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Breaking America's grip on the net (US FORCED to give up control of the Internet?)
http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,16376,1585288,00.html ^ | October 6, 2005 | Kieren McCarthy

Posted on 10/06/2005 5:55:46 PM PDT by Blogger

Breaking America's grip on the net

After troubled negotiations in Geneva, the US may be forced to relinquish control of the internet to a coalition of governments

Kieren McCarthy Thursday October 6, 2005 The Guardian

You would expect an announcement that would forever change the face of the internet to be a grand affair - a big stage, spotlights, media scrums and a charismatic frontman working the crowd. But unless you knew where he was sitting, all you got was David Hendon's slightly apprehensive voice through a beige plastic earbox. The words were calm, measured and unexciting, but their implications will be felt for generations to come.

Hendon is the Department for Trade and Industry's director of business relations and was in Geneva representing the UK government and European Union at the third and final preparatory meeting for next month's World Summit on the Information Society. He had just announced a political coup over the running of the internet.

Old allies in world politics, representatives from the UK and US sat just feet away from each other, but all looked straight ahead as Hendon explained the EU had decided to end the US government's unilateral control of the internet and put in place a new body that would now run this revolutionary communications medium.

The issue of who should control the net had proved an extremely divisive issue, and for 11 days the world's governments traded blows. For the vast majority of people who use the internet, the only real concern is getting on it. But with the internet now essential to countries' basic infrastructure - Brazil relies on it for 90% of its tax collection - the question of who has control has become critical.

And the unwelcome answer for many is that it is the US government. In the early days, an enlightened Department of Commerce (DoC) pushed and funded expansion of the internet. And when it became global, it created a private company, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) to run it.

But the DoC retained overall control, and in June stated what many had always feared: that it would retain indefinite control of the internet's foundation - its "root servers", which act as the basic directory for the whole internet.

A number of countries represented in Geneva, including Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran and several African states, insisted the US give up control, but it refused. The meeting "was going nowhere", Hendon says, and so the EU took a bold step and proposed two stark changes: a new forum that would decide public policy, and a "cooperation model" comprising governments that would be in overall charge.

Much to the distress of the US, the idea proved popular. Its representative hit back, stating that it "can't in any way allow any changes" that went against the "historic role" of the US in controlling the top level of the internet.

But the refusal to budge only strengthened opposition, and now the world's governments are expected to agree a deal to award themselves ultimate control. It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce.

But will this move mean, as the US ambassador David Gross argued, that "even on technical details, the industry will have to follow government-set policies, UN-set policies"?

No, according to Nitin Desai, the UN's special adviser on internet governance. "There is clearly an acceptance here that governments are not concerned with the technical and operational management of the internet. Standards are set by the users."

Hendon is also adamant: "The really important point is that the EU doesn't want to see this change as bringing new government control over the internet. Governments will only be involved where they need to be and only on issues setting the top-level framework."

Human rights

But expert and author of Ruling the Root, Milton Mueller, is not so sure. An overseeing council "could interfere with standards. What would stop it saying 'when you're making this standard for data transfer you have to include some kind of surveillance for law enforcement'?"

Then there is human rights. China has attracted criticism for filtering content from the net within its borders. Tunisia - host of the World Summit - has also come under attack for silencing online voices. Mueller doesn't see a governmental overseeing council having any impact: "What human rights groups want is for someone to be able to bring some kind of enforceable claim to stop them violating people's rights. But how's that going to happen? I can't see that a council is going to be able to improve the human rights situation."

And what about business? Will a governmental body running the internet add unnecessary bureaucracy or will it bring clarity and a coherent system? Mueller is unsure: "The idea of the council is so vague. It's not clear to me that governments know what to do about anything at this stage apart from get in the way of things that other people do."

There are still dozens of unanswered questions but all the answers are pointing the same way: international governments deciding the internet's future. The internet will never be the same again.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: davos; globalism; internet; oneworld; rootservers; soros; sovereignty; un; us
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Buh bye sovereignty.
1 posted on 10/06/2005 5:55:49 PM PDT by Blogger
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To: Blogger

If they don't like the way we run it, why don't they build their own?


