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US Offers New Plans 1 Month Before UN Meeting To Regulate Web 128

Posted by timothy
from the flying-standby dept.
Velcroman1 writes "Slashdotters have been reading for months about the upcoming ITU conference next month in Dubai, which will propose new regulations and restrictions for the Internet that critics say could censor free speech, levy tariffs on e-commerce, and even force companies to clean up their 'e-waste' and make gadgets that are better for the environment. Concerns about the closed-door event have sparked a Wikileaks-style info-leaking site, and led the State Department on Wednesday to file a series of new proposals or tranches seeking to ensure 'competition and commercial agreements — and not regulation' as the meeting's main message. Terry Kramer, the chief U.S. envoy to the conference, says the United States is against sanctions. '[Doing nothing] would not be a terrible outcome at all,' Kramer said recently."
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US Offers New Plans 1 Month Before UN Meeting To Regulate Web

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  • by na1led (1030470) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @04:43PM (#41846477)
    is going to be bad for the rest of us.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      is going to be REAL bad for the rest of us....
      ----
      there fixed it fer ya , i will add what is bad for the usa usually is great for the rest of earth these days.

    • by 0racle (667029)
      No kidding. Don't get me started on that damn World Health Organization.

      Sweeping generalizations are always wrong. There are programs in the UN that do good work (WHO). Then there is this plan, which is so obviously bad for everyone except the governments asking for it. You can make that case without looking like a fool by dismissing the UN with a handwave.
    • by ljw1004 (764174)

      is going to be bad for the rest of us.

      I guess that's ironic, in the sense that *THE WHOLE WORLD* is in the UN!

      The UN is nothing more and nothing less than the collective wishes of the world's nations.

      • by Hentes (2461350) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @05:24PM (#41846941)

        And the majority of the world's nations are barbaric. Your point?

        • The point being that I don't trust the safeguarding of my information to a person or group who thinks I'm a barbarian. Humanity is not actually divided into Americans and lesser humans.
      • by kenorland (2691677) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @05:27PM (#41846969)

        The UN is nothing more and nothing less than the collective wishes of the world's nations.

        It is the collective wishes of the world's governments, most of which are run by crooks, corrupt politicians, and dictators. It is about representative of the people of this world as the Supreme Soviet was representative of the will of the people unfortunate enough to live in the USSR.

        The UN was never intended to be a representative or democratic government. It is a body of international diplomacy in which even the worst of the worst have a voice, for the purely practical reason that those people also have guns and bombs.

      • by rgbrenner (317308)

        The UN is nothing more and nothing less than the collective wishes of the leaders of the world's nations.

        FTFY

        The UN might be a great thing if everyone was able to elect their leaders (or at least their representatives in the UN) in free elections. But that isn't going to happen anytime soon, so the free people in the world should be critical of anything and everything from the UN, and feel completely free to disregard anything from the UN that reduces their rights.

        Unelected leaders rule over several billion people. Letting them have a say over the remaining several billion would be even more unjust.

        • You fool yourself if you think elected leaders are much better. Neither kind relates even remotely to the will of the people they represent.
          • Elected leaders share the blame for their misdeeds with the people who voted for them. Elected leaders are therefore less culpable than unelected ones who share the blame for their misdeeds only with the people who follow their orders.
            • Sharing the "blame" is mostly irrelevant and a illusion. Blame is of little importance when the consequences are the same.
      • The UN is nothing more and nothing less than the US's wishes for the world's nations.

        FTFY

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SirGarlon (845873)

      I fail to see how the world food programme [wfp.org], the construction of refugee camps [unhcr.org], malaria and AIDS prevention [who.int], child protection and education [unicef.org] are bad for anyone, let alone "the rest of us."

      Unless, of course, you mean that you're unwilling to pay taxes to support such efforts. In which case you'd seem like a selfish bastard but I'd reluctantly agree that human decency should be optional. I would go on to point out that most of the UN's humanitarian programs are financed by voluntary contributions [wikipedia.org] from member st

      • Sure, I can tell you why.

        The UN bureaucracy is the type of bureaucracy that gives bureaucracy a bad name. It is a bloating gold-plated nepotistic thing. Having low accountability, it is better at making grand statement, pushing paper, and corrupt official lining their own pockets.

        It galls people that UN officials are running around Africa in luxury cars administrating food aid. One wonders if they are running a efficient organization.

        And I know some good people who are doing good things with the UN

      • by Vaphell (1489021) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @05:59PM (#41847263)

        world food programme? easy target, as it's riddled with nasty unintended consequences

        1. people let's say in Africa starve - long story short their environment/tech level can't support that many people. Food from external sources means artificially raised survivability. People multiply, now there are more mouths to feed, and you are back at square 1. Disparity between productivity and needs is even greater which means even greater dependence on external support. Population of Ethiopia (country in more or less perpetual state of famine) grew from 48M to 84M in ~20 years (1990-now).
        Feeding Africa is counterproductive: there is a lot of talk how we should reduce global population growth and shit, on the other hand the world subsidizes the very hotspots of rapid unsustainable population growth.

