Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Government United States

Plan Would Give Government Virtual Veto Over Internet Governance 65

Posted by samzenpus
from the changing-things-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes The debate over Internet governance for much of the past decade has often come down to a battle between ICANN and the United Nations. The reality has always been far more complicated. The U.S. still maintains contractual control over ICANN, while all governments exert considerable power within the ICANN model through the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Now governments are looking for even more power, seeking a near-complete veto power of ICANN decisions.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Plan Would Give Government Virtual Veto Over Internet Governance

Comments Filter:
  • Does it matter? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kruach aum (1934852)

    It's not like I can exert influence over either governments or the ICANN in any way, shape or form.

    • Re:Does it matter? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by KermodeBear (738243) on Monday August 18, 2014 @01:46PM (#47696803) Homepage

      I don't know about you, but I would rather have the USA, despite all of its faults (and we have many), in control of these things instead of countries like Iran or North Korea.

      • Who didn't see this coming?
      • Re:Does it matter? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Jesus_666 (702802) on Monday August 18, 2014 @03:37PM (#47697753)
        Then again many people outside the USA aren't entirely comfortable with the USA having control over internet governance. Mind you, there are many other countries equally unsuited. The problem is that if one single country has control then one country might decide to use that control to further its own interests. And I don't think that it's a good trade to give all power to one country just to ensure that certain other countries get no power at all.

        Of course this is about power shifting towards governments in general. This is to be expected - after all, we can't just have random people running the internet and governments happen to be the very things that represent their countries internationally. I expect ICANN to become something like the ITU: A UN agency that handles infrastructure governance. That does seem to be the safest and fairest option. Do Iran and North Korea get a voice? Yes, they do, just as they should. But that doesn't mean they run the show.
        • by Kludge (13653)

          after all, we can't just have random people running the internet

          I will differ with you here. Random people can and do "run the internet" all the time. Individual network service providers choose to whom they are going to connect. They choose how to route their traffic. Anybody can choose to use alternative DNS roots. The internet can be run by random people just fine.

        • by heypete (60671)

          Of course this is about power shifting towards governments in general. This is to be expected - after all, we can't just have random people running the internet and governments happen to be the very things that represent their countries internationally

          (Emphasis mine.)

          Why not? That's basically what Jon Postel [wikipedia.org] did: he basically singlehandedly administered the DNS root and was IANA.

          Sure, things are different now, but we certainly have had random people running the internet. It worked then, why not now?

          • by Jesus_666 (702802)
            Well, there are the schenanigans around the .iq domain. While accounts seem to differ it was a bit peculiar that .iq dropped off the root zone right around when the Iraq War happened. (I know that the guy administering the TLD was nasty but he wasn't convicted yet and I'm not sure it's reasonable to shut down a TLD because the Tech-C is being prosecuted.)

            "Random people" includes any single government. Jon Postel might have been trustworthy but his government isn't. Not when international politics are invo
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Well NZ Could run it just fine, we have no "real" army, navy or nuclear capability we can't afford to piss anyone off, anyone who declared war on NZ would probably get laughed at. NZ is also small enough to not be a major political power and have little/no say in global politics but is also a modern country with infrastructure to support this control. We also have free trade agreements with Both the USA and China.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        I don't know about you, but I would rather have the USA, despite all of its faults (and we have many), in control of these things instead of countries like Iran or North Korea.

        Are those our only choices?

        Until it became the world's shopping mall, governance of the Internet was rather simple.

        At this point, I'd be content to see the Internet blown up completely and something else take its place. It's been too badly corrupted to ever deliver on any of the promise it had when it first became open to the general

        • by peragrin (659227)

          The usenet was setup in 1980? 1981? I am willing to bet that at least by 1982 someone had sold a physical object to another usenet poster. Thus the internet has been corrupted for at least that long.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            I am willing to bet that at least by 1982 someone had sold a physical object to another usenet poster.

            A swap meet is one thing. A job board, "for sale" signs, no problem.

            Commercial uses of the Internet were prohibited until 1995 when the NSF ended its sponsorship of the backbone and turned it over to commercial services.

        • by kwbauer (1677400)

          Yup, commerce is the downfall of any civilization.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            The internet does not qualify as "a civilization". And certainly it is possible for civilization to have commerce without the Internet, don't you think? Somehow, people managed before 1980.

            • by kwbauer (1677400)

              No but civilizations always work to make commerce more efficient and the internet is obviously a great way to do that. What next, complaints about people using the postal system to transact commerce.

              No, I guess you are correct. Those of us who live in smaller towns should not be able to take advantage of the larger shops and choices without actually driving to the "big city" and we should be getting all of our entertainment the old-fashioned way by driving to the live theater.

              • by PopeRatzo (965947)

                No but civilizations always work to make commerce more efficient and the internet is obviously a great way to do that.

                If it was worth doing, then why didn't the private sector do it?

