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US endorses Internet Governance Forum United Nations
news.zdnet.co.uk/ ^ | Wednesday 16th November 2005 | Declan McCullagh

Posted on 11/16/2005 7:55:33 AM PST by cope85

US endorses Internet Governance Forum

The US has inked a broad agreement at WSIS but that does not mean it relinquishes its influence over Internet operations

The Bush administration and its critics at a United Nations summit at Tunis in Tunisia have inked a broad agreement on global Internet management that will preclude any dramatic showdown this week.

By signing the statement, the Bush administration formally endorsed the creation of an "Internet Governance Forum" that will meet for the first time in 2006 under the auspices of the UN. The forum is meant to be a central point for global discussions of everything from computer security and online crime to spam and other "misuses of the Internet".

What the agreement does not do is require the US to relinquish its unique influence over the Internet's operations. The statement takes "no action regarding existing institutions", David Gross, the ambassador leading the US delegation, said on Wednesday. "It created no new international organisations."

The last-minute deal, reached just hours before the WSIS began on Wednesday, effectively postpones a long-simmering dispute over the future of Internet management. China, Cuba, South Africa and other nations have argued that the US and other wealthier nations must share power — complaints that now will be taken to the new UN forum.

"It is a matter of justice and legitimacy that all people must have a say in the way the Internet is governed," Luisa Diogo, the prime minister of Mozambique, told the thousands of delegates who have gathered in Tunisia's capital city.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe offered a more ominous warning. The US and allies such as the UK unreasonably "insist on being world policemen on the management of the Internet", and that must change, Mugabe said.

At issue in this dispute is the unique influence the US government wields over the master list of top-level domain names — such as .com, .org and country codes including .uk and .jp — as a result of the network's historical origins. In addition, ICANN, the nonprofit organisation created by the Clinton administration to oversee day-to-day management is located in Marina del Rey, California

In June, the Bush administration announced it had no plans to relinquish its role as at least a symbolic guarantor of the stability of the Internet. A statement published at the time backed the current ICANN structure and said "no action" will be taken that could destabilise the Internet.

Over the last few months, the administration's envoys have found themselves increasingly isolated in preliminary meetings leading up to the Tunisia summit.

The European Union, for instance, implicitly backed the creation of a stronger UN body...

US endorses Internet Governance Forum

Declan McCullagh CNET News.com November 16, 2005, 14:40 GMT

Tell us your opinion

The US has inked a broad agreement at WSIS but that does not mean it relinquishes its influence over Internet operations

...that could even be granted regulatory powers. But as the official start of the summit on Wednesday neared, China and other critics chose to agree to the set of principles and instead take their complaints to the newly created UN forum during its first meeting next year that is expected to take place in Greece.

Vague principles for "forum" Because the principles adopted this week are so broad, nearly everyone involved in the discussions can boast a political victory.

The US stressed that the UN forum will have no regulatory power. "It will have no oversight function, (remain) non-operational and engage only in dialogue," Ambassador Gross said. We have "no concerns that it would morph into something unsavoury".

Gross also pointed to language in the agreement saying the forum should be "subject to periodic review" — meaning, he said, it will not become a permanent bureaucracy.

Also included in the broad principles: The forum shall "identify emerging issues, bring them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public", "facilitate discourse between bodies dealing with different crosscutting international public policies regarding the Internet" and discuss "issues relating to critical Internet resources".

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, on the other hand, said the agreement highlights "the need for more international participation in discussions of Internet governance issues. The question is how to achieve this. Let those discussions continue."

Annan acknowledged that the US has exercised its Internet oversight "fairly and honourably" but said that change has become necessary. The United Nations has no desire to "control or police the Internet", Annan added.

That stance seemed to be an effort to placate conservative groups and businesses, especially in the US, which are alarmed at what some view as the prospect of a thoroughly corrupt and unaccountable bureaucracy seizing control of Internet management. A report released this week by the National Taxpayers Union warned that "controlling Internet content while securing another income source through the United Nations seems an attractive policy outcome for politicians looking to suppress dissent and to prop-up financially ailing bureaucracies."

The CompTIA trade association has stressed that it supports a "market-based solutions" approach rather than expanded UN control. So have a roster of tech companies including Google, IBM and Microsoft and members of the US Senate and House of Representatives. One reason why businesses are alarmed is the lengthy list of suggestions that have been advanced in the past by nations participating in the UN process. Those include new mandates for "consumer protection", the power to tax domain names to pay for "universal access" and folding ICANN into a UN agency. The United Nations has previously suggested creating an international tax bureaucracy and once floated the idea of taxing email, saying in a report that a one cent tax on 100 email messages would be "negligible".

