it would take long for a new for of IP regisration to emerge if 'THE US' decides to play silly buggers with it.

Unlikely (1, Insightful)

slusich (684826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657631)

With things in the US going the way they are, I think the freedom of speech argument is moot. This seems to be more about maintaining control then preserving freedom. I'm guessing there will be tons of arguments on both sides, but in the end we will pressure them into leaving control right where it is now.
Personally I believe that the internet would be better served by the release of control, and I can't site any better evidence for this then the whole debate over the .xxx domain.

Re:Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657785)

While I'm not impressed with the US' record either, I'm not optimistic that /any/ combination of the UN, the EU, private commercial interests, a consortium controlled by multiple governments, or anything else people could think up /and get agreement on/ would actually do a better job. In fact, sad to say I wonder if they'd even manage to do /as good a job/. I wonder if the argument that ultimately clinches it will be, 'Better the devil you know'?

Re:Unlikely (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657821)

IMHO, its not about the 'freedom' of speech as much as its about the 'monitoring' of speech. The war on terror gets more difficult if the primary relay points are outside of the Patriot Act's control and sniffery. The only response by America is to fight tooth and nail to release control, and why shouldn't it be? How often do YOU release control of something that allows you to benefit? If the EU or some conglomerate wants to operate outside the US's thumb, starting building a separate network.

Re:Unlikely (1)

Sqwubbsy (723014) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657899)

starting building a separate network.

Exactly. These guys can't agree on anything so I don't know how they would build it. They put Sudan on the Human Rights commission and took billions in bribes from Saddam Hussein.
You might think the US is bad, but look at the alternative. Cripes, the EU can't even agree on a Constitution.

Re:Unlikely (1)

It'sYerMam (762418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658111)

Whatever you want to say about the lack of an EU constitution, the US constitution doesn't seem to be doing much good re habeas corpus and other things in the news recently.

Re:Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658261)

Hmm... I seem to remember the Supreme Court overruling both the Executive and Congress on that issue. The US Constitution (with a capital 'C') seems to be working fine for me (albeit slowly). It may take a little time for things to be completely sorted out, but they will be sorted out IAW the law. Very little of Bush's abusive laws have survived judicial review. That seems to imply that the system works.

Re:Unlikely (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657943)

How is evidence about the .xxx domain bad for the US governance?
It was a stupid idea since they were not requiring XXX sites to use it. All it would of done was to require every company to purchase the .xxx version of thier name (www.disney.xxx going to a porn site????).
If you want to find porn it is not a problem the problem is that the porn site using similar names and tring to trick people to come to thier site something a .xxx as wanted would not of fixed.
If anything this proves it is better to have the US controlling the names, if the .xxx had been handled by something like the UN we would of had 10 months of meetings and decided to implement it just to make sure someone is not upset.

Re:Unlikely (1)

slusich (684826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658391)

OK, first of all if you want me to feel sorry for poor multi-billion dollar companies having to spend an extra $100 per year on a domain name you're barking up the wrong tree.
Secondly you miss the whole point of the domain. It wasn't to push the porn companies into their own little room and lock them in like a cell by mandating that all porn reside only there.
The objections raised to that domain were mainly that it would proliferate porn on the net which is absolutely silly. How many people are out there saying "Gee, I'd love to create a porn site, but I won't do it since there's not a domain just for that."
The .xxx domain was canned because of silly puritanical moral objections and nothing more. That alone should show how much this really has to do with free speech.

Re:Unlikely (1)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658445)


It was a stupid idea since they were not requiring XXX sites to use it.

This comment is yet more evidence that people have the mindset that an overarching centralized authority should be controlling everything. They should make a law...That should be illegal.

I thought the idea behind the XXX domain was this : a website registers under that domain. 'Parental Filters' (there is a bad band name in the wings) block all XXX domains. The children are protected and the porn site owners have now made a reasonable attempt to exclude minors from viewing their site. That sounds like an inexpensive way to buy a reasonable amount of protection without resorting to laws or regulations.

Re:Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658115)

Given that none of the alternatives are appealing, the best option is for the subject to remain controversial and under scrutiny. Leaving "control" (such as it is) with the US seems to achieve that. People complaining about it and actively trying to find fault with the arrangements is a great thing though. That's the best check against abuse.

It's likely... (1, Interesting)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657641)

that several countries will whine and whine and whine about not having Internet infrastructure and intead of investing thier own resources in building out their own infrastructure will guilt and bludgeon the rest of the world into paying for it.

