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The Internet Editorial

Meet the Man Who Will Save the Internet 369

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the insert-obligitory-star-trek-quote-here dept.
UltimaGuy writes to tell us The Register is running an interesting piece about Masood Khan, chairman of the sub-committee that is takling many of the difficult questions about internet governance. Mr. Khan has been able to draw enormous respect for many of the participatory nations and seems to have a very direct style of management. From the article: "I would encourage you all not to focus on general themes of internet governance but instead go to the heart of the matter," were Khan's opening words. And then he listed them. "The question of a future mechanism, the question of oversight, and the paradigm of co-operation amongst all stakeholders."
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Meet the Man Who Will Save the Internet

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:18PM (#14029880)
    Khaaaan! [khaaan.com]

    There, now that I got that out of the way we can have a decent discussion here!
    • Kirk: "Genesis, what's that??"
      Khan: "No you fool, the internet is what I want. aside By the way, give me all Genesis related information too..."
    • by GIL_Dude (850471)
      I'm lauging at the superior intellect...
    • Nice!... for some reason, when I clicked that link, my dog went crazy howling at the sound. (Clearly, my dog should be in casting.)
    • by Seumas (6865) on Monday November 14, 2005 @08:18PM (#14030817)
      He's going to save the internet by assisting with getting all the regulators and governments to "cooperate" together on it? How is that a good thing? That's like asking if you want a shit sandwhich or a piss cola. How about NO regulation or governance like the last few decades (essentially)?

      The only thing worse than 161 governments trying to fight each other for "control of the internet" is 161 governments cooperating to "control the internet".
      • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadin@xoxFREEBSDy.net minus bsd> on Monday November 14, 2005 @10:39PM (#14031629) Homepage Journal
        Exactly.

        If this guy actually got 161 governments to sit down and actually work together on something, I would be deeply, deeply concerned. Given that the average government official is probably in bed with so many different corporations and special interests (and it might not even be illegal or frowned upon in their countries, so it's not like we have much recourse) anything that they'd sit down and turn out is ultimately going to be terrible for users.

        In my more morose moods I have this feeling that I'm going to some day be sitting around and telling my grandkids about how the Internet used to be, back in those wild, turn-of-the-century days, before everything was regulated and monitored to death; in the same way that I remember him telling me once about a time when you could buy a car and drive it around without a license to do so, or bolting a metal identification plate onto the bumper.

        Governments are a sophisticated protection racket. You trade them some freedoms, in return they offer you some protection against our more cruel and brutish impulses and in theory allow us to live more pleasant lives. But with the Internet, there's currently nothing that we need protecting from and if we allow it to be regulated, we will have just given something away for nothing -- and it's not something we're ever likely to get back.
        • Governments are a sophisticated protection racket. You trade them some freedoms, in return they offer you some protection against our more cruel and brutish impulses and in theory allow us to live more pleasant lives. But with the Internet, there's currently nothing that we need protecting from and if we allow it to be regulated, we will have just given something away for nothing -- and it's not something we're ever likely to get back.

          That's not entirely true. There is crime on the Internet. If you get scam

        • A heavy burden of regulation is just what we need to quash everyone but the big companies and governments that can afford to follow them. Of course, that's a good thing from most of these countries' point of view. Their biggest issue isn't that the US has control in some kind of abstract official sort of way. It's that they want to police the internet for crime.

          In many of these nations' cases, "crime" means political or religious dissent. There's a reason that Iran and China have lobbied so hard on this iss
  • Save or enslave? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:19PM (#14029885) Homepage Journal
    And yet despite hundreds of hours of talks, three preparatory meetings and a world summit, there is only one thing that the world's governments can agree on:

    That the governments of the world have the least knowledge in how to save anything, and the World Government is even worse.

    the internet is five days away from total collapse as governments are finally forced into a corner and told to agree on a framework for future Internet governance.

    Bull. Shit.

    The Internet is not one procedure to distribute information. It is HTML, DNS, BitTorrent, even Real Audio. None of these standards are government regulated, they're free market regulated. The users, en masse, decide what format will succeed. The only change government entices is when a popular company gets sued out of sight (Grokster, etc).

    Standards will rise and fall faster than any government can rule on changes. Old standards literally DIE. Old laws come back to be unearthed by future tyrants

    there is a very real risk that an enormous political argument resulting in lifelong ill-will centred around the internet could developed unchecked at the WSIS Summit.

