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The Internet Government Your Rights Online Politics

Vint Cerf, US Congresswoman Oppose Net Regulation 156

Posted by timothy
from the what-does-that-guy-know? dept.
schliz writes "Vint Cerf, Google, ICANN and California Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack have opposed a recently revealed UN initiative to regulate the internet. Congresswoman Mack put forward a US resolution that the United Nations and other international governmental organisations maintain a 'hands-off approach' to the internet, arguing that 'the internet has progressed and thrived precisely because it has not been subjected to the suffocating effect of a governmental organization's heavy hand.' Meanwhile, the so-called 'father of the internet,' Vint Cerf, called on stakeholders to sign a petition to mobilize opposition of the UN's plan. 'Today, I have signed that petition on Google's behalf because we don't believe governments should be allowed to grant themselves a monopoly on Internet governance,' said Cerf, who is also Google's chief internet lobbyist."
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Vint Cerf, US Congresswoman Oppose Net Regulation

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  • Wait wait wait... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Wait wait wait... Am I supposed to be for or against regulation of the internet to keep it free?

    • by DeadDecoy (877617) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:28AM (#34614682)

      I'm against regulation of the internet and for regulation of the isps.

      • >>>for regulation of the isps.

        Just the monopolies. Those ISPs that are not monopolies don't need regulation, just as grocery stores don't need regulation. If you want Oreo cookies and your store refuses to carry them, just buy from another store. Ditto if your Wireless ISP refuses to carry msnbc.com - just switch to another wireless ISP.

        But if the ISP is a monopoly or duopoly (like Comcast/Verizon) then yes it needs to be regulated, price-fixed, and so on, just like the local power monopoly is r

        • There's still a requirement for a certain amount of regulation no matter how many companies are in the field, namely to ensure that people are given accurate information so false advertising regulations, to ensure that contracts are enforced and to prevent anticompetitive practices.
          even in a market with many competitors (although in a model with infinite traders you're good) deep pockets can give you an unfair advantage.
          for the grocery store example: if you have deep pockets you can sell loss leaders until

        • Once the routers and cabling run over neighbors houses [open-mesh.com] and not through companies and governments, we'll have a public internet.
      • This. I think the common "slashthink" on this one is that the internet shouldn't be regulated, but ISP should be regulated in such a way as to keep connectionc content and destination neutral, and no more.

      • by D66 (452265)

        That is a GREAT way to state a complex position. Free content, regulated delivery.

        • by erroneus (253617)

          Free content and ENSURED free delivery.

          Big difference. The "regulation" of ISPs means that ISPs should be prohibited from certain activities which can result in harm to the end user or to outside entities which end users seek to connect. Specifically, mucking around with packets and ports inhibiting the user's natural connection with the internet and the blocking or limiting of connectivity with other peers on the internet.

          The whole issue is that the ISP should have no place in determining how an end user

      • I'm for regulation of the lisps. It's fine if people want to misspronounce their "S"s, but people... thay it, don't thpray it.

        No seriously, I got sprayed by someone with a lisp yesterday. It was very gross.

    • If the internet is regulated, you can be oppressed by government policies. If it isn't regulated, you can be oppressed by corporations trying to squeeze every last cent they can out. Either way the individual gets screwd, but you can choose by whome.
      • If the internet is regulated, you can be oppressed by government policies. If it isn't regulated, you can be oppressed by corporations trying to squeeze every last cent they can out. Either way the individual gets screwed, but you can choose by whom.

        Or, we can try to find a reasonable balance between the two extremes.
        Admittedly, this will be pretty difficult given the current pack of idiots we've managed to elect to represent us, but in theory it's a possibility too.

      • The difference is that with the ISPs, it's their network. Like, they own it. They are providing a service to you that you voluntarily agree to, to connect your network with theirs. The government, however, is a third party in the exchange and does not have any authority to regulate it. There's no reason the government couldn't just regulate you instead of the ISPs, it's the same thing, just a different side of the agreement.

    • You've asked a very interesting question that hits at the fundamentals of intellectual property rights (especially on a national scale).

      So, are you for or against this situation:

      Entity A invents something that enhances communication, commerce, innovation, education, etc...

      Entity A freely shares the invention with entities B-Z

      Entities B-Z also greatly profit from Entity A's invention

      Entities B-Z become very dependent on Entity A's invention - cannot imagine going back to "the way it was before"

      Entities B-Z s

  • Nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:22AM (#34614654) Journal

    They'd make us acquire licenses to setup websites, yank those same sites w/o a trial (which just happened last month), apply a fairness doctrine so that when you visit msnbc.com, you also get a big popup asking if you want to visit foxnews.com too..... and so on. (Taken from the FCC Chair's own speech.)

