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EU Passes Resolution Against ITU Asserting Control Over Internet 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the hands-off dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Today, the European Parliament passed a resolution that condemns the upcoming attempt from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to assert control over the Internet, and instructed its 27 Member States to act accordingly. This follows an attempt from the ITU to assert itself as the governing body and control the Internet. From the article: 'The resolution, which was passed with a large majority, included Members of European Parliament (MEPs) from all major party groups, and the Pirate Party’s Amelia Andersdotter had been playing a central role in its drafting, together with MEPs Marietje Schaake and Judith Sargentini from the Netherlands, Sabine Verheyen and Petra Kammerevert from Germany, Ivailo Kalfin from Bulgaria, and Catherine Trautmann from France.'"
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EU Passes Resolution Against ITU Asserting Control Over Internet

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:05AM (#42071599)

    Despite all the failing and shortcomings, mother Europe still delivers.

    • by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Friday November 23, 2012 @05:33AM (#42072125)
      Commissioner Nellie Kroes is particularly good and has stood up for the rights of users (against pressure from Big Business). Let's recognize and applaud the people that are on 'our' side (I'm from New Zealand, and the decisions she makes as EU Commissioner on digital rights influence countries around the World):
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neelie_Kroes [wikipedia.org]
      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        Kroes is a snake. But surprisingly, in spite of her history, she's something of a "people's snake". Or more accurately, competitiveness' snake.

    • by Hentes (2461350) on Friday November 23, 2012 @07:38AM (#42072697)

      To be honest, while I don't like the ITU either I think we shouldn't give our support to the US for free. We should try to exploit our leverage in this situation and tell the Americans that if they want us to support them keeping their 'net they have to govern it more responsibly. Particularly the area of gTLDs is one where there's lots of room for improvement, and Europe shouldn't give up its bargaining positions for free.

      • If you want to look a the future of an internationalized internet, just look to the UN where recently we had the human rights commission (or some such body) being controlled by a majority of dictatorships famous for suppressing human rights. The world was stood on it's head.

        Face it, the US has done a great job of "managing the internet". The biggest non-US player is CHINA. Do we really want the world's largest non-democracy to be given control of the world's telecommunications infrastructure? The recent

        • by Hentes (2461350)

          Just because I point a gun at your head doesn't mean I want to pull the trigger. I don't want to take control away from America, but I don't want them to get all comfortable and abuse that control to further their economic interests. I want to keep America on their heels, in constant fear that if they play too unfair the world will get fed up and take their power away. Because the only thing politicians respond to is the fear of losing power.

      • The entire reason they passed this was to retain complete control of their local nets. In other words, Business as usual. If France decides to block objectional content from the Beeb in the U.K. they can continue to do so. If the Irish want to beat up the French, then they can do so on their local network and what ever else they want.

        What thei ITU was proposing was a total takeover of the internet and I do agree that the idiots need to be shot, then drawn and quartered then those remains exposed to sunlight

    • The same day this was going on they appointed Tonio Borg as health commissioner.

      Epic FAIL.

  • we had Andersdotters here in India. Young politicians here are 40+, most are 60+ who can't understand tech if their lives depended on it. hence the facebook-post-arrests seen recently.

    • Re:I wish (Score:5, Funny)

      by tehcyder (746570) on Friday November 23, 2012 @06:22AM (#42072327) Journal

      we had Andersdotters here in India. Young politicians here are 40+, most are 60+ who can't understand tech if their lives depended on it. hence the facebook-post-arrests seen recently.

      I don't see anything wrong with arresting someone for using facebook. A few more cases pour encourager les autres and with any luck we could get the whole fucking thing shut down.

      • by chthon (580889)

        Hm, this reminds me a little bit about non-cooperation, non-violence and peaceful resistance. These people seem too old to understand tech, and too young to understand how Ghandi obtained Indian independence.