Violence before summit The lead-up to the WSIS has been marred by violence against journalists and human rights activists. French journalist Christophe Boltanski, who had arrived early to write about Tunisia President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's civil liberties record, was stabbed in an assault by four men and not aided by nearby police. The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement that such attacks are characteristic of Tunisia's secret police.

In another incident, journalists and civil liberties activists planning their own summit on human rights were assaulted and detained by Tunisian police. In response, members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange said they would pull out of the summit.

Human rights groups have warned for years that Ben Ali's autocratic regime has imprisoned and tortured political opponents and harassed full-time journalists and part-time online scribes.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bigbrother; dictatorship; governance; internet; mugabe; nations; nwo; oneworld; tunis; un; united; unitednations; wsis; www
US endorses Internet Governance Forum
1 posted on 11/16/2005 7:55:34 AM PST by cope85
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To: cope85

camels nose under the tent.


2 posted on 11/16/2005 7:57:41 AM PST by taxcontrol (People are entitled to their opinion - no matter how wrong it is.)
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To: cope85

Chipping away at the rock of freedom...


3 posted on 11/16/2005 7:58:12 AM PST by Edgerunner (Proud to be an infidel)
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To: cope85

This is sounding more and more like the Clinton administration, that never saw an international agreement it didn't sign. The nose of the globalist camel is under the tent. The US should not have even been at the meeting in Tunis, but should have sent them this message: It's OUR net.


4 posted on 11/16/2005 8:00:19 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: cope85

IMO, Bush should have thanked them for their opinions and claimed a pen malfunction before not signing this. The UN is full of slimy operators and I have a VERY bad feeling about this.


5 posted on 11/16/2005 8:03:55 AM PST by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: cope85
Reassuring to know that two cretins like Mugabe
and Annan, who need assistance just to know how to turn a computer on, have influence over the Internet.
6 posted on 11/16/2005 8:04:35 AM PST by Mulch (tm)
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To: All

I don't think this is such a big deal. The U.N. is a bunch of boobs...wait...there is someone knocking on my door...


7 posted on 11/16/2005 8:05:57 AM PST by j_k_l
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To: cope85

It's our internet. It's our gift to the world. If you don't like it, leave.


8 posted on 11/16/2005 8:06:27 AM PST by ChadGore (VISUALIZE 62,041,268 Bush fans.)
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To: DustyMoment

The internet started as an army project, it makes sense that we'd give it away to the communists in the UN.


9 posted on 11/16/2005 8:07:14 AM PST by x5452
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To: kittymyrib
You guys just jump on anything to scream "betrayal".

This is a big nothing, so they talk, blah, blah, blah ad nauseum.

Even Bolton has publicly stated yesterday that the UN has to be replaced, oh but that would get in the way of your perpetual crying jag.

10 posted on 11/16/2005 8:09:33 AM PST by Dane ( anyone who believes hillary would do something to stop illegal immigration is believing gibberish)
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To: cope85

No friggin way the UN gets the internet. This is as important as any national defense issue we face.


11 posted on 11/16/2005 8:10:00 AM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: j_k_l

its the first step for a Governance Forum from United Nations


12 posted on 11/16/2005 8:10:35 AM PST by cope85
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To: cope85
...the Bush administration formally endorsed the creation of an "Internet Governance Forum" that will meet for the first time in 2006 under the auspices of the UN.

This can only be the first of many steps in bringing the internet under the control of those governments who suppress free speech as a matter of political policy. Eventually those restrictions on the net would find a home with our own politicians.

Also, suppression of the net would once again make the liberal MSM the gatekeepers of information. That can never be allowed to happen again.

13 posted on 11/16/2005 8:12:48 AM PST by Noachian (To Control the Judiciary The People Must First Control The Senate)
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To: Noachian

its the first step for a Governance Forum from United Nations


14 posted on 11/16/2005 8:14:18 AM PST by cope85
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To: cope85
To those that think this is giving the internet to UN.... get a grip. This does nothing of the sort. All it does is set up a discussion group to make the international community feel empowered.
They have no control and nothing they say at these meetings matter. These UN crybabies like their little forums so they have an excuse to leave whatever particular hellhole they live in and travel to Switzerland or whatever. It will be forgotten soon enough.
15 posted on 11/16/2005 8:15:37 AM PST by CompGeek
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To: CompGeek

Sustainable Development.