    It violates free speech, free press, and free expression. Liberty works best without limits.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:40AM (#34614774)

      It is the natural trend of every government to centralize and consolidate power into the hands of the elite few over time. They do this not for the benefit of the populace they control through force; they do it precisely for personal gain. They do it purely out of self-interest, the very thing governments claim to save us all from.

      I wish people would realize that every time they cheer for more government (either in terms of power or revenue), what they are really cheering for is consolidation of power into the hands of the elite few. Wake up -- governments around the world today have more than enough power and revenue. WAY more than enough. The problem is where the money is spent, not lack of it.

      This latest power grab is nothing but yet another attempt to centralize and consolidate power into the hands of the elite few. Picture a corporation with piles of cash in the bank and only a tiny executive team with a handful of shareholders -- because that is exactly what the people at the top of government are dreaming about.

      • >>>They do it purely out of self-interest

        And even those who it for the betterment of citizens, won't live forever. Their benevolent dictatorship (example: Augustus Caesar) eventually leads to a non-benevolent tyrant (ex: Nero) that uses his centralized power for evil instead of good. It's not so much the present we must fear, but ten years down the road.

        And even benevolent dictators are not that great. Who would want to live under the old Middle Ages Christendom, where the Pope was the final aut

        • by Caerdwyn (829058)

          That's precisely the issue.

          When a government is given a power, or a new regulatory agency is created, it is usually with the best intentions. However, once the new power or new agency is in existence, it is a tool that comes readily to any willing hand. After the benevolent creators of the power/agency are gone, the not-so-benevolent people who always pollute government will use that tool for empire-building or to oppress. This happens every time, without fail. And unlike other tools which are easy to tak

      • It is the natural trend of every government to centralize and consolidate power..."

        But your now talking about any legitimate government; you're talking about the UN. Pfaww... who give a mad f*** about them? You guys are acting like their word is law. IT NOT. Their a body of scumbags and bs artists. And they don't carry the weight of a lawful enforcement body. Stop acting all scared of them.

    • Re:Nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Haedrian (1676506) on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:09AM (#34614952)

      Did Amazon give Wikileaks a trial before it pulled the plug? What about the DNS provider? What about Paypal, Visa and Mastercard?

      Someone is always going to grab power. It doesn't have to be the government. It could be a large company. Right now its been done with a 'grey area' site. What if the major credit-card companies decide that they don't want to support a particular website? That'll kill it.

      Someone is always going to have power. There is no anarchy on the internet, lots of companies give VITAL services.

      • by AndrewNeo (979708)

        That's weird. Since when is Amazon a public service, and doesn't have the right to pull the plug on Wikileaks, as well as the other things you mentioned?

        • Re:Nope. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Haedrian (1676506) on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:23AM (#34615080)

          I'm not saying what Amazon did was illegal. I'm saying that someone has the ability to pull the plug out already. So saying "lets stay out and leave the internet free for everyone" is ineffective and counter-intuitive.

          If we don't want governments messing in our internet because they can:

          1. Remove sites
          2. Throttle certain speeds
          3. Add silly 'balancing' methods

          Then tough luck because its already perfectally legal for a company to do that. And I THINK I trust a government more than a company.

          • by oztiks (921504)

            Consider the fact that regulation would eventuate in to a form of Duty. It doesn't matter what Google has to say Govts are desperate for extra revenue streams and ability to create more jobs - regulating the internet will do just that.

            US govt, esp Obama isn't going to ignore this as a concept. Just watch protests half in size when people realize they could possibly be make a living policing the internet. Only the extremists will be present at the rallies the rest will see the practical advantage.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It's my understanding that Amazon, Visa, Paypal, etc were *directed* by the government to pull the plug. Or else they would be audited. (Which Paypal has already experienced once & doesn't want again.)

        Perhaps I'm wrong but it's what I heard, and it's believable considering the White House ordered TruTV to stop airing Governor Ventura's "concentration camps" episode. Okay so maybe Ventura's a nut, but if it can happen to the TruTV corporation then it can happen to any corporation. So per usual, the c

        • by Haedrian (1676506)

          I apologise for not explaining "Vital" services well.

