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The Internet Government Politics

U.S. Insists On Keeping Control Of Internet 1167

veggie boy writes "A U.S. official strongly objected to any notion of a U.N. body taking control of the domain servers that direct traffic on the Internet." From the article: "'We will not agree to the U.N. taking over the management of the Internet,' said Ambassador David Gross, the U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy at the State Department. 'Some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable.' Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly concerned about the U.S. control, which stems from the country's role in creating the Internet as a Pentagon project and funding much of its early development."
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U.S. Insists On Keeping Control Of Internet

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  • It's not broke... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FIT_Entry1 ( 468985 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:46AM (#13683886)
    don't fix it.
    • by bullitB ( 447519 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @11:15AM (#13684858)
      I think this US control of the Internet is what's been holding it back. Maybe with international bureaucracy and UN regulation, this "Internet" thing will finally take off...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 30, 2005 @11:26AM (#13685044)
      If the UN wants control of name servers, then let them set up the OWN file and have their signatories use it. There is nothing magic about the US-controlled root servers. It's just like Certificate Authorities - it's all a matter of who you trust...
      • Thats my feeling as well. I also don't understand the following...

        Some countries have been frustrated that the United States and European countries that got on the Internet first gobbled up most of the available addresses required for computers to connect, leaving developing nations with a limited supply to share.

        They expect entitlement. What they should be doing is developing! They have the ability to start with IPv6 from the word go, and yet they want to fight over IPv4 space. If they innovate on thei
    • by Zane Hopkins ( 894230 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @12:18PM (#13685717) Homepage
      Its not about being broken, its about trust. Do none of you remember back in 95 what happened to NeverNeverLand.

      The US wanted to invade to close all of the Pirate Training Camps, but the NeverNeverLand government was vocal across the internet in claiming there were no training camps, just theme parks. So what happened, the US kicked NeverNeverLands domain (.nn) out of the root servers. Suddenly no one in NeverNeverLand could email one another, the government collapsed and the country went into chaos.

      But worse, nobody could access any .nn websites, so nobody knew what was happening, and you couldn't email .nn anymore. It was like NeverNeverLand just dissappeared off the map, and soon people forgot it was there, forgot it ever existed.

      Now it's just an legend, like atlantis, and all because the US kicked .nn off of the root servers.

      Remember it's happened once, it can happed again.
  • My turn (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) *
    calls on Thursday for a U.N. body to take over control of the main computers that direct traffic on the Internet

    Which is Europes way of saying, "gimme, gimme, gimme, my turn to play with the toys!"

    Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly concerned about the U.S. control

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? What do developing countries have to do with jack? They're small and tend to have very poor Internet infrastructures. Does this mean that we're now supposed to turn over control to them so
    • Re:My turn (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rovingeyes ( 575063 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:55AM (#13683971)
      What do developing countries have to do with jack?

      I am assuming you have heard of a country called India, which is a developing nation. If you still don't get it, then get out of your basement and watch the real world. We are not in 70s anymore.

      • Re:My turn (Score:4, Funny)

        by StarvingSE ( 875139 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:15AM (#13684196)
        They are a developing country all right.....developing all that outsourced software...

        Sorry, couldn't resist
    • Talking to myself (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <{akaimbatman} {at} {}> on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:55AM (#13683975) Homepage Journal
      Hmm... I suppose that did come off kind of flame-baity, didn't it?

      Let me put it this way, I just stayed up most of the night documenting in my blog how the Chinese government abuses its people and ignores the very laws it put in place to protect its people. Now first thing in the morning, I hear that the UN wants to turn over full control of the DNS heirarchy to countries like China. Countries to whom "freedom" is just a word to be filtered. Countries where a constitution is just words on some expensive paper. Countries that care little for anything except maintaining their own power.

      If we turn even the slightest control over to these people, it's a surefire guarantee that they will abuse it. They would use the technology to further oppress their people (illegally, I might add) and attempt to extend their influence to elsewhere in the world.

      So I will repeat, the Internet is not broken. Don't fix it.
      • by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:59AM (#13684021)
        Countries to whom "freedom" is just a word to be filtered. Countries where a constitution is just words on some expensive paper. Countries that care little for anything except maintaining their own power.

        I think the above is pretty much why the rest of us are unconfortable with the current US administration being in control of the internet.

      • So I will repeat, the Internet is not broken. Don't fix it.