2 posted on 10/06/2005 5:58:02 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Blogger

WHY do we have to "acquiesce"?


3 posted on 10/06/2005 5:58:35 PM PDT by Politicalmom (Must I use a sarcasm tag?)
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To: Blogger

"Breaking America's grip on the net"

They wish.


4 posted on 10/06/2005 5:59:34 PM PDT by decal (Mother Nature and Real Life are conservatives; the Progs have never figured this out.)
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To: decal

What are they going to do if the US simply says "NO"

The US has the deed and the keys to the house, weenies.


5 posted on 10/06/2005 6:02:08 PM PDT by coydog (My bathroom djinn can beat up your bathroom djinn!)
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To: Blogger

$$$ Ca-Ching!! $$$


6 posted on 10/06/2005 6:03:11 PM PDT by Chuckster (Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoset)
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To: DuncanWaring

I think American's would stop using it and invent something else and not share it.


7 posted on 10/06/2005 6:03:43 PM PDT by Blogger
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To: Blogger

Any American representative who is stupid enough to attempt to make any agreement diluting American control over the internet will be quickly ID'd and trashed accordingly, right along with any of the other crapweasels in Washington who want to sign on.


8 posted on 10/06/2005 6:03:57 PM PDT by Czar (StillFedUptotheTeeth@Washington)
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To: Blogger
They can start their own internet and control it any way they want.
9 posted on 10/06/2005 6:03:57 PM PDT by Jim_Curtis (How do we prevent someone from torching his city if he will be rewarded as a lottery winner?)
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To: Blogger
I sometimes wonder where we would be today if we stopped doing nice things for the rest of the world and started to focus on problems at home. It has become painfully obvious that we are just another "resource" the rest of the world uses whenever they need money, or a friend when it becomes necessary.

I'm afraid that if I had control of the Internet, I would unplug it to everyone outside of the United States and tell the ungrateful bastards to either start appreciating what America and Americans have done for the world, or just shut up.

But first, I would close down the U.N. headquarters, turn it into cheap housing for those in need, and make sure each and every last foreign diplomat is escorted to an airplane on it's way out of the country.

It's time to start working with individual countries on our own. Enough of this "one world government" garbage.

10 posted on 10/06/2005 6:04:44 PM PDT by SaveTheChief ("I can't wait until I'm old enough to feel ways about stuff." - Phillip J. Fry)
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To: Blogger
But the refusal to budge only strengthened opposition, and now the world's governments are expected to agree a deal to award themselves ultimate control. It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce.

Absolutely false. Anyone who wants to can set up a root server, and that's always been the case. There have actually been previous attempts to do just that. All have failed. It's not a matter of law. It's not even a technical issue. It's a social one. You can't force anyone to use any particular root server. Each internet user has the power to use whatever root servers he or she prefers (although few know anything about this, or how to do it.)

So this dispute will be decided by the market.

11 posted on 10/06/2005 6:06:06 PM PDT by sourcery (Givernment: The way the average voter spells "government.")
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To: Blogger
It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce.

The Guardian hippies are high again. This is the cybernetic equivalent of Kyoto.

12 posted on 10/06/2005 6:06:47 PM PDT by denydenydeny ("As a Muslim of course I am a terrorist"--Sheikh Omar Brooks, quoted in the London Times 8/7/05)
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To: Blogger
...Hendon explained the EU had decided to end the US government's unilateral control of the internet...

And HOW, pray tell, did the EU get the authority to end our control over a system WE built?

MM

13 posted on 10/06/2005 6:06:59 PM PDT by MississippiMan (Behold now behemoth...he moves his tail like a cedar. Job 40:17)
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To: Blogger
Hendon is the Department for Trade and Industry's director of business relations and was in Geneva representing the UK government

Hendon is also adamant: "The really important point is that the EU doesn't want to see this change as bringing new government control over the internet. Governments will only be involved where they need to be and only on issues setting the top-level framework."

Mr Hendon and the rest of the EU are fools, and the people in the EU will live to regret what their leaders foolish attitude, based on envy of the U.S., brings down on them.

The internet, untrammelled by government's and politicians is one of the greated modern forces for freedom. The EU is now going to allow tyrants to start setting back the clock to the 1950s and before. The United States really will become that one shining beacon on the hill, where all who yearn to be free will long to be allowed to go.