          What I meant is that if a company wants to put its presence on the internet, it requires many services which are vital to it to remain effective. Such as the Host, DNS provider, 'donation services provider' et cetera. All of which have the ability to destroy the website.

          I didn't mean that services are vital in real life and only are on the internet.
          -
          That said, the direction is turning to the internet becoming vital. In the EU is being considered a basic h

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I just moved into a new apartment (Gothenburg, Sweden), there are no landlines for phone, not any TV antenna anywhere in the apartment. All I have is a Patchpanel and a number of ethernet connectors around the house and an incoming fiberoptic cable. I then get to choose between about 10 internet providers, 4 television providers (that I can mix and match in the open IP-box) and several IP-telephony providers. For me "internet" is starting to become "vital".

        • Really? A person in Slashdot (mainly composed of people who work or study in the IT area) doesn't see the Internet as a work necessity? Yes, you can switch jobs, but then again, there are still people living in caves and eating raw meat. For the common person, Internet is more and more a real necessity.

          In my case, as a CS student, I have to deliver assignments during weekends, through the Internet. My mother works as a translator, and receives and sends her work through the Internet.
          I'd say that's _more_ im

      • And yet, Wikileaks survived and is still leaking material to this day, without all of those services. Perhaps all those services are not as VITAL as you think they are?
        • by Haedrian (1676506)

          Wikileaks is a famous website. It has received much media coverage.

          If it was a smaller website - or a new idea which a company sees as a threat - then they can remove it without anyone knowing anything about it.

          They just picked a large target this time. When Amazon decides it doesn't like other sites selling books, and tugs a few strings to get them removed, nobody will blink an eyelid. (Not saying that amazon is going to do that - just saying that if it does happen, there is nothing illegal at all).

    • "...so that when you visit msnbc.com..."

      Will never happen, I NEVER read msnbc.com.However, I'm not really worried about this nonsense.either. When was the last time anyone ever did what the UN wanted?

  • What are they going to do? Send blue helmet troops to Google and hand over relief goods to Yahoo for a few years? Come on, they're little more than ineffectual Nerf saber rattlers.
  • "I call on the President and his Administration to oppose any effort to transfer control of the Internet to the United Nations or any other international governmental entity ."

    It's not over folks. Keep your Tor up and running.
    BTW, I really hate it when media spins it to the advertisers. Wonder if an 'open' news site exists. One that gives me plain texts and actual information, not commentary along with facts.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is the same Google who recently joined Verizon and came out in favor of using DPI to monetize connectivity based on site/packet-type? A rose by any other name....

    • Google is in favour of money (not in the general sense, just in the flowing-to-google sense). Government interference reduces the amount of money flowing to Google, so it's bad. It's also bad for other reasons, but these are of less concern to Google.
      • by julesh (229690)

        Government interference reduces the amount of money flowing to Google

        Does it? To be honest, the most likely government regulations to be passed would probably actually benefit google: limitations on how much (and, indeed, whether) online service providers can be charged by access providers for traffic to their customers; regulations about how other people's data can be handled that would restrict competition from small startups that can't afford expensive compliance procedures; data flow restrictions creat

        • Pay-As-You-Go internet is very bad for google. It is also very good for any ISPs who set up competing products to google's products. It's the net neutrality nightmare scenario. ISP charges $/MB for using google's service and nothing to use the ISPs service. This is part of the "net neutrality" proposal that the FCC will be voting on which is really not anything like net neutrality at all.

          It disgusts me.

  • it wouldn't matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquar ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:31AM (#34614704) Homepage Journal

    the UN is ineffective. it is an expensive bureaucracy good for debating the exact wording of pronouncements that are always carefully worded to not offend anyone, including those who are actual perpetrators of crimes in this world. every good cause and good instinct is mired down in the structure of the UN, in which those with vested interests can block anything and everything, and they do. all countries represent themselves there so as to do exactly that: protect their interests, which are always balanced by someone else's. so nothing gets done. the UN is a colossal expensive painful exercise in stasis.

    if the UN were given control of the internet, nothing would change. because member countries would merely block every effort to do anything, no matter how innocuous

    the UN needs teeth. meaning: resolutions should take effect with only a majority vote, rather than 100% consensus. until then, the UN is a joke, and no one should consider it a threat to anything, good or bad

    • by beh (4759) * on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:06AM (#34614922)

      Well - if you want to give the UN teeth - take away veto powers from the original members of the security council.

      Most of the careful wordings are only to prevent those countries from vetoing resolutions.

