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The Internet Government News

US Internet Control To Be Topic #1 In Rio 325

Posted by kdawson
from the because-it's-my-ball-that's-why dept.
Crazy Taco writes "It looks as though the next meeting of the UN's Internet Governance Forum is about to descend into another heated debate about US control of key Internet systems. Although the initial purpose of this year's summit was to cover such issues as spam, free speech and cheaper access, it appears that nations such as China, Iran, and Russia, among others, would rather discuss US control of the Internet. In meetings leading to up to the second annual meeting of the IGF in Rio de Janiero on Monday, these nations won the right to hold an opening-day panel devoted to 'critical Internet resources.' While a number of countries wanting to internationalize Internet control simply want to have more say over policies such as creating domain names in languages other than English, we can only speculate what additional motives might be driving nations that heavily censor the Internet and lock down the flow of information across it."
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US Internet Control To Be Topic #1 In Rio

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  • Just wondering? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Paktu (1103861)
    Why the hell would the US cede any control over the Internets to Iran? Do they have something to offer us in return, or something?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GC (19160)
      From an infrastructure perspective it would be better to be able to traceroute a site in Australia/Asia from Europe and not have it go trans-atlantic / trans-america / trans-pacific to get to it's destination.

      Russia, Iran and places like that could help a lot in that regard.
      • Re:Just wondering? (Score:4, Informative)

        by ejdmoo (193585) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @12:58AM (#21311159)
        Why would it have to go through America? Not all internet traffic flows through the borders of the US.

        The US "control" of the internet is administrative control (address space allocation, DNS stuff, etc); it's not the hub for worldwide internet traffic.
        • Re:Just wondering? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by GC (19160) <giles@coochey.net> on Sunday November 11, 2007 @01:02AM (#21311181)
          I work for a small ISP and can tell you that the largest carrier of Asian traffic is NTT and all their infrastructure goes from east to west from a European point of view.

          There is very little in the way of west to east Internet infrastructure east of the turkey and ukraine.

          Check your BGP routing table and you will see I am right.
          • by Telvin_3d (855514)
            In other words, every time a computer in England or Germany needs to talk to one in China, India or Japan, it gets run through hardware in the United States, right?
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by GC (19160)
              Well, take this traceroute example from Spain to Saudi Arabia -

              # traceroute www.nic.net.sa
              traceroute to www.nic.net.sa (86.111.192.10), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
              ...
              6 ge-1-0-0-4.r00.mdrdsp01.es.bb.gin.ntt.net (81.19.97.134) 21.455 ms 21.567 ms 21.551 ms
              7 p16-2-0-1.r22.londen03.uk.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.5.17) 48.011 ms 47.994 ms 48.084 ms
              8 ae-0.r23.londen03.uk.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.4.86) 48.070 ms 48.057 ms 48.159 ms
              9 p64-1-0-0.r20.nycmny01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.3.2

              • Re:Just wondering? (Score:4, Informative)

                by l-ascorbic (200822) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @05:59AM (#21312085)
                Well, it needn't. See this traceroute from the UK:

                ...
                8 core1-pos3-2.kingston.ukcore.bt.net (62.6.40.113) 31.909 ms 31.529 ms 30.066 ms
                9 core1-pos0-1-5-0.ilford.ukcore.bt.net (62.6.201.117) 31.982 ms 32.626 ms 31.995 ms
                10 core1-pos9-0.telehouse.ukcore.bt.net (62.6.201.118) 30.093 ms 32.397 ms 31.681 ms
                11 lon31-british-telecom-2-uk.lon.seabone.net (195.22.209.45) 31.850 ms 32.295 ms 31.933 ms
                12 customer-side-saudi-telecom-kacst-4-sa-pal6.pal.seabone.net (195.22.197.190) 137.921 ms 139.951 ms 138.016 ms
                13 vlan1.ruh-acc4.isu.net.sa (212.138.112.23) 137.782 ms 144.315 ms 138.121 ms
                14 citc.ruh-cust.isu.net.sa (212.26.19.230) 207.780 ms 188.280 ms 210.144 ms
                Seems to jump straight from London to Saudi. The "seabone" in question seems to be this [tisparkle.it]. Of course, this isn't massively relevant to the question of net governance.
              • by Mr Europe (657225)
                Could it have something to do with a system called Echelon ?!
          • so how is that the USs fault? because russia and other states in the region havent laid sufficient fiber, the US is somehow responsible?