    • I wish we had a few hundred more Ameila Andersdotters in the the European Parliament and in legislatures and governments across the world. While most politicians I have met want to do the right thing, she's one of the very few (if only one) who seems to know enough, be sharp enough and care enough to do it.

      On the other hand, she does make the rest of us look bad...

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:06AM (#42071605) Journal

    I'm pretty sure that having the EU tell you "STFU and leave it to the yanks" is one of the harsher put-downs that a multinational treaty organization can suffer...

  • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:07AM (#42071607) Journal
    It actually makes a lot of sense, even when you're reading the legalese, the influence of having the Pirate Party on board (and actually drafting a lot of it) shows.

    calls on the Member States to prevent any changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations which would be harmful to the openness of the internet, net neutrality, the end-to-end principle, universal service obligations, and the participatory governance entrusted to multiple actors such as governments, supranational institutions, non-governmental organisations, large and small businesses, the technological community and internet users and consumers at large

    But as with all things of this nature, I can't help but wonder where the catch is - sensible sounding legislation always comes back to bite us doesn't it?

    • Re:What's the catch? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jarkus4 (1627895) on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:15AM (#42071629)

      its not really legislation as it has no binding power whatsoever. Its pretty much "Hey, we dont like this idea" shout from them.

      • by ledow (319597)

        With the caveat that those people saying that eventually get a veto vote on any law they don't like.

        So although it doesn't mean it it *mustn't* happen, the chances of any change not respecting that opinion are unlikely to make it into law in the end. It's a warning. "You can waste years of drafting law if you want, but we get the ultimate say when any of this is actually challenged and our opinion currently is..."

    • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:18AM (#42071643)

      It's both a giant stab at the ITU and the US. They don't want a single entity in control, and they want to make sure all stakeholders are considered collaboratively (which is what the ITU is anyway, but at a different level). In other words, we don't like the current setup, but we thing the ITU being in charge could be worse.

      It plants itself firmly in the camp of open internet, something the US has consistently stood against in one way or another (blocking foreign sports betting, arresting Kim Dotcom, Going after wikileaks payments etc.).

      Now what will plan B look like...

    • by jjbarrows (958997)

      the catch is the copyright trolls still run the internet

    • by Troed (102527)

      It actually makes a lot of sense, even when you're reading the legalese, the influence of having the Pirate Party on board (and actually drafting a lot of it) shows.

      I do hope everyone applauding this initiative make sure to vote for their local Pirate Party [wikipedia.org] (represented in over 40 countries). Sweden did in 2009 and our two representatives have been doing great work in parliament ever since.

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gweihir (88907) on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:13AM (#42071619)

    The anti-innovation, anti-competition strategy of the telcos must be stopped. The only thing as dysfunctional was the old USSR planned-economy model.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bearhouse (1034238) on Friday November 23, 2012 @06:34AM (#42072381)

      The only thing as dysfunctional was the old USSR planned-economy model.

      How about the "unplanned" international banking crisis?

      • by mdragan (1166333)
        > How about the "unplanned" international banking crisis? It's actually quite "planned". Pulling the ropes of the monetary system is one of the few things that is still heavily "manipulated" to influence the economy by governments all over the world. That's why we have National Banks (or the FED, or whatever it's called in your country) that have a monopoly on the production of money and some serious strings to pull on the economy.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Goldman Sachs re-invested the "un" in "unplanned" into credit default swaps on hybrid futures on the USSR planned-economy model [memegenerator.net].... aaaand it's GONE!

  • Laughable (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Today, the European Parliament passed a resolution that condemns the upcoming attempt from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to assert control over the Internet, and instructed its 27 Member States to act accordingly

    The EU Parliament can instruct whatever it likes but it has no power over the member states. It might as well instruct all other world governments to agree as well, instruct the ITU to change track and instruct the weather to improve.

