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UN Pushes Plan To Assume Internet Governance Role 287

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the the-un-is-always-right dept.
no0b writes with an Op-Ed by the FCC Commissioner on a UN plan to gain more control over Internet regulation. From the article: "On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year's end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish 'international control over the Internet' through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices. " BoingBoing offers a slightly different perspective; The Register offers a quite different perspective.
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UN Pushes Plan To Assume Internet Governance Role

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  • RTFS, guys (Score:5, Informative)

    by AdamHaun (43173) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:50PM (#39127163) Journal

    Those of you who are panicked and/or outraged might want to read the Register article, which strongly suggests that none of this is actually happening. In particular, these paragraphs:

    The ITU has said, time and time again, that it has no interest in running the internet. Earlier this month the organisation's secretary general pointed out that even if he had a mandate (which he doesn't) he hasn't the budget. ITU budgets are always linked to policy objectives, and taking over the internet is not a policy objective. ...

    McDowell claims there's a meeting scheduled for 27 February where the land-grab will be agreed, and that these things will pass into international law in December - as though the US ever moved that fast. He's referring to the WCIT (the World Conference on International Telecommunications), which starts in Geneva next week, but the agenda for that was set months ago and includes no clause to make a grab for cyberspace.

    So the question becomes not if anyone is trying to take over the internet, but who stands to gain by spreading the rumour that such a takeover is on the cards. ITU reps, speaking off the record, are starting to fear some sort of conspiracy themselves: they've adamantly stated that they have neither the desire, nor the budget, nor the mandate, to interfere with governance of the internet, and yet the scare stories just refuse to die.

  • Re:Putin's elections (Score:4, Informative)

    by piggydoggy (804252) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:54PM (#39127233)
    If Putin's party wouldn't win the elections, then the Communists would. Sorry to bust your dreams, but there's no secret yet massive movement of the downtrodden in Russia just waiting elect someone who the West would deem "democratic", i.e. someone who would hold yard sales on Russia's natural resources and infrastructure. Kasparov, Yabloko and the like hold 1-5% support as far as anyone can tell, and are a distant fourth in line as far as potential alternatives to Putin.
  • by rgbrenner (317308) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @02:02PM (#39127339)

    People and countries that own US debt can not 'call in' their loans. The best they can do is sell them on the open market.. and if they do that the price will decline.. which means they'll have to take a loss.

    And the US can't become Greece because we control our currency. If we had more debt than we could ever repay, we could simply print money to pay out debtors. They wouldn't like it, there would be inflation, and other unfavorable consequences, but we would not default and would not need a bailout. This is the option Greece doesn't have, and why they need a bailout.

    Truth is, there is little the UN can threaten the US with. We have a veto on the security council, and provide 22% of the UNs budget -- which gives us a lot of power over the UNs agenda.

  • Re:Two bad choices (Score:5, Informative)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @02:39PM (#39127907)

    When the UN was proposed and designed most nation states were unfree hellholes and with the Soviet Block and ChiComs on the rise at the time the trend was not our friend.

    When the UN was proposed and designed, there were far fewer nation-states than there are today; Africa and much of Asia were represented by their colonial masters in Europe (and/or occupied by the Japanese). And the "ChiComs," as you put it, weren't among them either. Recognition, including a permanent seat on the Security Council, went to the ROC, the government that is now in Taiwan. Transferring that recognition to the PRC is much more recent.

  • Re:Two bad choices (Score:5, Informative)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @02:42PM (#39127927) Homepage Journal

    It wasn't founded to support tyranny, but to setup a system for cooperation and world stability. Whether a country was a dictatorship or not was considered "Internal Affairs" and by mutual agreement ignored temporarily to solve the then-bigger issue of regional wars.

    Is your criticism really the case anymore? According to Freedom House [freedomhouse.org], in 2007 there were 123 electoral democracies (up from 40 in 1972). According to World Forum on Democracy, electoral democracies now represent 120 of the 192 existing countries and constitute 58.2 percent of the world's population. That's not including the new democracies from Iraq, the Arab Spring, independence of Kosovo, and South Sudan, etc. That's a huge amount of progress.

  • Re:Two bad choices (Score:3, Informative)

    by ShakaUVM (157947) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @03:11PM (#39128315) Homepage Journal

    Poland had a House of Representatives that effectively ruled by unanimous consent for several hundred years.

    It didn't go well for them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberum_veto [wikipedia.org]

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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