        Not to offend you, but are you republican by any chance? (Coz you know republicans never listen during a debate and just keep ranting). Who said any thing about some thing being broken. Do yourself a favor and READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE. Internet is not broken, people are not trying to fix it. But what they are trying to do is to make sure that US is not the only country incharge of it. They have good reasons, do you want me to list it?

  • Yes, we're going to put the UN in charge of the Internet.

    The organization that put Libya in charge of human rights. Yes, Brilliant.

    • by rovingeyes ( 575063 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:52AM (#13683946)
      rrrright, and you'd rather have control of a very important and integral communication medium of the world in the hands of trigger happy US. Its sad that Libya doesn't have a marketing team like US government. Mind you, I am not supporting Libya but blindly saying US is a saint is an overstatement at the same time. What if a cowboy in the govt decides to switch off all traffic to China or Iraq; you know if he doesn't do that terrorists have won!

      Please give me a break!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      As opposed to the country which imprisons without trial and tortures in Abu Gharib and Guantanamo, then lies about it?
    • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:24AM (#13684288)
      Yes, we're going to put the UN in charge of the Internet.

      Yes, and while the US doesn't have exactly a spotless record regarding human rights, it at least has the technical competancy to manage something like the internet and is a lot more financially sound than the UN. And it is not like there is any particular wonderful track record on human rights coming out of the UN, or its member nations as a group.

    • by AZURERAZOR ( 472031 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:30AM (#13684354)
      Xaosiecte has an excellent point. The UN oil for food scandal shows that the UN is just a toy for the powerful to pad their own pockets while rapaciously criticizing a founding member who has been willing to shed blood for other's freedoms. Libya inability to PR their human rights violations, is less a function of PR and more a function of lack of restraint. The fact that someone would defend Libya on human rights indicates a fundemental problem with that person's ability to observe? be rational? think?

      The US is by no means perfect! But no other country has a proven track record of supporting other people's freedoms over the past 100 yrs. Furthermore, we have no obligation to turn over a system that we developed to promulgate and enable communication to the the CORRUPT UN, just because we were successful.
  • by mcgroarty ( 633843 ) <brian.mcgroarty@gmail . c om> on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:48AM (#13683902) Homepage
    People laud the internet for its freedom. But the only reason the Internet is free is because the companies controlling its infrastructure are not only in a free country, but in the only country founded on individual rights.

    To hand the Internet over to the UN is to hand control to a body based on the interests of free and non-free countries alike. The UN has no principals placing individual rights above consensus and political expediency. And wherever the UN cannot find consensus, it defaults to inaction, even where inaction allows continuous decline.

    This is not a critique of the UN. The above works fairly well for mobilizing to help small countries in crisis. It works well when trying to avoid provoking a war, which is usually appropriate. The above does not work however, for furthering the spread of free* access to - and dissemination of - information.

    Speech, not beer.

    • ", but in the only country founded on individual rights."

      Emphasys mine.

      If you believe that bullshit ideologic and ignorant statement, then i guess maybe you should have learnt history and looked around in the world. Shame that the USA still thinks its the "best est democracie" in the world while they are violating human rights on a daily basis.
    • in the only country founded on individual rights.

      We're talking about the future of the Internet here, you're talking about the past of the US. Look around yourself and tell me what's left of your individual rights after subtracting out the DMCA, PATRIOT, Eminent Domain and other Constitution-defying laws!

      As for "the only country"... where did you learn this, the National Enquirer?
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:19AM (#13684234)
        These words have a specific meaning. The US is the only country founded on individual rights, with the rights of the individual enumerated in its charter, as opposed to a focus on the general welfare of the citizenry. The latter approach always comes at the occasional expense of the individual, be it Canada's enforced news blackouts and language policing, England's refuse of firearms for home defense, or France's willingness to put multiculturalism above their own system of law and allow utter chaos and local force-based conflict resolution in the growing muslim districts.
    • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:08AM (#13684130) Homepage
      But the only reason the Internet is free is because the companies controlling its infrastructure are not only in a free country, but in the only country founded on individual rights.

      ICANN is Canadian?

    • by WrongByDefinition ( 905649 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:35AM (#13684412)
      WTFx2, are you kidding me? I'm really tired of American's thinking they've got the corner on freedom, when they've let their country be taken over by lawyers and corporations. What's *free* about getting to vote for one of the two guys with the most money, best spin and right connections, rather than chosing a leader who actually has a clue and a plan of his own?

