Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Technology

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.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

UN Pushes Plan To Assume Internet Governance Role

Comments Filter:
  • by xeno314 (661565) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:19PM (#39126699)
    The idea would be to have *better* regulation of the Internet, which won't happen with the UN/ITU. Adding culture clashes to the present political clashes and putting countries that actively censor content at the table is just asking for trouble.
    • by forkfail (228161) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:29PM (#39126841)

      The most appropriate regulation for the 'net would be of two parts:

      1. There shall be common standards that may be utilized by anyone without cost.
      2. If you get a packet, you send it on, no matter who it is from or to whom it is going.
      2a. You can charge for a connection and by bandwidth, but not for transference of data.
      3. There shall not be any more regulation imposed on the 'net.

      But... we'll never get this. Why? Because the powers that be can go full time on their efforts to control; the politicians who are bought and the folks doing the buying don't need to take time to go to work - that is their work. Just as the mega-corporations who are fighting for their own control don't have to spend their evenings taking care of the kids.

      • by forkfail (228161)

        Ack - I can't count. Guess that's why I'll never run the 'net *sheepish look*

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The most appropriate regulation for the 'net would be of two parts:

        1. There shall be common standards that may be utilized by anyone without cost.
        2. If you get a packet, you send it on, no matter who it is from or to whom it is going.
        2a. You can charge for a connection and by bandwidth, but not for transference of data.
        3. There shall not be any more regulation imposed on the 'net.

        But... we'll never get this. Why? Because the powers that be can go full time on their efforts to control; the politicians who are bought and the folks doing the buying don't need to take time to go to work - that is their work. Just as the mega-corporations who are fighting for their own control don't have to spend their evenings taking care of the kids.

        I guess you haven't had much real world Network experience.

        1. Common standards? What isn't a common standard? Are you talking about flash? Or are you referring to BGP, OSPF, IS-IS, and TCP/IP?
        2. Not all data is worth forwarding. Have you heard of QoS? It achieves its end result by not trying to forward every packet.
        2a. Why wouldn't they have the right to charge for transference of data? It's their network. They can charge you whatever they want. If you don't like it, choose a different way to connect to the

      • by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @02:23PM (#39128487) Homepage

        2. If you get a packet, you send it on, no matter who it is from or to whom it is going.
        2a. You can charge for a connection and by bandwidth, but not for transference of data.

        I see that you are trying to write network neutrality in here, but it won't work with these rules. I suspect you are trying to make sure that an ISP doesn't charge the user some kind of special premium for a packet that goes to a particular web site or competing ISP. That is a good rule. But it isn't that they can't charge for data: they simply must charge equally for all data. So I propose a revision:

        Rule 2: All packets are charged equally, regardless of source, destination, or content.

        Otherwise, your rule 2 violates routing rules (some packets must be discarded). Internet backbones wouldn't work with rule 2A since their entire business model is charging per packet. Peering agreements would also be in a gray area of rule 2A since the count the transference of data but don't explicitly charge for it. Those are good things we would not want to interfere with.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Here's one situation where the fractured political parties in the United States can actually be of one mind on something. The Left will block it because they balk at the idea of handing control of the internet over people who are easily swayed by governments with records of human rights abuses, and Right will block it because they hate the UN and will see this as another step in the creation of the New World Order. The US will back out of the ITU before this happens.
  • Two bad choices (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:20PM (#39126715)

    Two bad choices:

    1) Led by the US = megacorps have purchased both political parties so its basically megacorp-net. Expect lots of censorship and control focused around maximizing profits.

    2) Led by the UN = most of the UN members are crooks, dictators, religious extremists, military leaders who killed the civilian leaders to gain control, basically the scum of the non-business society so its basically dictator-net. Expect lots of censorship and control around killing all dissenters and forcing one lunatic religions beliefs upon people of other lunatic religious beliefs (or non-beliefs)

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

      by forkfail (228161) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:23PM (#39126745)

      What I fear is that we'll wind up having to chose our poisons.

      Because it looks like there's no way in hell that it will be left in the hands of those who built it, maintain it and understand it.

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

        by dragonhunter21 (1815102) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:29PM (#39126833) Journal

        Hey, now there's an idea- the workers at backbone stations take a global week-long break and let the chips fall as they will. See if they figure out the real owners then.