Re:It's likely... (1)

Alarash (746254) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658395)

that several countries will whine and whine and whine about not having Internet infrastructure and instead of investing their own resources in building out their own infrastructure will guilt and bludgeon the rest of the world into paying for it.
How this post reached a score of "4, interesting" is beyond me. Jeez if it's only a matter of money at least allow other countries to pay. But it's not even open for debate. That argument is stupid. As are all the "we invented teh interweb and we paied for it its ours lolz". Internet is not a patent or anything. It should belong to humanity. Humanity should thank the US for helping it start and invent many of the technologies related. This is a chance of the US to improve their image.

We can only hope so (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657661)

At least the U.N. would try to keep things fair for everyone.
If the U.S. keeps control, eventually the corporatocracy will kill off everything.

Re:We can only hope so (1, Insightful)

dsginter (104154) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657703)

At least the U.N. would try to keep things fair for everyone.

Yeah - until there's a "Food for Bandwidth" scandal.

Re:We can only hope so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657709)

Let's hope so.

The sooner they kill the internet, the better. We've always managed without it before, we'll do just fine without.

Re:We can only hope so (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657763)

At least the U.N. would try to keep things fair for everyone.

ROTFLMAO

Re:We can only hope so (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657797)

At least the U.N. would try to keep things fair for everyone.

Do you seriously trust the UN more than the US? Even under the current administration?

No wonder you posted as an AC.

As much as I do not support the Democratic party, this administration will pass and cooler heads will prevail. That's not even to say that I think the Republicans doesn't have their fair share of cooler heads, before anyone decides to play partisan politics with my post.

I'm not strictly against other nations having their say in the internet and it's not that I don't support an independent governance of the internet, I just do not see the UN being the best solution.

Re:We can only hope so (4, Insightful)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657895)

If the U.S. keeps control, eventually the corporatocracy will kill off everything.

What are you referring to, exactly?

What have 'they' done thus far to impede the internet?

Last time I checked, I can still download illegal files, go to any website on the web, and e-mail anybody in the world.

Sure, some things may end up with me in the FBI's hot-seat, but that has nothing to do with corporations.

It is likely that several countries will object to the US monopoly on Internet governance

WHAT governance? The sections of the network owned by people or businesses in the US are governed by THEIR OWNERS. Germany can outlaw swastika's and regulate their own country's infastructure, and the US can regulate theirs. That's what made the internet the powerhouse it is today--give people incentive to build infastructure by giving them control over it.

THE ONLY reason to give power to others is so they can assert control over US-OWNED NETWORKS. If they're pissed because some companies ban foreign traffic, tough bananas. Go ahead and ban US citizenry from using your network, if you think you can take the financial hit.

Nice try, UN.

When the US economic power slows, and the EU (or whatever group) has more power, maybe then will the tables turn and it will be the US complaining about lack of power online. Until then, deal with it.

Re:We can only hope so (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658437)

The UN isn't much better. If the UN has control no country will feel represented, the US (and corporate forces therein) can still bully, and bureacracy will prevent progress.

Really the internet stopped being useful when it became popular.

It sill works. (1)

Lewrker (749844) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657669)

Why break it ?

There is hardly an US monopoly on the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657675)

I don't see the US stopping China censoring their Internet access or even controlling the names in the .cn-domain.
The US sometimes try to enforce their laws outside the US, but this is definitively not an internet phenomena.
A

If USA lost control over internet (0, Troll)

denisbergeron (197036) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657677)

the freedom of speech will gain a lot.

Re:If USA lost control over internet (1)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657855)

Vous dites que si les USA ont perdu control il y aurait plus de liberté d'expression. Alors comment ca? Déja, qu'est-ce qu'on fait pour la limité? Les cites web qui contradisent et critiquent le gouvernement restent sur l'internet. Vous faites comme on ne peut pas parler comme on veut sur l'internet. N'importe quoi

Re:If USA lost control over internet (1)

Pius II. (525191) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658091)

Das Problem m.E. ist nicht, daß zur Zeit seitens der USA wesentlich reguliert würde (obwohl man auch so durchaus argumentieren könnte). Vielmehr besteht die Angst, daß sich die aktuelle Situation durchaus wesentlich zum schlechteren ändern könnte.
Was vielfach übersehen wird, ist, daß auch ein zentrales Gremium außerhalb der USA keine Verbesserung darstellen würde: es wird hier nur der Teufel mit dem Beelzebub ausgetauscht.


So, jetzt bitte eine weitere Sprache.

Re:If USA lost control over internet (1)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658255)

Sorry, I only got the two :) I assumed the parent author was French because of his name and his sig so... it made sense to respond like that.

Re:If USA lost control over internet (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657927)

the freedom of speech will gain a lot.

Considering that it is the middle eastern and Chinese governments that are pushing hardest for this I would say that this is exactly opposite to what will actually occur.