      The *rest* of the world doesn't see America as the great land of opportunity anymore, but rather the great land of opportunists, where the average 'honest' guy fights an uphill battle against corporate litigation, pseudo-law that has been reinterpreted via corporate lobbyists to support their agendas (i.e. Software Patents), or military actions that sadly mirror the ones they use to justify who they are fighting (i.e. invading a country to protect its own sovereignty, when the hidden goal could only be oil).

      America heaps over with great features and wonderful people, and produces some of the best of everything to be found on this planet, but don't for one second pretend that your country is somehow the last bastion of truth and freedom, and that the rest of the world, via the only legal global governing body, lacks not only the ability but the *right* to govern the internet.

      And for those of you who will follow on with 1D patriotic 'fuck-you-and-the-donkey-but-obviously-not-a-repub lican-donkey-you-rode-in-on', if you can't take the criticism then more's the shame on you, because nobody's buying what your selling anymore.


      There's nothing wrong with pissing in the wind, just make sure you are facing the right way when you do it.
  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eslyjah ( 245320 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:49AM (#13683909)
    Giving control of the internet to the UN would mean giving China a say in how it is run. Given their idea of free speech (it's a Constitution right for the Chinese), that's really not acceptable.

    From the Constitution of the People's Republic of China []:

    Article 35. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.
    • See Also: (Score:3, Informative)

      by metternich ( 888601 )
      Article 51. The exercise by citizens of the People's Republic of China of their freedoms and rights may not infringe upon the interests of the state, of society and of the collective, or upon the lawful freedoms and rights of other citizens.
      Sort of takes the edge off Article 35, doesn't it?
  • Talking this up... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gowen ( 141411 ) <> on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:49AM (#13683911) Homepage Journal
    Lots have people have people have been trying to make big news out of this, but it's really nothing.

    i) Control of DNS is not the same as control of the internet.
    ii) If the US started to exercise internet control via DNS, alternative root servers would likely appear almost overnight. Remember that old saw about "routing round censorship"? This time it's actually true.
    iii) As a Brit, I applaud the current essentially hands-off control the US has. We get all the benefits, US tax payers cover the actual cost.
    iv) The UN couldn't find it's arse with both hands. Of course, neither can Congress, but at the moment the system is up and running and they'd have to actively intervene to screw it up. Migrating something as important as this to a new bureaucratic body doesn't bare thinking about.
    • by TykeClone ( 668449 ) * <> on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:00AM (#13684030) Homepage Journal
      Of course, neither can Congress, but at the moment the system is up and running and they'd have to actively intervene to screw it up.

      Never give Congress any suggestions with the words "actively intervene" and "screw it up" in the same sentence - they'll likely take you up on it.

    • by putko ( 753330 )
      I'ver never really got how people conflate DNS and the TLDs with "control of the internet".

      Isn't it that you've got a function that maps a string ("AMAZON.COM") to a 32-bit number (more for IPV6).

      So here it is (for the mathematically inclined):

      F: string -> number

      Big deal, right? Anyone could plug in their own naming function, and they "control the internet?"

      Indeed, as soon as the USA gets uppity, I would expect to see a distributed naming system up very quickly. There'd be chaos for a while -- but it wou
      • Two reasons (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @12:32PM (#13685885)
        1) Because it helps the people who want to take the DNS system away from ICANN gain support. If you tell a non tech user the truth: That a US orginization has defacto control over the root name servers, but that those roots could at any time stop listening to them with no legal repercussions and that the DNS system is just the one everyone uses for now, another could be created, they won't care, even if they follow all that. I mean really, who gives a shit if the a US group has DNS control? To the average user, who's never been involved in a domain dispute, they do a fine job. If, however you say they are "controlling the Internet" that makes peopel nervous. They have visions of US imperalism extending over the Internet, the US telling them what they can and can't do, and they say ya, we should end that.

        2) Because that's what the UN actually wants. They don't just want TLD control, they want to regulate the Internet's content. The current head of the UN telecommunications committee is China's former minister of telecommunications, in other words the guy responsable for censoring their citizens. Slashdot linked to an interview with him some time ago which I just can't find now unfortunately where he makes it clear that he sees the UN have a greater regulatory role over the net and getting to decide what content is acceptable and not.
  • I say... (Score:3, Funny)

    by AdeBaumann ( 126557 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:50AM (#13683917) Homepage
    I say let the UN have it. It is the Internet after all, to be handled internationally. The US can keep AOL in exchange...
  • by QuantumPion ( 805098 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:50AM (#13683922)

    Oil for root, anyone?