            • Re:Just wondering? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @05:43AM (#21312023)
              so how is that the USs fault? because russia and other states in the region havent laid sufficient fiber, the US is somehow responsible?

              You miss the point. It isn't about who's "responsible" for anything. We recently passed something called the "Protect America Act" [wired.com]- in full view of everyone, ironically with limited public debate- that allows the American government to engage in warrantless surveillance of any Internet traffic routed through the United States [washingtonmonthly.com] if either or (commonly) both endpoints of that traffic lie in a foreign country.

              And it turns out, surprise surprise, that most people in the world would rather not have their packets routed through a police state.
          • Correct me if I'm wrong, and i almost certainly am, but is that because you're a small ISP? If you were larger and running some backbones I could see requests for European sites going through your routers, but if you're not running major routers, all this means is that your customers are requesting a lot of sites from asia and very few asians are requesting sites from your customers, which, from a small ISP, isn't surprising in the least.

            However, if I'm underestimating your ISP or I'm misunderstanding s
      • by 1u3hr (530656) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @01:03AM (#21311185)
        From an infrastructure perspective it would be better to be able to traceroute a site in Australia/Asia from Europe and not have it go trans-atlantic / trans-america / trans-pacific

        Do you ralise how expensive that would be to the NSA? They'd have to tap into a lot more undersea cables that way.

    • by dbIII (701233)

      would the US cede any control over the Internets to Iran

      Because there might be people clued up enough to use "internet" instead. This used to be a tech site.

  • Censorship? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @12:37AM (#21311079)

    While a number of countries wanting to internationalize Internet control simply want to have more say over policies such as creating domain names in languages other than English, we can only speculate what additional motives might be driving nations that heavily censor the Internet and lock down the flow of information across it.

    Not to be confused, presumably, with a nation whose government has a demonstrated history of violating the privacy rights of its own citizens and stating on the record that it doesn't accord any such rights at all to anyone who isn't one of its own citizens, including the vast numbers of Internet users from other nations whose traffic is all but certain to pass through systems under its jurisdiction, and within which it has repeatedly been shown that major communication providers are more than willing to provide the government with access to traffic they carry without proper authorisation anyway.

    Nope, I can't imagine how any other nation in the world could see a problem with that. There is no danger whatsoever of industrial espionage, interception and decoding of confidential government transmissions, or investigations of private citizens of high influence, and none of them could be used to further the interests of a nation with such access at the expense of others anyway.

    • by paranode (671698)
      You do know that stuff you send over the Internet is not considered private, right??

      You're delusional if you think funneling it through more countries or even just different countries is going to make it more private.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mOdQuArK! (87332)
        Since the parent was referring to the concept that OTHER countries don't want THEIR traffic monitored by the U.S., your response indicates that you must be an idiot.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by omeomi (675045)
        You do know that stuff you send over the Internet is not considered private, right??

        Maybe not from a technical point of view, but from a legal point of view, you can certainly get into a lot of trouble intentionally intercepting private communications over the internet.
    • by Slithe (894946)

      Not to be confused, presumably, with a nation whose government has a demonstrated history of violating the privacy rights of its own citizens and stating on the record that it doesn't accord any such rights at all to anyone who isn't one of its own citizens, including the vast numbers of Internet users from other nations whose traffic is all but certain to pass through systems under its jurisdiction, and within which it has repeatedly been shown that major communication providers are more than willing to provide the government with access to traffic they carry without proper authorisation anyway.

