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Clinton Calls For "Ground Rules" Protecting Internet 205

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the how-about-hands-off dept.
dbune writes "Hillary Clinton has called for ground rules to protect the World Wide Web against wrongdoing and harm after the world watched as Egyptian authorities cut Internet access during its recent political crisis. She said 'For the United States, the choice is clear; on the spectrum of Internet freedom, we place ourselves on the side of openness.'"
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Clinton Calls For "Ground Rules" Protecting Internet

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  • Talk to your boss (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sdo1 (213835) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @08:54AM (#35220286) Journal

    Hillary,

    Talk to your boss and let him know that a "kill switch" is a bad idea.

    Thanks,
    The Internet

    • by thehostiles (1659283) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @08:56AM (#35220302)

      and while you're at it, could you talk to him about the whole Patriot Act thing?

      • by Shikaku (1129753) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @08:58AM (#35220340)

        And DMCA?

        • And ACTA?
    • Story over in three comments.
      (No kill switch, no Patriot Act, no **AA.)

      However, this is just another political Go stone. One stone does not affect a whole policy.

    • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:32AM (#35220680) Journal

      I was thinking about the absurd hypocrisy of this yesterday, and I came to a conclusion: politics is a lot like teaching. At the beginning, you get some intelligent, motivated people who think they can do good, and some incompetent, slimy asshats. After a short while, the stress, the petty arguments, the long hours and the excessive exposure to said asshats leaves the decent ones jaded and broken - they no longer have the wherewithal to keep fighting a losing battle and the asshats win. Those who somehow do manage to hold on to their motivation are such a small minority that they can only vary rarely effect worthwhile change.

      • by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:40AM (#35220770)

        Those who somehow do manage to hold on to their motivation are such a small minority that they can only vary rarely effect worthwhile change.

        It's worse than that. Democracy actively selects for lying asshats, so even if you are smart and have good ideas you'll be beaten by the charismatic psychopath promising bread and circuses paid for with your neighbour's money (or, these days, money borrowed from the Chinese).

        • It's worse than that. Democracy actively selects for lying asshats, so even if you are smart and have good ideas you'll be beaten by the charismatic psychopath promising bread and circuses paid for with your neighbour's money (or, these days, money borrowed from the Chinese).

          Ah, you're talking about Reagan and both Bushs, only instead of neighbors, it'd be all the poor in the ghettos and the middleclass not living near their exclusive ranches or in their gated communities helping the rich get richer. Or did you think their money comes from trees?

          • by Machtyn (759119)
            Ah, you're talking about Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, only instead of neighbors, it'd be all the poor in the ghettos and the middleclass not living near their exclusive ranches or in their gated communities helping the rich get richer. Or did you think their money comes from trees?

            See, it applies to both sides. heh.
            • See, it applies to both sides. heh.

              That was actually my point and why I have no hope of ever trying to convince anyone of anything discussing politics. It's impossible to compete with self-inflicted brainwashing via tv and radio.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by The_Wilschon (782534)
        Which is why we need to reform our electoral system, making it easier for candidates not backed by a major party with deep pockets to win meaningful offices. The reason that this would help with burnout is that then regular people with other careers could hold an office for a term, then go back to their regular careers. By not being career politicians, they are much less susceptible to burnout.
        • by DarthVain (724186)

          A sad truth about democracy is that one if its largest problems is allowing everyone a say in who makes decisions. For the most part populations are made up of idiots, and half of them are even dumber than that. That's the popular vote for you.

          Citation: 2001-2009.

          Whats the point of having a qualified candidate when some asshat can convince people to vote for them instead. Of course fixing the electoral system, and eliminating all the money from the equation from the lobbyists, corporations, and wealthy elit

      • Unfortunately, what you are saying rings true to me.
      • It's the Peter Principle. People rise to their own level of incompetence.

    • by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @10:12AM (#35221042)

      I firmly believe the revolution in Egypt was aided by closing the internet. People walked away from their keyboards and got outside. If they wanted to see what was happening they had the Al jazeera sattelite at a freinds house. But without communncation their imaginations could soar a bit and they could look awayf from the screen.

      Circuses are well known to keep the roman masses happy.

      • This is pretty much exactly what I said when it happened. If you want to quell a popular uprising (without just killing enough people that they give up) you need to start handing out food or money or drugs or something (I think THC gas would probably work better than tear gas). Shutting off entertainment so that all the people on the fence have nothing better to do but get outside and check out the protests is probably the worst possible move.

      • I firmly believe the revolution in Egypt was aided by closing the internet. People walked away from their keyboards and got outside.