    --Saddam H.

  • Different spin (Score:5, Informative)

    by the bluebrain ( 443451 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:54AM (#13683961)
    The Register [] has the same story, with a different spin.

    To me, looks like the US might not have a whole lot of choice in the matter, in the end.
    • Re:Different spin (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ErikRed1488 ( 193622 ) <> on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:36AM (#13684420) Journal
      The articles title says: EU deal threatens end to US dominance of internet. However, reading the actual article, you see that it says that EU made a proposal, the US said no way. The EU can make any plans it wants with any other countries, but unless the US agrees, they're left out in the cold.

      Speaking of the other countries metioned in TFA: Brazil, along with Iran, Cuba, China and others has created an impromptu "Likeminded Group" at the PrepCom3 meeting in Geneva that has continually insisted on the removal of US control.

      Yea, with a group like that, I'm sure the US is ready to hand over the keys any day now.

  • by MadMorf ( 118601 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:55AM (#13683968) Homepage Journal
    It's still possible for other countries to do their own TLDs...

    They just have to have the will to do it.

    Then all they gotta do is convince/coerce all of the Internet entities in their respective countries to use THEIR TLD servers, they become the de-facto TLDs for those countries...

    There's nothing to stop them but their lack of will...
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:58AM (#13684007)
    'One proposal that countries have been discussing would wrest control of domain names from the U.S.-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, and place it with an intergovernmental group, possibly under the United Nations.

    Gross dismissed it as unacceptable.

    "We've been very, very clear throughout the process that there are certain things we can agree to and certain things we can't agree to," Gross told reporters at U.N. offices in Geneva. "It's not a negotiating issue. This is a matter of national policy."'

    The question is, why?

    "Some negotiators from other countries said there was a growing sense that a compromise had to be reached and that no single country ought to be the ultimate authority over such a vital part of the global economy."

    Could someone tell me why are they wrong? And if they are not wrong, what is this US opposition? If the USA doesn't like living in a world where there are multiple countries to deal with, they can just close their borders and shut down their trade. Noone will miss them.

    It seems to me the US is playing "i don't want to do this and i won't tell why not". Those dealings are the most suspicious to me, as they are not only arrogant, but they cannot be sustained for a long time.

    The Internet is of a growing importance, it shouldn't be held hostage by one single country just as no single country should have total control of anything which is used globally. I guess the EU thinks so too, because they set up their own GPS system. If the USA's position won't change, i guess people can just ignore the states and set up an alternative dns servers/architecture.
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by avi33 ( 116048 )
      The Internet is of a growing importance, it shouldn't be held hostage by one single country just as no single country should have total control of anything which is used globally.

      I'm no knee-jerk patriot, but your argument is weak on a number of points. The Internet is not being held "hostage." What we're talking about is a set of protocols. Think about that. Protocols. Agreed upon methods of communication. Not exporting and enforcing our vision of "peace," not "free market ideals," not "democracy," but fre
  • by Elrac ( 314784 ) < minus author> on Friday September 30, 2005 @09:59AM (#13684028) Homepage Journal
    Hmm, I don't know which Internet governance to worry about more:
    • The US, which shows signs of migrating toward a police state where media producers and religious zealots compete to think up ever more stringent limits on what Internet users may do, and that demonstrably has no qualms about invading its citizens' privacy on flimsy pretexts and imposing its values and standards on the rest of the world, by force if necessary; or
    • The UN, an ineffective body of sometimes well-meaning, sometimes lazy, often egotistical bureaucrats, known for glacial processing speed on the tiniest issues and concensus on nothing but the lack of concensus and growth of administration as an end rather than a means, a forum for squabbles about eternally conflicting interests, refereed by opposing power blocs.

    Is there a third alternative? Maybe decentralized governance? Self-governance? A meritocracy? Unpaid volunteership? Management by 1000 chimpanzees randomly pushing buttons?

    The Internet is important to me. I'll feel troubled so long as I don't see an approach that works well and efficiently, is relatively bias and value neutral and allows reasonable freedom and privacy to the average user.
  • W.W.A.G.D (Score:4, Funny)

    by OctoberSky ( 888619 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:05AM (#13684087)
    What does the creator of the internet have to say about this...