Re:If USA lost control over internet (2, Interesting)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658149)

If you see a lot of oppression on the internet and the US government silencing its enemies I'd love to see where. People can post whatever they have to say on the internet. Websites that are taken off the net are taken down by ISPs. There is the case of Spamhaus but A) that doesn't happen very often and B) they are "breaking the law" on US soil. If they were based in another country where the same laws didn't apply they could still provide their service.

At any rate, the Internet in its current form is the place with the freest speech in all the world.

The US is the lesser of two evils (3, Insightful)

pathological liar (659969) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657691)

They blocked the .xxx domain, which is unfortunate, but it was part of a stupid concept to begin with.

Just imagine what China, Iran, etc. would do with control?

Re:The US is the lesser of two evils (1)

odourpreventer (898853) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657913)

Oh my Gods, there will be WEAPONS OF INFORMATION DES-... uh, no, wait... never mind.

Re:The US is the lesser of two evils (2, Interesting)

imbaczek (690596) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657947)

They already have control over their part of the net. It's not that the US has a lot to give up.

Re:The US is the lesser of two evils (2, Interesting)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658143)

This is true. Each country can do what they want with thier piece of the infastructure. If you don't have it working, don't whine to us. Besides, there is nothing that the UN can do any better than we do already. They have no authority to enforce anything. All they can do is point fingers tell you your bad. They need to go back to food and medicine and stay out of enforcement. They keep trying but no authority.

If you want your culture destroyed, let the U.N. and French run it!

Re:The US is the lesser of two evils (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658061)

And what if the US becomes the next China, Iran, etc...

The point of having a multi-national body of control is to prevent any singular extremist nation from having a totalitarian control over the Internet.

-Rick

Re:The US is the lesser of two evils (0, Flamebait)

DorianBrytestar (1013219) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658289)

So your point is to let more restrictive people decide what should be allowed becaues the less restrictive group in charge now could possibly become more restrictive in the future?

Re:The US is the lesser of two evils (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658303)

Moreover, with the UN, anything will be run^Hwalked by multinational comitees that could not agree on anything. 20 to 10 years ago, it would have been a disaster but now that the net is up and running thanks to the US effort, an entropy-driven status on quo might be the ideal solution.

Re:The US is the lesser of two evils (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658075)

The choice isn't between the US and "the axis of evil". There's a whole mess of other countries out there y'know. I think we oughta hand over control to the Swiss myself; it just makes sense.

Control vs Bureaucracy (2, Insightful)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657699)

The US started the internet and everyone joined our network. So it's totally understandable if the US retains "control". The only reason I would actually be unhappy with an international commission or department taking control is that it would just mean another level of bureaucracy to cut through whenever you wanted to do something.

Re:Control vs Bureaucracy (2, Informative)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657883)

"The US started the internet"

No, but

"The US started the Internet"

is true. Lots of other countries had public internets, not necessarily using IP, at the same time as ARPAnet.

Re:Control vs Bureaucracy (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658227)

"The US started the Internet" is true. Lots of other countries had public internets, not necessarily using IP, at the same time as ARPAnet.
Capital 'I' Internet versus lowercase 'i' internet. Those other networks were not the Internet. They were abandoned in favor of the Internet.

One can hope (2, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657713)

Will the U.S. lose control of the Internet? One can hope.

I don't know where this insane notion came from that the U.S. is capable of governing the Internet any better than the world community at large. In case you haven't been watching the news, we can barely govern ourselves right now.

The U.S. has a fine history of coming up with a really nifty idea and developing it to the point that it's useful, and then totally screwing it up to the point that someone else has to come in dominate the market in that particular field. Witness the auto industry. Or computer chip manufacturing. Or cell phones. Or videogames. Or more recently, programming.

Also, if I were another country, I'd be mad as hell that certain parts of my industry are completely and utterly under the control of another country. Witness what's been going on with Spamhaus. Also, check out how our own leaders react when someone like, oh I don't know, Sadam Hussein starts threatening to impact the availability of our oil resources.

So go ahead and mod me a troll or baiter of the flame if you have to, but it doesn't change that it's only a matter of time before the rest of the world stands up to the big bad U.S. and says, "Enough." And frankly, speaking as an American, even I think that that's a good thing.

Re:One can hope (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657823)

well at least one can still say "if you don't like it, then giiiiit ouuuuut!!" ;-)

lets hope the next president can patch things up better

Re:One can hope (2, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657891)

I don't know where this insane notion came from that the U.S. is capable of governing the Internet any better than the world community at large. In case you haven't been watching the news, we can barely govern ourselves right now.