        Um, they had millions on the streets before Internet access was shut down.

        Frankly, the effect of the Net on recent events in Egypt was vastly overstated.

  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @08:56AM (#35220304)

    'For the United States, the choice is clear; on the spectrum of Internet freedom, we place ourselves on the side of openness,'

    Good. Now tell the RIAA and MPAA to leave us the hell alone.

    • Hillary, via her official position as Sect. of State was advocating not just for the security of the internets but was also encouraging dissent and the tolerance of it by all governments. How about Hill you go talk to the Justice dept. about tolerating dissent in this country too? Or is it ok for the US to harrass, track and arrest those who dissent and wish (insert # of elected officials here) removed from power and/or the actual form of government changed? This applies to those on the left/middle/righ
  • openness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crimperman (225941) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @08:58AM (#35220338) Homepage

    > "For the United States, the choice is clear; on the spectrum of Internet freedom, we place ourselves on the side of openness"

    Oh that's good - I'll let Julian Assange know.

    • Re:openness (Score:4, Funny)

      by mykos (1627575) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:00AM (#35220358)
      What? Are you going to listen to a rapist? If you support wikileaks, you're not supporting openness. You're supporting rape. Do you want to side with rape? Thought not.
      • by sirdude (578412)
        um, you mean the rape charge that conveniently surfaced once Wikileaks released the cables? The rape charge wherein no formal charges have been placed against him in Sweden? The rape charge where nobody is allowed to view the evidence? The rape charge that resulted in a "red notice" by Interpol (for sex crimes, something that the organisation rarely does) and not a warrant for arrest? Bollocks.

        Besides, the veracity of the leaked information has never been called into question. So there is not question of

      • by rockout (1039072)
        Good lord, it seems every single responder to you deserves a giant WOOSH

        mod parent up funny please, as many readers seem to need that as an indicator of sarcasm.
      • by Jawnn (445279)

        What? Are you going to listen to a rapist? If you support wikileaks, you're not supporting openness. You're supporting rape. Do you want to side with rape? Thought not.

        Erm...., expressing sarcasm is via text is an art form. Both the writer and the reader have to be "in on it". As such, sometimes it misses the mark. So if I'm the dullard who doesn't get your sarcasm, bad on me.

        Julian Asange is not a rapist. He has been accused of rape by persons with questionable (to understate it a bit) credibility. He has angered a great many powerful people who believe that they have good reason (and who certainly have more than ample resources) to engineer any manner of dirty trick

        • by rockout (1039072)
          Yes. You're the dullard. But take comfort in the fact that you're not alone in being a dullard, and this particular joke seems to have been a good indicator of that.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          It was pretty obvious sarcasm. The italicized words put it over the top, IMHO. But, well, what can you expect from RAPE SUPPORTERS!!!!!1!

      • You said "rape" twice...

        Just pointing that out...

    • by serps (517783)
      An excoriation of Clinton's hypocrisy [crikey.com.au] on this subject.
      • Re:openness (Score:5, Insightful)

        by commodore6502 (1981532) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:25AM (#35220600)

        This article deserves more than just a link:

        QUOTE:

        âoea false debate. Fundamentally, the WikiLeaks incident began with an act of theft. Government documents were stolen, just the same as if they had been smuggled out in a briefcase.â That is, WIkileaks isnâ(TM)t really about the internet, but about a crime. Clinton then goes on: "There were reports in the days following these leaks that the United States Government intervened to coerce private companies to deny service to WikiLeaks. That is not the case. Now, some politicians and pundits publicly called for companies to disassociate from WikiLeaks, while others criticized them for doing so. Public officials are part of our countryâ(TM)s public debates, but there is a line between expressing views and coercing conduct."

        These comments constitute a remarkable series of lies and hypocrisies.
        1 - The US Government has regularly harassed Wikileaks associate and internet activist and Tor founder Jacob Applebaum, subjecting him to extensive and, in the end, almost comical seaches of his electronic equipment whenever he returns to the United States.

        2- In further contrast to Clintonâ(TM)s emphasis on âoeenforcing the rules transparentlyâ, the US Governmentâ(TM)s legal campaign against Wikileaks has been secret from the outset. Despite military officials admitting theyâ(TM)re unable to link Julian Assange to anything with which he could be charged, a secret grand jury process in Virginia continues against Wikileaks, aided by a secret Department of Justice subpoena. This was only revealed when Twitter took the commendable step of applying for confidentiality to be removed from a DoJ demand for an extraordinary range of information, including on Applebaumâ(TM)s Twitter account and everyone who is a Twitter follower of Wikileaks.