The U.N. must now become dead to the U.S.

14 posted on 10/06/2005 6:09:36 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Blogger
We invented it. We have been kind enough to share it with the world. If they don't like it, we can snip the connections outside of the US. The 3rd world $hitholes can use what is left as they see fit.
15 posted on 10/06/2005 6:12:34 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Blogger

Hey France! I got Yer root right here!


16 posted on 10/06/2005 6:13:25 PM PDT by Ramius (Buy blades for war fighters: freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net --> 900 knives and counting!)
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To: Blogger
i don't get what they are going to do. the EU is going to make their own internet, set up their own internet?

where are they going to get the cash for THAT, considering universal health care, rooms with vews, guaranteed college tuition, and twenty five dollar pizzas?

17 posted on 10/06/2005 6:13:29 PM PDT by wildwood
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To: Blogger
This is bad but....

Maybe it will get John Q. Public worked up enough to get off of his a$$ and out the door, down to his local Representative.

In the end, I think it's going to come down to "people in the street", shutting things down until we get our elected deadbeats to start protecting us.

They don't seem to be willing to do it on their own!

18 posted on 10/06/2005 6:13:59 PM PDT by airborne (My hero - my nephew! Sean is home! Thank you God!)
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To: MississippiMan; Politicalmom; Blogger

I am no expert in this field, however...
Large systems like the internet are invariably covered by a blizzard of patents on the software, hardware, etc.
As owners of these patents, we can decide to license users, at considerable revenues to us- remember microsoft- or we may elect not to.
My guess is that this is the first salvo in a game to pressure us to relinquish our rights in this system to "world control". We would be idiots to give it away. I think 60 billion per year from each user country sounds about right.


19 posted on 10/06/2005 6:14:42 PM PDT by pickrell (Old dog, new trick...sort of)
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To: Blogger

I hate it when the media talks so generally about a subject ("control over the internet"). Are they talking about control over the '.com' root?


20 posted on 10/06/2005 6:15:12 PM PDT by cyberdasher
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To: Blogger

Uh-oh. Folks had better consult with Al Gore. As the inventor of the internet, he SHOULD have some say in the matter, shouldn't he??? [/sarcasm]

Seriously, though - where and how was the internet developed? Wasn't the US a if not THE major player in the creation of it many years ago? That should, at minimum, give us some say i the matter.

But leave it up to the "world", probably meaning the Euro dorks - then you can BET there will be some sort of increased cost (taxes).


21 posted on 10/06/2005 6:16:23 PM PDT by TheBattman (Islam (and liberalism)- the cult of Satan)
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To: Blogger

Calling Al Gore ... Al Gore, please invent a new Internet...


22 posted on 10/06/2005 6:17:27 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Blogger

When the point comes where I can talk on my cell phone and post a picture or post to my blog from anywhere on the planet without "fear" of where I am, who I am, or what I say than we can think about having the UN involved. Not a day sooner.


23 posted on 10/06/2005 6:18:21 PM PDT by Ray66
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To: Blogger

Don't you mean that Algore should just invent something else, after all he did invet the internet.


24 posted on 10/06/2005 6:19:10 PM PDT by mrmargaritaville
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To: wildwood

No. They want ours. They want regulatory capacity over the internet.


25 posted on 10/06/2005 6:22:15 PM PDT by Blogger
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To: Blogger
A number of countries represented in Geneva, including Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran and several African states, insisted the US give up control

The usual suspects! Are they suggesting we give up naming standards, or that all the backbone servers reside in the basement of the U.N.?

26 posted on 10/06/2005 6:23:22 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: cyberdasher
Are they talking about control over the '.com' root?

And ".net" and so on.

Each country has its own suffix ( eg Canada is ".ca" ), and the country's govt can make its own rules as to how names get assigned in its suffix.

But everybody wants a ".com" name

The way naming works is the root servers point to what servers handle ".com", ".net", ".ca", etc, and the subsidiary servers may in turn point to lower level servers. So ibm.com may have its own name servers to resolve what the IP address for "magoo.ibm.com" happens to be.