    Good. Nothing makes me happier than multiple governments grabbing the rulers, dropping their pants, and realizing none have anything to measure.

    how the world will deal with issues such as spam and cybercrime.

    Let every ISP decide. The competition will allow the creation of new ways to excel.

    Masood Khan has turned what could easily have become a bar-room brawl into a gradual formation of agreement.

    One politician breathing hot air to others, putting all into a head nodding "we can all control our citizens equally" concert.

    Having chaired dozens of meetings as a careful and unthreatening facilitator, Mr Khan saw his chance and went for it.

    "We are from the government and we're here to help you."

    "The question of a future mechanism, the question of oversight, and the paradigm of co-operation amongst all stakeholders."

    "We will share in the control of deviants. The word 'deviant' can be redefined at any member's whim."

    If there is a split, it will not make the final agreement. Where there is no agreement, the effort will have to be to convince each other."

    Meaning that they will generalize everything in vague definitions easily adjusted to their situation.

    Four hours later they came back to the official meetings with nothing. Khan suspended the meeting and told them to go back and do it again.

    True of any governing body. They have no clue what to control next, but surely there must be more taxes, regulations and restrictions added to the lawbooks. None to help their crony friends either, I'm sure.

    Twice, governments tried to stall the whole approach by asking what official standing the document they were creating would have - an age-old diplomatic trick. Mr Khan brushed it aside: "Just wait."

    "Why do you have to probe my ass, officer?"

    "Just wait."

    It is far from over but when the agreed text on how the internet should be run and by whom appears in front of the World Summit and is approved on Friday, it most certainly won't be perfect

    And this is what we need? Imperfection in an international law? I'd rather see imperfection in thousands of ISPs and be able to choose what is least perfect to me.

    The U.N. is the worst government in the world, so large that no one is safe, so large that no one has a voice and so large that revolt and rebuilding is impossible.
    • by RamsÚs Morales (13327) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:32PM (#14029995)
      Thanks.

      This whole internet governance is just an excuse to provide a framework for censorship. Besides that it will also destroy innovation and research.

      The current system is not perfect, but it sure is better than whatever they want to achieve.
    • by MBraynard (653724) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:45PM (#14030091) Journal
      Thanks for saving me the trouble of posting much the same thing. I found one sentence in the story particularly amusing:

      He was chosen as chair of Sub-Committee A during the WSIS process, and his remit includes all the most difficult and contentious elements - not just internet governance but also how the world will deal with issues such as spam and cybercrime

      How can an organization for whom a majority of their members are cruel tyranical criminals deal with 'crime' much less harmless things like spam.

      The ultimate goal is an extra-planetary internet. Impervious to interference, completely free, and unregulatable. What Teledesic was suppose to be.

    • I'm sure you only called the UN a 'world government' as a rhetorical device, but unfortunately there are those who actually believe it is some kind of world government so the point sometimes need reinforcing.

      The UN is an international organisation. It was never intended to be a government, it doesn't function as one. It is a (mostly) consensus-based body, because the point is that it is intended to be completely neutral and express the combined will of the countries of the world.

      Before you tell me how the
      • by isotope23 (210590) on Monday November 14, 2005 @07:23PM (#14030391) Homepage Journal
        I call bullshit.

        The U.N. may not be a world government YET but many are pushing it that way. [worldnetdaily.com]

        the relevant part : "without explicit authorization for U.N. taxes on currency exchange, fossil fuels and a host of other tax targets. "

        And this [heritage.org]

        or this [libertymatters.org]

        or this [msn.com]

        While I detest bush, I detest the "one world" mentality just as much. The U.N. was founded solely as a place where nations could talk about their disagreements, NOT as a world governing body, which they are trying to become.

        I have enough problems with the bloated and bureaucratic U.S. government.
        I do not want an even larger and more insulated layer deciding what I can and can't do.

        • No. If a bunch of governments get together and sign a treaty that says, 'We are all going to collect a tax on currency transactions within our own borders and then contribute it to a common fund', that does not constitute the formation of a government. Because it is a treaty, it is consensual, and they can pull out of it without anyone starting a war against them. And because there is no uber-government behind the agreement, no 'world police' or 'world army' are going to come in and 'enforce' the treaty.
        • Maybe this is just the natural backlash to the US government's rabid endorsement of any and all "free market" solutions. Low taxes in third-world countries are good for first-world business, and not necessarily good for the third-world citizenry. High-tax countries are probably worried (rightly so) that their systems are threatened by relentless free-marketeering.