      As long as their are major systems in place (routers and such), that will always be the case, as it is in any country.

    • Bad News... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto (415985)
      Unless its encrypted, you have no privacy online. Just ask any SMTP admin, or for that matter, anyone with a packet sniffer. This means that privacy means absolutely zilch when it comes to infrastructure. (Note that how individual sites handle your personal information is another story entirely...)

      /P

      • by GC (19160)

        Unless its encrypted, you have no privacy online. Just ask any SMTP admin, or for that matter, anyone with a packet sniffer. This means that privacy means absolutely zilch when it comes to infrastructure. (Note that how individual sites handle your personal information is another story entirely...)

        Very true, and even if they can't decrypt your encrypted traffic, they still know who's talking to who, and that can be pretty useful for them as well. Sometimes you might be better leaving it unencrypted to ensure you don't arouse false suspicion.

    • by DarkTempes (822722) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @01:00AM (#21311167)
      If it's such a big problem the nations that don't like how the US-run internet works can always just seperate from the network and create their own network (or at least threaten to).

      Though I doubt anyone has the balls. Personally ICANN/IANA does a pretty good job at what it does, and the FCC seems to only step in extremely rarely (if at all). And I promise you that a large majority of nations, if not every nation, intercept/store/decode internet information. Changing who 'owns' the internet would not change that at all. It would just potentially change who gets what IP blocks (alot of businesses would be pretty upset if this changed), what TLDs are official and valid (and nothing stops a nation from having their own ISP's DNS servers adding TLDs), and I guess some protocol stuff.

      The US may do some terrible things but with regards to the internet it's policy is typically 'do not regulate if possibly'. Unless that changes this is all just a bunch of moaning to stur up anti-american sentiments.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jonwil (467024)
      Encrypt it and/or use Tor & friends.

      I want a world where encrypting internet traffic is as routine as locking the house when you go out.
      I want a world where encrypted internet traffic (especially email, IM, chat, voice chat, video chat and other private communications) is the rule and not the exception. And the encryption should be done in ways that prevent man-in-the-middle attacks and snooping. No computer outside of yours and the one at the other end should ever see the plain text or encryption keys.
      • Not that I don't agree with your sentiment, but man in the middle attacks are incredibly difficult to defend against without a secondary trusted channel, which is simply not feasible for a lot of internet traffic.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jonwil (467024)
          True but my ideas will still stop any kind of passive snooping (there is no way even a giant such as AT&T working with a giant such as the NSA could install man in the middle logging for every IM conversation (with every different possible protocol and encryption mechanism) being passed over their wires)
    • Re:Censorship? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by drmerope (771119) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @01:56AM (#21311373)

      Apparently you live in some sort of reality distortion field. Well here's the deal: communications used to use microwave communications. These were easily intercepted and routinely. This sort of stuff is called 'Signals Intelligence'. A nice British chap,a former assistant directory of MI-5, was at the forefront of this this, and he wrote a book about his experiences called spycatcher [wikipedia.org].

      The book also provides an examination of the techniques used by the intelligence services, along with a candid expose of their ethics which had until then been mere speculation (notably the "11th commandment" which states that "thou shalt not get caught"). Wright explains many of the technologies used by MI5, some of which he developed himself, and which allowed the agency to bug rooms using a variety of clever electronic techniques.

      These technologies have been updated for fiber-optics. Yes, a lot of interception takes place directly in the United States, but in fact it is going on all over the world. Its done by all of the major powers, not just the United States--and guess what, they are all spying on eachother

      You're mistaken in thinking that privacy is better part of liberty. No, liberty is only liberty when it doesn't matter who knows or doesn't know what you are doing. Its our liberty that makes the US different from the autocratic regimes which rule many countries in the world. Every government is listening; only some let you do what you choose regardless.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @02:28AM (#21311473)
      Not to be confused, presumably, with a nation whose government has a demonstrated history of violating the privacy rights

      Stop right there, privacy is a different issue than censorship.