        2. dumping free food on developing markets kills any viability of local food producers who can't compete with free/subsidized food from the west. In other words they will be always dirt poor and always dependent on free food because so called humanitarian help takes away their only fishing pole and gives them fish instead. With no way to support from the work of their hands, they will never be able to lay solid foundations for healthy, sustainable economy.

        I don't mind disaster relief programs, but perpetual humanitarian help needs to go asap.

        • Population control runs into political difficulties. Firstly because contraception is considered evil by many religious organisations, and secondly because many political groups consider the right to a family to be utterly inalienable and any government attempt to intrude on that, even non-coercively, abhorent. Thus population control can only work when it is either done under-the-radar and indirectly, or by a government which has little need to care how popular the program is (China).
          • I have to disagree. Japan and the US have pretty awesome population control. We make our citizens wealthy, educate them, and give them lots of distractions and increase their life expectancies and they willingly choose to practice population control themselves.

            In the US, we only have population growth because of immigration. In Japan, their population is declining at a rather frightening pace.

            I think the OP was right: Stop concentrating on feeding these people, unless you can also teach them how to feed the

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              You're forgetting that, until relatively recently, there were tons of dirt-poor people in the US and there were no welfare programs; poor people just starved to death. Remember the dust bowl of the 30s? Or how things were in the 1800s? Millions of immigrants came here from Europe, and if they didn't succeed, they died. It was a pretty brutal life. We only were able to make all our citizens wealthy enough to not worry so much about food in recent years, and most of that was thanks to the post-WWII econo

              • You're forgetting that, until relatively recently, there were tons of dirt-poor people in the US

                So what?

                African countries haven't struck the lottery like that; there's no way for them to make their citizens wealthy the way we do here.

                That's just completely untrue. There's definitely ways for them to become self sufficient. Primarily by getting educated and refusing to allow despots to run their countries. Just giving them food handouts, however, does nothing to help them move toward self-sufficiency.

                • by Grishnakh (216268)

                  How are these countries full of dirt-poor people going to educate themselves? They have no resources to do that. And westerners aren't much help; all they do is send in missionaries who teach them that homosexuals are demons and must be exterminated.

                  And how are they going to keep despots from running the countries? The people are all uneducated and dirt poor; what are they going to do about it?

                  Basically, the only way I see to fix it is for more advanced nations to invade and take over the place. However

        • by ediron2 (246908)

          baby, bathwater.

          A couple good perpetual humanitarian programs:

          Education: Educate women to the 6th grade, and populations go down, infant mortality goes down, etc. Well, etc a **lot**. Everything improves as women get educated. It's the mother of all correlative humanitarian acts.

          Infrastructure: not so universally awesome, but potable water, roads, communications all help more than they destroy economies.

          I'm sure more exist. My point was simply that your last several words were hasty and seem incorrect.

        • Except that their problems are directly caused by the cheapness and abundance of subsidised food in the West. We grow a huge surplus to guarantee we won't ever starve, fund that from other areas of our economies, drive the cost of food down everywhere, and this means farmers in the third world can't afford to compete.

          We've created the circumstances. Perpetual aid is one way of taking responsibility for screwing up their food production. It's not fair too perpetuate their dependence, but cutting food aid won

      • by na1led (1030470)
        You mean the food that goes to militias instead of the real poor, and how much did all that food and camps cost us? How much of that money went to the fat cats? Feeding a corrupt system doesn't help anyone, even if it feeds a few mouths.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KeensMustard (655606)
      Yes - the UN Declaration On Human Rights was certainly bad - for those of us who like to water board suspects and dislike having our actions questioned.

      By way of comparison I don't remember the UN ever calling for the assassination of someone who merely published some factual material, nor did they declare such a person an "enemy of the state" nor are they in anyway implicated in an actual character assassination practiced on that person.

      Also worth noting that the UN has never invaded a country on a fa

      • by na1led (1030470)
        And how many people died in the Darfur Genocide? Where was the UN during that crisis?
        • by Tynin (634655)

          And how many people died in the Darfur Genocide? Where was the UN during that crisis?

          Where was the rest of the world? Genocide should never happen, and we all shoulder some of the blame for the lack of action by every government on the planet.

        • And how many people died in the Darfur Genocide? Where was the UN during that crisis?

          Where were you? Do you hold yourself personally responsible for the deaths in Darfur? If not, then your comparison is ridiculous.

    • "Anything that comes out of the UN is going to be bad for the rest of us."