          Reality of the UN aside, may I ask, what is exactly so problematic with the so-called "one world mentality"? Do you see the need for government
          • Reality of the UN aside, may I ask, what is exactly so problematic with the so-called "one world mentality"?

            I view government as a necessary EVIL. The best government is the least government you can get away with.

            Just a general distrust of organizations?

            I have no problem with voluntary organizations, but I have a big problem with involuntary ones.

            IMO once the U.N. has some sort of tax authority that authority will continue to grow. Take a look at the history of the US. We went from an excise tax to an incom
      • by stlhawkeye (868951) on Monday November 14, 2005 @07:33PM (#14030464) Homepage Journal
        In the interest of full disclosure, I am a libertarian Republican. People like me are also sometimes called liberals, just not in the USA. Actually, I take that back. I would have been called a liberal up until about 1963. Anyway, take my opinion with a grain of salt.

        Now, you can be extremely dogmatic and tell me that anything done by anyone that isn't in the name of private enterprise is doomed to fail.

        I'm not sure I understand your statement. Is "in the name of private enterprise" synonymous with free enterprise? Because if so, I will be dogmatic and claim that without economic freedom you will never have true liberty, the human being naturally yearns for liberty, and he will eventually fight for it. If you mean "private enterprise" in the sense of The Very Big Corporation of America increasing its earnings projection by eighteen cents, well yeah that's no help when it comes to feeding people with no money or natural resources living under uncaring governments.

        But I challenge you to show how private enterprise would have filled all of the vital functions that the aforementioned UN agencies have filled over the last 50 years.

        I would claim that private enterprise could have, and could have done a far better job. Not that the UN did a bad job, but the private sector is almost always more efficient and more effective. Almost always. The real problem is that the private sector has no real motivation to invest a ton of money in such an endeavor, and when you hire the work out, you get bloated government contracts that are viewed as "free" money by the private sector, and there's no incentive to be efficient.

        And no, this is not a question of 'If you had waited long enough, the market would have done it'.

        No, I agree. Markets do not go and liberate people. Democracies do.

        Any longer wait and more people would have died of smallpox; any longer wait for refugee camps to be built and people die of cholera. And of course, there's not really any profit to be made in these situations anyway. That's when the international community simply says 'Right, let's solve it'. Consensually.

        As it must. I am 100% in favor of free enterprise and capitalism abut there's a problem with free markets: if you don't have any money, the market really isn't concerned with you. That's where governments step in. I don't trust private enterprise to take care of national parks and poverty. I don't trust the government to do it either, but we can vote the government out of power. With the tangled web of corporate cannibalistic ownership, most people have no idea which corporate amalgams they're supporting when they buy any given product.

      • >UN.... NONE of this is any kind of 'world government'.

        Correct. The US Federal Government is the nascent World State - Washington (and New York) are the places the whole world pays attention to. The UN is only a distraction and talking shop as you put it. The irony is all the "small government" conservatives that keep blindly voting to create Bush's New World Order. This isn't much different from Clinton's NWO, either - there is one agenda here folks. Unocal, Carlyle Group, Bush, Saudi oil, bombing Serb
      • I'd agree with you that the free market might have done it, but that it would have taken a long time. You'd have private charities start up for humanitarian causes, etc, that sprouted from various countries as their respective standard of living rose. Again, this would take a long time. Since the UN did not use force to accomplish those various goals, it is acceptable. Nations volunteer aid as money, product, or personnel.

        You did mention a few reasons why the UN shouldn't be involved in this, though. F
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:56PM (#14030173)

      Don't you think it is more than a little deceptive to take a quote like "the internet is five days away from total collapse as governments are finally forced into a corner and told to agree on a framework for future Internet governance." completely out of its context? The original quote from the article is, "If a certain US senator and a certain EU commissioner are to be believed, the internet is five days away from total collapse..." To take a quote like that and crop out the fact that it is qualified with a statement that it is propaganda from two particular individuals and try to pass it off as a premise of this article is wholly dishonest.

      The rest of your post is either poorly informed and considered garbage, or an attempt to troll. Just a few choice samples:

      Let every ISP decide. The competition will allow the creation of new ways to excel.