    Next week on Slashdot, we ask you to send in your questions to Al Gore, creator of the internet. We'll give Mr. Gore the 10 best questions. So send them in.

    [disclaimer: This is a joke, I am a democrate, I can make fun of my own, and G.W.B because... well because thats easy]
  • by failure-man ( 870605 ) <> on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:11AM (#13684152)
    Fine. We'll build our own internet. With blackjack, and hookers! It'll . . . . . .

    It'll be just like the old one!
  • by amcdiarmid ( 856796 ) <amcdiarm AT gmail DOT com> on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:13AM (#13684170) Journal
    The two complaints mentioned are 1) US and European companies snapped up all the good TLDs; 2) US and European companies have snapped up all the IP addresses, leaving only scraps.

    my $.02:

    1) All the TLDs are snapped up only in European languages. This should piss off basically no one. Why, every country has its' own TLD. To whit, American techies had to use for years before they decided to make a version. Why, because everyone in the UK was used to typing to look for UK business/media/whatever. The main people pissed off by this are prob. big Latin-American media companies that want a .com name taken by someone in Spain. They were late to the party & the good beer is gone. If they don't want to bring their own beer (country based URL), too bad.

    2) All the IP blocks are snapped up by Europeans & North-Americans. I'd say they are late to the party, too bad - but it's a legitimate complaint. Without IP addresses, they can't do what they want. However, what they really should do is mandate IPv6 so that there are more blocks to go around. The people who have blocks now don't want to pay for it, but if the rest of the world want's it - everyone will have to go along (or loose out on business if they don't interoperate well). I mean, really, how many addresses are lost by using a class A (127.x.y.z) block for loopback?

    Hey, look - shiny toy: I want it!!! If they really wanted, they could use and IPv6. Waaaaaaah!
  • by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:14AM (#13684180) Homepage

    I think the US government fails to grasp that they don't have a choice in the matter. The root DNS servers are the roots because most DNS servers point to them in the root hints configuration. Any DNS server operator can point their servers to a different set of root servers by just changing that's in the root hints configuration. The question isn't whether the US government will allow a different set of roots but whether the alternate roots can convince the majority of DNS servers to re-point to them instead of the current roots.

    And the above doesn't really matter directly anyway. The critical servers aren't the roots, really, but the TLD servers the roots delegate to, particularly the ones for the .com domain where it seems most of the biggest domain names are. That's where the real hands-on control is. The roots only affect things in a major way in that they determine what the TLD servers are for a given TLD. The only way alternate root servers can really affect things is if, in addition to getting a lot of people to use them, their operators can also convince people that using alternate, non-official TLD servers for the big domains is also a good idea. For practical reasons I don't see that happening anytime soon.

  • by Cyn ( 50070 ) <cyn.cyn@org> on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:18AM (#13684228) Homepage
    I read this and thought they were bitching about the root servers, ran around looking up information/sources to point out there's no real problem with the current root servers [] setup, then found out they're whining about goddamned ICANN.

    Repeat after me:
    DNS is *not* the web.

    ICANN's not perfect, but if you look at how they operate, you'd be surprised to find out they weren't setup by the UN. They're clearly the product and brainchild of a bunch of bureaucrats. There are huge fees to apply and propose, and then they arbitrarily create new TLDs to sustain the new fees rolling in the following application period. They burn through their government contract cash when all they do is push paper around, and then ask for more like a fat kid with a food fetish.

    If the UN really wants to take control, I say fine - fuck it, stop our government wasting some money on this albatross.

    ICANN []
    "In 2000, ICANN introduced seven new gTLDs: .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, and .pro. The ICANN community is currently exploring possibilities to add additional gTLDs." ... amazing. what will they* think of next?
    * (and by they, I mean the people who dropped the huge fee to apply for those gTLDs, as ICANN doesn't think them up only approve them)

    All they ever did was introduce competition by having multiple registrars, and that's not exactly some amazing idea, it's something that was *long* overdue.
  • by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:21AM (#13684255) Homepage Journal
    There is no good reason for DNS to remain US governed, even under the auspices of ICANN. If the US Gov needs a timeline to transistion national security related communications over to a second system of networking then that is understandable and should be fought for without reservation but to say that there is no timeframe wherein they could make that change happen in order to turn over control to an international body... I call BS.

