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Internet Freedom Won't Be Controlled, Says UN Telcom Chief 158

Posted by samzenpus
from the hands-off-the-tubes dept.
wiredmikey writes "The head of the UN telecommunications body, Hamadoun Toure, told an audience at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) in Dubai on Monday that Internet freedom will not be curbed or controlled. 'Nothing can stop the freedom of expression in the world today, and nothing in this conference will be about it,' he said. Such claims are 'completely (unfounded),' Toure, secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union, told AFP. 'We must continue to work together and find a consensus on how to most effectively keep cyberspace open, accessible, affordable and secure,' UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said. Google has been vocal in warning of serious repercussions, saying that 'Some proposals could permit governments to censor legitimate speech — or even cut off Internet access,' noted Google's Vint Cerf in a blog post."
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Internet Freedom Won't Be Controlled, Says UN Telcom Chief

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  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Millennium (2451) on Monday December 03, 2012 @04:48PM (#42173319) Homepage

    If the goal is not to curb internet freedom, then why are the foxes the ones at the forefront of the effort to build a henhouse?

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Monday December 03, 2012 @04:51PM (#42173347)
      That is exactly what I was thinking. I am confused as to why the people who are most vocally calling for the ITU to take active control over governance of the Internet are representatives of the governments with the strongest history of actively suppressing freedoms if the only reason for this discussion is to ensure that the Internet remain open.
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054) on Monday December 03, 2012 @04:55PM (#42173365)

      Exactly!

      Dear Mr Hamadoun Toure: If it won't be curbed or controlled why not define attempts to do so as a crime against humanity [wikipedia.org] and access to the internet a human right?

      Could it be that you know it is already curbed and controlled and monitored and blocked.

      Oh, look, your nose is growing and your pants seem to be on fire.

      • Dear Mr Hamadoun Toure: If it won't be curbed or controlled why not define attempts to do so as a crime against humanity [wikipedia.org] and access to the internet a human right?

        For one thing, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that at least five of the security council members (Russia, China, the US, India, and Pakistan) would have strong feelings against giving up their ability to block the internet if and when they felt like it.

        And I'd probably bet at least half dollars to doughnuts that the rest would too. Azerbaijan, for example. Wiki tells me their internet is pretty open for now, but the government likes to take a heavy hand against opposition, so they're a "probably."

        • Dear Mr Hamadoun Toure: If it won't be curbed or controlled why not define attempts to do so as a crime against humanity [wikipedia.org] and access to the internet a human right?

          For one thing, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that at least five of the security council members (Russia, China, the US, India, and Pakistan) would have strong feelings against giving up their ability to block the internet if and when they felt like it.

          I wouldnt bet anything on it, 'cause they can always have and "infrastructural failure" when convenient. :)

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          For one thing, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts

          Can we retire this quaint old, now meaningless, saying? When that phrase was coined, donuts were a dime a dozen, less than a penny each. Now that donuts cost more than a dollar each, saying you'd bet dollars to donuts is saying exactly the opposite of what you're trying to convey.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tom (822)

      Really? Follow the money and all? If the US government is crying wolf, are they really interested in ideals, or in advantages for themselves? Same for Google.

      If you assign motives to one side and question their words, do so for the other as well.

      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

        by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday December 03, 2012 @05:56PM (#42173921)
        Why bother with words? Let's look at actions.

        The US government is certainly not an organization that values freedom over money. Yet ICANN has not done any of the following things that the ITU has proposed:
        1. Unique identifiers for Internet users or their computers
        2. Separate "service classes" for servers and client computers
        3. A system of fees, surcharges, etc.
        4. Special licensing for providing particular kinds of Internet services

        These are the sort of things that, despite intense pressure from various industries, we have not seen on the Internet as controlled by ICANN. Sure, we've seen some censorship, but at the end of the day I can still use PGP and I can still run my own mail server, and I can do so without needing to obtain anyone's permission. This morning I ssh'd to my mother's computer to help troubleshoot a problem she was having -- and nothing stopped me, despite the fact that her computer is connected to the Internet through a "consumer grade" cable package.

        ITU has a long history of designing communications systems that cement the power of monopoly service providers and which prevent people from hacking or coming up with their own solutions to problems. ITU's approach to the telephone network reflects its mindset; likewise with ITU's approach to radio. Amateurs? Hackers? You're lucky to get a tiny bit of space to play in, but you better not do anything that could threaten the big boys who provide "real" service to consumers.