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

        by Githaron (2462596) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:37PM (#39126967)

        What I fear is that we'll wind up having to chose our poisons.

        When was the last time the US government let us choose anything?

        • Even the US Gov has trouble asserting itself over many of the self-governing bits of the Internet. Yes, ICANN is a tool of the US Gov, but many other elements are both international in membership (IETF) and very much interested in keeping governments out of the underpinnings (IEEE).

          The UN, in my belief, is ineffective. So is the US Gov, but once in a while they get it right so long as Congress doesn't get involved.

        • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:16PM (#39127555)

          You know, I heard from someone that theyre doing it right now! Something about "Primaries" and "November 2012"....youll want to google for the details.

      • What I fear is that we'll wind up having to chose our poisons.

        Because it looks like there's no way in hell that it will be left in the hands of those who built it, maintain it and understand it.

        Then, when attacked, perhaps they should declare war on those that didn't.

        Unless you are willing to die to protect your freedoms, you don't have any. What? You though freedom was cheap?

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

        by gorzek (647352) <gorzek@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @02:16PM (#39128409) Homepage Journal

        The Internet has simply become too big and too important to remain apolitical forever. Think of how much has changed just in the past few years:

        * Groups like Anonymous have done real-world damage to businesses and governments by bringing down servers and stealing private information.
        * Wikileaks has embarrassed numerous governments by exposing their dirty laundry and even illegal activities.
        * Twitter has been instrumental in organizing and spreading resistance movements, particularly during the Arab Spring.
        * Bitcoin has allowed underground economies like Silk Road to flourish.
        * The proliferation of strong encryption has presented new challenges for law enforcement and government eavesdropping.
        * Onion protocols like Tor make it easier for people to hide their illegal/rebellious activities.
        * The ease-of-use of BitTorrent and its clients have made copyright infringement easier than ever.

        Taken by themselves, each of these things is a nuisance at best. Taken as part of a larger pattern, governments around the world see the Internet as a platform that's simply out of their control. Under the pretense of stopping criminal activity, they would also gladly lock it down to quash dissent. What originally came to prominence as a new engine for business has evolved as a viable platform for organized dissidence as well as criminal activity. The difficulty is in fighting in the latter without stopping the former. I know around here, the preference would be to maximize freedom even if that means criminal elements remain unthwarted and unpunished. Unfortunately, most people understand too little of these issues and most governments are too singularly focused on serving their own interests to see the Internet as a global public good that should be preserved. Instead, it's considered another vector for terrorism, criminality, and disruption, and therefore it must be sanitized to make it into a more suitable vehicle for commerce and propaganda.

        Much of the business community would be happy to see the Internet become a "push" medium. Allowing users to generate content and express themselves opens site owners/operators up to more and more liability. I don't think it will ever come to outright banning of particular technologies, but policies, legal precedents, and broader governmental involvement in Internet affairs will result in a chilling effect, to the point that it won't be a good idea to speak your mind about most things, and the number of venues you'll have in which to do that will be limited anyway.

        I think we have a long way to go before that happens, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't fight it every step of the way.

    • I guess this is my cue, I don't mind taking control for a while!
    • Re:Two bad choices (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:28PM (#39126815)

      Pick the one most likely to result in a leadership that is crippled in from disagreement. The less they do, the better.

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

        by Cragen (697038) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:22PM (#39127635)
        Which is pretty much why Democracy works the best. It is the most ineffective form of government on planet. Lawyers trying to outwit lawyers at every turn. Leaving those of us, living mostly legally, alone most of the time. Oddly the other reason Democracy works is that we (mostly) cheerfully pay taxes and on-time to get this form of government. Seems a fair trade most of the time. Hmm. Nap time. (Get off my lawn! Yawn.)
      • Yeah, I'd vote for the UN. It took them what, like two years to write a letter to Syria to ask them to stop murdering civilians? They still haven't sorted out Darfur. They'll stand idly by while thousands of people die of thirst EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

        How long is it going to take to get consensus to write a letter to ask someone to please stop offending FSM / downloading something / critiquing some government? If I got one I'd frame it and keep it in my office.