      Ignoring that in the majority of the world, including the US there exist government enforced monopolies on transmission lines, and thus there is no free competition.

      putting all into a head nodding "we can all control our citizens equally" concert.

      Assigning villainous motives to people trying to decide upon a communication standard between them. It has nothing to do with controlling people, just agreeing on an equitable way to communicate with one another.

      Meaning that they will generalize everything in vague definitions easily adjusted to their situation.

      Something specifically addressed as false by the article, but which this poster chooses not to address since it is easier to post this FUD.

      They have no clue what to control next, but surely there must be more taxes, regulations and restrictions added to the lawbooks.

      Crap pulled from his anus. This was about agreeing upon principals of how they will communicate and has nothing to do with taxes.

      etc., etc. etc.

      This is one of those posts where you wish a "-1 complete lies and fabrications" mod existed.

        • Damn. I hit [CR] after Kofi??? nd it submitted.

          I meant to continue...

          My post wasn't meant to troll. I appreciate the reply, and will correct the problems in future article rants.

          One thing to remember is that the U.N. is involved in many bad decisions made by the world. Kahn's words can affect your life and future and must be subverted or their dishonesty will have an effect.
      • by Shotgun (30919) on Monday November 14, 2005 @07:31PM (#14030449)
        This was about agreeing upon principals of how they will communicate and has nothing to do with taxes.

        Surely, sir, you jest. "principals of how they will communicate"? What is so hard about "I talk to you, and you talk to me"? There is no place for the UN in how people communicate. Either they do or they don't.

        No this is about taxation and control. Right now they are working on the 'precedent' stage. The first move of all politicians and governments is to first set a 'precedent', usually through a policy that can't be 'morally' argued with.

        "Children are dying! The Federal government must feed the children!"

        Can't argue against that, even though it isn't the Federal government's job to feed the children (it's the parents, then city's, then county's, then state's job, if any). So the federal politicians set a precedent that they must feed the children. This gets extended to they must feed the old, too. Then everybody. Then everybody must eat what the government provides for them, which they do at twice the cost in the form of taxes. And if at any point, a man would say that the theiving politicians should keep their hands off the dinner table, they are labelled as a cruel and heartless bastard.

        Well, OK. I'm a cruel and heartless bastard. And as such, I loudly proclaim that the UN should not be allowed to set a precedent. Connect to the Net, or create your own, I don't give a damn. But in no way should the UN have any control over how my computer communicates with another.

    • Being an ISP is a commodity service -- reliable-enough delivery of IP packets for the lowest possible cost. ISPs really don't care if the packets contain worms, porn, Nazi hate speech, spyware, spam, telco-bypassing VOIP, plans for a nuclear warhead, phishing, DDoS attacks, or the latest Hollywood movie. As long as the customer pays for the bandwidth they consume, sends in the money, and does NOT call tech support, the ISP is happy.

      The problem is that others (governments, issue groups, consumers, compan

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:22PM (#14029911)
    Let's get this of the way: It's Al Gore.
  • Save the Internet? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sexyrexy (793497) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:25PM (#14029934)
    Who said it was in danger? Oh, right - the people who have no say over it anyway. As has been said many times here, very few people in the US are going to blink if Europe or Asia yank the connection to the US network. And Mr. Khan may be the greatest negotiator to ever walk this earth, but that won't be enough to make any US diplomat agree to give up control. Of course he's being hailed as masterful by the people who already agree with him anyway. That's not exactly shocking.
    • by daniil (775990) <evilbj8rn@hotmail.com> on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:40PM (#14030055) Journal
      As has been said many times here

      Just because it's been said many times here, it doesn't automatically make this statement correct.

    • So it's five days away from a meltdown?

      I say, leave it alone for five days and watch the fun.

      When all us geeks can't get to /. or our
      favorite radio stations or comics, we'll
      solve the problem a new way. or destroy
      the planet, but either one works.
    • You did it now. You should know the rules.
      1. Microsoft bad.
      2. Religion bad.
      3. United States bad.