Sad to say, but look at the alternatives. Having the US run it might not be that bad an idea. The UN? Corruption-wracked, financially bankrupt, incapable of acting when it is most needed. Some other international body? Who, exactly?

Yes, we suck. But others suck MUCH worse.

Re:One can hope (1)

imbaczek (690596) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657995)

Please explain to me, how exactly the US "runs" the Internet?

Re:One can hope (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658047)


Of course it isn't true, but then again all you need is for people to believe it and there you have it.

It's a pretty cool example of social engineering.

the only problem is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658035)

...if that "enough" declaration involves some WMD. There has never been any advance in weaponry that wasn't eventually used extensively in warfare. Time scales differ, but not the use.

And right now there are two massive armadas assembling, one in the pacific, the other in the persian gulf and the med, although the mainstreeam news is *incredibly* quiet about it. One has to monitor the defense sites and political blogs to see what is going on. There are also a lot of anecdotal reports about quite a bit of military aerial traffic in the skies, all leaving the US.

Interesting times. I hope everyone has made some preparations for "social strife" and "temporary down time" of huge parts of the infrastructure. I know I have. I read history plus look at current events, so it seems prudent to do so.

Re:One can hope (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658107)

And who would govern the Internet then?
The UN: The UN gives every country a say, countries with censorship goals and laws out number the countries that protect almost all forms of speech.
The EU: Most EU countries have much more censorship then we do.
Private Corporation: Well thats pretty much how the internet operates right now. With exception of some veto powers the US pretty much leaves the internet alone and lets the companies they contracted run the internet.

About the only negative aspect you can point to the US running the internet is the .xxx debate, which was a stupid debate in the first place, unless all countries that have a domain registry passed laws that required porn sites to be on that domain list, it's simply another money maker for the registry companies.

If thats the only thing you have to complain about it's a very small deal. The EU and the UN want control of the internet because those that control the information control the power. The US believes that it's the best country to control the internet, and I agree, the only other country that I think even remotely has the right attitude to control the internet would be Japan, because I think that they would take a similar more hands off approach like the US does.

It already has (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657715)

You can't have power and control without responsibility. The USA has demonstrated,
in so many ways, that it lacks the adult responsibility to govern itself never mind
the planets communication resources.

In reality all the *talk* about the USA controlling the net is puff and bluster, they
have no such control. But, the day the USA is officially told "Hands Off!" won't be a
day too soon, if only because it will be humbling to the arrogant USA and put it back
in its place.

Other topics -- one small edit (4, Insightful)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657717)

Online security, access for non-English users and spam? Yeah, right. Other topics to be discussed include spying on the US, countering United Nations efforts, hacking for military secrets, laundering money, limiting access to information (such as news, especially from the West), and whitewashing history ("June 4th Incident, 1989? Never heard of it!".)

freedom of speech vs Spamhaus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657731)


I'am sure the recent Spamhaus legal debacle will bring to light the threat that US governance to the Internet has brought to everyone who runs a .net .com .org domain to conduct their business
Freedom of Speech is a red herring as when someone can have their domain taken away (or the threat of) just because a US court says so is chilling and should be a wake up call to all businesses who trade outside the US

Re:freedom of speech vs Spamhaus (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658413)

And only the typical idiots that hate the US because it exists would think that the exact same thing wouldn't happen if the UN or some other body controlled the net. And it would have to be the UN because it makes no more sense for the EU to control the net than the US. And the UN is the most corrupt political body on the planet, as well as the most useless and ineffective.

If the UN controlled the net, Spamhaus would have had zero recourse because 360 would have gone to the WTO complaining Spamhaus was intefering with international trade, and the WTO always sides with the most corrupt side -- they pay more in bribes.

We Invented It, We Get To Do What We Want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657735)

It's too bad others might have a problem with it, but the US invented the Internet, and successfully guided its development without any problems for years. There's no rational reason for continuing to do business as usual, since nobody has a better alternative.

I, for one, do not want the UN taking over. It's already an asylum being run by the inmates.

Bottom line, the only argument for taking away control from the US because they don't like that we have the ball, and nothing else.

Build Your Own Internet UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657829)

The internet was paid for by my tax dollars, and giving it away would be dumber than giving away the Panama Canal. If France wants to run the internet then they can build their own. I don't know how fast a transport protocol based on wine and cheese will do in reality though.

reciprocity (1)

mofag (709856) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657833)

this is one of those great subjects which will likely spiral downwards into "the US hijacked by evil corporate interests and only talks about freedom of speech etc so it doesnt have to practice it" vs. "we invented the fucking internet anyway so fuck the rest of the world - fuck yeah!" (no prizes for guessing which side I'm on). However, what it really comes down to in the end seems to me to be: does the fact that the whole world uses one communication infrastructure benefit the US in the same way as everyone else? If so then the US needs to cooperate or the rest of the world needs to threaten cut them off by setting up their own DNSs etc.

p.s. I have a new acronym - IANAEOTI (i am not an expert on the internet) but....