16 posted on 11/16/2005 8:16:34 AM PST by cope85
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To: cope85

The WSJ said, yesterday, that the likely, eventual outcome will be separate controls in different areas, such as China and Europe. This is really the best that we can hope for.


17 posted on 11/16/2005 8:17:41 AM PST by Eva
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To: CompGeek

get the u.s out of the the u.n


18 posted on 11/16/2005 8:17:56 AM PST by cope85
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To: cope85
US endorses Internet Governance Forum

More honest to say: "Attempt to take over DNS relegated to harmless UN committee who will bicker endlessly and never be heard from again"

The only real danger is that a Dim majority and/or Dim president might enlarge this and turn over control of DNS to the UN later. Or succumb to global taxation via internet, although this is less likely since our domestic socialists mostly like to grab and keep the money for themselves.

There's a bill in the House, I think, that would codify U.S. control of DNS into U.S. law. I think the uppity DNS-grabbers backed down out of fear that their actions would ensure its passage. Hopefully, the sponsors will finish and pass the bill anyway.
19 posted on 11/16/2005 8:18:31 AM PST by George W. Bush
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To: cope85

Let the UN set up their own freakin' internet, and see how many people willingly subject themselves to its yoke. Seriously, set up a .un domain, and let the crooks administer it, and we'll see just how long it lasts and how much good it does. Otherwise, they need to STFU.


20 posted on 11/16/2005 8:19:39 AM PST by SlowBoat407 (The best stuff happens just before the thread snaps.)
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To: ChadGore
It's our internet. It's our gift to the world. If you don't like it, leave.

I'd pay cash to hear Bolton say that to these globalist DNS thugs and goons at the U.N.!!!
21 posted on 11/16/2005 8:20:45 AM PST by George W. Bush
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To: cope85

We've got a forum right here, the UN doesn't need another one. And, if Kofi tries to take over the internet don't worry -- Sony can shut it down overnight with a few CDs.


22 posted on 11/16/2005 8:21:19 AM PST by MilleniumBug
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To: George W. Bush

We need to get out of the U.N. The United Nations is responsible for the deaths of a lot of Americans. Case in point, under the oil and food program, the money was supplied to kill our boys. I personally believe that some of the money helped finance the terriorists that did 9/11 in New York. The United Nations has their hands on just about everything in this country. .


23 posted on 11/16/2005 8:25:34 AM PST by cope85
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To: cope85

Done pretty well so far without their governance. Might keep on doing well. Might free a billion Chinese. Don't we want that, Mr. President?


24 posted on 11/16/2005 8:26:14 AM PST by Graymatter
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To: cope85

Hopefully, this is a "feel-good" resolution for the whiners -- the equivalent of giving Barney Fife a bullet that he can keep in his shirt pocket to make him feel important...


25 posted on 11/16/2005 8:27:20 AM PST by DJ Frisat
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To: cope85

bookmark.


26 posted on 11/16/2005 8:29:50 AM PST by Alia
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To: cope85

Not to worry this is a non-binding forum, like the General assembly of the UN. The US, and Icann still control the addressing and all the important stuff, this is meant to shut up the euro twits, it still most likely will not work but hey we can dream!


27 posted on 11/16/2005 8:29:53 AM PST by Arabs only 600 years behind us (Kick the French out of France)
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To: Arabs only 600 years behind us

first step


28 posted on 11/16/2005 8:33:22 AM PST by cope85
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To: cope85

What "injustices" are the marxists conjuring up that the USA are doing?


29 posted on 11/16/2005 8:40:49 AM PST by smith288 (Peace at all cost makes for tyranny free of charge...)
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To: cope85
The Guardian printed a long whiny article that makes it clear the US has lost nothing, and not only has the EU not won anything, it looked like a wimp at Tunis:By the end, what was left was an acceptance of the status quo with promises that they would be open to reform.... Internet watchers were puzzled by the EU's backtracking...

The following sentence appears in the article. I post the sentence so all of us who are American can gasp in awe at the British command of the English language, as it is exemplified at the Guardian. See how many mistakes you can find, just for fun:

The finally wording remains to be decided but reform will have to take place in the governmental advisory committee of Icann, which plays only an advisory role.

30 posted on 11/16/2005 8:50:57 AM PST by kaylar
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To: cope85
"It is a matter of justice and legitimacy that all people must have a say in the way the Internet is governed,"

If All People created the internet, then, All People should have a say.

They didn't. They squatted in their mud huts and ate bugs while others worked and created.

