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The Internet Government Your Rights Online Politics

Vint Cerf, US Congresswoman Oppose Net Regulation 156

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 on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:21AM (#34614648)

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

  • Nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:22AM (#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 DeadDecoy ( 877617 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:28AM (#34614682)

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

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

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:31AM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:40AM (#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.

  • by Senes ( 928228 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:41AM (#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 Exitar ( 809068 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:47AM (#34614816)

    An organization in which a member not paying its dues has absolute veto right clearly has some kind of problem.

  • by beh ( 4759 ) * on Monday December 20, 2010 @10:06AM (#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...

  • Surprise surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MysteriousPreacher ( 702266 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @10:08AM (#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.

  • Re:Nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haedrian ( 1676506 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @10:09AM (#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.

  • Re:Nope. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @10:23AM (#34615094) Journal

    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 corporations are the puppets, and the true master is in either Congress or the White House. (Or maybe "collusion" is a better word - corps donate money; politicians gives corps bailout money.)

    >>>lots of companies give VITAL services.

    Like what? What does the internet provide that can not be done anywhere else? Banking? I can do that in person. Shopping? Ditto. Television? No I can erect an antenna, or sign with CATV, or buy the DVDs when they are released. Or listen to the radio instead for news/weather. ----- Anyway I don't think the internet is a necessity..... maybe someday it will be, like the landline phone (for 911) or electricity (for heat), but not yet. It's still a luxury like videogame consoles or cellphones.

  • by matt4077 ( 581118 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @11:05AM (#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.

Overload -- core meltdown sequence initiated.