        Worst case, we can just group together and make

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ShakaUVM (157947)

        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]

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

      by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris&beau,org> on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:34PM (#39126913)

      > Led by the UN = most of the UN members are crooks, dictators, religious extremists, military leaders...

      What is really horrible is that this state of affairs isn't an accident. It was designed that way, to be a Parliment of Tyrants. 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. Yet the design called for one nation state one vote in the General Assembly and with both China and the Soviet Union getting a veto in the Security Council there was zero chance of anything positive ever happening and every chance of great harm. And it was designed that way. Think about it.

      So lets turn over control of the Internet to the same bunch of misfits who thought seating Iran to an organization to pontificate on human rights was a good idea. And lets not forget Libya having to get booted out of the Human Rights Council when Kadaffy's body count got so high even the other tyrants were getting embarrased. So oh heck yea, lets turn the Internet over to these thugs, what could possibly go wrong when the Axis of Evil starts writing the RFCs for the Evil Bit and it ain't April Fools.

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

        by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:39PM (#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 @01:42PM (#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:5, Insightful)

        by SydShamino (547793) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:46PM (#39127997)

        Aaaaand you neglect to point out that it was made that way for a reason. It's purpose wasn't to be the Justice League, populated only with the good and righteous Free Western World. If we wanted that, we would have made NATO and not the UN.

        The purpose of the UN was to get everyone together in the same room and talk. Sometimes that talk has been ugly, but by keeping everyone talking we can keep reminding ourselves that they are human, too, and maybe that kept us from destroying the planet in WWIII. And if something happens that's actually able to unite the UN in response? Well then there's a strong worldwide mandate to take action. It doesn't happen every time it should, but when it happens it works well.

        So yes, it's extremely important and I'm extremely happy that the UN included all those unfree hellholes, the Soviet Block, "ChiComs", and even Iran and Libya. It wouldn't have worked any other way, and it's possible neither you nor I would have "worked" either.

    • Re:Two bad choices (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Compaqt (1758360) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:36PM (#39126945) Homepage

      Yeah. This.

      I'm of two minds, too.

      On the one hand, we've all seen the situation as it is currently with the US on past Slashdot stories (shutting down websites, taking domains, etc.)

      So you start to think, maybe the US shouldn't have control.

      The problem is, the UN could be worse.

      • by jesseck (942036)

        The problem is, the UN could be worse.

        This is what I fear... right now, though dictators can oppress Internet access for their "citizens", people in other nations can speak out against that dictatorship without fear of attack. If we made an "International Body" to oversee the Internet, ran by such dictators, other people can't speak up for the oppressed- it would be censored. The reason networks like Tor can route information is because it is free in some countries, and not in others. This idea, giving control of the Internet to the UN, will

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

      by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:36PM (#39126957) Journal
      The way I see it, there is a choice between having it controlled by the US, who despite SOPA, still has some of the strongest protection of free speech anywhere in the world. We have other problems, but you can say basically anything.

      On the other side, you have an agency who is partially controlled by Russia and China, who don't respect free speech, and actively favor censoring the internet. At least in the US, politicians will all say they oppose censorship if you ask them. In China, most of them favor it, and actively use it as an opportunity to destroy their political enemies. Do you want someone with that kind of attitude to have any say in what happens on the internet?

      The proper function of the UN is not to tell us what to do, it's not to be a governing body of the world. It's designed to be a place where the powerful (and to a lesser degree, the less powerful) countries of the world can get together and discuss things, and if possible, avoid going to war. Furthermore it is mechanism to take action once all parties are agreed. These reasons are why any member of the security council can veto action.

      It was designed for that purpose, and it does it well. If you want to make the UN an international leading body, a true world government, then you'll need to change its structure.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NeutronCowboy (896098)

        It was designed for that purpose, and it does it well. If you want to make the UN an international leading body, a true world government, then you'll need to change its structure.

        Precisely. The UN, as much good as it does through its mere existence, would be a disaster as the official controlling body of the Internet. It is set up as a talking shop, and designed to allow for compromise along the lowest common denominator. Unfortunately, in the area of free speech, that means almost nothing.

        Screw SOPA and ACTA - UN control of the Internet might very well be what kicks off the Darknet explosion.

