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Government Censorship The Internet Your Rights Online

The Most Important Meeting You've Never Heard of 171

An anonymous reader writes "In December the nations of the world will gather in Dubai for the UN-convened World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT – pronounced 'wicket'). The topic of the meeting is nothing less than the regulation of the Internet. Under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union the governments of the world will review the international treaty known as the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR). The last review of the ITR was in 1988 when the Internet was just aborning. The remarkable and reshaping growth of the Internet provides the excuse for the new review. What's really afoot, however, is an effort by some nations to rebalance the Internet in their favor by reinstituting telecom regulatory concepts from the last century." At least it's being held in a hotbed of unfettered online communication.
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The Most Important Meeting You've Never Heard of

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @09:03AM (#41524411)

    The internet became what it is and revolutionized human communication precisely because it was not regulated. It was an anarchy, and should remain one.

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @09:05AM (#41524425) Homepage

    I read through the very early draft: []

    It seems like the focus is mainly compensation structure and what obligations exist for telcos passing traffic through. Content provisions are light. For example

    Member States are encouraged:
    a) to adopt national legislation to act against spam;
    b) to cooperate to take actions to counter spam;
    c) to exchange information on national findings/actions to counter spam.

    This is a crucial treaty in the way the public water system is crucial to public welfare. Its existence is a matter of public interest, the details of implementation not so much. Most people want their messages to pass but don't really care how telcos pass expenses around.

  • by Copley ( 726927 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @09:12AM (#41524507)
    Out of the way for who?! The "nations of the world" are attending, not just the US [I'm guess you're from the US with your rather parochial ways]. Dubai seems pretty central [] to me.
  • by jythie ( 914043 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @09:14AM (#41524527)
    Problem is.. it is not one and never has been. What needs to be figured out over the coming decades is, will the US unilaterally regulate it, or will an international organization do so. Neither is a particularly good option, but I doubt we will have much other choice.
  • Re:aborning? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @09:44AM (#41524873) Homepage Journal

    You know, if you look a word up in the dictionary to see if it's real, slang, or newly coined you look a lot less stupid. Aborning is a real word, "cromulent" was invented in a cartoon making fun of making up words.

    Definition of ABORNING []
    : while being born or produced
    Origin of ABORNING
    1a- + English dialect borning (birth)
    First Known Use: 1916
    Definition of ABORNING
    : being born or produced
    Examples of ABORNING

    First Known Use of ABORNING
    Related to ABORNING
    Synonyms: nascent, budding, inceptive, inchoate, incipient
    Antonyms: adult, full-blown, full-fledged, mature, ripe, ripened

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @10:04AM (#41525119) Homepage

    Glad that my tax money is being spent on sending government employees to such an out-of-the-way place.

    Your gasoline money paid for the place so what's a few airplane tickets?

  • by seawall ( 549985 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @11:03AM (#41525933)
    OK, many people involved are probably retired or dead by now, but way back in the early eighties there was the ISO networking standard which was to replace TCP/IP and it was HEAVILY pushed by ITU. It had it's charms but man it was heavy.

    "ISO will replace TCP/IP in 5 years" was a real thing. After 10 years the phrase became a joke. Now it isn't even that.

    Ever wondered why the L in LDAP stands for "Lightweight"? It started as a radically simplified version of ISO directory services.

    Almost nobody used ISO (including ITU, which at the time preferred paper over networks internally) but ITU really pushed it over that toy internet thing. They also charged a lot of money to buy the bookshelf-meters of ISO documentation...only available on paper for the most part.

    It is probably completely unfair to the ITU of 2012 but I find myself worried whenever they are mentioned in the same breath as "internet".

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @11:13AM (#41526081) Homepage

    It was an anarchy

    ... created by those well-known anarchists at the US Department of Defense, with funding and public support from that well-known anarchist Al Gore.

  • by KhabaLox ( 1906148 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @04:31PM (#41530383)

    97% of the taxes in the US are paid by the top _50%_ of the people in the country.

    97% of the income tax. There are a lot of other taxes. For example, payroll taxes, which amount to about 7.5% of an employees first $105k in income, (so it's actually a regressive tax. That is paid by every employed person, regardless of income. Sales tax is another one not included.

    And then, if you want to talk about the larger issue of funding the government, there are loads of fees (nearly) everyone pays, from car registrations, to fees on your telephone bill, etc. To mention only the income tax as OP did, is disingenuous.

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