        To put it another way, if ITU had designed the Internet, there would never have been Google, because there would have been too much paperwork to fill out, too many licensing fees, and too many bandwidth fees to make something experimental like that work. The Internet's most important design feature is not packet switching, it is the idea that all computers connected to the Internet can do the same things, limited only by technical things like CPU or connection speeds. ITU doesn't design that sort of network; ITU designs this sort of network:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X.25 [wikipedia.org]

        Here, by the way, is ITU's next generation Internet plan:

        http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/gsi/ngn/Pages/default.aspx [itu.int]

        • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

          by sl149q (1537343) on Monday December 03, 2012 @07:00PM (#42174471)

          Well the ITU and ISO did design an internet... and it was simply politely ignored by the implementors of what we now call the Internet.

          Other than governance the ITU/ISO model is one of top down design by committee. Compared to the IETF practice of bottom up implementation and design using RFC's and demonstrable code.

          The former model led to X.400 (possibly the best known example, but not the only one) for Email. Pretty much non-implementable in full and with little inter-operability between the implementations that did get done. It died a quick (although very expensive) death.

          While the IETF model has problems. They have managed to get the Internet to where it is today. Handing it over to the ITU/ISO would probably not be in the best interest of anyone.

          • by rs79 (71822)

            Actually it wasn't ignored, the ITU made sure the US goverment *mandated* the ITU/OSI protocol suite and *banned* the TCP/IP protocol suite for any interaction with the US government in 1991. By 93 this had come to seem as ridiculous even to the USG then as is it does now to you and this quietly went away.

            When the very first transatlantic ITU-protocol OSI/X.25 link was put up the first thing that went over it was TCP/IP traffic. Why? Because there actually *was* some.

            The sole accomplishment of the dude that

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by bug1 (96678)

          Yet ICANN has not done any of the following things that the ITU has proposed:
          Unique identifiers for Internet users or their computers
          Separate "service classes" for servers and client computers
          A system of fees, surcharges, etc.
          Special licensing for providing particular kinds of Internet services

          How many elected US government officials have;
          - Overseen and supported extensive national and international surveillance of the internet.
          - Supported warrantless/roaming wiretapping laws which some argue are unconstitutional.
          - Supported a tiered internet
          - Proposed taxing the internet.

          So much propaganda flowing in support of ICANN.

          • by tbird81 (946205)

            ICANN would not have stopped these things, and would probably have made it worse - because it could happen in any country.

      • by peragrin (659227)

        the thing is for as bad as the us government is I cant think of anyone else i would rather have in charge.

        It is one of the handful of countries that have explicit right to free speech. Most countries have some limited right of free speech. Where if you say things that they don't like you can be charged for it.

        Many of the countries at that meeting want cross border jursidiction where if you break a law in their country and someone there reads it you can be charged for it.

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jfengel (409917) on Monday December 03, 2012 @05:26PM (#42173667) Homepage Journal

      It may be their goal, but they won't get it. It's not what the ITU does and they won't succeed in their ludicrous proposals. They only make those proposals because they have no idea what they're talking about.

      In fact, most of it is political theater. The ITU attendees themselves are well aware that these proposals stand no chance of passage. But the religious zealots in their countries are as ignorant of that as they are about everything else, and enjoy being pandered to. So when the proposals fail, the government can claim that they tried to prohibit blasphemy, but those blasphemous bastards in the West defeated it.

      It's a dangerous and ugly game, because some of these zealots will take it as an excuse for violence. But as far as the leadership is concerned, as long as it's directed against us rather than them, it's all good.

      • by argStyopa (232550)

        "In fact, most of it is political theater."

        Isn't that pretty much the functional definition of the UN?

        • by jfengel (409917)

          There are plenty of functional parts to the UN: WHO, FAO, UNHCR, UNESCO, even the ITU. But it also gets used for a lot of grandstanding, which makes the news a lot more dramatically than the dull slogging work of improving health, agriculture, telecommunications, etc.

    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by grcumb (781340) on Monday December 03, 2012 @06:45PM (#42174365) Homepage Journal

      If the goal is not to curb internet freedom, then why are the foxes the ones at the forefront of the effort to build a henhouse?

      It's a bit of rather disingenuous misdirection.