So the world can do as it pleases, but we have the means to ignore them if our side chooses not to bend over. China may designate its own name server that chooses to say that "freerepublic.com" points to a machine in the basement of their secret police headquarters, but that won't affect somebody who uses the US name servers

27 posted on 10/06/2005 6:25:15 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
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To: Czar
Any American representative who is stupid enough to attempt to make any agreement diluting American control over the internet will be quickly ID'd and trashed accordingly, right along with any of the other crapweasels in Washington who want to sign on.

If there were a Democrat in the White House right now, this would already be a done deal.

28 posted on 10/06/2005 6:25:16 PM PDT by rogue yam
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To: TheBattman

This link should provide some answers to your question. Please note the remark Senator Kennedy made.

http://www.walthowe.com/navnet/history.html


29 posted on 10/06/2005 6:27:28 PM PDT by Genesis defender (Brother Maynard, bring out the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch!)
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To: Genesis defender
Please note the remark Senator Kennedy made.

Nope. I'm getting ready for bed. No fat drunk lunatic 'Rat nightmares for me tonight.

30 posted on 10/06/2005 6:31:58 PM PDT by manwiththehands
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To: SaveTheChief
"But first, I would close down the U.N. headquarters, turn it into cheap housing for those in need, and make sure each and every last foreign diplomat is escorted to an airplane on it's way out of the country.

Turn it into "cheap housing"? I'd sell it to the highest bidder and give the proceeds back to the American people as a tax refund.

31 posted on 10/06/2005 6:32:03 PM PDT by Godebert
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To: Blogger
No. They want ours. They want regulatory capacity over the internet.

No, they want TAXING capability over the Internet. They want businesses to pay thru the nose for their names, and they want ISP's to pay a surcharge to the UN for allowing them to use the net (which will get passed to individual users)

They also want the ability to censor the net

32 posted on 10/06/2005 6:32:16 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
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To: SaveTheChief
I'm afraid that if I had control of the Internet, I would unplug it to everyone outside of the United States

Ah yes using that well known Internet Plug.

33 posted on 10/06/2005 6:32:28 PM PDT by bobdsmith
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To: rogue yam
"If there were a Democrat in the White House right now, this would already be a done deal."

And so you feel that because it is an "(R)" president in the White House, this will not happen?

34 posted on 10/06/2005 6:32:28 PM PDT by Czar (StillFedUptotheTeeth@Washington)
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To: coydog

They are going to Zimbabwe-ize it..It will go
from being a profitable and going concern,
exporting profit and success to it's neighbors,
to being cannabalized and run in fiefdoms to
the point where it can not only no longer develop
profitable markets and sussesses, but it won't even
be able to support itself, and chunks of it will
fall off the WWW...and who will it hurt the most? the self same countries that aere arguing for it's seizure.
The US, aas one poster said, will develop something
bette, and keep it to ourselves. In fact, we allready
*have* all we have to do, is start rolling out the infrastructure for it. Makes broadband look like the
Telegraph.


35 posted on 10/06/2005 6:33:35 PM PDT by NickatNite2003
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To: Blogger
This story is so full of inconsistencies and ignorance that one hardly knows where to begin.

In one place they tell us Brazil relies on the Internet for its taxes and therefore US must give up control. In another they point out that China filters what their Internet users can access. Wouldn't that imply China already has control?

The US "Controls" the net by hosting the root level domain servers, but these servers are not essential for local use of the Internet. Every ISP and their up-stream provider hosts copies of these domain server. The root level servers could go down for a week and not many people would notice. Joe user never uses these servers.

All these servers to is convert www.freerepublic.com to 209.157.64.200. Thats it. Nothing more.

And your local ISP does this for you unless their server has never heard of freerepublic.com because they don't keep it up to date. In which case it asks its upstream provider, and so on up the chain to the root servers. Joe user never gets to use the root servers directly.

Once your machine is told the IP of Freerepublic it contacts it directly to get a web page without going through any US government facilities.

Some countries host their own top level servers for in-country use. China, for example. Brazil could do the same and thereby assure its tax system would never fail.

Other than that, there is no infrastructure that is in the hands of the US government that is not also replicated elsewhere.