    The most an instruction from the EU parliament to nationals governments can achieve is to raise enough outrage from nationalists that they take the opposite stand. In practice though nobody's likely to do more than roll their eyes at them.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Despite the ludicrous summary, the actual wording of that part was was:

      [The European Parliament] calls on the Member States to prevent any changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations which would be harmful to the openness of the internet, net neutrality, the end-to-end principle, universal service obligations, and the participatory governance entrusted to multiple actors such as governments, supranational institutions, non-governmental organisations, large and small businesses, the technological community and internet users and consumers at large

      Obviously that's not an instruction.

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        It is. EP has no power over governments and their stance. They're sovereign. It can only take an "advisory" vote on such issues, which is non-binding.

    • by lordholm (649770)

      No, the vote signals the stance of the EP, this is important as the council is more aware of the current mood in the parliament and they need to take this into account when negotiating new rules in the council and the commission since the rules must go through the EP in a final vote anyhow. It is not just related to the specific question on hand.

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        While it is true that vote will eventually have to go through EP, EP has no power to set the issue itself (which is what it is trying to do here). It can only vote on the issue presented before it.

        This issue was not presented before it, therefore vote is purely advisory and has no binding effect on member states.

    • Hub? Each of the EU members has passed enabling legislation giving laws by MEPs the force of domestic law.

      • by lordholm (649770)

        MEPs cannot initiate law. The commission is the only body that can propose new directives, but they will do so under advice from the parliament and the council.

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Friday November 23, 2012 @03:50AM (#42071737) Homepage

    Seriously, between the shittiness that is our national government and the shittiness that is the European Commission (fairly well demonstrated by having put my countryman Barroso in "charge"), the European Parliament seems like the only sane institution around here.

    • by Xest (935314) on Friday November 23, 2012 @05:01AM (#42071989)

      It's because it's elected by proportional representation.

      That's what happens when you have politicians who actually have to represent the people who vote them in, and this is why all governments should move to a porportional system if they genuinely want to class themselves as democratic societies and legitimate representatives of the people.

      People think electoral reform in most countries is just a fringe side issue, but it's the single most important issue in improving accountability and hence decreasing corruption and increasing quality of representation IMO. Things still wont be perfect with true proportional representation, but as the EP shows, they're a damn sight better than many of the individual national european governments by themselves and than the likes of the EC.

      • It's because it's elected by proportional representation.

        It also works through compromise and agreement (rather than divisiveness and opposition), is much harder to lobby (due to there being MEPs from all different areas) and much harder to pressure (mainly because most people don't know/care what goes on).

        There's also the fact that MEP elections tend to have much lower turnouts, so a much higher percentage of voters know what's going on, and don't just vote for the party they like the sound of.

      • Yes, but my country has proportional representation and yet has been government by shitty, corrupt parties since the 70s, when we transitioned from a fascist to a democratic state.

        I think it has much to do with the electorate and culture of the institutions.

  • by EzInKy (115248) on Friday November 23, 2012 @04:14AM (#42071835)

    Despite the US still being conservative compared to the progessive world, it is definetly far more liberal than nations such as Saudi Arabia where everyone citizen has to belong to the state sanctioned religion and women barely get by with showing their faces in public. Sure the current situation isn't ideal, but the ITU's solution is far worse.

    • by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Friday November 23, 2012 @05:17AM (#42072061)

      In my opinion, the US isn't conservative, more like individualistic. Yes, there are religious loudmouths, but they aren't common, you just hear about them more because they are loud where the others are not. Most people, republican or democrat, have religious views on the back of their mind but don't proselytize them. Except, of course, politicians like Jesse Jackson Jr. or Rick Santorum.

      Conservatives say ban sex from the internet. Progressives say ban anything that somebody might consider offensive, even going so far as to put harmless internet trolls in jail. Individualists say that if you don't like what you see, change the channel.

      The US, by and large, is the later of the three. We don't ban pornography, and we don't have hate speech laws. Freedom of speech is more absolute here than anywhere else, pretty much the only limit is speech that causes physical harm.