      The vetos were a thing to make it workable in the beginning - but they have outlived their usefulness. They should be replaced by some rules protecting the basic values, i.e. no resolution can be passed that would suppress human rights (and other basic protections) - or give different minimal pass rates to allow such motions to go through (from simple majority, 2/3 majority, 3/4 majority, and as far as restrictions very basic rights of ethnic groups go 98% majority...

      • i agree 100%. with the addendum that the security council be reformed to better represent the actual world. india and brazil in, no brainer. britain or france transferring its seat to the EU, the other seat disappearing

        it's retarded that there are 2 security council seats in europe (3 if you say russia is part of europe), but that's historically accurate in terms of power. emphasis: HISTORICALLY accurate. eventually, indonesia/ ASEAN and an african (nigeria) and a middle eastern power (egypt) should get a s

        • by beh (4759) *

          This still leaves an important caveat - the original security council was a good representation for its time.

          This is no longer the case - the world has changed.

          If you wanted to restructure the security council, how about a setup like this:

          1. 1 seat each to the two most populous countries on the planet.
          2. 1 seat each to largest economic powers that are not also in 1. (not the most populous)
          3. 1 seat each to the two poorest countries (that are not in 1. and 2. - as unlikely as it is that one would be)
          4. 1 sea

      • by stdarg (456557)

        They should be replaced by some rules protecting the basic values, i.e. no resolution can be passed that would suppress human rights (and other basic protections)

        Who enforces that rule?

    • by Nursie (632944)

      The UN is extremely effective at what it's designed for -

      Peacekeeping and conflict prevention.

      • by Haedrian (1676506)

        Are we talking about a different UN?

        Gaddafi really laid the smack down on how effective they were about that.

      • yes, who could forget rwanda in 1994

        hundreds of thousands massacred while diplomat assholes argue about legalistic wording. it's like trying to steer a supertanker to make a 90 degree angle

    • by matt4077 (581118) on Monday December 20, 2010 @10:05AM (#34615400) Homepage
      The UN eradicated smallpox. What have you done lately that is comparable? It's true that the UN isn't really efficient. How could it be? It's 200 countries with vastly different cultures, ideas and goals. Getting all these powers to agree on something is bound to be hard. But that doesn't change the fact that having a common forum to talk in is a fundamentally good thing. There's also no alternative. The US has been trying to impose their will on other countries by force or political/economic power for decades, with decidedly mixed results. It's actually easier to find a compromise and get everyone to act on it. Politics is hard. Remember that the next time you can't get your family to agree on dinner.
      • 800,000 dead rwandans from 1994 while diplomat assholes debate legalistic wording thank you for your kind words

        "What have you done lately that is comparable?"

        i'm just an individual, i'm not comparable. but if you want to talk about the usa, it invented the internet, which this whole discussion is about

        "The US has been trying to impose their will on other countries by force or political/economic power for decades"

        yes. just like russia, china, britain, france and every other country in the world. what's your

  • Why is this tagged Wikileaks?

    • by gridzilla (778890)
      FTFA:

      Mack - who is the incoming Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade within the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee - wasn't a lone voice in opposing efforts to police the internet in the wake of WikiLeak's 'Cablegate' fiasco. A US Congressional hearing calling for criminal charges against WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange was also played down as "extreme".

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wikileaks was the whole reason that the UN was pitching this new “regulate the internet” thing. Do try to keep up.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Without regulation there's no effective way to control people's thoughts. Plus (double plus actually), as long as your thoughts conform you have nothing to worry about, so this really isn't an issue at all. [br]
    By limiting nonconformity we should also regain some bandwidth on the internet for wholesome media.

  • by Senes (928228) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:41AM (#34614782)
    Regulating the internet means telling people what they can and cannot use.

    Regulating ISPs means preventing them from telling people what they can and cannot use.
    • by D66 (452265)

      Another great summary of an above point! I am going to have to consider creating an essay on Net Neutrality and free information built entirely out of Slashdot Quotes

    • Regulating the internet means telling people what they can and cannot use.

      Regulating ISPs means preventing them from telling people what they can and cannot use.

      Finally! A soundbite for the Internet Freedoms that the average person can understand quickly. Frankly, the names and slogans supporting internet freedoms have been very poor. The literal name, "Net Neutrality," for example, is confusing and buys zero support. Look at the ill-considered provisions that quickly made it through Congress, they have emotionally charged meaningful names like "Patriot Act", "No Child Left Behind"

      Even Cerf's quote (from the summary) "... we don't believe that governmen

    • by DesScorp (410532)

      Regulating the internet means telling people what they can and cannot use.