      "Brave Guy" indeed, what a lemming. Just spouting off the same message about privacy issues even when it has nothing to do with the topic under discussion!

      And as a last thought, are you seriously going to sit there and say a U.S. citizen has more to worry about from their government than a citizen of *Putin's Russia*? Than any Chinese citizen?

      Come on.

      • by Sique (173459)

        And as a last thought, are you seriously going to sit there and say a U.S. citizen has more to worry about from their government than a citizen of *Putin's Russia*? Than any Chinese citizen?
        In a certain way yes. In Germany there is a saying: "Grab something out of a naked man's pocket". You can't take freedom or privacy away from a person who has lost it already.
  • Well I'd hope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @12:43AM (#21311105)
    They'd talk about really internationalizing it. You know, things like setting up a new system of non ICANN roots and such. Try and get infrastructure that is independent of the US systems but interoperable and then once it is established and working well, talk about redelegation of control. For example if the EU were to set up a central agency that controls a bunch of EU based roots, mirror the ICANN root zone, get all that going well. Then they go and talk to ICANN and say "Hey, how about we split the root zone, we take the EU nations, you keep the rest, we both mirror each other." Do that in a few places around the world we could have a DNS system with more regional control, that would also be outside the ability of a single government or governments to screw up. For example if the EU later decided to be jerks, ICANN and others could stop accepting their updates, and people in and out of the EU could use the other roots.

    However I have a feeling that it is going to be like most of these meetings where people just whine that the US companies should have to give up control of their resources to some international oversight body. In addition to being rather greedy, this is also stupid. Having a bunch of systems in the US that control everything but are theoreticly under international control changes nothing. The US government could change their minds at any time, and if the companies and servers are in the US they'll do as the government says because they won't have a choice. You haven't really solved anything, just added more bureaucracy and more people who can control what's going on normally but the buck still ultimately stops with the US government.

    The real answer is many systems, all around the world, that are controlled by many groups. In that way there really isn't a single group that "runs" the Internet. Of course that isn't what most nations are at all interested in. They are interested in just having the US keep control, so long as the US will do what they are told.
    • Precisely! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chas (5144) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @01:52AM (#21311355) Homepage Journal
      From what I've seen thus far, all they've done is demand control of systems and services that don't belong to them (but they're given use of).

      Unless they're willing to actually, y'know, INVEST in supporting the infrastructure (their own root servers, etc), they need to step off.

      It's like some of these nations that get sent food demanding steak instead of the grain.
    • Really, (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jd (1658) <imipak@@@yahoo...com> on Sunday November 11, 2007 @02:22AM (#21311451) Homepage Journal
      I'd hope that control of the Internet was taken out of the control of any non-representative body. I don't care who is not getting represented, the important thing is that the Internet is a federation of networks and you cannot have a federation that is run by a theocracy. If it's a federation, it cannot have anyone in overall charge, which is the way the Internet should be run. Particularly if it is supposed to be resilient to damage (cyber attacks, nuke attacks, etc).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The real answer is many systems, all around the world, that are controlled by many groups.

      Good idea. The group in Russia is actively attempting to hack all the other systems, the Chinese group is hacking other systems while censoring everything coming/going out of it, and the US group is setting a standard and then not following it so that you get locked into a proprietary system. Whether you like it or not, the best government is a benevolent monarchy; when there's actual wrong doing, then something will be done. Until then, too few people will care to build momentum for a change.

  • Although the initial purpose of this year's summit was to cover such issues as spam, free speech and cheaper access, it appears that nations such as China, Iran, and Russia, among others, would rather discuss US control of the Internet.

    Instead of whining, these nations should explore means of setting up a separate Internet backbone. I understand this is entirely possible, though I cannot speculate on how it could be implemented at all. Go figure!