31 posted on 11/16/2005 8:52:44 AM PST by Gorzaloon
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To: cope85

32 posted on 11/16/2005 8:52:45 AM PST by XR7
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To: cope85

Stupid. Let them start their own.


33 posted on 11/16/2005 9:05:25 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: cope85

We should never make the slightest concession to our enemies, because appeasement only encourages them to keep returning for more.


34 posted on 11/16/2005 9:13:00 AM PST by TexasRepublic (BALLISTIC CATHARSIS: perforating uncooperative objects with chunks of lead)
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To: cope85
Why are sooooooooooooooo damn nice?

I can see it now, they'll put Mr. Mbutu Nagptwy from the Congo, along with Mohammed Osama bin Zaraqawi from the Islamic Republic of Killninfidelforallah as his Deputy Assistant in charge of it.

Their first order of business will be to either restrict, or soak the thing for cash, because its currently used by the Imperialist, First World countries for their conspicuous consumption of consumer items that affect the vast unwashed masses of humanity like Chavez's Venezuela, Kim's North Korea, Fidel's Cuba and other deserving countries like Assad's Syria and peaceful Sudan and Iran.

35 posted on 11/16/2005 9:14:41 AM PST by DoctorMichael (The Fourth-Estate is a Fifth-Column!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: DoctorMichael
............Why are we sooooooooooooooo damn nice?..............
36 posted on 11/16/2005 9:15:35 AM PST by DoctorMichael (The Fourth-Estate is a Fifth-Column!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: XR7

ConservativePower.org

37 posted on 11/16/2005 9:17:46 AM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: cope85
So basically we give the UN a debate club so that they prattle on endlessly while possessing no real power... their "governance" ends precisely where the United States says it does. For all the people screaming that Bush has signed over the Internet, I'd say they're just reading their own prejudices into the article.
38 posted on 11/16/2005 9:27:17 AM PST by Namyak (Oderint dum metuant)
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To: cope85

Maybe the worst-case scenario would be peddle-powered green PC's.


39 posted on 11/16/2005 9:28:06 AM PST by polymuser (")
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To: cope85

Boiling the frog.


40 posted on 11/16/2005 9:59:39 AM PST by nonliberal (Graduate: Curtis E. LeMay School of International Relations)
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To: ChadGore
It's our internet.

I thought it was Al Gore's internet.

41 posted on 11/16/2005 10:00:38 AM PST by nonliberal (Graduate: Curtis E. LeMay School of International Relations)
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To: cope85

>>The last-minute deal, reached just hours before the WSIS began on Wednesday, effectively postpones a long-simmering dispute over the future of Internet management.<<

>>The US stressed that the UN forum will have no regulatory power. "It will have no oversight function, (remain) non-operational and engage only in dialogue," Ambassador Gross said. We have "no concerns that it would morph into something unsavoury".<<

Eactly why did we sign the agreement President Clinton, I mean President Bush?


42 posted on 11/16/2005 10:00:55 AM PST by B4Ranch (No expiration date on the oath to protect America from all enemies, foreign and domestic!)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Lets not be rash,now (s).

After all, that great bastion of liberalism,Algore, created the internet and by golly, since he isn't really all that busy, I think he could donate his time and give them a hand creating a new internet, just for libs and commies.

Fair is fair, no? (more s)

The only difference should be that the default language of the new internet must be French.


43 posted on 11/16/2005 10:01:00 AM PST by HonestConservative (Bless our Servicemen!)
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To: cope85
"By signing the statement, the Bush administration formally endorsed the creation of an "Internet Governance Forum" that will meet for the first time in 2006 under the auspices of the UN. The forum is meant to be a central point for global discussions of everything from computer security and online crime to spam and other "misuses of the Internet"."

By endorsing, they mean the US government agreed to participate in a forum that has no real power.

""It is a matter of justice and legitimacy that all people must have a say in the way the Internet is governed," Luisa Diogo, the prime minister of Mozambique, told the thousands of delegates who have gathered in Tunisia's capital city."

The legitimacy of the Internet has nothing to do with a bunch of self absorbed politicians. It's a proven technology.

What's in question here is how domain names are issued and maintained, not content on the Internet itself.

The way it has been administered has worked well. It's being administered by a private nonprofit organization that was put in charge of it by the government that created the technology.

There is no compelling reason for this to change.

"Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe offered a more ominous warning. The US and allies such as the UK unreasonably "insist on being world policemen on the management of the Internet", and that must change, Mugabe said."

More false words and blustering. Countries have control over their own domestic networks. They can choose to block sites from their networks if the choose to do so. China chooses to do so, and does.