        3- In addition to the Department of Justice attempt to conjure up a charge against Julian Assange, the FBI has undertaken an aggressive investigation of online group Anonymous in relation to its âoeOperation Paybackâ attacks on Visa, Mastercard and PayPal after their suspension of payments to Wikileaks, but there has been no action, indeed apparently no investigation, of the DDOS attacks undertaken on Wikileaks itself, from within the United States, for which an individual has claimed responsibility. Nor has there been any apparent law enforcement action in response to the plan developed by HB Gary Federal, Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies for Hunton and Williams to attack Wikileaks and Salonâ(TM)s Glenn Greenwald.

        4- Clintonâ(TM)s attempt to dissociate the Obama Administration from corporate decisions about Wikileaks is sophistry of the highest order.

        5- Clintonâ(TM)s comments about the dangers of transparency in diplomacy â" which forms the guts of her straw-man comments on Wikileaks â" have already been refuted by her Cabinet colleague Robert Gates, who stated in December that Wikileaks would not do any âoeserious damageâ to US foreign policy, that its effect was merely to embarrass

  • by cusco (717999) <brian...bixby@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:00AM (#35220364)
    we place ourselves on the side of openness

    Horsepuckey. They're just jealous that the same shutdown ability doesn't exist here in the Untied States.
    • by rvw (755107)

      we place ourselves on the side of openness
        Horsepuckey. They're just jealous that the same shutdown ability doesn't exist here in the Untied States.

      The Untied States? That is quite a interesting spelling in this context.

      • Florida is drifting away as we speak.

        Emotions are mixed on the issue.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)
        The US is a hopeless cause, and we Americans I think would be much better off if the country broke up into smaller units. Smaller countries, with less of a concentration of power, are less dangerous, and possibly less corruptible (it takes much more work to corrupt the legislatures of a dozen countries than a single giant one).
    • It is not exectly the same, but in USA this switch is called "Senator Joseph Lieberman (CT)" .
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      It does.
      You do know that the NSA has ties into every backbone carrier in the US right?
      You do know that they can tap the data at will right?

      Only a fool would think that the US couldn't take down not just the US internet but probably a good percentage of all the internet if need be. if the data is already flowing through those devices then only a fool would believe that those devices couldn't shut off that flow.
      This kill switch is to allow the isolation of segments of the internet. Laws are already in place t

  • The internet must be open and fair to all American companies which have the money to fund our election campaigns, to spread the word of those companies wonderful products and good deeds, to keep the world safe from people we don't like, and to prevent all of those with ideas that differ from ours from speaking out. Can't we all just get behind my version of freedom?

  • by LilWolf (847434) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:04AM (#35220390)

    For the United States, the choice is clear; on the spectrum of Internet freedom, we place ourselves on the side of openness

    That's quite rich considering your government just shut down 84,000 websites "by mistake": http://torrentfreak.com/u-s-government-shuts-down-84000-websites-by-mistake-110216/ [torrentfreak.com]

  • ...is to allow the private entities which own the servers, networks, technology, and businesses to manage it themselves.

    For many organizations, the internet is about profit, growth and accessibility. Those organizations have an obligation to ensure the functional operation and security of their systems, if they'd like to say doing what they do. No connection = no revenue. Having government involvement with the internet will hinder one or all of those facets, even if the intent is for the betterment of
    • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:16AM (#35220510) Homepage Journal

      ...is to allow the private entities which own the servers, networks, technology, and businesses to manage it themselves.

      yes. so at&t can cut off all access to wikileaks, just like how amazon did with its cloud.

      amazon also had an obligation to ensure the functional operation and security of their systems. yet they didnt see any problem in censoring a customer, when it was not to their liking.

      had it been in the moronic, ayn rand believer way you wanted, at&t, comcast would ensure that no american saw any wikileaks document, thanks to the pressure the banks would put on them.

      private does not mean 'good', or 'free'. private means, something is owned by a group of PRIVATE bunch, with no obligations to your freedom, but to their profit.

      • by Sarten-X (1102295)

        Are freedom and profit inherently mutually exclusive?

        There are many companies who have chosen to make "bad" business decisions, in favor of "good" moral ones. As a result, those companies build a better reputation than their competitors, and reap greater profits. If there's any sign that ISPs have started blocking access to particular services, it's a perfect opportunity for another company to offer a secure forwarding service. Such places already exist (for privacy reasons, rather than content access). If

        • Are freedom and profit inherently mutually exclusive?