      Though the left likes to claim that deregulation and austerity is conservative, and so does the media at large, it isn't. It is very much libertarian.

      • Great post! I'm not from the US and from my point of view it is the individualism and protected free speech (including the right to offend - a critical freedom) that are one of the greatest features of that country, and set it ahead of many of its critics (including the pussies, ignoramuses and bleeding hearts in my own country, New Zealand).
      • by tehcyder (746570) on Friday November 23, 2012 @06:21AM (#42072317) Journal
        Individualistic is just a nicey-nice way of saying selfish. The roots of conservatism lie in the proppping up of existing power structures, whether they're religious, economic or political.

        So-called libertarians who say they are "fiscally conservative but socially liberal" are, in plain English, conservative.

        By deifying freedom of the individual to do as they wish above everything else, you are simply ensuring that those in power continue to do what they want while living like parasites on the body of society as a whole.

        "Deregulation and austerity" are indeed libertarian, which is to say conservative, as they sit the agenda of those in power perfectly. It is sad that all you rugged American individualists are so blind to this obvious truth.

        • Because its not truth. Your point is hardly accurate, and obviously full of agenda. Let me know when you decide to project a more objective truth.
        • No, individualistic is saying that I can better determine the best way to make use of my money to address the problems that I think are important than some bureaucrat.

          By deifying freedom of the individual to do as they wish above everything else, you are simply ensuring that those in power continue to do what they want while living like parasites on the body of society as a whole.

          Whereas you apparently think that you can somehow limit the ability of those in power to do what they want while living like parasites on the body of society as a whole by giving them more power. That seems counter-intuitive to me.

        • by peppepz (1311345)
          In fact, even in the USA, whenever "individualism" and "freedom" come to clash with the interests of those in power, then we see that governments re-discover themselves as interventist in a bizarre "reverse socialist" way, and here come all kinds of imaginary property, patents, bailouts for the banks, suspension of civil liberties - so much for the principles of free market and laissez faire.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          So-called libertarians who say they are "fiscally conservative but socially liberal" are, in plain English, conservative.

          That depends, do they mean conservative or neoconservative? A libertarian is basically a more anarchist person than a liberal or a conservative, as they want less government control over both business and your bedroom habits. A conservative's fiscal view is that business can look after itself, but their social view is that morality should be regulated. If they actually believe that both business and morality should be regulated, then they're more a fascist than a conservative.

        • What's in a label? The left in England call themselves conservatives. That those in the US on the right identify as conservative also hold strong individualistic views, doesn't necessarily make them conservative.

          In my mind, western conservatives would be like Italy, where there are blaspheme laws:

          http://yro.slashdot.org/story/02/07/10/0450203/italian-police-censor-blasphemous-websites [slashdot.org]

          Compared to them, I think the US would fit the classic definition of being progressive.

          Notice though that I disclaimed my pos

      • by Bongo (13261)

        Related to that, one idea is, when people wonder, why is there poverty? or why is there this or that problem? the left blames the system, whereas the right blames the individual. So the left wants to fix the system, make it more fair, whereas the right wants to fix the individual, make him or her more capable.

        Add the older or newer strategies, like pre-modern and modern, or 'conservative' or 'progressive', and you can have a oldy style right winger who says religion is the moral guide to stamping out person

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, there are religious loudmouths, but they aren't common, you just hear about them more because they are loud where the others are not. Most people, republican or democrat, have religious views on the back of their mind but don't proselytize them.

        When looking from the far north of europe, where we generally tend to be atheists, all your politicians seem like fanatic believers. The ones you think of as fanatics seem to be ready for mental institution.

      • Unfortunately this is seen as the old-fashioned, obsolete way of doing things by most people.
      • Progressives don't say that.  Some Liberals do.
      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @02:58AM (#42080111) Journal

        The US, by and large, is the later of the three. We don't ban pornography

        You still have the Miller test. And there are still a bunch of states banning sale of sex toys. Some also had sodomy laws on the books until a few years ago (even if they were ineffective in practice after SCOTUS decision back in 80s).