      It's time we pulled the plug on the UN. Stop subsidizing its operation, stop paying dues, stop giving accommodation to the visiting representatives, and rent out the building.

      We have no need of them anymore. In fact, they need us a hell of a lot more than we need them, yet as often as not they have been acting against our interests.

      Take all the U.S. money away, and bid them good day. Then turn the building into a bunch of rented offices.

    • by jandersen (462034)

      Wow, you're such a shining wit. So, all it takes to be modded "insightful" on /. is to parade the same, old, ignorant nonsense without even trying to articulate a genuine opinion. Sometimes I do wonder why the hell we spend money on computers, internet - or learning to read, for that matter - when this is all that comes out of it. I don't mind people having another opinion than me, but I really hate it when they can't be asked to think or learn.

      There are many good arguments for placing the governance of the

      • by na1led (1030470)
        Maybe you've just been living under a rock most of your life. I'm not going to write a book about what I think, you can research that on your own.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What is going to happen to me if I write blogs calling for a new government in Dubai? The US might have its problems but they pale in insignificance compared to the UN. It's like having Pat Robertson control the internet.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tell the UN to go stuff itself. The US isn't perfect, but it is less imperfect than any other solution I've seen proposed.

    • Re:My Plan (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tnk1 (899206) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @04:50PM (#41846569)

      More to the point, it currently *works*. It's not like the system is broken now, it's just that some other people want pieces of the pie. And they could have that, if they wanted it, by building and maintaining their own infrastructure.

      However, they don't want to do that. They just want to make money off of, and regulate, what other people built and bought for them.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Ultimately, the goal of the U.N is to tax the US consumer. This is their best path to that.

        Control the internet. Impose a use and sales tax.

        It'll never happen, because the internet is an agreement not a thing to own, but it's what they're after.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Just as the EU desperately seeks what they call "own resources" so too the UN has long desired the power to regulate and tax. The whole effort behind the Tobin Tax and its European form, the Financial Transactions Tax, has been to acquire the first legal step to full taxation for these bodies and has nothing to do with saving puppies or whatever else they are promising from it.

          Now I am not opposed in principle to democratic federations, but the UN can't be one until all the members are democratic too. And i

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          What taxes does the UN currently impose and where the hell do you get these crazy ideas?

      • by Nadaka (224565)

        Eh? Its starting to break down. The copyright cartels have infested the FBI and ICE and have started waging war against the internet with illegal domain seizures in the last year or two.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by game kid (805301)

          But at least they're our infestuous copyright cartels! *chants U-S-A! ad infinitum*

      • They did build and do maintain their own infrastructure. The majority of the physical Internet infrastructure is outside the USA. Funny that, seeing as how the majority of the world is not the USA.

        And it doesn't work. The USA government seizes domains for no other reason than the website operators are accused of "pirating" copyrighted material. (And simply having links to the material is good enough apparently.)

        It is broken. It does need fixing. And even if it wasn't broken, I wouldn't trust the USA as far

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Megaupload. Eric Holder/DoJ had a toy and couldn't resist using it. Now the United States is at risk of losing control of the single greatest tool to ever grace mankind. Now we pray that the barbarian hoards will have a comparable level of respect for the First Amendment principles as the internet's previous steward.

        Fucking with DNS opened "pandora's box". I hope it was worth it.

      • by Xest (935314)

        Well it is broken, we have unilaterally enforced global internet censorship enforced at the behest of the US and we're getting highest bidder TLDs that completely break the hierarchial structure of the internet and create massive costs for businesses wanting to protect their trademarks whilst opening the doors for more effective phishing and fraud in the longer term, whilst tipping the balance of the internet more in favour of large organisations who can afford to pay.

        But back to that censorship thing, you

  • by e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @05:01PM (#41846681)

    is the fact that countries won't ever agree on how to regulate it.

    Just like they can't agree on war and peace at the UN.

    And thats a Good Thing (tm)

    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      At the same time, it will make it extremely difficult to improve it.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Internet improvements don't require any kind of government controls.
        The improvements that matter have just been made by many individuals and organizations on their own.

      • by dkf (304284)

        At the same time, it will make it extremely difficult to improve it.

        What, "improvements" like ICANN's new TLD wheezes?

    • by jittles (1613415) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @06:06PM (#41847351)
      I think we can all agree that War and Peace was a very long and dry book. The fact that there is no UN resolution stating the same is due to the fact that Russia and the former USSR have veto power in the UN.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        "I think we can all agree that War and Peace was a very long and dry book."

        I don't agree that it's dry. It's a great novel that you've obviously never read -- not even an abridged version, I'll bet -- so why are you propagating stereotypes about things you know nothing about, you jackass?