The US is losing control of (1)

BlindRobin (768267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657839)

everything, mostly because we insist on too much control of everything.
The tighter you squeeze the more slips twixt the digits..

Get used to it (1)

72beetle (177347) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657843)

We're losing control of EVERYTHING. We just don't know it yet.

We're Giving It Away (1, Offtopic)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657865)

Does anyone believe that if Al Gore were president 2000-2004 (and maybe still), that there would be any significant global anxiety about US governance of the Internet, compared with the terror Bush has spread since being installed in the office?

BTW, here's some poison for the trolls who will insist on repeating the Republican lie that Gore claimed to have invented the Internet [snopes.com] , when he simply took some credit for the work he did in government to ensure its inventors succeeded. Compare that to the guy who understands the Internet as well as he understands Camus.

Re:We're Giving It Away (1)

cerelib (903469) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658011)

Thanks for the link. I have always wondered where that claim came from.

Re:We're Giving It Away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658025)

you're right, he "took the initiative in creating the Internet". Clearly "creating" the internet is not the same thing as "inventing" it. So there you have it, Al Gore created the internet. Stupid republicans for confusing everyone.

Re:We're Giving It Away (1)

cheezus_es_lard (557559) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658179)

The only thing Bush understood about 'The Stranger' was that if a Marine in a movie can read it, and makes a point of doing so, then the President should be able to read it, and make a point of doing so. I doubt his comprehension of it was nearly as great as that of A. Swofford's.

peace

Re:We're Giving It Away (1)

kjshark (312401) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658277)

At least he know how to use "the google"

Soft power (4, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657889)

This kind of issue highlights the importance of "soft power". For those of you who have never heard the phase, it basically means the power you get from people trusting you, and from having moral authority.

As you might have guessed, it is out of favour with the current administration, who prefer military "hard power". Previously, the USA could have said to the rest of the world "trust us to manage the Internet" and much of the world would have gone "ummm, ok!". Now the USA has lost much of its soft power, it makes it much harder, and "hard power" doesn't work well in this kind of situation!

An old saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658119)

Walk softly and carry a big stick.

That isn't part of American policy. It's more like, march hard, carry a big stick, and use it because we have it.

The lesson that no one in our Government has learned is that if you use hard-power too much, folks become used to it, resentful, and they lose the fear associated with the threat of the use of such power.

For example, the world has seen the US use its conventional military power. They have seen that it's not such a big deal. As a result, N. Korea is thumbing their noses at us and so is Iran. They see that the big American tiger is old and slow, stretched too thin, and has little friends.

The world sees now that we're not as terrifying as they thought. And as a result, the two-bit dictators and failed states around the world are now going to be "pushing it".

Yes, I sincerely think this would not have happened under Gore.

Who would you trust? (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657897)

The UN which allows human rights abuses of the highest order to be involved in its human rights commission or the US which at least still has the 1st amendment and other rights on paper? Here's a thought for non-Americans who care about freedom of speech. You are probably a real minority. You want more, not less, American governance of the internet. The ideal solution for you would be total governance of the Internet by American jurisprudence. We have significantly higher standards for free speech rights than the rest of the world and when a foreigner comes to America, they even have officially all of the rights of a citizen WRT the courts. And those of you who want to bring up the MCA or other Bushisms, STFU. That has no relevance here. No court in America is going to allow Bush to hold you as an enemy combatant for suing him over Internet policy.

My government sucks. I'll be the first to say that about the US government, but it sucks a lot less than the EU, China or the UN.

Re:Who would you trust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658151)

A week ago, we had the pleasure of reading this on Slashdot: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/24/04 7209&from=rss [slashdot.org]

Before saying "this is about freedom of press", read this: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=19391 [rsf.org]

Freedom of press is just a tiny part of "freedom of speech", and you're telling us we want MORE US control, not less? You're insane, sir.

Re:Who would you trust? (1)

Daishiman (698845) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658223)

"I'll be the first to say that about the US government, but it sucks a lot less than the EU, China or the UN." I'm guessing that you've never travelled or lived your life in a significant manner outside of the US. Go live a few years in Holland, hell even in Argentina for that matter, and then try to state that opinion without laughing. "Sucking a lot less" is a very subjective statement.

Re:Who would you trust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658285)

The UN which allows human rights abuses of the highest order to be involved in its human rights commission or the US which at least still has the 1st amendment and other rights on paper?

