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US House Votes 397-0 To Oppose UN Control of the Internet 297

An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. House of Representatives voted 397-0 today on a resolution to oppose U.N. control of the internet. 'The 397-0 vote is meant to send a signal to countries meeting at a U.N. conference on telecommunications this week. Participants are meeting to update an international telecom treaty, but critics warn that many countries' proposals could allow U.N. regulation of the Internet.' The European Parliament passed a similar resolution a couple weeks ago, and the U.N. telecom chief has gone on record saying that freedom on the internet won't be curbed. However, that wasn't enough for U.S. lawmakers, who were quite proud of themselves for actually getting bipartisan support for the resolution (PDF). Rep Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said, 'We need to send a strong message to the world that the Internet has thrived under a decentralized, bottom-up, multi-stakeholder governance model.'"
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US House Votes 397-0 To Oppose UN Control of the Internet

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  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @06:37PM (#42197447)


    What you really mean is that US politicians unanimously voted that they should have absolute control over enacting draconian restrictions on the global internet, and that those "european commies" should have any say involving red blooded american technologies and interests, and that the rhetoric about bottom up, decentralized administration is merely a red herring to keep those watchdogs distracted while they aid the henhouse.


    Sorry. I don't know what came over me there. Have you seen Aldus Huxley anywhere? I think I need my daily opiate injection...

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      Actually the internet is relatively free, even countries like China have trouble enacting total censorship of it.

      • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @06:51PM (#42197687)

        Indeed. There is nothing to be done about china being stupid with regard to the internet, and that is as it should be. The free internet will just ignore china.

        However, any appeals made by OUR congress critters concerning "free, open, decentralized control" is really just doubletalk for "controlled by our hedgemony of media and telecom interests, with no oversight."

        Really, "free and decentralized", in regard to the way the internet was concieved, is that there is no distincton between clients and servers, and that ISPs are mere dumb pipes.

        That is *NOT* what these lieing dirtbags have in mind.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Relatively free? Only the US makes money out of the root domain names which is what this fracas is really all about. The US is sending a message to the whole globe "Fuck You" and the globe will send a message back "Fuck You". Basically US control of the root domain names is coming to an end.

        • by mellon ( 7048 )

          Yup, right now the U.S. notionally has access to the DNSSEC root key. It would definitely improve the situation if more countries had access to the DNSSEC root key. Definitely.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rts008 ( 812749 )

      Yeah, it overloaded my BS/Spin/Weasel Word detector.

      The last time I saw readings this high on the detector, we ended up with the PATRIOT Act, and all of it's goodness. :-(

      This is doublespeak propaganda, and I expect we're about to get shafted by this seems to work that way when they all agree unanimously like this.

    • by Koreantoast ( 527520 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @06:53PM (#42197705)
      Should be politely noted too that the EU also passed something similar, so at very least, you should expand this from a mere American conspiracy to a larger Western attempt at maintaining global hegemony. :P
      • Conspiracy? I don't think a vote in the House of Reps really counts as a "conspiracy". Nor does it follow that because Europe doesn't want the UN to have control of the internet, the US' reasons for opposing that control aren't based in self-interest.

    • by mellon ( 7048 )

      This would be a more compelling argument if the EU hadn't voted for the same thing, despite the fact that they do not have the same control.

    • Bless your heart.

  • What a shock! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sydin ( 2598829 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @06:39PM (#42197483)
    An organization with an unlimited power has made a decision to keep that power, rather than parse out and distribute it to others. I've never heard anything so crazy before in my life.
  • by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @06:44PM (#42197553) Homepage

    If only they would do this for their own attempts to regulate the Internet (think SOPA, PIPA and DMCA), the Internet would be much better off than it is today.

    • by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @06:53PM (#42197715) Homepage

      "... it is essential that the Internet remain stable, secure, and free from government control" -- 112th United States Congress.

      Lets see if they abide by this once the next round of Internet-specific legislation comes along.

    • by mellon ( 7048 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @08:32PM (#42198739) Homepage

      They've developed a pretty strong allergy to repeating SOPA and PIPA. When they floated a trial balloon a while back to try to add something spooky to the new privacy bill, there was a massive and immediate blowback, and they dropped it like a hot potato. My senator, Senator Leahy, recently sent a letter to the USTR telling them to slow down on TPP and try to make the process more open. Remember Pat Leahy, sponsor of PIPA? A strongly worded letter has no force of law, but it's something he never would have done even a year ago.