        • by jittles (1613415)
          I have read the book, actually. In its entirety. I don't like Russian authors. Crime and Punishment and Anna Karenina were not in my tastes either. I would rather read Dickens, Hugo or Dumas any day of the week. Maybe I just don't get the Russian mentality, and you do. However, it was definitely very dry and boring to me.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      is the fact that countries won't ever agree on how to regulate it.

      The countries won't, but the transnational corporations just might. Then all it takes is a little bribery^W lobbying of politicians and everyone's on the same page.

  • all this law is going to is create things much much worst then the internet we have right now, im sure most of us have seen free-net imagine that 100x bigger because crap laws like this force people to move there
    • are drooling over regulations and laws. More money for them from the gov. The war on Marihuana will end eventually so they need a new "War on ..."

      • by RazorSharp (1418697) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @08:50PM (#41848937)

        I know this is repeated a lot here on /., but don't confuse incompetence with malice. The sad thing is that many of those law enforcement types actually think they're doing the right thing. When they engage in unconstitutional wiretapping, when they detain people indefinitely, and even when they bust some hapless stoner; more often than not they're acting under the delusion that they're taking the morally correct course of action.

        The evil fucks who know what they're doing is wrong and do it anyway: the lobbyists who are paid to get these draconian laws passed and the people who pay them - they're the ones who really write our legislation. Congress and law enforcement - for the most part I just see incompetence.

    • Would that really be that bad? It makes me think of good old Diablo II where there was the ultra-regulated network and the open network where hackers could go wild. Or Halo 2 or Starcraft, where you could connect to their networks or use private networks (strangely enough, this worked the opposite as DII - people went usually went to the private networks to avoid the cheaters). Okay, those examples are old but that's when I played video games. I guess the financial industry might be a good example, I believ

  • and even force companies to clean up their 'e-waste' and make gadgets that are better for the environment

    How horrible!!!

  • is exactly what they should do. It is evident that everyone wants more control, and not in the consumers/citizens best interest.

    Proof again... nothing new is under the SUN... people keep voting in or supporting, or ignoring the people causing all the problems.

    If your elected official says, "We can't just do nothing!", then its time for a replacement.

    • by freeze128 (544774)

      '[Doing nothing] would not be a terrible outcome at all,' Kramer said recently.

      Yeah, that sounds like something Kramer would say.

  • You know, there are a lot of idiots (and otherwise smart people) going on about how the ITU is terrible and the UN will ruin everything, and such. You know, like how the ITU really ruined international phone calls, and the UPU (IPU) has totally fucked up handling of international mail. And some of them will say something stupid about the UN building their own Internet (considering the US built the Internet etc. etc.) or how the US is doing such a good job of things.

    Well, here's my take:
    The USA may have init

    • And some of them will say...how the US is doing such a good job of things.

      Citation needed. The argument isn't that the US is doing such a good job, the argument is that the UN would do an even worse job. I'm not saying which side of that argument is correct, I just want you to argue about the correct thing instead of setting up a straw man.

      • OK, some people are merely arguing that the US is doing a better job than the UN could do. It doesn't detract from my point that the US is a doing an awful job (from the point of view of a person who actually cares about communication between people, but doesn't care about the rights of corporations or governments) and that a decentralized system would be far better.

    • > You know, there are a lot of idiots (and otherwise smart people) going on
      > about how the ITU is terrible and the UN will ruin everything, and such.
      > You know, like how the ITU really ruined international phone calls,
      > and the UPU (IPU) has totally fucked up handling of international mail.

      The ITU is an international body of PTTs (Postal, Telephone, and Telegraph authorities). These outfits see the internet (VOIP and email and IM) as a threat to their communication monopolies. And they do what t

      • I get your point. But I'm pretty sure that the people who are worried about the "OMG UN" are not worried because the ITU members don't like VoIP, but more because they just are a bit, well, paranoid (and in all the wrong ways).

  • by kheldan (1460303) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @06:12PM (#41847403) Journal
    The Internet, since DARPA handed it over to the general public, has been developed by private corporations, not governments, who are the Johnny-come-latelys to this game. If the U.N. gets too uppity about wanting to control/censor/ruin the internet, what's going to stop the core companies from just pulling out and starting an entirely different Internet? Without all the companies that provide the backbone bandwidth all the way down to the last-mile ISP's, there wouldn't BE an internet.
  • What the freak is e-waste? Do I have some one bits dribbling out the back of my computer? Is this stuff toxic? Is there some zero bits floating in my drinking water?
  • I don't take credit for this idea, and I realize that this proposition would face enormous political and legal hurdles, but wouldn't it be nice if the UN could somehow be convinced to recognize the Internet as a sovereign nation, with all the rights and obligations that accompany such a status. There would be enough ripple effect to drive a trilogy of science fiction novels.

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