Eh? Sorry? Where and when does the UN allow human right abuses? And according to a significant part of the rest of the world: human rights in the US is a joke! Illegal combattants? Waterboarding?

We have significantly higher standards for free speech rights than the rest of the world...

Are you trying to be funny, or what? (Then please mod parent "funny" instead of "insightful")
FYI: I live in Europe. I've been to the US on 5 occasions. I did like going there, but I will never EVER live there. Period.

Re:Who would you trust? (2, Insightful)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658371)

You are forgetting the fact that in the last independant survey about freedom of press (which is in my opinion a form of speech) the USA rated amongst several totalitarian 3rd world regimes, not unlike the former Soviet Union. Freedom of speech should not be controlled by a single nation, especially not a nation that can't even let their journalists say what they want and has a legal system that fines organisations like spamhouse for listing an IP address. It's spamhouse's freedom of speech to list that IP address, if others decide to use that address in an e-mail blocking configuration, spamhouse is not to blame.

Re:Who would you trust? (3, Insightful)

KiahZero (610862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658381)

No court in America is going to allow Bush to hold you as an enemy combatant for suing him over Internet policy.

Not that I think that the Administration would go that far, but I feel it's necessary to point out that without habeas corpus, you can be seized and you have no ability to challenge the ruling; it doesn't matter that no court would ever affirm your arrest, because you'll never be able to get in front of a court.

Re:Who would you trust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658415)

What is "human rights abuses of the highest order"? Guantanomo bay? Death penalty? Causing humanitarian disasters in foreign contries? I seriously can't see how you attribute this to UN rather than the USA.

In what way does EU has less freedom of speech than USA? You are the ones threatening, suing and arresting foreigners for their technology related publications. Specifically, US-American organizations caused the cases against "DVD" Jon Lech Johansen, The Pirate Bay and Dmitry Sklyarov. If foreigners violate DMCA at home, they can be arrested when they visit USA. Export of cryptographic algorithms from USA is state regulated.

Regulations... (3, Insightful)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657919)

Wonderful, here come the regulations... The thing about the internet is that it isn't broken, but since the US currently kinda runs things foreign politicians must "do something to fix it" in order to appease their constituents.

access for non-English

Read: Requirements for language translations on web-sites.

online security

Lets have people register to run a web-site! That way we can track things better and "protect" children! And no more defending the Nazis if you want to after the French and Germans get into this.

spam

No more sending email unless it's through state-approved servers.

Yeah, this is gonna be great... We're from the government, and we're here to help!

UN much worse than the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657935)

The US controlling the Internet's infrastructure may be bad in many ways, but the UN controlling it will be dramatically worse. We're talking an easy order of magnitude more corruption and graft, and an order of magnitude less competence. If the UN gains control over more Internet infrastructure we will all suffer.

There are good and bad points (1)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657939)

Ruling by UN means voting by more than 1 country about it's future. It's fair - internet is not only used in US. At the same time I can see a lot of problems because of that. What is going to happen if they can't agree on something? Like .xxx domains? Some countries will apply it and some will ban it. How can it be productive solution?
And don't forget that UN is kind of EU-centric. EU is already over policed with all crazy laws. The only thing we need is to have some new ones applied for Internet.

BTW: I'm European. That doesn't stop me to say things that I belive are right only because they're agains Europe. Hear me States!

Re:There are good and bad points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658321)

I'm European

I'm a pee'an too!

evolution (1)

riskyrik (708727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658015)

The internet is not what it was 5 or 10 years ago. It has become a matter of many countries, so it is completely logical that control should pass to a group of countries instead of one. I suppose the US will refuse again to relinquish control, but it is only a matter of time until they have to succumb to the pressure.
It is also a matter of honesty and democracy to allow others a reasonable amount of control. Here in Europe, we learned that this is the best way - the US, being a continent and a declining super-power, has to learn this lesson also.

This song is tongue and cheek. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658217)

But the sentiment is real. You're and the other cheese eating surrender monkeys are why.

Political Science
by Randy Newman
No one likes us-I don't know why
We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try
But all around, even our old friends put us down
Let's drop the big one and see what happens

We give them money-but are they grateful?
No, they're spiteful and they're hateful
They don't respect us-so let's surprise them
We'll drop the big one and pulverize them

Asia's crowded and Europe's too old
Africa is far too hot
And Canada's too cold
And South America stole our name
Let's drop the big one
There'll be no one left to blame us

We'll save Australia
Don't wanna hurt no kangaroo
We'll build an All American amusement park there
They got surfin', too

Boom goes London and boom Paree
More room for you and more room for me
And every city the whole world round
Will just be another American town
Oh, how peaceful it will be
We'll set everybody free
You'll wear a Japanese kimono
And there'll be Italian shoes for me

They all hate us anyhow
So let's drop the big one now
Let's drop the big one now

Re:evolution (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658421)

It is also a matter of honesty and democracy to allow others a reasonable amount of control.
(emphasis mine)

That's nice and all, but since when are those two characteristics of any import to the powers that be in the US? Or did you mispell hypocrasy and demagoguery? :)
That's what it's all about here.