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

      by bhagwad (1426855) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:44PM (#39127959) Homepage
      As an Indian, I hope the US will continue to have stewardship over the Internet for the foreseeable future. My own government is run by assholes who think "blasphemy" should be censored on the net. And since India has 1/3rd of the world's population and China has another 1/3rds, we're essentially screwed if the UN works on a pure "democracy" basis.

      There are a lot of things I hate about the US, but free speech is NOT one of them. The first amendment is one of the most amazing pieces of legislation ever and people like me in India can only drool in envy. But I'm not complaining. Even if I don't personally live in a country where free speech is not...you know...free, at least I can be happy that it EXISTS somewhere on this planet. At least I can be grateful that my ideals are upheld SOMEWHERE.

      But give the Internet to the UN, and all that goes out of the window. I don't like the net being run by megacorps. But I like it being run by countries like dictatorial countries like China, India and the Middle East even less.
      • by Dunbal (464142) *

        There are a lot of things I hate about the US, but free speech is NOT one of them.

        Unfortunately the biggest hater of free speech nowadays seems to be the US...

    • There is too much profit potential in regulatory power for neutrality ever to emerge from the political process. If something 'neutral' happens, it will be organically -- perhaps partly through migration to completely unregulated channels (darknets, anonymized and encrypted subnets, etc.).
  • Drama queens... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wulva (564057) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:24PM (#39126765)

    The register seems to have it quite spot on, somebody is being a drama queen and AT&T+friends probably paid for the drama because they want to increase roaming charges.

  • The average Slashdotter wants global governance of meatspace; why not the internet?
    • Re:Why protest? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chispito (1870390) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:40PM (#39127005)

      The average Slashdotter wants global governance of meatspace

      Huh? Care to elaborate? In my experience, if you pick a random Slashdotter, he is most likely to be an economic socialist/social libertarian. I really don't get a "global government" vibe here.

  • Putin's elections (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:25PM (#39126777) Homepage Journal

    Putin wants to make sure that there is no way for Russian dissidents to post information about the election fraud. He is angry that people can put videos of fraud online somewhere else, not in Russia and others can view that video.

    Putin's party in Russia would NOT win in real elections, but the way it's done, he is getting the votes he needs, because of all the fraud.

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

      by piggydoggy (804252) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:54PM (#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 iONiUM (530420)

      You know, I'm very curious about this. I've read a lot of articles, including Wikipedia's, about Russia's current voting incidents. While there is always some mention of possible vote tampering, and some outrage, in general it's more-or-less just passed over as "that's how Russia's system is."

      You seem to know more about it than others, perhaps you can link to some articles, or enlighten me as to why this kind of blatant anti-democratic is allowed by the Russian people with little protest, and why it's barel

      • by swb (14022)

        why this kind of blatant anti-democratic is allowed by the Russian people with little protest

        I don't know, 70 plus years of living in a police state where protestors were shipped off to prisons, mental health facilities or killed outright, many of those years as part of the first hand experience of roughly half the population?

        Then there's the last 10 years experience with protest, investigatory journalism, corruption..

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:26PM (#39126799)

    Oh, you think the U.S. is giving that up just because you say so? Or sign some treaty just because you threaten them with...what?

  • One world order (Score:5, Insightful)

    by U8MyData (1281010) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:29PM (#39126835)
    This is a very clear indication that we are inching closer and closer to one world order regardless of the fact it will never work. Until governments and religious groups of the world drop fanatical, hysterical, authoritarian rule, this planet will not see the kind of societal framework necessary to exist under one world government. Very scary notion of the UN controlling something so important to free expression as the net is. Distributed responsibility works best. Lets hope we see something like the SOPA incident to prevent this from happening. If not, I am staying home, canceling anything internet and making like a hole in the wall. Sad really. But then again, I will save boat loads of money...
    • Re:One world order (Score:5, Interesting)