The US isn't blocking content from other countries' servers from going to another country's network.

"Over the last few months, the administration's envoys have found themselves increasingly isolated in preliminary meetings leading up to the Tunisia summit.

The European Union, for instance, implicitly backed the creation of a stronger UN body... "

That's strange. I didn't see a single one of these countries decide to sever their networks from the Internet. I haven't seen popular web sites jumping to some alternative worldwide network. Did I miss this isolation?

The Internet doesn't need governance. The domain names need administered. IP addresses need administered. They're being administered by a consistent set of rules now, and it's working well in the vast majority of situations.

I have little doubt that The UN is looking at the Internet as something to tax and control. The UN has proven itself to be both corrupt and incompetent. It is in no one's best interest to give them ANY kind of control over the Internet. The only ones who might benefit are bureaucrats. The Internet, the people who rely on it for information, and the companies that rely on it can only be harmed by the interference of the UN.
44 posted on 11/16/2005 10:04:14 AM PST by untrained skeptic
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To: cope85

Big mistake. Should have undermined it instead.


45 posted on 11/16/2005 10:04:52 AM PST by GOP_1900AD (Stomping on "PC," destroying the Left, and smoking out faux "conservatives" - Take Back The GOP!)
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To: taxcontrol

"Camel's nose under the tent"......Exactly.
The Bush Administration is not nearly as leery of the UN as they would have Conservatives believe.


46 posted on 11/16/2005 10:15:17 AM PST by BnBlFlag (Deo Vindice/Semper Fidelis)
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To: cope85
A few remarks to the crowd of reflexive anti-UN posters. First, this issue is far more complex than this article describes (though Declan McCulloughg certainly know better, his employer isn't really into deep analysis journalism)

Second, those that fear there is a great scheme to make money, are nmostly correct. All those non-technical cushy-wushy feelgood NGOs on this proces, and certainly all those crazed third world dictator governments simply demand cash. The rest of the sounds they make is just distraction. Show me one NGO that does not demand money out of some unspecified internet-user finmanced slush fund.

Third, even that is not the core problem. It is just the vultures circeling over a sick animal. The current central administrative body, ICANN, excells most at alienating people. ICANN, an uncontrolled, fast growing and therefore constantly underfundend buerocacy, tried to levy multi-million $ "domain-taxes" on the European registries, basically for one line of text entry in a centrally administrated file and the reliable operation of a hand full of not so expensive servers. They balked. ICANN tried to, ahem, put pressure on them. Threatened them. They still balked. ICANN pissed the Chinese off by idly sitting for several years on the issue of non-ascii doamins, which the emerging chinese Internet industry direly needed. ICANN made US sweetheart deals with Verizon and others when contractes for generic domain registries were up for reassigment. ICANN pissed the average Joe user off when it first started a decent plan for user involvement and representation and a year later systematically destroyed the whole thing again. ICANN pissed the open source community off by basically declaring Paul Vixie and the Internet Software Consortium - the organization that develops and maintains Bind - unfit to run an internet registry (in order to give the .org Registry to someone else in one of those aforementioned sweetheart deals).

I could go on. name me one stakeholder in ICANN and I can tell you where ICANN has unfairly treted him, snubbed him, angered him. So whatever Support ICANN has left is based on most people's (in as well as outside of the US) larger mistrust of the ITU.

Did I mention that ICANN is basically run by lawyers ? One key weakness of ICANN actually is that it resides and is chartered in the US and therefore can be sued over anything it does by anyone. And it has vastly less resources for that than the big players it tries to regulate. That makes its "lead counsel" and his band of lawyers the real leadership inside ICANN, while the directors are window dressing. Also, because of the constant fears of beeing sued ICANN has become an pretty secretive organization which barres its constituency any insight into its decision making.

What can be done ? Well, if the US wants to keep ICANN's role, it will have to step up.

The next WSIS debate will come. The next round of talks. of demands. And in a few years, ITU or WIPO or someone else will have ICANNs functions, if the US Government doesnn't get its act together soon.

And don't kid yourself - technically nobody owns the internet any more. Its just a matter of whose lead the majority will follow.

47 posted on 11/16/2005 11:01:07 AM PST by Tullius
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To: HonestConservative

A writer in the WSJ this week said it was just a matter of time before Europe has its own. Ditto China.


48 posted on 11/16/2005 11:54:09 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: cope85
Mugabe objects to US control of the internet
49 posted on 11/16/2005 8:12:44 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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