    On the other hand, each government should also have control of it's own DNS servers within it's own geography for maintaining it's commerce and communications sovereignty... but this is not contradictory to a Int Body governing the allocation of address blocks to each country or determining policy for TLDs.

    The US Gov doesn't currently control the telephone number address space for other countries, why is the internet different?

    On the negative side of things... I'm fairly certain that China is the biggest supporter of getting DNS out of US hands and into the control of a Gov they have influence over, namely the UN. China would probably love to have the ability to cut off their people from accessing anything outside of China without a dispensation for commercial communications from their gov.... this will happen if the UN gets control and it will be really sad, but the Chinese people need to confront their gov on this one and demand more rights... if the people do, then the international public shoud support them against their gov via sanctions to not communicate with China, nor to trade with them. It will be messy but in the end will be better than treating them like the spoiled teenager that they are acting like. ("sorry Li, you can't drive the car cause you're not responsible enough" except Li is 30 years old and needs to go to work... so it should be "Li, if you get a DUI you go to jail. If you get into an accident and kill someone, you're going to jail. Be responsible. We won't bail you out.)

  • To the U.N. haters: (Score:5, Informative)

    by bobbo69 ( 905401 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:26AM (#13684315)
    I agree the U.N. is pitiful - but maybe it would function better if:

    A. the U.S. stopped underhanded tactics such as witholding money owed to the U.N.

    B. the U.S. stopped vetoing resolutions against the proliferation of WMD re. Israel

    C. the U.S. stopped vetoing resolutions against genocide

    And that's just for starters! Please be in no doubt - WRT the U.N. America has a track record of putting its own interests way ahead of those of the rest of the world community, and until that changes there's not much hope of the U.N. getting any better.

    Still, you can be sure that when American hegemony is undermined by the rise of China the U.S. will use every means at their disposal - including the U.N. - to try and cling on a little longer...

    • by avi33 ( 116048 )
      Rubbish. All countries put their own interests ahead of the UN's. Notice that China and India did not voluntarily adhere to the more stringent terms of the Kyoto protocol.

      Do you think Russia has the resources to put the UN's interests ahead of its own?
      Do you think China advances the UN agenda because they want the whole world to be a happy place?

      It (the UN) is a great idea on paper, and it should be more relevant, but this idea that it would function better if the US started playing nice is absurd. All play
  • My/Our Internet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drewzhrodague ( 606182 ) <drew@zhrod a g u e . n et> on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:29AM (#13684352) Homepage Journal
    I may not be a computer scientist defining how the Internet works, or a double-E working on new signaling methods, or even a CEO dumping gobs of cash into other things. What I am, is one of the many minions who have helped this Internet along the way. I've dug trenches, strung wires, configured thousands of routes, thousands of DNS zones, and probably multi-hundreds of websites, database servers, mail servers, anti-spam measures, etc. I help the Internet function properly, even in my own small way.

    When I think about our US government, companies like Verisign and Worldcom, UN, or any other random organization interested in monkeying with MY Internet, I get a little protective. You see, I want this wild-west frontierism -- that is where innovation comes from -- a need for something that did not exist before, and the lack of rules or laws which would prevent me from building those things. Again, the free exchange of ideas.

    If China wants to censor themselves, it's all them -- their routers, firewalls, and filters should not apply to me here in the US. I don't like it, but what can I say? That's not my system. The eventuality, is that some Chinese people will figure out ways around this, 'cause that's how the Internet works, right? Route around the failures?

    I realize that routers and bandwidth cost money, but when you think about it, if there weren't any people using/administrating/publishing-on it, it wouldn't exist. It is people like me, people like Cmdr Taco (and yes, you too, Zonk), and all you fucked-up readers of Slashdot (and countless others) that make this Internet happen -- all sharing ideas, flames, stories, pictures, porn, and filth. We're all exchanging information between ourselves. This is how it should be, and I'll be damned if I let some assholes (from wherever) interfere with My Internet. Rogue nameservers indeed.
  • Chicken Little (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jeffvoigt ( 866600 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:41AM (#13684476)
    I can't help but see the parallel between the story of Chicken Little and this article. The US built this from the ground up, while the world watched and did nothing. Now that it's successful everyone wants a piece of it. So to paraphrase, the US slaved away and made the bread (aka internet), and everyone else now wants to eat it. I don't think I'm wrong in saying that the rest of the world can start making their own bread any time now.