      Touré claims that the ITU have no intention of touching anything to do with Internet governance, but this is not entirely honest: The treaty-making process starts with independent submissions from various national institutions and telecoms industry bodies. While none of them have any formal status at this point in time as ITU policy, a significant number of them speak specifically for the perceived need for transit fees for large content providers (e.g. Google). Were they to be taken up as components of the revised ITRs, they would indeed place limits on the growth of the Internet, especially in developing nations. The precedent of 'pay-to-play', for example, favours large incumbents far more than upstart content providers, especially those in the developing world, where cash flow is often limited and incomes small.

      Given the rather stark opposition coming from the US and key EU countries, I still doubt whether any of the most contentious proposals will ever achieve the consensus required to become binding. And, as others have pointed out elsewhere, significant parts of the last (1988) set of ITRs have been ignored even by some of the ITUs strongest supporters.

      As usual, MIchael Geist is the go-to guy to understand exactly what forces are at play here. His contention is that the 'UN takeover' spin conveniently hides a more insidious issue [michaelgeist.ca]: Who pays for content?

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday December 03, 2012 @04:48PM (#42173321) Journal

    As for those claims that we have a crack team of ex-Ma Bell billing experts working on proposals to better 'monetize' the internet and ensure hilariously usurious returns on 'investment' by incumbent telcos? Well, now, I never disavowed that...

    • Right. I think it's fair to turn government logic back on them in this case. If they are telling the truth about their intentions, and they are not doing anything the public would object to, then why the secret meetings and media silence on the whole thing? Since they're being secretive and quiet, one can only reasonably assume that they're up to no good, and that they need to be monitored.
      • If you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide.

        (...)

        It's a matter of national security.

        • Classic Saying: If you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide.

          ITU's Version: We've done nothing provably wrong if we've hidden it well enough.

  • by h8sg8s (559966) on Monday December 03, 2012 @05:05PM (#42173451)

    Is this the same ITU that wanted to charge me $1200 for a single binder of doc back in 2007? They view information as power and want to install themselves as the high priests. Control the Internet? I think not.

  • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Monday December 03, 2012 @05:06PM (#42173459)

    "'We must continue to work together and find a consensus on how to most effectively keep cyberspace open, accessible, affordable and secure"

    Lets see it still costs me > $1/min to make international calls.

    It costs me nothing to transfer information over the Internet to any destination in the world.

    The consensus appears to be ITU "continuing" its march into irrelevance as the Internet eventually replaces the telephone network.

    • by mikael (484)

      Long distance and national phone calls are charged at a higher rate as it is the simplest way of getting businesses and wealthy people to subsidize the maintenance of the local telephone network.

      • by BlueStrat (756137)

        Long distance and national phone calls are charged at a higher rate as it is the simplest way of getting businesses and wealthy people to subsidize the maintenance of the local telephone network.

        It's also a dis-incentive to the peoples of different regions to develop close, regular contact, thus promoting social and cultural divisions based on fear, ignorance, hatred, and mistrust. The more divided people are, the easier they are to control.

        The internet has exploded far beyond expectations in almost every metric, and this threatens the entire current power structures of both governments and commerce worldwide. Depend on the powers that be attempting to control what and who is on it and how it is us

      • by butlerm (3112)

        Long distance and national phone calls are charged at a higher rate as it is the simplest way of getting businesses and wealthy people to subsidize the maintenance of the local telephone network.

        That is why they invented progressive income taxes. No need to stunt commerce and communication too.

    • by delt0r (999393)

      It costs me nothing to transfer information over the Internet to any destination in the world.

      You get a free internet connection? If not then i don't think nothing means what you think it means.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        You get a free internet connection?

        Sure, there are free hotspots in a lot of places.

  • Some proposals could permit governments to censor legitimate speech — or even cut off Internet access

    I presume he means "more than already" ?

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

      by iluvcapra (782887) on Monday December 03, 2012 @05:52PM (#42173863)

      Shorter Vint Cerf: Some proposals would actually allow sovereign governments to enforce their sovereignty, as bad as that may be.

      Nobody would support the UN forcing the US government to do anything; it's funny when we're shocked that Russia or China would insist on being able to regulate cables and boxen that operate on their own frigging soil.

      Of course governments can censor speech and cut off Internet access, that's their prerogative. Or are we working from the idea that the Internet is actually greater and more important than any government, and that the laws of a state (democratic or not) are not binding upon it? How do you think an American government would react if it was told by the UN, or Mexico, that it was forbidden from arresting undocumented migrants, because such action would infringe upon an individual's absolute freedom of movement, as protected by some UN declaration of human rights?