      by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:56PM (#39127257)
      I suppose we are inching towards it, unavoidably. As the world "shrinks" due to better communications and transportation, the scope of business and government grows. In the time of the Roman Empire it was almost impossible to maintain an empire that encompassed just the greater Mediterranean region. Just within the recent past - the lifespan of the US - look at how the primary unit of government has transitioned from the city/county, to the state, to the nation. Governance is always lagging commerce. Nowadays, commerce is global, whereas global governance is weak, resulting (predictably) in people jurisdiction-shopping to sue people one place, pay taxes in another, and have their manufacturing done in a third. It's a huge free-rider problem that is crying for legislation. I say none of this to advocate it, only that global government isn't some closed ring of conspirators, it's mainly economics.
  • by jamonterrell (517500) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:29PM (#39126851)
    I think the whole thing is a misnomer. Neither the US nor the UN *can* control the internet. The more any entity tries to squeeze the internet, the more virtual darknets will appear on it, outside the reach of those entities. That being said, they cannot achieve any of the goals that prevent bad behavior on the internet... The argument is parallel to the one regarding making guns or drugs or other substances illegal. You cannot stop criminals from getting access to these things, you can only stop honest people from getting access to them. You cannot stop criminal use of the internet, only honest use of it.
  • pretty soon it will be like a cross between a UN CSPAN and infomercials so your choice will be to buy something imported from a third world state owned sweatshop built with slave labor or watching a bunch of old men argue international politics...

    I will be canceling as soon as the keys to the net is turned over to the tyrants, bye bye slashdot
  • The wrong goal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wanderfowl (2534492) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:31PM (#39126867)
    Right now, in the short game, everybody wants the ability to govern the internet, with the assumption that they'll do it right for their constituents/country/special interests, and with the flawed assumption that they'll be on top forever. The problem is that by attempting to run the internet your way and lock everybody into that _right now_, you're making it easier for somebody else who you disagree with more to take your place, leaving them controlling your internet in a way you may not want. You can't build an elaborate censorship, surveillance and control system on the internet and not expect it to be used against you the next time the torch is passed. In the long game, though, what everybody _should_ be wanting is the hardening of the internet against governance, tracking and regulation, by anybody, and de-centralize it enough that it doesn't matter who thinks they're running things. Only then can you ensure that your use-case is still functional, no matter who's "in charge".
  • Holy crap ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:31PM (#39126877) Homepage

    Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year's end

    Holy crap! If China and Russia are in favor of this, it simply can't be allowed to happen.

    I can only imagine how badly the internet would be broken by every piss-pot government bureaucrat around the world decides the internet should (or shouldn't) be allowed to work in a given way.

    Criticize the government? Banned. Point out that a politician is a philandering, lying bastard? Banned.

    There's already actions in the UN to make it a crime to say mean things about religion ... this will only make it worse, and then some. It's my legal right to say that your imaginary friend can mind his own damned business and that I don't wish to be bound by your scripture.

    Go with a central control over the internet, and you're in a race to the bottom to appease the most backwards of governments, and pretty much do whatever the copyright lobby wants out of it.

    Keep your hands off my fucking internet.

  • by bughunter (10093) <.ten.knilhtrae. .ta. .retnuhgub.> on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:32PM (#39126889) Journal

    The answer to the question "Who believes UN governance will result in improvement?" will give a lot of insight into the motives behind transferring control to a UN agency. My immediate suspicions include: the copyright cartels, repressive governments, and telecoms/tier 1's seeking to create international monopolies.

    Sure there are technical improvements that arguably can be made at various layers, but does anyone think that the UN can or will do any better at managing them than the current system?

  • by DesScorp (410532) <<DesScorp> <at> <Gmail.com>> on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:36PM (#39126953) Homepage Journal

    The UN fancies itself as a nascent world government. I don't know about the rest of the world, but the US isn't going to go along with putting the Internet in the hands of the same people that made Qaddafi's Libya chair of the Human Rights Commission.

  • No friggin way (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:40PM (#39127009) Journal

    The UN is totally dysfunctional in way that makes Washington DC look like a Bastian of efficiency, honesty, and virtue. The problem with the UN is there is also the matter that the UN is made up of members that have little to no respect for basic human freedoms, and that includes places like Western Europe where its say illegal to question certain historic view points. That same organization than has the gal to berate us here in the USA on human rights for say executing adult criminals (18 years old), while they would classify all kinds of behavior as criminal which we would never criminalize in the first place.

    No I am not a fan of government but when it comes to Internet governance I would much much rather have the USA (who is entitled to by the way as we build the thing) with its still relatively strong Constitutional protections running the Net, than some international body.