          Sometimes yes sometimes no, if a large private entity were to offer a major ISP a large sum of money to deny access to a number of sites then protecting the freedom of a user to view that information would be mutually exclusive to profit from that revenue stream. And once that revenue stream is open the laws of market competition strongly encourage other ISPs to follow suit if they want to stay competitive and keep market share.

          Of course that's just the theoretical case, the real life case is much worse.

          • by Sarten-X (1102295)

            So a "large private entity" can pay off every ISP, because every ISP will opt to take the money, just because it's available.

            What happens when a single ISP declines the deal, or worse, makes the deal public knowledge? Public outrage damages the large entity's profits and every ISP they worked with. That's a pretty big risk to taking the deal.

            Perhaps worse, if every ISP does take the deal, that opens the large private entity to blackmail. Any ISP can threaten to open access again at any time. That would like

            • You mean like the outrage over various private companies disassociating themselves with wikileaks, including them having to find a new host? Hardly. A small minority cared, but the vast majority agreed or didn't care.
        • by tbannist (230135)

          They are not mutually exclusive, but in their natural states they don't get along well. Profit is too often made at the expense of freedom. If you don't understand or believe me, you need to learn more history and do some research on company towns, for example. Capitalism, in it's natural state, loves slaves more than employees because they cost less to employ.

          • by Sarten-X (1102295)

            They also tend to produce inferior work, which may or may not (depending on the importance of quality) be profitable for the company. Using slaves is also a PR nightmare.

            Consider the case of companies currently operating sweatshops. The sweatshops may be far below American labor standards, but they're far above anything else in the area. Merely carrying the label "sweatshop" is a curse for any operation, so companies are forced to upgrade factories even further beyond the local standard. Of course, this is

            • by tbannist (230135)

              Please remember I'm talking about capitalism in it's natural state, with no regulations. Your counter-arguments are all predicated on a society that is exactly like one in which capitalism is heavily regulated for the benefit of the people. I have serious doubts those two societies would be similar given sufficient time for the people to adapt to the rules governing the society.

              Let's not forget that slavery was accepted for a very long time before it was abolished. It's all about societal norms and if al

  • Some guy that works for Google was on the news the other day saying that cutting off the Internet accelerated the public protests by letting everyone know that the regime was scared. So, taking steps to ensure that a regime like Mubarak's can't do that in future is counter-productive if you consider the protests in Egypt to have been a good thing.

    • This assumes first that all governments will share the technological limitations of the Mubarak government. What the authoritarian government in Egypt did was very simplistic compared to what Iran does, not to mention China. Iran selectively disables content and Twitter hashtags are no match for the Great FireWall which is a massive content filter designed specifically to maintain its power though suppression of speech and knowledge. Also think about various countries' existing mandates for identified co

  • "Achieving both liberty and security; protecting both transparency and confidentiality; protecting free expression while fostering tolerance and civility; are the three major challenges government as a whole is failing at today,"

    but I fixed that for ya.

  • by vvaduva (859950) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:09AM (#35220444)

    Yes, nothing to see here...it's "openness" as long as it is in the best interest of the United States. What a load of bs. DNS records all over the world taken over by force, Julian Assange threatened with assassinations, kill switches, patriot acts...just a plantation with a different name.

  • Good luck with that. I am sure you will be able to get all those Muslim countries to sign up to the ground rules for the Internet right after they sign up for gender equality, freedom of religion, freedoms of speech and the end of forced marriage, "honour" killings, and victimisation of minorities.
  • Hypocrisy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsa (15680) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:15AM (#35220500) Homepage

    I read in the newspaper that the US will help the citicens of Iran to keep the internet running. Obama and Clinton promised that. I find that extremely hypocritic behaviour. Where was the US when Egypt's internet was shut down? Oh yeah, they liked Mubarak so they did nothing. But they don't like Ahmadinejad so now they help the Iranian people. And in the meantime Obama wants a kill switch so he can switch the internet off whenever he wants.

    • Maybe Iran can help open the internet in the US. They most certainly won't, but I think they have the tools to do it.
    • by Verunks (1000826)

      I read in the newspaper that the US will help the citicens of Iran to keep the internet running. Obama and Clinton promised that. I find that extremely hypocritic behaviour. Where was the US when Egypt's internet was shut down? Oh yeah, they liked Mubarak so they did nothing. But they don't like Ahmadinejad so now they help the Iranian people. And in the meantime Obama wants a kill switch so he can switch the internet off whenever he wants.

      it's more complicated than that, the us couldn't really state which side they were because egypt owns something very important, the suez canal, so if they helped one side and the other one won it could have blocked the canal for us ships as retaliation
      In Iran instead they don't have anything to lose since Ahmadinejad already hate them

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      How is that hypocritical? It's doing two different things in two similar but different situations, not saying one thing and doing the opposite. It's just doing what is in you own intererst as opposed to what is "right".