      Freedom is a good thing, freedom of speech is a good thing, in the US we are blessed to have a national polity that respects it. The Internet can allow it to flourish in other places too. However, any goodwill for your cause is likely going to be depleted twice over if people in Iran and Burma come to believe that, as shitty as their government may be, actual decisions that govern their virtual life take place in Marina del Rey, and it wouldn't matter who was running their country. They'd call it imperialism, and they'd be right.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Microlith (54737)

        Shorter Vint Cerf: Some proposals would actually allow sovereign governments to enforce their sovereignty, as bad as that may be.

        Yup, and that's a bad thing. No accommodations should be made to make things easy for censorious, oppressive governments to act in such a manner. All the burden should be on their end, rather than worked into some sort of legalistic framework ripe for abuse.

        Of course governments can censor speech and cut off Internet access, that's their prerogative.

        But is it the prerogative of th

        • by iluvcapra (782887)

          No accommodations should be made to make things easy for censorious, oppressive governments to act in such a manner.

          I don't see how this principle could stand, without forcing nation-states to submit their laws to the UN (or Vint Cerf for that matter) for approval as "sufficiently non-oppresive." Let alone your proposal for Internet trade warfare -- do you really think denying Amazon.com to the people of Shiraz is going to get them to turn against the Basij?

          Hey, stop arresting and deporting people who bypa

          • Supressing parties? You mean the Communist Party or the Reichspartei ruled unconstitutional in the 1950ths? Look, the sovereignty principle is fine but the ITU is actually a corrupt and geriatric telecom cartel. The WCIT is a world conference of states. One of the proposals says that ITU-T recommendations become binding for members.
            • by iluvcapra (782887)

              I have no kind words for the ITU, but any replacement that attempts to breach national sovereignty, under the cover of "International human rights" or any idealistic conception, is apt to be counterproductive and a net negative to world peace and the rule of law.

        • by Xest (935314)

          "But is it the prerogative of the people in that country? Or is it a government acting unilaterally for the sake of retaining power? Should we be accepting or tolerant of that?"

          It's up to the people of that country to do something about it. It's a painful situation to watch sometimes, seeing people oppressed by their government, but as things like Iraq have taught us, intervention can be so much worse. Saddam's use of chemical weapons and so forth to kill 5,000 odd civilians was sick, but was the situation

      • by tqk (413719)

        Shorter Vint Cerf: Some proposals would actually allow sovereign governments to enforce their sovereignty, as bad as that may be.

        Even shorter: why should we care about sovereign governments? We should care about individuals. Screw the cartels; all of them!

        • International law is based upon sovereign states which coexist. Article 2 of the UN Charta. If you don't like your government feel free to get a new one. If you don't like your state feel free to proclaim a new one. Unfortunately most governments don't like the idea of sovereign citizens or secession as the US civil war demonstrates.
          • by tqk (413719)

            I'm not advocating violent revolution. All I'm saying is governments only exist because we individuals generally agree that they can be of some use to us. That's what's important; not what politicians or bureaucrats or rulers want. Their opinions are irrelevant. If our governments aren't focussed on that, then they need to be redirected so that they are.

            Educate your elected representatives, or swap them out for someone else who can be.

            • by iluvcapra (782887)

              Awesome, now go to the UN and tell Indonesia that's why you're banhammering them from the Internet unless they stop censoring YouTube.

              That's the GPs point, that the Internet (read: US political appointees and telecom consortia) has the right to cut off any country it pleases if they exceed some standard of illiberalism. It has nothing to do with how a country is governed, places like Indonesia or the UAE have really popular and democratic despotisms.

        • by iluvcapra (782887)

          Note that you've shifted the argument from "the Internet," to "individuals," as if The Internet and the decisions of any Internet regulatory body were somehow equivalent to, and deserved the same high standard of protection as, individual rights.

          As if the present governing institutions of the Internet weren't a cartel? An intensely pro-western one at that, and where you see the Internet fighting for individual rights, more than few others see it as a club that works to expand western cultural hegemony. It

      • Of course governments can censor speech and cut off Internet access, that's their prerogative.