      Yea I have to admit that I also find this amusing. Some nations in Europe might drop their connections but I doubt many in asia or South America will. I find the whole idea of the UN trying to hijack the root DNS to be amusing and at the same time annoying. Part of me has to wonder if it diversion or punishment for the "Food for Oil" scandal that we are hearing nothing about. Just remember this is the UN that put
  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:26PM (#14029941)
    Strangely, this Google search generates hits [google.com].
  • by vodkamattvt (819309) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:26PM (#14029943) Homepage
    Why dont we just call the man who created it. Al Gore. I hear he lives in the woods somewhere with a scruffy beard and a heart of gold, just waiting for the world to call on him to save the day!
  • C'mon.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slashes (930844) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:26PM (#14029946)
    I don't even understand why we're still debating about this. I'm not trying to be pro-american here, but we did technically make it, so why can't we govern it? There's no problems with the way everything is set up now, so why even screw it up? I see this as every country just wanting a piece of their small pie, slowly trying to take away the U.S. control of the DNS or whatnots. It seems like it's all a game to all the other countries as to see who can 'win' the biggest control of this.
    • Re:C'mon.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by close_wait (697035)
      we did technically make it, so why can't we govern it?

      Sigh. As has been pointed out ad-nauseum, this is a non-sequiteur. Should the US control the world's telephone system because AGB invented the telephone? Should us Brits control the world's railways because we invented the railway?

      There's no problems with the way everything is set up now

      Two words: Network Solutions. I rest my case...

      • Re:C'mon.. (Score:2, Informative)

        by zukakog (909670)

        we did technically make it, so why can't we govern it?

        Sigh. As has been pointed out ad-nauseum, this is a non-sequiteur. Should the US control the world's telephone system because AGB invented the telephone? Should us Brits control the world's railways because we invented the railway?

        I think you missed the verbage there. He didn't say invent, but make.

        No one is saying that the U.S. should control the usage of ALL DNS servers because they invented the technology; however, no one else has the right t

    • Re:C'mon.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday November 14, 2005 @07:26PM (#14030418) Homepage Journal
      I'm not trying to be pro-american here, but we did technically make it, so why can't we govern it?

      England did technically make you, so why can't they govern you?
  • by ChrisGilliard (913445) <christopher DOT ... AT gmail DOT com> on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:28PM (#14029958) Homepage
    What about the internet needs saving? It seems to be working fine for me thank you very much. Why do we need the UN to come in and "save the internet". Giving their track record with the Oil for food program and peace keepers raping innocent Africans, I don't want the UN anywhere near the net.
    • Meet the Man Who Will Fuck Up The Internet.
    • Giving [sic] their track record with the Oil for food program and peace keepers raping innocent Africans, I don't want the UN anywhere near the net.

      Hey, given the US track record with wartime no-bid contracts for corporations with incestuous ties to government, and the US track record with prisoner abuse, I don't want the US anywhere near the net.

      Your argument falls apart under its own idiocy. But Americans hate the UN (maybe they see the reflection of their own breathtaking abuses of power?), so by al
      • Hey, given the US track record with wartime no-bid contracts for corporations with incestuous ties to government, and the US track record with prisoner abuse, I don't want the US anywhere near the net.

        Did I ever say anything about the US government "running" the internet? No...I would oppose that too. My point is.....Why do we need beurocracy to get involved here? The internet works fine.
        • Who do you think runs the root servers? ARIN?
        • The root servers are run by a US corporation that is subject to US law. So in a very real international sense the US does run the root servers. Just because our method of governance on the issue is private rather than public does not change the ultimate authority in the matter.

          Why do we need beurocracy [sic] to get involved here? The internet works fine.

          This is like asking why ecologists need to get involved in ecology... the world works fine. Remember, large parts of the world take a longer view than
          • The root servers are run by a US corporation that is subject to US law. So in a very real international sense the US does run the root servers. Just because our method of governance on the issue is private rather than public does not change the ultimate authority in the matter.

            Let me guess...You're from France right? Well, in the US, the government doesn't run the corporations, the corporations run the government. In any case, ICANN is merely responsible for keeping track of names and numbers on the net.
            • Just for accuracy's sake ... the US Goverment does run the corporations that it owns, ICANN included.
              • From the Icann.org:

                ICann, ...non-profit entity, is the international organization responsible for the management and oversight of the coordination of the Internets domain name system and its unique identifiers. The ICANN Board and staff reflect the international nature of the organization. The staff hails from seven different countries (Australia, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Niger, the United Kingdom, and the United States), exhibiting fluency in more than 14 languages. Similarly, the Board represents twelve nationalities and is fluent in many languages. ICANN is in the process of opening offices in France, Belgium and Australia. Immediate internationalization and outreach plans call for physical ICANN presence in African, Latin America and the Pacific Rim.
    • by vertinox (846076) on Monday November 14, 2005 @07:05PM (#14030249)
      What about the internet needs saving? It seems to be working fine for me thank you very much.

