[LINK] UN's Internet Hijack ...
francisoconnor3 at bigpond.com
Tue Jun 19 13:40:15 EST 2012
The WSJ journalist is overplaying his hand outrageously ...
Now ... consider the current administration of the Internet. The IETF. ICANN. etc etc
Consider the history of the Net and how it was administered
What does the ITU offer that they don't? Who does the ITU represent? Internet users or big metal (TCP/IP Level 4 and 5) comms providers? What communications protocols do you associate with the ITU ... hint is it the horrendously complex 7 level OSI that died a natural death 10 years back, or the simple 5 level TCP/IP? Which protocol is the Internet based on and why didn't the other succeed (like a toothless parrot)?
Now ... let's look back at the ITU's history over the last 50 years ... look at it's standards process, look at the criteria it uses to judge technical standards, check out the desirability of including politics, religion and commercial realities in the technical standards process. Check out charging massive fees for approving for standards that don't (and in many cases purposely won't) connect to other supposedly similar networking standards. Check out the money trail.
Cool idea to have these people taking over the functions of the IETF, or even the debased ICANN?
Do we really need to do this again ... ? Are the points I've been trying to make for the last 10 years so damn hard to comprehend? Do people really have attention spans that are this damn minuscule? Do people give a damn how their communications are controlled and filtered and by whom? Don't people care about the network's technical standards being approved and maintained with criteria like efficiency, speed, efficacy and scientific validity as governing principles? Are cultural, religious and other objections to be allowed to stifle the Net?
Yes, the WSJ journalist is probably a right wing ideologue with very little appreciation of the issues he touches on ... but that doesn't make the issues any less pressing. Letting the ITU get its hands on the Net when there is no good reason to let it do so, and a hundred good reasons to prevent it from doing so, would result in an Internet that is a shadow of its current self.
On 19/06/2012, at 1:08 PM, Richard Chirgwin wrote:
> And the American spin is astonishing.
> On 19/06/12 12:48 PM, Frank O'Connor wrote:
>> They'll never give up ...
>> See: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303822204577470532859210296.html
>> The U.N.'s Internet Power Grab
>> Leaked documents show a real threat to the international flow of information.
>> It's easy to understand why countries like Russia, China and Iran would want to rewire the Internet, cutting off access to their citizens and undermining the idea of a World Wide Web. What's more surprising is that U.S. diplomats are letting authoritarian regimes hijack an obscure U.N. agency to undermine how the Internet works, including for Americans.
> "An obscure UN agency"? - The ITU's been around so long it predates the
> UN, even. Obscure?
>> The failure by U.S. negotiators to stop attacks on the Internet became known only through documents leaked last week. They concern a U.N. agency known as the International Telecommunications Union. Founded in 1865 to regulate the telegraph, the body (now part of the U.N.) is planning a World Conference on International Telecommunications in December, when the 193 U.N. member countries, each of which has a single vote, could use the International Telecommunications Regulations to take control of the Internet. The U.N. process is mind-numbing, but as Vincent Cerf, one of the founders of the Web, recently told Congress, this U.N. involvement means "the open Internet has never been at a higher risk than it is now."
>> The process is secret, so it was hard to know what authoritarian governments were plotting or how the U.S. was responding. This column last month detailed some of the proposals, but other commentators doubted that any changes would be material.
>> Disclosure came when two academics decided to use the openness of the Web to help save the Web. George Mason University researchers Jerry Brito and Eli Dourado earlier this month created a site called WCITLeaks.org. They invited anyone with access to the documents describing the U.N. proposals to post them, so as "to foster greater transparency." These documents are not classified but had not been made public.
>> The WCITLeaks site hit pay dirt this past Friday. Someone leaked the 212-page planning document being used by governments to prepare for the December conference. Mr. Dourado summarized: "These proposals show that many ITU member states want to use international agreements to regulate the Internet by crowding out bottom-up institutions, imposing charges for international communication, and controlling the content that consumers can access online."
> This is a little disingenuous: American Internet players charge people
> to land their traffic in the US.
>> The broadest proposal in the draft materials is an initiative by China to give countries authority over "the information and communication infrastructure within their state" and require that online companies "operating in their territory" use the Internet "in a rational way"—in short, to legitimize full government control. The Internet Society, which represents the engineers around the world who keep the Internet functioning, says this proposal "would require member states to take on a very active and inappropriate role in patrolling" the Internet.
> I haven't seen China's proposal in the ITRs but I have seen its Internet
> draft. Wonder: is the WSJ conflating the two?
>> Several proposals would give the U.N. power to regulate online content for the first time, under the guise of protecting against computer malware or spam. Russia and some Arab countries want to be able to inspect private communications such as email. Russia and Iran propose new rules to measure Internet traffic along national borders and bill the originator of the traffic, as with international phone calls. That would result in new fees to local governments and less access to traffic from U.S. "originating" companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple. A similar idea has the support of European telecommunications companies, even though the Internet's global packet switching makes national tolls an anachronistic idea.
> Back to the charging model. If we described it as "allowing non-US
> traffic to peer with the US on a differential basis" it would be more
> acceptable, wouldn't it?
>> Another proposal would give the U.N. authority over allocating Internet addresses. It would replace Icann, the self-regulating body that helped ensure the stability of the Internet, under a contract from the U.S. Commerce Department.
> It would be easier to defend ICANN if it didn't treat the Internet as an
> open money-truck.
> Real regulatory ITU control would be a bad thing. However: articles as
> hysterical as this don't help, IMO.
>> According to notes in the leaked document, the U.S. delegation filed some objections here and there—but politely. The U.S. calls the broad Chinese proposal on regulating the Internet "both unnecessary and beyond the appropriate scope" of U.N. regulation. "The U.S. looks forward to a further explanation from China with regard to the proposed amendments, and we note that we may have further reaction at that time." Notes in the negotiating document say the U.S. delegation also objects to proposals in which "the text suggests that the ITU has a role in content-related issues. We do not believe it does."
>> These are weak responses even by Obama administration standards. Ever since the pre-Internet era of the 1970s, authoritarian regimes have sought to use the U.N. to establish an "information world order" based on government control, not open flows of information. The U.S. learned during the Cold War that the only way to stop U.N. meddling is to wield a big stick. Washington had to leave Unesco when it played the kind of dangerous game the ITU has now chosen.
>> It may be hard for the billions of Web users or the optimists of Silicon Valley to believe that an obscure agency of the U.N. can threaten their Internet, but authoritarian regimes are busy lobbying a majority of the U.N. members to vote their way. The leaked documents disclose a U.S. side that has hardly begun to fight back. That's no way to win this war.
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