        Just to be 100% sure here: You are arguing that governments have a right to to censor speech and cut off Internet access (like I have a right to shoot a robber that breaks into my house during night and attacks me), not that are able to censor speech and cut off Internet access (like a gang of robbers can kill you and steal your stuff)? Your talk about sovereign governments and prerogative makes me suspect you vie

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Monday December 03, 2012 @05:15PM (#42173559) Homepage Journal
    Q: What is the difference between the US and UN controlled internet? Both guarantee freedom of speech.
    A: Yes, but the USA also guarantees freedom after the speech.
    ie Open, accessible, affordable - sounds like a trap to get you online.
    The secure sounds like easy tracking at any point along the network.
    • by alexo (9335)

      the USA also guarantees freedom after the speech.

      In theory.

      But we all know that the difference between theory and practice is much larger in practice than it is in theory.

      And this case is no exception.

  • by magic maverick (2615475) on Monday December 03, 2012 @05:18PM (#42173591) Homepage Journal

    I've said it before: decentralize it, it's the only way to be sure. The USA govt. at the moment (via the Dept. Commerce) has effective control over the generic domain names. And they use that control. They shut down websites for all sorts of reasons, including accidentally. They shut down websites that are operating in foreign countries, hosted in foreign countries, and don't even target US citizens. Oh, but they happen to host links to copyrighted material. Or they happen to be doing a perfectly legal thing in their own country, e.g. providing DRM breaking tools, or online gambling, but which isn't legal in the USA.

    And people think that the ITU is some how going to be worse? It would be different, but I can't see how it could be worse (you couldn't get all the countries to agree anyway, and if the USA really cared, they could just veto stuff; I think the ITU operates on a consensus model). (Fun fact: the ITU is older than the UN, and the previous League of Nations; it was setup back in the 1800s.)

    Still, the best solution is to decentralize. Perhaps a web of trust; I trust this person (these people) and they (a clear majority) say that this domain resolves to this IP address. Actually, the domain name system is already a trust exercise, with people choosing which resolver to go with (e.g. I currently use Google's 8.8.8.8 as I can't remember the local one, and I'm not sure I would trust it more than Google anyway), and the resolver ultimately choosing a root.

    So why can't we decentralize it more? Come on people, I know there are lots of smart people, get together and work out an alternative DNS and make it really easy for everyone to use. And make it not be in the hands of anyway. Perhaps a federalized system. But remove control from governments and corporations and give it back to the people, just like God intended when he created the Internet. (Also more people use FreeNet please.)

    • by jbolden (176878)

      There are lots of alternative DNSes. But you don't need an alternative DNS all you need to do is start running DNS services and

      a) Use whatever rules you want
      b) Get other people to use your service instead of the ones you are objecting to.

      It is perfectly anarcho-democratic. Everyone votes everyday with the DNS settings what DNS they want.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      I've said it before: decentralize it, it's the only way to be sure. The USA govt. at the moment (via the Dept. Commerce) has effective control over the generic domain names.

      But as far as I know each country manage their own country domain so they don't have a monopoly on domain names. That's why TPB moved from .org to .se and they're hardly less popular because of it. That's roughly as decentralized as you can get without terrible headaches with namespace crashes where my "slashdot.org" is different than your "slashdot.org" - you'll be destroying the one Internet where everyone can reach the same sites and restore many of the old borders Internet has been tearing down. Imagine

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      I actually agree with most of your point, but this caught my attention:

      "...And people think that the ITU is some how going to be worse [than the US's current control of the internet]? It would be different, but I can't see how it could be worse ..."

      Seriously? You don't see how it "could be" worse?
      Are you being naive out of sheer ignorance, or simply disingenuous based on US-loathing blinders?

      The UN had a 'Human Rights Commission' for SIXTY years with members such as People's Republic of China, Zimbabwe, R

      • Depends on how it is "controlled". If it is like the security council, all the major players (rather, the five major winners after WW2) get a veto. In which case the US can veto anything they don't like, keeping it like it is now. Right? If it's like certain other UN organizations, and operates on consensus, then any player can veto anything they don't like. That means fewer changes, and keeping things the same, that's what you want isn't it?

        I doubt very much if it would be like the general assembly where o

  • by sconeu (64226) on Monday December 03, 2012 @05:23PM (#42173621) Homepage Journal

    "If it isn't broken, don't fix it".

    She's an engineer at heart.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      This is the UN. Their motto is: "If it's not broke, break it." Followed by: "If it has money, pillage it." And "If there are small children, send in the soldiers so they can rape them."