    • by GC (19160) <giles@coochey.net> on Sunday November 11, 2007 @12:54AM (#21311135)
      You mean like Alt roots [wikipedia.org]? or a complete seperate network without any interconnections between the two?

      The whole point of the Internet was to interconnect systems.

      On a more general note, are any other non-american slashdotters noticing a rather alarming number of questionable political posts on this site recently?

      Us non-americans might need to go get ourselves our own slash site too. :-)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 1u3hr (530656)
        are any other non-american slashdotters noticing a rather alarming number of questionable political posts on this site recently?

        Especially the little rider to the summary "we can only speculate what additional motives might be driving nations that heavily censor the Internet and lock down the flow of information across it." There was nothing in the Yahoo article linked about censorship. So who is "we"? And how about the motives of countries that know that the US is spying on every byte that passes thro

    • Shouldn't be too hard to set up a .fred instead of .com, should it?

      I for one welcome our new A-level domain overlords.

    • When they do set up their own highspeed internal networks or even talk of doing so, slashdotters and the US gvt say omg restriction form the world wide web. A quick google shows this: "China's bid to divide the Internet" [slate.com] where the author slams china's development of a high speed internal network and participation in protocol design.

      Give the guys a break.

  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @01:01AM (#21311171) Homepage Journal
    You control botnet.
  • Uh, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ChromeAeonium (1026952) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @01:01AM (#21311173)
    Those nations could encourage economic prosperity that would encourage their citizens to create web pages, thus increasing how much of the internet they 'control'.......or they could just bitch that the people who invented the internet used their native language.
    • FYI [wikipedia.org]:

      After English (30% of Web visitors) the most-requested languages on the World Wide Web are Chinese 14%, Spanish 8%, Japanese 8%, German 5%, French 5%, Portuguese 3.5%, Korean 3%, Italian 3% and Arabic 2.5% (from Internet World Stats, updated January 11, 2007).

      By continent, 36% of the world's Internet users are based in Asia, 29% in Europe, and 21% in North America.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2007 @01:13AM (#21311223)
    It is sometimes difficult for Americans to comprehend that very few countries understand the concept of the free speech and a free press. For example, in our 21st Century, most European countries will prosecute individuals for thought crimes. In Russia, the state continues to repress the free press. The Russian web and broadcast outlets have become targets for Putin's heavy handed interference.

    Muslim countries block access to web sites deemed too sexual or which differ in religious outlook from their repressive theology. China? Well, we know that story all too well. The quest of these regimes toward control of the the Internet is not rooted in a desire for "freedom" or "diversity". Quite the contrary. It is a desire to control and repress.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Thats the funny thing. Most of the posts here in favor of internationalizing the Internet are complaining about a loss of privacy due to NSA wiretapping. Well a lot of the countries that want it to be internationalized, want more control over the content that can be viewed. Much less passive, and much more oppressive. Even if it were to be reorganized such that the US held no special pull on the governance of the internet, you can bet that wouldn't stop the NSA. Its mainly an academic topic, the benefits of
    • thought crimes (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuantumG (50515)
      according to Nightline NBC, horny men who get chatted up by someone who claims to be a 14 year old girl and then show up at the allotted place for sex can be arrested in the US for attempted child abuse or similar charges.. sounds like thought crime to me.

      • by yndrd1984 (730475)
        14 year old ... show up at the allotted place for sex ... sounds like thought crime to me.

        If they just thought about it, it wouldn't be a crime. Heck, if they just talked about it, it wouldn't be a crime. But when someone plans to commit a crime, and then shows up to commit it, then it's no longer just "thought", is it?

        There are plenty of other ethical issues with this sort of thing, but it isn't punishing people based solely on their thoughts.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by QuantumG (50515)
          I like the way Nightline NBC never reports any of the cases where the accused have pleaded not guilty.. I imagine the case goes something like this:

          Judge: right, we're here because apparently you intended to have sex with a minor, is that correct?
          Defense: yes, your honor, my client was on Nightline NBC and..
          Judge: oh, this shit again. Where is this minor that you intended to have sex with? Is she in the court room today?
          Prosecution: uhh, no your honor, but we have members of the police and..
          Judge: I'm sor
        • If they just thought about it, it wouldn't be a crime.