                They actually did. I don't know if you're old enough, but the private sector created what they said was going to be an interactive network that would connect everyone. It was called, "cable TV".

                When cable rolled out, there were these boxes you could input to answer questions and it was going to be how you communicated with peo

                • by kwbauer (1677400)

                  If you want what was there before 1995, then you are still free to provide that. There is no law nor rule that says you cannot. Just like there is no law nor rule that says you must purchase anything from Amazon.

                  • by PopeRatzo (965947)

                    If you want what was there before 1995, then you are still free to provide that.

                    You mean more than just two ISPs for the entire country?

                    Actually, you are NOT free to provide that. Not any more.

    • Yeah, I get you. Democratic governments give you, the citizen, no ability to influence affairs.

      I know you're trying to reference the fact that your nation(almost certainly the US) has a broken democracy, but I still challenge that it doesn't result in complete disenfranchisement.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        It's considered broken by people who don't get involved. Their effort revolves around complaining on website.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It's considered broken by people who do get involved, because we have a crappy two party system where the two parties are nearly identical on the one front that truly matters: Fundamental and constitutional liberties. Those of us who vote third party realize that voting for the lesser of the two evil scumbags does not solve anything, and yet we are few.

          In a democracy, and especially a two party cesspool like ours, you get the government that other people deserve.

          • Of course, the brokenness isn't that it is two party. If that were truly what citizens wanted, it'd be natural and good. The problem is that the electoral mechanics that underlie it strongly incentive arbitrary long-term political alliances among groups with highly disparate beliefs.

            I'd argue that in-turn promotes a disconnect between the actual voters and those they vote for, but now I'm comparing a hypothetical universe against the real one. And we all know that imaginary universes with the changes I wa

            • 2 parties suck, but n parties; coalition governments and regular reformations of coalitions also suck. Too much power in the hands of small parties that end up holding the balance.

              I'm in favor of no political parties. But accept it's untested IRL and could continue politics being only affordable to the rich.

      • I live in a small country in Europe. Even if I were to make an attempt at some kind of extremely diluted exertion of power by casting my vote for a nationally elected representative, it would still not amount to anything, because we have close to no power internationally.

  • The internet isn't some entity you can control. It's a network of individual entities. There are hubs, but there is no internet "core".
    • by Lennie (16154)

      DNS is still pretty centralized though.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Sort of, because many people still agree on using the ICANN root zone. The root zone is relatively small. Replacing it with something functionally identical that isn't under unilateral control of a US company is entirely possible, and ICANN's consent is not required.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        As is IP address allocation.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Human society isn't some entity you can control. It's a network of individual entities. There are hubs, but there is no human society "core". Of course, this won't stop people from making the attempt.

    • by kheldan (1460303)
      Try telling this to your typical politician or government official, who has to hire underlings to manage their email because they don't even understand how to deal with that even on an end-user basis. Even here in the U.S. we have judges occasionally attempt to make legal rulings concerning websites that don't physically reside in the U.S. at all, let alone their jurisdiction.
  • root DNS, nothing else? There alternative DNS systems, and even when IANA blocks a TLD, the TLD operators can purchase a second-level domain from a unfrequented TLD like nauru, and run their service as a "second-level TLD".

    Oh, I tremble from the might of ICANN, it can assign PORT NUMBERS!!!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There alternative DNS systems

      That nobody but crazies and enthusiasts use.

      Seriously, you're talking about a world where we haven't been able to get IPV6 up and running. Do you really think people are going to voluntarily switch roots, and put up with the catastrophic brokenness that would bring?

  • Not packed enough? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by magarity (164372) on Monday August 18, 2014 @01:56PM (#47696899)

    It sounds like the governments bent on censorship have managed to pack the ICANN board enough to get this proposal seriously considered but not enough that the ICANN board can't still usually override them:

    ICANN is now proposing that the threshold be increased so that 2/3 of eligible ICANN board members would be required to vote against GAC advice in order to reject it

    Why else would ICANN's own board even be considering giving this power away?

  • Is this functionally the same as a meatspace veto? What about a holistic immersion filibuster via TRON-esqye deconstructing LASERs?

  • I'm afraid I certainly do not recognize Obama --to name one-- as my governor.

  • Your average politician doesn't understand how the Internet even works to start with. Now add political agendas, especially from oppressive governments and rulers, and this is what will completely destroy the Internet for everyone, not corporations, not spammers, not scammers, not even cyber-terrorists. It'll end up a fragmented disaster as country after country disconnects and walls themselves off so they're not subjected to the whims of fucktarded politicians, dictators, and even monarchs, who will insist
  • The governments of the world could screw up the internet pretty badly, but nothing short of engineering an artificial intelligence and giving it control over every computer on the planet is going to be able to "govern" anything.
  • If they want veto power, just kick them off of the rest of the network and watch how fast they come crawling back --- their population of people will literally whip the crap out of them for the lack of facebook/reddit/slashdot/amazon/younameit.com access.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard

Working...