      Regulating ISPs means preventing them from telling people what they can and cannot use.

      This is foolish naivety. You're demanding that the government keep it's hands off your Internet connection, but you still want the government to control the ISP's. But the later will lead to the former. If they're regulating the ISP's, then they're regulating the end users too. You seem to think you can have your cake and eat it too... sic government on the bad ole' ISP's, while staying untouched. Governments don't work that way. Once you invite them in through one door, you can't keep them out of others. S

    • by Jonner (189691)

      I agree in general with the sentiment that neither governments nor ISPs should be able to tell me what I can and cannot do on the Internet. However, it's complicated by the fact that ISPs are part of the Internet. We tend to think of the Internet as one big network that one just needs "access" to. However, it's really a network of networks, many of which are operated by the ISPs. The access is between each of the thousands of networks, not just the individual and his ISP. So, it's somewhat inconsistent for

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:45AM (#34614800) Homepage

    Some of my older relatives find it bewildering that so many decisions about the direction of the Internet, a "public resource," are made by private bodies from corporations to the IETF and not governments. These are from the older generations that were spoon-fed that bullshit about how we are all Free and Equal Citizens participating in our democratic process, "we're the government," etc. The idea that it's being guided by a fairly enlightened, techno/meritocratic elite and not by "democracy" is scary to them.

    Considering the fact that the number of states that can even reasonably claim to be "free, democratic societies" are a minority in the UN, it **should** go without saying that this is bad. The UN as a forum has not done much of anything good in a long time. Just recently, it resurrected a proposal against "defamation of religion" which, if adopted by member states, would do things like make you a criminal for pointing out that Mohammed was a pedophile even by the standards of his day (marrying and deflowering a 9 year old was considered deviant even back then, as 9 was not a common marriage age for girls).

    If the Internet really does fall firmly into government controls, it'll present a scenario for individual liberty that makes the surveillance states of the Warsaw Pact look like nothing. It really is the most dangerous tool that mankind has ever created aside from nuclear technology, in its ability to be used to reshape societies for good or bad.

    • by julesh (229690) on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:18AM (#34615032)

      Mohammed was a pedophile even by the standards of his day (marrying and deflowering a 9 year old was considered deviant even back then, as 9 was not a common marriage age for girls).

      Somewhat offtopic, but: you should be aware that the truth of this statement is disputed; some scholars suggest that she was 9 when she was betrothed to him, and approximately 14 when the marriage was consummated, which was considered perfectly acceptable at the time. That said, the majority of older sources do agree with the way you put it, so we could just be looking at a movement to whitewash his history.

    • by joe545 (871599)
      I love the way you bash the majority of states in the UN as not being "free, democratic societies" and use that as justification as to why they should not be involved in deciding the direction of the internet; denying to them the very same freedom and democracy that you so espouse. Pot. Kettle. Black.
      • by tnk1 (899206)

        Well the point is probably that if the nations in question are not free and democratic, the representatives in the UN are only the representatives of the dictatorship/oligarchy/aristocracy that is actually running those countries. That means that even if you give those nations a say, you still wouldn't be giving their people the ability to represent themselves, because their own government wouldn't allow that to happen.

        If most of the countries in the UN happen to be undemocratic, then the UN will be undemo

      • denying to them the very same freedom and democracy that you so espouse. Pot. Kettle. Black.

        I'm confused. You actually want me to feel like a dirty hypocrite for not giving a bunch of tin horn dictators who often terrorize their people a seat at the table? What's your next move? Accuse me of ageism for supporting the signs at amusement parks that say "you must be this tall to ride the ride?"

    • I think those with a score of 8.5 or better at Transparency International [transparency.org] should temporarily get the power to re-organize the UN to make it better. Until the UN is fixed, I can't agree with allowing it to set Internet law since it basically means the corrupt majority of countries would end free speech. I really like the idea of an international government, so long as it protects human rights.

      Full disclosure: My country, the USA, scores 7.1, so it wouldn't get the temporary power.