          If all you did was think about it then nobody would ever know and "thought crimes" would be impossible to prosecute. The question here is at what threshold to their actions based on their thoughts cross the threshold? Speaking about them, intending to act on them, actually acting on them?

          This clearly should depend on the severity of the crime because the goal here is to protect people/society and not to punish people whom we just don't agree with.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2007 @02:35AM (#21311489)
      It is sometimes difficult for Americans to comprehend that their country isn't the most free in the world, and that Europe isn't full of evil communist dictatorships that prosecute people for 'thought crimes'. Because all those European countries such as Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom -- which scored better than the United States of America in the 2007 Reporters Without Borders Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index -- obviously have no concept of freedom of speech and a free press.

      Russia is not the entirety of Europe, nor does it make up a majority of the countries in Europe. How did your bullshit manage to get modded +4 Insightful?
    • by Kjella (173770)

      It is sometimes difficult for Americans to comprehend that very few countries understand the concept of the free speech and a free press. For example, in our 21st Century, most European countries will prosecute individuals for thought crimes. In Russia, the state continues to repress the free press. The Russian web and broadcast outlets have become targets for Putin's heavy handed interference.

      If by "thought crimes" you mean things like mass slander, mass libel, mass threats, denying genocide with one hand while encouraging it with the other then yes. They're more than words, and if said about a specific individual the US courts would react too. Why they think it doesn't matter when it's a group I don't know, perhaps they're under the mistaken impression that it is too generic, too vague to punish. We have learned the hard way that this is false, that this is how you drive a people into committi

      • by QuantumG (50515)
        1. Godwin's Law
        2. People who commit murder are the criminals, not the people who tell em to do it. That goes for hit men too.
        3. Limiting any kind of speech is starting down a slippery slope that has been shown again and again to lead to persecution.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Roger W Moore (538166)
          People who commit murder are the criminals, not the people who tell em to do it. That goes for hit men too.

          Really? Allow me to acquaint you with a tactic of the IRA. Kidnap some poor sod's family and tell him to drive a car filled with explosives into an army checkpoint or else his wife and kids will all get murdered. Technically you are correct, driving the car into the checkpoint to murder soldiers makes the guy a criminal....but I think we would all agree who the real criminals are in this, unfortunat
    • by keeboo (724305)
      It is sometimes difficult for Americans to comprehend that very few countries understand the concept of the free speech and a free press.

      How patronizing...
      It is sometimes difficult for Americans to comprehend that very few countries think that farts from the U.S. smells better than the rest either.

      The one who posted this article made a careful choice of listing countries like Russia, China and Iran. Nice manipulative way to put this situation.
      Where's "Brazil" in that list? (the article ment
    • Don't be silly. The quest to keep control on US side is not based on free speech, diversity, melting pot and American way of life and whatnot. It is based on keeping the control on what is a vital part of all society : the communications pipelines. On both side it has been recognized it is a form of power and now both keep to get/keep as much of it as possible.
    • by dbIII (701233)

      It is sometimes difficult for Americans to comprehend that very few countries understand the concept of the free speech

      It's true! When it comes to free speech the USA is in the zone!

      For a comparison consider most of Europe, Canada, Australia and US newspapers from ten years ago. The point was valid BUT other parts of the world at looking at trends in the USA and are worried about exactly what is described in the previous post. Look past blind pariotism and muttering dark things about the darkies - they

    • It is sometimes difficult for Americans to comprehend that very few countries understand the concept of the free speech and a free press.

      ...because it is sometimes difficult for non-Americans to comprehend that very few Americans understand the concept of the free speech and a free press. Sad but true.
    • by Almahtar (991773)
      I think the US is just as prone to breaching freedom as those other nations. Maybe it hasn't happened yet, maybe it has (I think it has, but I can't prove it).