      We are seeing the beginnings of a new understanding of this issue in Congress. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of years—whether they keep floating trial balloons, or whether they get it that there is now a permanent constituency for internet freedom watching their every move. It will also be interesting to see if we can extend this third rail effect to nearby issues like copyright maximalism and patent maximalism.

  • by JustAnotherIdiot ( 1980292 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @06:46PM (#42197587)

    who were quite proud of themselves for actually getting bipartisan support for the resolution

    Our lawmakers should be working together on everything, and the fact that they're proud of themselves for doing the job we pay them to do on a single issue shows just how messed up our system is.

    • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:02PM (#42197857) Homepage Journal

      Bonus: they didn't actually do anything. This is a "resolution", not a law. It has no effect. It doesn't even give any official directions to the US representative to the ITU, who (duh) had absolutely no intention of voting for any such thing anyway.

      Whenever you get universal support for anything in Congress, it's because it isn't anything. Bipartisan support for doing nothing is very popular. So is bipartisan support for empty gestures. Eking out even so much as a bare majority along anything other than party lines, for some measure that actually does something, is a herculean task.

  • . . . flying over the ITU meeting in Dubai.

    That'll show 'em!

    The ITU failed at their own attempt at creating an Internet, with ISO OSI and X.400 crap, so I can't think of anyone more qualified to totally screw up the Internet.

  • by PineHall ( 206441 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:02PM (#42197851)
    The "Do Nothing" Congress did something by asking the ITU meeting to do nothing. I think they found their niche.
  • They voted against it for the same reason Iraq had no terrorism prior to 2003 - iron-fisted tinpot authoritarians abhor competition.

    Isn't it obvious?
  • Congressmen/women are just really voting for themselves controlling it rather than the UN. Our congress hasn't show stellar stamina is supporting a free internet at every opportunity. Both sides of the aisle have proposed, supported or voted for something that took control away from individuals at some point.
  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:16PM (#42198005) Journal

    MSNBC reports that Republicans are blocking UN, and Democrats support Freedom!

  • by Hartree ( 191324 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:27PM (#42198145)

    Nov. 23, Slashdot largely approves when the EU makes a similar statement opposing ITU control. []

    Two days ago, a submission points out differences in the words and actions of the ITU and its Secretary General (including a plan to try to undercut any opposition via flooding social media) and most who reply are quite skeptical of the ITU. []

    Today, the House votes unanimously to say largely the same thing as the EU. The reaction on slashdot? Outrage at the horrible undercutting of freedom, the ITU and the UN in particular.

    Truly who says something counts far more here than what is said.

    This is hysterical.

    • by Zalbik ( 308903 )

      Uhh, you do realize that Slashdot is made up of numerous contributors, each with their own beliefs and opinions, right?

      When the EU posting was made, people interested in that story responded and moderated. Similarly with this story.

      Slashdot actually attracts a fairly wide spectrum of political, social and economic viewpoints....its one of the few reasons I bother reading it anymore...

      • by fnj ( 64210 )

        Slashdot is sort of like the people of Earth, but with many of the most ignorant self-selected out.

    • I agree with you, but like many arguments spanning a wide variety of users, we're not all individually arguing for both things at the same time.

      I shudder to think of what would happen to the internet under ITU or UN control. I definitely feel a "grass is greener" vibe, here. I certainly don't want to hop the fence only to see the grass isn't really grass but fields of glowing toxic sludge and no way back.

    • by m0nkyman ( 7101 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @08:59PM (#42198987) Homepage Journal

      Yup. When farmers and hens both vote against the fox guarding the henhouse, they have very different reasons.

    • Today, the House votes unanimously to say largely the same thing as the EU. The reaction on slashdot? Outrage at the horrible undercutting of freedom, the ITU and the UN in particular.

      Actually most of the comments here seem to agree that the UN shouldn't take control of the Internet.

      There's some skepticism about the motives of the US lawmakers (not surprising considering their history), but not the specific decision.

      There's also some backlash against a few comments bashing the UN, but support for the UN tak

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