There is no filtering that can be carried out by the US government to prevent a tax payer in Buenos Aries from contacting the tax headquarters in Brasilia, because that transaction never leaves Brazil.

And China can prevent their citizens from ever seeing www.whitehouse.com if that is what they fear, by simply null-routing that domain in their top level domain servers or blocking that particular IP.

What are these fools going on about?
36 posted on 10/06/2005 6:34:03 PM PDT by konaice
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To: Czar
And so you feel that because it is an "(R)" president in the White House, this will not happen?

Well, no, I didn't say that, and I don't feel that either, unfortunately.

37 posted on 10/06/2005 6:35:26 PM PDT by rogue yam
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To: Blogger

No one can "force" us to do anything. Our "Globalist" rulers might acquiesce to their demands however. Its a pathetic state of affairs.


38 posted on 10/06/2005 6:36:43 PM PDT by BnBlFlag (Deo Vindice/Semper Fidelis)
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To: konaice
And also the main root servers are mirrored: http://european.nl.orsn.net/

The article is pure over-reaction to an otherwise irrelevvant issue

39 posted on 10/06/2005 6:37:36 PM PDT by bobdsmith
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To: Blogger

The rest of the world thinks that they have an entitlement to use the U.S. funded Internet?


F the F'n F'ers.


40 posted on 10/06/2005 6:39:22 PM PDT by Triggerhippie (Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.)
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To: rogue yam
"...and I don't feel that either, unfortunately."

Nor do I.

41 posted on 10/06/2005 6:44:27 PM PDT by Czar (StillFedUptotheTeeth@Washington)
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To: bobdsmith
And also the main root servers are mirrored: http://european.nl.orsn.net/

The article is pure over-reaction to an otherwise irrelevvant issue

Exactly. Russia has one as well. In fact its highly desirable to have a decentralized net of root servers which is exactly why they are replicated.

But there has to be one place where domain names/IP pairs are distributed from or chaos would ensue.

42 posted on 10/06/2005 6:45:15 PM PDT by konaice
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To: rogue yam
If there were a Democrat in the White House right now, this would already be a done deal.

With a media informing us that it is the natural progression, the way it must be. Just no way around it.

43 posted on 10/06/2005 6:46:16 PM PDT by Jim_Curtis (How do we prevent someone from torching his city if he will be rewarded as a lottery winner?)
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To: Triggerhippie
The rest of the world thinks that they have an entitlement to use the U.S. funded Internet?

Thats another misconception. The US government funds very little of the Internet.

The US government funded that very early development of the net back in the 70s, but that is no longer the case. All the US pays now is the hosting of (SOME OF) the root servers, these would probably fit in your bathroom.

The net is built via a "Bring Your Own Bandwidth" model, by thousands of little ISPs buying service from bigger telco and long distance carriers, under sea cable operators etc.

And its all funded by (Pay Attention, this is important:) you and me, and every little subscriber from Bug Tussle Mississippi to Leningrad. We bought it, we built it, we pay for it out of our own pocket.

44 posted on 10/06/2005 6:53:10 PM PDT by konaice
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To: konaice

I uestion your claim to the degree that as TLDs go dowhn and stay down for a while, even if they are brought back up after a while, a large number of DNS directories, would find that
most of the sites registartions would have expired. and the more that go down, the biger and longer it takes to rebuild their DNS directories with valid IP's, causing an ever greater overload on the remaining TLDs. Till they eventaully become logjammed. While entering a an IP # may still take you to the site/page, the connection will be slower, as signal will basically have to hunt for the website,
rather than be able use intelligent routing. *also* increasing overhead.
to


45 posted on 10/06/2005 6:54:36 PM PDT by NickatNite2003
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To: Blogger
A related article:

World Wide (Web) Takeover
The United Nations wants the Internet.
By Carlos Ramos-Mrosovsky & Joseph Barillari
September 28, 2005, 8:10 a.m.

"In my opinion, freedom of speech seems to be a politically sensitive issue. A lot of policy matters are behind it." So observed Houlin Zhao, the man who wants to control the greatest forum for free expression in history.