      The key is that if we distribute control of the Internet to all nations then nobody has control of it, and no single party can regulate it. It wouldn't take long for people to figure out how to route their traffic through the right gateways that would ensure freedom of that particular kind of traffic.

      Transparent solutions that work for mom'n'pop
    • by nicklott (533496)

      Why is this blatant troll modded Insightful?

      Just in case the poster really believes what he wrote:

      It is sometimes difficult for Americans to comprehend that very few countries understand the concept of the free speech and a free press

      Got that from USA Today did we? Or is it just what you were told in school? According to the Press Freedom Index [rsf.org] the only European nation to rank lower than the US is Bulgaria (as far as I can see).

      For example, in our 21st Century, most European countries will prosecute individuals for thought crimes

      I assume you're talking about the French and German anti-Nazi laws? They're not really thought crimes as you can only get prosecuted if you act on those thoughts, for example by prominently displaying a Sw

  • China
    Iran
    Russia

    Are these nations known for their defense of liberty? Are their citizens free?

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. The internet is just another area where those who seek power to oppress their fellow man are hard at work erecting barriers to the free flow of information, barriers against truth. They did it with the spoken word. They did it with the printing press. They did it with broadcast media. Now they're sinking their claws into the internet.

    Evil never sleeps and st
    • by vga_init (589198)

      Are these nations known for their defense of liberty? Are their citizens free?

      Yes, and no. The concept of society in general is, at its most basic level, the relinquishment of individual freedom in exchange for human gain. To a certain extent, freedom harms a society, just as a certain extent of control would be just as harmful. All of the nations you've listed have prided themselves as being the best nations ever (most free, best society). The USA is no exception among these.

      To put it differently,

    • leereyno,
      I looked at some of your other posts, and I wish you had worded this one a little differently.

      Are these nations known for their defense of liberty? Are their citizens free?

      Patriot Act
      Warrantless Wiretapping
      Guantanamo

      America is hardly at its height in the human rights game. Hell, we're confirming an Attorney General who isn't sure that waterboarding is illegal/torture.
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21698732/ [msn.com]

      No, we're not yet as bad as the nations you listed.

      Evil never sleeps and stupid never dies.

      But
  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Sunday November 11, 2007 @01:54AM (#21311363) Homepage Journal

    After all, the UN is a model of efficiency and transparency. It should be easy to share control of the Internet!

  • The internet is... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by istartedi (132515) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @02:22AM (#21311447) Journal

    ...a network of networks. If every company I've ever worked for set up a private network, and decided to provide a restricted gateway, so can China. And, guess what? None of those companies created an international incident to do it. They just did it. And don't say that doesn't scale, either. It does.

  • "we can only speculate what additional motives might be driving nations that heavily censor the Internet and lock down the flow of information across it."

    The devil you know or the devil you don't. We know that *many* in the US want to limit free speech or otherwise censor the internet. So, how much further down that road will others take it.

    IMO, the many could provide (depending on setup) a redundancy that could make many types of censorship moot. It's pretty hard to cut something off in a robust distrib
    • Well, that and the US's politics makes me *very* nervous about the future on freedom of speech on the 'net.

      Not to insult you, but it seems to me that reacting to something that hasn't happened yet is what got us into the war in Iraq. Breaking everything apart now seems premature when there's nothing concretely wrong with the current setup, just the potential for abuse (which would be larger were it broken up).

      p.s. The countries chosen to be in that list seems rather loaded to me.

      Yes, it was, but it was also the list of countries that are the biggest worry for what would happen were this to come about. Canada would be no worse than the US, I also find it unlikely that they would b

  • There is something broken with the Internet if people are discussing who gets to control it. Control indicates centralisation and a point of failure. Rather than discussing who gets to control IP addresses and domain names, the discussion should be how do we eliminate these points of weakness and make those who want to have control irrelevant?