    I have heard of no credible evidence that the US is abusing their administration of the internet. Yet other countries want control of it. The only logical conclusion is that these same countries must also have ideas of how the system could be abused, and can't wait to implement them. Censorship is probably on the forefront of each of these countries minds. (Some are worried about it happening, some are salavating at the chance to abuse it.)

    Countries know they can not build a corrupt system from the ground up, since no one will use it, so they are attempting to gain control of what people are currently using. I just see transferring control as the equivalent of giving a child a button with "Blow Up World" written on it.
  • by waterlogged ( 210759 ) <> on Friday September 30, 2005 @10:42AM (#13684490)
    OK.. usually I stay out of this sort of discussion.. but this is just idiocy. Firstly ... the title is sensationalistic and just wrong. They are talking about DNS not routing.. They are mutually exclusive. The US doesn't control ROUTING. The packets will still get to wherever they need to go even if we turned off the servers and went home. Now I know many systems are dependent on the root servers, but it doesn't have to be that way.. the root server lookup list can be modified by your ISP and you would be none the wiser. This is why the Internet is a "Distributed" infrustucture.

    And to speak to the political nature.... It the old grizzled engineers that have built and maintained these servers for over 30 years. The internet wouldn't be here if not for them. You wouldn't be reading this if not for them. I'm sorry it has to be this way... but they all live in the US for the most part. And if you don't want to see it all fall apart, you might just want to leave the system be. I will echo an earlier post ... If its not broke... don't fix it.
  • by Morinaga ( 857587 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @11:16AM (#13684875)
    Some of this utopic rationalization of why the UN should control DNS or participate in control of internet controls is really nice. However, like the US and everywhere else the UN is controlled by professional politicians. Just listen to the UN themselves, they are telling you why they want control of the internet. []

    Syria: "There's more and more spam every day. Who are the victims? Developing and least-developed countries, too. There is no serious intention to stop this spam by those who are the transporters of the spam, because they benefit...The only solution is for us to buy equipment from the countries which send this spam in order to deal with spam. However, this, we believe, is not acceptable."

    Brazil, responding to ICANN's approval of .xxx domains: "For those that are still wondering what Triple-X means, let's be specific, Mr. Chairman. They are talking about pornography. These are things that go very deep in our values in many of our countries. In my country, Brazil, we are very worried about this kind of decision-making process where they simply decide upon creating such new top-level generic domain names."

    China: "We feel that the public policy issue of Internet should be solved jointly by the sovereign states in the U.N. framework...For instance, spam, network security and cyberspace--we should look for an appropriate specialized agency of the United Nations as a competent body."

    Ghana: "There was unanimity for the need for an additional body...This body would therefore address all issues relating to the Internet within the confines of the available expertise which would be anchored at the U.N."

    These are the people that want to control the internet. They don't want some hands off technical control, they have specific cultural, moral and economic ideals they wish to implement in relation to the Internet. Yes, spam is bad. But "stopping spam" by a macro control mechanism is a control on information. This is contrary to the legal and user technological controls we are implementing now. Do you trust the UN to actually handle specific information on the Internet via their multicultralism moral compass? I don't.

  • by RexRhino ( 769423 ) on Friday September 30, 2005 @12:23PM (#13685772)
    After all, it is broadcast on radio frequencies all over the world. Don't worry, we will still let UK taxpayers pay for it, we just want China, Cuba, and North Korea to have a say in the content that is being broadcast into their territory. It just isn't fair that only the UK should control this wonderful resource that is enjoyed all over the world. If only that hateful greedy limey bastards would stop oppressing nations like the Sudan, Indonesia, Venezuala with this agressive imperialist act of not turning over the BBC to the U.N..

    Also, the CBC should be put under control of the U.N. ... as well as any national broadcast network in any country where the programs can be recieved by those outside that country. After all, the airwaves belong to all of us, and it just isn't fair that a radio station in German, paid for by German tax payers, should not be collectivly controlled by the world.

    After that, we need to get the U.N. to take over the Louvre. After all, the Louvre is considered an important part of our World Heritage, and so should be compelled by an international body to eliminate the clearly western bias of most of the artwork contained within. We just aren't going to accept the arrogant attitude that just because the French built the Louvre, paid for the Louvre, and nurtured the Louvre to be the preeminent art mueseum in the world, that they have the right to control it! Zambia, Bolivia, and North Korea have some wonderful ideas of what they are going to do with the place.

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