The internet is dead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658079)

The internet worked because NO government controlled it. We are heading to a future where every government gets to impose its own version of morality and do-goodery. The world's special interests will all get their way and there will be nothing left. Time to move on and find our new Wild West frontier. The internet will become a planned, zoned, well manicured suburb. GAME OVER MAN.

This is becoming ridiculous (4, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658101)

I can envision the comments already. Rednecks spouting their crap while moronic hippies spew their BS, both of them thinking they're somehow "right".
You know what, if a country wants to do as they please with their part of the internet, all they have to do is update a couple of DNS servers. As simple as that. In fact, I'm already looking into using an alternative DNS root.
NO debating is needed. NO decision needs to be taken. All those who want a non-USA-regulated net have to do is START using the internet the way they like, simply disregarding USA rules. And, well, be ready to be cut off from any USA network, if the USA were so inclined. What's that you say, your citizens won't like it? Tough luck buddy, that's the price of freedom. It goes both ways.
On a side note, maybe it's time we did away with non-national TLDs. But that can only be done when people stop treating .com as a first choice and everything else as sub-standard.

Protect the Truth! (2, Funny)

amigabill (146897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658113)

I for one hope the US and its Ministry of Truth [slashdot.org] keeps control. I'd hate to see obsolete information or the lies of the enemies propogated throughout the news sites I frequent. /sarcasm

What is there to govern anyway? (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658133)

What is there in the Internet to govern anyway?

If the sole issue is "what name points at what IP address in the most common DNS system" then who cares?

It's only when you get out of the technical realm and into the craziness of taxes, "legal" versus "illegal" sequences of numbers to send across the lines, and similar oddities, does a question of "governance" even come into the picture.

My take is: just have a central body for managing the DNS namespace (which is not "hardware enforced" anyway) and that's it. I honestly don't understand what the huge issue is, other than the fact that for many people it's too easy to get food and shelter so they sit around and create other things about which to fight.

The internet is under control? (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658137)

Since when?

MOD PARENT UP! (1)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658219)

Each nation already controls their own domains, nobody's stopping them from setting up their own root DNS servers, nobody's complaining about centralized assignment of MAC addresses, so what the heck is the problem?

If the Internet split into two or more parts that would be a "good thing" - competition is the source of all evolution.

Better Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658185)

Should the US have control of the Internet?

Given the anti-democratic, anti-civil rights bent of the current administration, our position as beneficent administrators of this most public forum is suspect at best.

It seems likely that everyone in this world would sleep easier if there was oversight by third parties not directly controlled by the US government and it's intelligence community.

"Trust, but verify"

Freedom of Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658191)

I dont want the internet under ANY controlling authority, especially not a govt. one .. seeing as how worldwide govts are more and more into information control and take a suspicion based "better safe than sorry" approach. But that aint gonna happen. Governments worlwide have devolved (or evolved in most cases) to be (democratic or not) a bunch of people getting together to tell others how to act and what they shouldn't be curious about or learn. They dont care about human lives, they dont care about truth, or right and wrong. They only care about their damn machine surviving and to hell with any redundant little people who the brake pads of their smoky old decripit engines. So now all these countries are going to sit around figuring out they own crummy ways to regulate and control what "their" people are doing on the internet.

I say fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all. Want my internet? Take it. Take it. And shove it up your ass sideways.

-Silence Dogood

PS> No, you fools, I'm not an anarchist. But thanks for the offer.

for the last fucking time (2, Insightful)

genooma (856335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658201)

the US doesn't *own* the "internet", we are just using mirrors of their DNS servers and we can very well stop doing so in a day or two.

Worrisome (1)

bmajik (96670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658209)

For all of its recent political evils, the US has done surprisingly little meddling with the internet. The standards are still based on non-governmental organizations, there is no effective taxation, anonymity is still possible, etc etc. The internet of today doesn't appear to be run significantly differently than the internet of 10 years ago.

What possible motivation could there be for other governments to want to seize "control" away from the current scheme?

Because they're not happy with the above.

So one should surmise that an internet under new management would feature
- easier support for taxation
- technology "standards" created by government bodies
- less baked-in anonymity

As pissed off as I am with the current US political climate, do you know what government I trust even less than my own?