    While it doesn't hurt to be politically active don't let it become an end in itself. Once the bickering starts the geeks are probably better to leave the politici

  • by karl.auerbach (157250) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @02:36AM (#21311495) Homepage
    Much of what is happening in Rio is not on the agenda.

    Both the US Gov't and ICANN have tried to put many issues off limits, not the least of which is ICANN itself.

    It is slowly dawning on people that there is a mad grab by industrial interests, with a lot of assistance from certain parts of certain governments, to lock-down large parts of the net and keep "the mob" (you, me, and the other people who use the net) as nothing more than puppet consumers.

    That exclusion, which amounts to a total inversion of the idea that governmental authority derives from the people, i.e. a rejection of democracy, is a foundation stone of most of internet governance - see my note "Stakeholderism - The Wrong Road for Internet Governance" at http://www.cavebear.com/archive/rw/igf-democracy-in-internet-governance.pdf [cavebear.com]

  • Rather standard procedure. Your country has a history of violating human rights, so of course you try to take attention off your shitty regime by bitching about the U.S.

  • by Epsillon (608775) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @06:09AM (#21312133) Homepage Journal
    First off, I'm having a really hard time understanding just how the US controls a network of mutual consent. That said, and I know I'm going to be modded to oblivion for not participating in the groupthink du jour (America hating), so far the US control of the gTLDs has been exemplary, impartial and efficient (Verisign's idiotic DNS pollution aside).

    I'm British and yes, I can hate Bush and [Blair|Brown]'s little crusade with the best of them but I fail to see why we should fix something that isn't broken. If you really are worried about US control, use ORSN roots as I do. So far, the only reason I have had to use them is IPv6 accessible root servers, but they also go into independent mode if anyone screws with the roots with malevolence. So far, touch wood, nobody has.

    Would it also be so terrible to say "thanks, USA and ICANN" for the stability they've given the gTLDs over the years? I shudder to think what would happen if the UN ever got control of the roots. Can you say "bureaucracy" and not think inefficiency and inaccessibility?
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770)
      While the Internet is just a collection of computers and networks, you all have to obey some common protocols to make it real useful. In the case of many of these, the ultimate control is in the hands of a US entity. Domains are a great example. Nobody is making you do shit in regards to any particular DNS, and indeed you can not use DNS if you like. However, it makes life easier if we all use it. Well, just about every DNS server in the world trusts the root-servers.net roots. By "trust" I mean when they n
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @06:57AM (#21312281)
    ...when talking about the internet and the root dns systems. A few points:

    My suggestion would be that the UN sets up an organization that maintains an alternative set of opt-in dns servers, maybe with a recommendation to use these in UN countries. The same organization should also be responsible for trying to remedy geographically uneven routing in the core internet infrastructure. Please, spare me of the criticism of the UN, which in this case might not be relevant or warranted (oil for food, poor peacekeeping track record, dictatorships in the UN, etc.). A lot of that dislike for the UN comes from the fact that US politicians actively try or tried to turn public opinion against the UN, because ignoring the UN served as a means for executing a unilateral foreign policy. Of course, there are legitimate criticisms, but the UN merely reflects on the state of the member countries. You can talk about China or North Korea, just as well as you can talk about Sweden or Denmark and their UN track record. But I'm diverging from my main point about the UN: it has a good track record running technical organizations like the ITU that runs the phone system of the world or like the WHO.

    Yes, North Korea and China is in the UN. They would censor the whole world if they could. The problem with US foreign policy is that it sees itself as the sole beacon of light and hope in the world, while it is not. The US wants to protect us from censorship? Great news! You CAN oppose China or North Korea when they demand censorship in setting up a UN run system. Just band together with Sweden, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, UK, etc.. That would require bilateral negotiations and a little less sovinistic attitude, but if you're not doing that, don't hide behind cheap excuses.

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