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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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  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:45AM (#34614800)

    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 @10:18AM (#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.

  • Re:Nope. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Haedrian ( 1676506 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @10:23AM (#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.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.