All of them

Say what you want about the USA... (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658237)

slipping in human rights, becoming totalitarian... whatever.

NO other country in the world has a more absolute view on Freedom of Speech. Not France, not Germany, not even the UK. Reasonable people may disagree on whether that's the right position for a society. But for he who controls the domain registry, it most certainly is the best position to take.

And what is the alternative anyway? The UN votes on which domains get to stay online? We have countries take turns with holding the "Presidency of the Internet" the same way the EU passes the torch from country to country? Or even better, we have an unelected international bureaucracy that decides by committee who gets to have freedom of speech and who doesn't?

How about if it isn't broke don't fix it?

The UN? HA! (2, Insightful)

Explodo (743412) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658239)

As corrupt and stupid as US politicians are, they're bush-league amateurs compared to UN diplomats. The UN is the single most corrupt organization on the planet, and I have no intention of ever letting them have control of anything without putting up the most resistance that I possibly can. I have no love for US politics, but I detest world politics. Can you imagine the security council having say over censorship on the internet?

Article tagging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658251)

What is the idea of the new "tags" of Slashdot? I thought they were like keywords for finding related posts. This post has "hopefully" and "yes"? They are like an answer to the topic's question. :P

Just as soon as the UN passes 2 dozen resolutions (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658281)

That have no actual power.

Pretend the internet is a country (1)

Snarfangel (203258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658309)

Come up with a constitution governing it, and a way of amending that constitution (but a fairly long and involved process so it's not amended willy-nilly). Have a legislative branch and a judicial branch. You can even have an internet "security council" with veto power over proposed changes. Then have every nation that wants in on the governance sign the constitution.

You can include things like freedom of expression and spam control, just spell it out in the document. Then the U.S. can relinquish control of the internet and still know that its concerns are being addressed.

Re:Pretend the internet is a country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658451)

Hi, my name is Gaius Baltar, and I'd like to announce that as of this moment, I am a candidate for President of the Internet!

To be honest, this would be a hillarious concept and far better than handing over the Internet to the UN. The day that I can't talk about World War II online because Germany wants to make people believe that the whole of their nation just went on vacation between 1939 and 1945.. That absolutely nothing happened, whatsoever.. Feh.

Not that I trust the US government, either. .xxx domain? Sure, it didn't get enacted. Yet. While having greater freedom of speech than pretty much anywhere else on the planet, even that freedom is limited. And there's always a risk that said freedom will be eroded. (Other rights have been, why not freedom of speech?)

So, let's form a virtual government. We can have virtual campaigns, virtual elections, virtual voting machines, virtual recounts, virtual scandals.. Sounds like a plan. Even if you want to be serious about it instead of virtually impeaching Clinton23498 for cyberring with xXx_H0t_1nt3rn_xXx. :P

Freedom of Speech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16658317)

You mean like wistle blowing poor security practices to the TSA and getting your house ramsacked at 2:00 am by
the FBI? You mean like that freedom of speech?

Uh what was the problem again? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658365)

Uh what was the problem they are trying to solve again?

The US has control over the parts of the Internet that's within the USA. And that's fair enough.

Other than that, it doesn't really have control nor should it ( with the exception of political and military "influence" of course, and the fact that much of the popular sites are in the USA).

Same for the rest of the countries.

If the countries really don't like it they form groups and set up their own root name servers and tell ICANN to get lost. Same for the other stuff - routing, IP allocation etc. The problem is it might splinter the Internet - but it's not as if network administrators have never ever blocked parts of the Internet they didn't like.

So if the USA makes a crappy enough decision or allows something stupid to be done(e.g. verisign's wildcard DNS stuff), network and sys admins around the world could decide to change things.

Thus, tell me again, what is the problem those people are trying to solve, and how is their solution not worse than the "problem"?

People like Spamhaus could shift to .co.uk, or could even have used a registrar in Europe.

If the US starts threatening economic sanctions or military action, well they do that all the time anyway, and it's nothing to do with the Internet needing any special treatment.

Will the U.S. Lose Control Over the Internet? (0, Troll)

spankey51 (804888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658373)

Hopefully...

I can see how this will pan out... (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658453)

Large group of other countries : Hey US, We want you to give us control over the internet because we want to know you don't have control over the internet, even though you kinda created it...

US-Govt : Hold on.. let me check here.. oh yeah... go DAIF.

Large group of other countries : But But But... Freedom of the internet.. we should have as much control as you do!

US-Govt : Then go make your own.. and oh yeah.. DIAF.

Geez, one thing the US has done reasonably right and the international community wants to kick us in the mansack over it. sheesh.

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