  • . . . and leave the rest, as-is.

    And then see which one folks use.

    • Folks will use the internet available to them, as dictated by their residence in European countries or elsewhere. They may "choose" their internet by moving to another country, and that's not a realistic solution. Your assertion that people have a choice between UN internet and "other" internet is false.

  • Bismarck said: Never believe anything until it has been officially denied. Presumably Mr Toure's comment qualifies as an official denial.

  • "'Nothing can stop the freedom of expression in the world today, and nothing in this conference will be about it,"

    Well, if it's not possible to stop the freedom of expression in the world, then nothing enacted or done by a government or international body can do that.

    Therefore, the great firewall of China, the network shutdowns in Egypt, Syria, etc by definition didn't stop the freedom of expression. Because, that would be impossible.

    Thus nothing that we could consider can stop freedom of expression. So we

  • I'll believe that when when we have built-in end-to-end encryption off all Internet traffic by default, get rid of mandatory (CALEA) backdoors in telecomm equipment and get equal privacy for electronic communications.

  • by isdnip (49656) on Monday December 03, 2012 @06:54PM (#42174421)

    As to censorship, the ITU never proposed censoring the Internet. That's not their bailiwick -- national governments can and do censor domestic Internet access, and the ITU can't stop them. Nor can it force a government to do anything. The US can simply declare an Exception to an ITU rule and it doesn't apply here. Enough bilateral Exceptions and the ITU is irrelevant.

    I did read the more controversial proposals. What a lot of countries wanted was to treat the Internet as if it were telecommunications (it is seen in the US as the content of telecommunications, not the telecommunications itself) and to apply telephone call-like charging to packets. So if somebody in Benin or Fiji downloaded a movie from YouTube, their country would receive payment from YouTube. In many countries this would go to the government, supposedly to pay for the network facilities but of course many of these countries are remarkably corrupt...

    And unlike a phone call, where the party who dials the call pays, Internet payments would be made by the side sending the packets, even if the other side asked them to. This would of course probably cause YouTube and other high-volume information sources to shut off access to those countries. Not censorship per se, but pay to talk.

    Other proposals on the table are technically unworkable, but then the old PTT (post-telegraph-telephone) guys who dominate ITU-T don't understand how the Internet works (very, very tenuously).

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday December 03, 2012 @07:18PM (#42174605)
    Any talk about "Legitimate" speech is on the same level as "Legitimate Rape". All speech is legitimate, though, clearly the UN and most of its members do not.

    Don't believe me that the UN classifies political dissent as non-protected? Just look at their "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#atop [un.org] where it says Article 29: (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    Do we really want people controlling the internet who in their own "bill of rights" basically say you don't have these basic, "universal" rights if you disagree with us?
  • by xtal (49134) on Monday December 03, 2012 @08:05PM (#42174975)

    There's the problem.

    All speech is legitimate. If words threaten you so badly you can't refute them on their grounds; well.. the truth is a bitch.

    As far as I can tell, the USA is as close a bastion of true free speech as exists, and that right hasn't been molested too badly. I do not want my internet in the charge of those who would seek to regulate in the name of "religious tolerance".

    All words should be read and judged on their own merits.

    Screw the ITU.

    • by alexo (9335)

      There's the problem.

      All speech is legitimate.

      If only the world was so black and white.

      Is false advertisement legitimate?
      Is libel legitimate?
      Is fraud legitimate?
      Is perjury legitimate?
      Is publishing private data (say, the username/password to your banking site) legitimate?

      They are all subsets of "speech", you know.

      • by xtal (49134)

        [quote]
        Is false advertisement legitimate?
        Is libel legitimate?
        Is fraud legitimate?
        Is perjury legitimate?
        Is publishing private data (say, the username/password to your banking site) legitimate?
        [/quote]

        In the moral sense.. all words are indeed legimate. You are free to refute or counter. I admire the American ideal of freedom of speech quite highly and it is unique.. and it is very much part of what makes the internet special.

  • Watch what they do, not what they say they are doing.

    .
    In the end, what matters is not what has been said, but the laws and resolutions that have been passed.

    Watch what they do, not what they say they are doing.

  • Of course, they won't "curb Internet freedoms". They'll simply "outlaw dangerous speech", "protect the faithful from being offended by blasphemers", "create taxes to compensate creative organizations like newspapers", and "track online use to protect children". But no Internet freedoms will be harmed. Right.

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