      • by stdarg (456557)

        I wouldn't trust Transparency International beyond getting a *general* idea of a country's corruption. In country's where this is lots of corruption, TI itself can be corrupt.

        http://criticalppp.com/archives/12664 [criticalppp.com]

        The Corruption Perceptions Survey, 2009, blatantly asked about the corruption perceptions surrounding the ANP and the PML-N. For the ANP it did that mostly in areas where the party is unlikely to even field a candidate while for the PML-N it chose areas which are the party’s traditional strongholds. Therefore, the results cannot be considered an objective assessment, or even a ranking.

        http://criticalppp.com/archives/33751 [criticalppp.com]

        TI volunteered to present a fact-finding report to the SC establishing the innocence of NICL officials. In return NICL would award contracts solely to private parties cleared by TI and advertise tenders in newspapers after referring to the agency for advice.

        http://pakistantoday.com.pk/pakistan-news/Regional/Karachi/17-Nov-2010/TIP-chairmans-son-resigns-from-PNSC-board-membership [pakistantoday.com.pk]

        Sources told Pakistan Today that the TIP chairman had blackmailed the Ports and Shipping Secretary Saleem Khan on Port Qasim issue to have his son appointed as a board member of the corporation.

  • Ironic? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Migraineman (632203) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:53AM (#34614836)
    Anyone else see this as ironic, considering that Congresswoman Mack was married to Sonny Bono when he introduced that most-horrible piece of retroactive-copyright-extension legislation? [wikipedia.org]

    I'm reading this as "How dare anyone [except *us*] attempt to regulate the intarwebs!"
    • by unitron (5733)

      Which is why I suspect that she wants to keep governments' hands off of the internet so that big businesses will be free to do with it as *they* wish.

      Cerf is probably looking out for the consumer/user, but I suspect she's only in it to protect the "free market", you know, the one where you're free to pay the only cable company in town and settle for whatever they offer at the price they ask or do without, and/or to pay the only "landline" telephone company in town and settle for whatever they offer at the p

    • Meh, my parents disagree regarding quite a few poignant political topics and they've been married happily for 35+ years or something like that. Some of my fondest relationships were with girlfriends that tended to disagree with me over certain political//social things. Two people can be in love and not agree on everything. Hell, I'd even risk saying that it is healthier to some extent.
  • People don't seem to understand but there's no such thing as freedom. Anarchy is unsustainable.

    This is for all cases, if there is nobody who controls (or has the right to) an object, then someone WILL control it.

    This goes for everything - from society, to law, to the internet.

    If the government doesn't call dibs on controlling the internet, someone else will. Do Visa and Mastercard control the internet? They can suffocate donations to any website they want. Do web providers control the internet? They can tak

    • by Jonner (189691)

      Yeah, I see this, like so many issues, as a balance between the rights and power of individuals, governments and corporations. We individuals need governments to protect us from corporations, but to not be so powerful that they are repressive themselves. It's a balance that's never ideal.

  • Surprise surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:08AM (#34614944) Journal

    The list of countries supporting this reads like a who's who of human rights abusers and countries that'd censor the moon from the night sky if it negatively impacted their power. Just the people we want having a say in how the rest of the world accesses the Internet.

  • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:21AM (#34615068) Homepage

    I say, I was quite surprised at this news.

    This headline could have benefitted from the addition of a word such as "and".

  • The problem here is the working group wants to limit participation to UN member states only. However, the group's charter says that members ought to be composed of "governments, the private sector, and civil society" , according to this ISOC letter [isoc.org].

    I signed the petition and commented that as the value of the Internet is based on the contributions of everyone, it is manifestly unfair not to have open representation in a forum discussing the future of the Internet.
  • you are also against the Monopoly of Credit-cards by the US?

    and the monopoly of the US in international transactions - after the EU let the US spy on its money traffic?>

    - and I guess there is also a monopoly of the Internet - or at least a pretty far reaching monitoring if not control of the very Internet!

    - Dear Vint - you know who gave the money for developing the 'net' - don't you ?

  • Ultimately, guys with better guns. Smugglers, etc. That is, if we don't. If I were in charge, I'd kick the UN out of NYC, turn it into a nice hotel. Diplomats could still meet in the conference room if they wanted; but they'd have to pay regular rates.

    I wish there were a way to check a box that says "I want to donate to the UN" on my tax form, like there is with the campaign fund. I'd never check it.

  • I think this is the first piece of good news I've heard on any number of subjects recently. Amidst a sea of clueless politicians in any number of countries that would destroy the internet for everyone, there are still a few voices of reason from out of the wilderness. It may come to nothing, but it's good to hear that not everyone wants to censor and regulate the internet as we know it out of existence, turning the clock backwards to before the 1990's.
  • when in the same sentence. The man represents Google and I could care less about his hands off attitude. Google wanted to multi-tier the Internet so his opinion is garbage.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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