    Personally if the rest of the world thinks they should govern the Net I say let them build their own, but as soon as packet touches one of our Edge routers, OUR RULES APPLY.

    • by olau (314197)

      The problem with the UN is there is also the matter that the UN is made up of members that have little to no respect for basic human freedoms, and that includes places like Western Europe where its say illegal to question certain historic view points.

      Care to elaborate? Maybe you're referring to Germany's laws against nazi symbols? You have to remember that nazists did cause some horrible sufferings, not just to the Germans but to many other countries. Even so, this is a law specific to Germany and I haven't heard any Germans trying to push them to other countries.

      That same organization than has the gal to berate us here in the USA on human rights for say executing adult criminals (18 years old), while they would classify all kinds of behavior as criminal which we would never criminalize in the first place.

      You are speaking out of your ass here. If you weren't, you would have some examples.

      The truth is that the UN, while by design not the most effective organization on earth, is doing a lot of goo

  • by c0lo (1497653)
    TheReg FA

    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.

  • RTFS, guys (Score:5, Informative)

    by AdamHaun (43173) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:50PM (#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.

    • I don't have one, but IIRC, when the systems were initially put in place, everyone swore up and down that they would only use them for collecting money and would never, EVER permit the data to be used to spy on people or to be used to track their location, etc..., etc..

      Fast forward to today.

      - What's one of the first thing to be subpoenaed in divorce proceedings? That's right: EasyPass records.
      - What can the FBI pull up with a NSL? (heck -- I don't even know if they need one these days. Last I heard they wer

  • The court ruled in American Library Association v. U.S. Department of Justice and Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union that "speech on the Internet is entitled to the highest level of First Amendment protection, similar to the protection the Court gives to books and newspapers." Notice how television and radio are not included in that list. This is because with every new technology that emerges, the government wants to regulate it because of the powers it holds. The Internet is a very powerful tool for f
  • by FreeUser (11483) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:01PM (#39127319)

    One thing people often forget is that individual citizens are NOT constituents of the UN. The UN does not represent you, your rights, or your interests.

    The UN represents GOVERNMENTS, whose interests are often at odds with, or diametrically opposed to, the interests of the people they govern. Indeed, the UN only represents people's intrests when they happen to coincide with the interests of a sufficient number of sufficiently powerful governments, which is quite rare (WHO and the Human Rights folks notwithstanding). Moving authority from a democratically elected government (however dysfunctional, however provincial) to an unelected body that represents government interests over human interests is not a change for the better.

  • I guess this fills the quota for the daily right-wing paranoia freak out story.
  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:16PM (#39127553)

    How often do some people say "oh you should let the UN take care of that" or "did you ask the UN?" or "what was the consensus of the international community"...

    But offer that same august body control over the internet and everyone won't trust anywhere near it.

    Exactly. And that's why it's hard to interact with the UN in all those other circumstances. It's a mess, corrupt, and highly incompetent. Count on it and it will drop you baby on the head every time... repeatedly... possibly on purpose.

  • There is currently no governing body that is sufficiently dedicated to freedom of expression to be even remotely worthy of governing and/or regulating the Internet. The US government comes closer than most, leading to a relatively non-intolerable situation as compared to most other situations. Sealand might do better, but that's not really a practical solution, and I can't particularly think of anyone else. Certainly not the UN, which not only lacks any procedure to exclude known foxes from duties that incl

  • Some good old anti-UN paranoia from a Republican in the FCC. He is also against Net Neutrality.
  • anon will look after anon's internet. It doesn't belong to the US or anyone else.
  • This is all a load of crock. It's not as if US is controlling the Internet today. If they were, then there would be no great firewall of China, no filtering of tweets in India and probably no net neutrality. Also, what is "US" that controls the Internet according to this - the government or the military or the people or what? Because I did not see any changes in the Internet when the US government changed. The packets didn't start flowing in different ways just because there was a new guy in the Oval Office

  • by couchslug (175151) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @05:40PM (#39130789)

    There is some hope of changing what the (corrupt) US government does, but none of changing what the coalition of evil known as the United Nations does.

    That's the flaw in attempts at "world government", which in reality means loss of sovereignty and that is all.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein

Working...