        Then there's this whole business with creationism and Ten Commandments and prayers in schools. And the whole nation-wide controversy about gay marriage and abortion.

        So, yes, you definitely are conservative, very much so.

    • ...but the ITU's solution is far worse.

      I'm still left wondering what the problem is.

      • Wow, a very cool topic. I enjoyed very much seeing the world's view of this country re this subject. Good points how the US can be in one direction about censorship, and totally another direction re copyrights.

        But anyhow, to your point; as I have heard it, there is concern that traffic is now paid for in a socialist fashion - everyone pays a part - somewhat evened out. If the ITU gets control that will change. What will happen if Africa, all of sudden has to pay what it actually costs to access data from e
        • My question was rhetorical. There's no point in putting a capitolist model in internet access as you're describing. Some things need to be run in a socialist fashion for purely technical reasons- the doman system is one of them.
          • "There's no point in putting a capitolist (sic) model in internet access as you're describing"

            Why? Did the hardware technology become free somewhere I did not read about?

            Your question was rhetorical because you think corporations should just do it for free. It is really not such a rhetorical question, as long as someone is spending their money on it. I for one, do not think I should have to pay to give Africa access to US content. Especially as long as Africa does not think they should pay to access to
            • Your question was rhetorical because you think corporations should just do it for free.

              No, I think governments should do it for free using universities and other non-partisan orgs as proxies, as they do now. Stop assuming, etc...

    • by evilviper (135110)

      "Despite the US still being conservative compared to the progessive world, it is definetly far more liberal than nations such as Saudi Arabia"

      You're way the hell off base. Liberal vs conservative is completely irrelevant to proper stewardship of the internet. The defining question is how highly you regard freedom of speech, and the US is decidedly number one in the world, at least among large nations.

      European countries would censor the internet... Posting a negative review about a merchant EVEN IF COMPLE

  • When I saw the list of names, I was positively surprised about the high number of women protecting our civil freedoms.
  • I have a naive and maybe stoopid question : If ITU wants to grab the authority that IANA has now, how the hell are they going to enforce it ?

    Root servers are not going to magically change overnight, and people in the US and Europe are certainly not going to switch to whatever the ITU decides, just because the ITU decides.

    It would be nice for the ITU to remember that the Internet works because everybody agrees with it. If people start to disagree, it will only lead to a split in the internet, and I'm prett

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They could start by restricting the DNS servers people from a certain geographic area can access.
      So for Europeans, you have this, this and this DNS server. Try any other ip address and it's blackholed.
      Same goes for the US, South America, Asia etc... The start of new balkanized internet, with the compliment of the ITU and cooperative governments.

      • by Zak3056 (69287)

        They could start by restricting the DNS servers people from a certain geographic area can access.
        So for Europeans, you have this, this and this DNS server. Try any other ip address and it's blackholed.

        I think you completely missed what the GP was saying. Sure, the ITU can decide that DNS servers will be regional. So they pass their resolution and go to, for example, Telekom in Germany, and say, "You will blackhole all traffic on port 53 sent to hosts outside of Germany." At which point, Telekom will reply, "Who the hell are you to decide this? Fuck off."

      • Good point. And if a country doesn't play nice (e.g. opposes a new rule the ITU decides on like "don't criticize religions"), they could route that county's DNS servers to a special "black hole" server that doesn't route at all - effectively knocking out Internet until that country complies. They might not have the clout to push around the US to start with, but they could bully smaller countries into submission and work their way up.

    • I was wondering this as well. Suppose the ITU gains control tomorrow and, with their first act, confirms everyone's worst suspicions and bans all religious criticism online. I doubt the US would go along with it and - given the EU's resolution - the EU might stand with them. How, then, would the ITU enforce the "don't criticize any religions" rule on the Internet as a whole? (Granted, I wouldn't want them to get in that position whether they could enforce that rule or not.)

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