      And Obama already has a "kill switch" and hence claiming he "wants" one is a bit silly. Which part of the text of http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.3480%3A [loc.gov] do you find to be so troubling and what new "kill switch" power is is granting that the President hasn't had since 1934 anyway

    • Of course the US wants the internet running in Iran. How else can we inject the next Stuxnet? The Iranians are on ot USB sticks.
    • by DarthVain (724186)

      Well the US was in a No Win situation, so they did nothing. Wait and see how things turn out.

      Basically they can't do anything really to interfere because they are supposed to be about democratic change and more power freedom for the people, so they can overtly support Mubarak.

      However, with Mubarak gone, there is a very real chance that the next government in Egypt will be a Muslim one. A government that may not share the same views as the US. Mubarak they could control, just keep throwing US military aid hi

    • by RichM (754883)

      And in the meantime Obama wants a kill switch so he can switch the internet off whenever he wants.

      Yeah, but it will only be switched off for the US population.
      The root servers exist everywhere these days.

  • Clinton is clearly positioning herself for another Presidential run in 2012. Obama's track record on openness and freedom for the Internet is abysmal, but few if any of his transgressions came out of the State Department. If Clinton can separate herself from her boss on this issue, she can make inroads to the young and energetic netizens who helped Obama so much in '08.

    If I'm right, expect her to start making noises about cutting the budget and ending wars in the near future.

  • Out of the Ruins [youtube.com]
    Out from the wreckage
    Can't make the same mistake this time
    We are the children
    The last generation
    We are the ones they left behind
    And I wonder when we are ever gonna change
    Living under the fear, till nothing else remains

    We don't need another hero
    We don't need to know the way home
    All we want is life beyond
    Thunderdome

    Looking for something
    We can rely on
    There's gotta be something better out there.
    Love and compassion
    Their day is coming
    All else are castles built into the air.
    And I wonder when we are

  • Hmmm meanwhile at home they are pressing an anti-piracy law spending millions of $$$ for corporate benefit..meanwhile unemployment is a record levels (15-20 %). Is this how we want our tax money spent? Not me. RIAA and MPAA you enforce your IP, not the American public.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:42AM (#35220786)

    From Wikipedia:

    In baseball, ground rules are special rules particular to each baseball park (grounds) in which the game is played. Unlike the well-defined playing field of most other sports, the playing area of a baseball field extends to an outfield fence in fair territory and the stadium seating in foul territory. The unique design of each ballpark, including fences, dugouts, bullpens, railings, stadium domes, photographer's wells and TV camera booths, requires that rules be defined to handle situations in which these objects may interact or interfere with the ball in play or with the players.

    So a "ground rule" that warrants an Internet kill switch in my ballpark, doesn't necessarily mean that you can hit the kill switch in your ballpark.

    In other words, the US is allowed to hit the Internet kill switch in their ballpark (ground rule). Egypt isn't (no ground rule).

  • Damn! The first time I read Clingon instea of Clinton. That would be newsworthy alright! ( I need more coffee )
  • She's using the terms interchangeably... this does not make me any more comfortable.
    • Well at least she didn't send one of them Internets to her intern the other day.
      But really, she just comes from a different age. All of them do. Think about it, the Internet really only became widespread in the 90's. Clinton was in her 40's. She's certainly no geek. So it's like describing how the Internet work to my mother. She tries, god bless her, and minding the gap I think she does pretty well. But she's made an effort to understand what it is I do for a living. Now look at congress, the average age
  • Even if we make it so the megalomaniacs and powermongers can't touch the Internet, they'll just find a way around it like cutting all power to the grid....

  • by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @12:38PM (#35222718)

    And I applaud them. But will you back them with equally bold actions?

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @01:09PM (#35223096)
    "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help."
  • So I heard Clinton on the radio the other day:

    There is a debate currently underway in some circles about whether the internet is a force for liberation or repression. But I think that debate is largely beside the point. Egypt isn’t inspiring people because they communicated using Twitter. It is inspiring because people came together and persisted in demanding a better future.

    Just who the hell in what circles are even debating that the internet isn't a force for liberation, freedom, information, knowledge, equality, and god-damned apple pie?
    No really, I want a list of names and groups so I know who to exile when I'm king for a day. And really, what are their arguments, cause I'm having a hard time conceptualizing how anyone would use the internet for repression. I mean, usually the repression is in terms of denying people access to

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