Zhao, a director of the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and a former senior Chinese-government official, is a leader in the United Nations's effort to supplant the United States government in the supervision of the Internet. At a series of conferences called the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held under the aegis of the ITU, and set to culminate in Tunis this November, the U.N. has floated a series of proposals for doing exactly that.

The U.N.'s professed goals, which include expanding Internet access in developing countries and fighting spam, are laudable. However, the substance of its proposals — shifting Internet governance from the U.S. to a U.N. body — would produce an Internet in which regulations smother free speech, strangle net-driven economic growth, and threaten America's online security.

A typical U.N. enterprise, in other words.

The Internet is decentralized by design, having grown from the U.S. government's efforts to build a computer network that could survive catastrophic failures. Some elements, however, must be centrally administered to guarantee the Internet's orderly operation. The U.N. has its sights set on the most important of these, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN, a nonprofit contractor for the U.S. Department of Commerce, ensures that top-level domain names (.com, .edu, .uk), specific domain names (yahoo.com, ebay.com), and IP addresses (64.94.177.98, the numeric address for nationalreview.com), do not conflict. An Internet without ICANN would be like a telephone network in which everyone picked his own telephone number. ICANN delegates much of its work to a mix of regional organizations and commercial registries. This system has served the Internet well.

Nevertheless, a 2003 WSIS meeting asked U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to convene a Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) to develop proposals to internationalize control of the Internet. Composed of representatives from the private sector, NGOs, and governments, including those of Saudi Arabia, Cuba, China, Iran, and a number of supranationally inclined European states, the 41-member body delivered its final report this July. WGIG's proposals include shifting control of ICANN to an "International Internet Council," entrusted with an additional murky mandate over Internet-related "international public policy."

ICANN's critics correctly observe that progress has been lacking. There are too few domain names in non-Roman characters and the number of available Internet addresses has not increased quickly enough. There is much to be gained, and little to be feared, from an international discussion of these and similar technical and policy issues.

Yet even those sympathetic to the idea of an internationally controlled Internet are skeptical of WGIG's proposals: John Palfrey, a Harvard Law School professor and executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, observes that creating an organization with so broad a mandate would be a "terrible idea." Indeed, the history of large bureaucracies, particularly large international bureaucracies, provides little confidence that the U.N. can handle any task without kilometers of red tape, let alone continue ICANN's minimalist private-sector approach. Will the registration of a domain name, now a five-minute process for anyone with a credit card, eventually require approval from UNESCO? Will domain-registration fees, currently a few dollars per domain, skyrocket to subsidize websites for countries without electricity? There are many ways that U.N. control could make the Internet slower and more expensive, and few improvements that the private sector cannot supply. For instance, with AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google working on the spam problem, it is doubtful that the U.N. will have much to add. It would also be unwise to entrust the world's largest marketplace to an organization whose top officials are notorious for lining their pockets. Small wonder then, that Senator Norm Coleman (R., Minn.), who has launched repeated investigations into U.N. corruption, describes WGIG's proposals as a "giant and foolhardy step backwards."

Only dictators, and, perhaps, the doctrinaire internationalists who so often abet them, stand to gain from placing the Internet under "international" control. If, for example, the U.N. were to control domain names, its component tyrannies would find it much easier to censor and repress. After all, "internet public policy" is subject to interpretation, and it is hard to imagine international bureaucrats resisting — as ICANN and the U.S. largely have — the temptation to politicize their task. At first, this could even seem reasonable: E.U. officials might seek to eliminate neo-Nazi domains. Inevitably, however, dictatorships would seek to extinguish undesirable foreign web content at the source. Given the U.N.'s penchant for condemning good causes, it is easy to imagine Tehran pushing to suppress "racist" (i.e. "Zionist") websites, or steady pressure from Beijing to eliminate Taiwan's ".tw" domain. (One China, one top-level domain.)

China, a major proponent of a U.N.-administered Internet, already operates the world's largest and most advanced system of online censorship. Thousands of government agents, including some from ITU Director Zhao's former Department of Telecommunications, make sure that websites, e-mails, and even search-engine results deemed threatening to the regime remain inaccessible to a fifth of the world's population. U.S. companies have shamefully participated in this system, as shown by China's recent jailing of dissident journalist Shi Tao based on information revealed by Yahoo!, Inc. Chinese Internet users are unable to access the websites of the Voice of America or, even, the BBC. The regime's filtering is so sophisticated that many sites, such as cnn.com, time.com, and, curiously, yale.edu, are filtered page-by-page, thus maintaining the illusion of openness. Other WGIG participants have similar policies. Like China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia also recognize that control over the Internet brings them closer to control over minds. It is unsurprising, then, that Mr. Zhao and his ilk support the U.N.'s drive to give them more of it.

That the next WSIS summit should take place in Tunisia speaks volumes. The Tunisian government and President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's relatives control all of the country's internet-service providers. As in China, international news and human-rights websites are routinely blocked. Citizens who post their dissent online face lengthy prison terms. That the U.N. would award a meeting on the fate of the Internet to such a regime betrays the incoherence of an internationalism that insists on treating dictatorships and democracies as equals.

Surrendering the Internet might also increase America's vulnerability to online security threats. It could be difficult to guard against cyber-terrorism or to pursue terrorists online, if the Internet were under the supervision of a body unsure of what terrorism is, but quite sure that it does not like the United States.

Although the Bush administration will not relinquish U.S. oversight of the Internet, a future president may be more willing to make this seemingly small concession to curry favor with internationalist elites or supposed strategic partners. As with the Kyoto Protocol or the International Criminal Court, Washington's refusal to bend to the "international community" over the Internet might be magnified into another gleefully touted example of American arrogance. America's rivals, less constrained by electoral cycles, tend to view foreign policy over the longer term.

They are willing to wait. If we are to preserve the Internet as we know it, the Bush administration must take steps to foreclose the possibility of it ever becoming the plaything of dictators.

46 posted on 10/06/2005 6:54:47 PM PDT by DumpsterDiver
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To: pickrell

The age old problem with that, is the same
problem with *any* law. a law is only as good
as the ability to enforce it. Shall we bas a
miltary division around eavh foriegn based
Top Level Domain server? No, the reason that
the WWW has worked, and continues to work,
unlike with democraciies..is there is one final
arbiter, one body of rule setters. The internet
cannot function by diverse multi-party rules.

electrns, physical and natural laws..on and off
gates...logical programming, does not tolerate
or understand "diversity"...cultural or otherwise.


47 posted on 10/06/2005 7:09:30 PM PDT by NickatNite2003
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To: NickatNite2003
I uestion your claim to the degree that as TLDs go dowhn and stay down for a while, even if they are brought back up after a while, a large number of DNS directories, would find that most of the sites registrations would have expired. and the more that go

The TTLs (Time to live) of a directory entry is not advanced when the upstream server can not be reached. Further, is an entry is hit, its ttl is reset so that it will not be purged.

But modern dns servers never purge anymore, it takes more time than its worth. Which is why domain names often work even if you don't pay your registration. Not all registrars will take the time to null-route you the instant your bill goes unpaid.

As for your comment "the signal will basically have to hunt for the website", thats nonsense.

There is no hunting involved. Your machine asks your ISP what the IP for www.foxnews.com is and it gets a number handed back. If for some unlikely reason your ISP didn't have it, it in turn asks its upstream provider. If that provider does not have it goes higher. As soon as this request reaches a server that claims to be authoritative it will go no higher. Most requests (something like 99.999999%) are handled by your ISP and never make it any higher than that.

Once the IP is known, the packets are routed by the router. Again, there is no hunting. Your ISP maybe has two possible routes out if its office. The router chooses one, and sends it off. The next router picks the best route it has and does the same. There is no hunting....

48 posted on 10/06/2005 7:10:55 PM PDT by konaice
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To: DuncanWaring

This is not about advancing the net, it is all about power.

With IP v6, we could just give the UN/EU its own address space and they could run it the way they wanted to. Would that make them happy? No, they want full control.

Let the meddling with net liberties begin.



49 posted on 10/06/2005 7:13:27 PM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: denydenydeny
It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce.

And in other news, the Student Council at Earthgrain Community College has voted unanimously to pull all US trrops out of Iraq...

50 posted on 10/06/2005 7:18:16 PM PDT by oblomov
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