      I take it you don't use Comcast.
      • Actually, I use Comcast and I have been pretty much happy with their service. But if you think Comcast is beurocratic and messed up, imagine the UN being your isp. They would probably raise your rates by 50% to fund Kofi Annan's son's retirement fund.
    • Giving their track record with the Oil for food program and peace keepers raping innocent Africans, I don't want the UN anywhere near the net.

      "Given the U.S. track record with the Oil For Food program and soldiers raping innocent Africans, I don't want the U.S. anywhere near the net."

      That statement is as factually correct as yours.
  • "Internet Governance" is what will kill the internet.
  • Missing the point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by karl.auerbach (157250) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:32PM (#14029989) Homepage
    1. The word "stakeholder" is a euphemism for "special interests". If one looks carefully how it is used both in the WSIS and ICANN, the word "stakeholder" tends to encompass selected groups, most often groups who make money from the internet, and never includes individual users of the net.

    In other words, under both the WSIS and ICANN rubric, individual users of the internet are not "stakeholders" and thus have neither right nor ability under WSIS or ICANN to express their interests, much less have an ability to vote on how those interests and concerns are handled.

    2. Much of the discussion in WSIS (and ICANN) is like a fight over a toy steering wheel in an automobile. ICANN and WSIS wrongly equate regulation of the business of selling domain names with control of the internet.

    In other words, they are arguing over something that is so divorced from technical reality of the net that the outcome, whatever it may be, will provide no assurance that the internet retains its ability to move packets from source IP address to destination IP address with dispatch and reasonable (but neither perfect nor guaranteed) reliability. The outcome will almost certainly be only about the handling of business practices in the business of selling domain names.

    Do not expect WSIS or ICANN to comprehend that the real goal of internet governance is the preservation of the end-to-end principle for the benefit of internet users.
  • by external400kdiskette (930221) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:34PM (#14030014)
    Listening to the tone of this article you'd think the USA had installed Pat Robertson as ICANN chief or something and now a politcian who has no qualms about drawing a filthy lucre from a Us-sponsored military dictatorship named Pakistan is going to save it from nothing. I can see the need for the internet to be saved if root entries were being removed for political reasons or what not but there's no problems with the current situation. I don't really see the imminent collapse the article mentions, the current system is here to stay, if people don't like it they can form their own and whatever happens will happen. Nothings broken and the internet is running fine under USA with no government interference of ICANN so there's nothing that needs to be changed.
  • U.S. Control (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EdwinBoyd (810701) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:36PM (#14030026)
    In only the broadest sense of the term does the U.S. control the internet. They are certainly the country with the most influence, but they have little control over the inner workings. The U.N. might as well be asking the U.S. to relinquish control over the Coca Cola Corporation*.

    Also as the recent spats between Tier 1s have shown us, the internet is vulnerable but highly adaptive. Connections were impacted for only a brief time and no long term damage was done. It's not perfect by any means but the U.N. isn't providing any solutions besides "Once we run things it will be better".

    *Side note* reading up a little on the relationship between then government and Coca Cola Inc is loads of fun, political intrique, espionage, and killing communism oh my.
    • by daniil (775990)
      *Side note* reading up a little on the relationship between then government and Coca Cola Inc is loads of fun, political intrique, espionage, and killing communism oh my.

      Yeah, apparently the Communists choosing Pepsi was the decisive factor. The weapons race, economic problems, the war in Afghanistan -- in the end, none of these really mattered. In reality (and what a bizarre reality it was), it was the wrath of Coca Cola Company that, when unleashed against the Pepsi-drinking Commies, caused the collapse

  • by deanj (519759) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:38PM (#14030041)
    Maybe someone can explain this to me....

    How can a "governing body" exist for something that it's currently not in charge of? This is like someone moving into your house, and then starts explaining how you've got everything set up incorrectly.
    • You've met my wife??
    • It's the UN and it doesn't have to be control anything to have an opinion and a plan. The UN thinks because it represents vague pie in the sky ideals that it has a mandate for everything as if it's some sort of conglomerate of saints when its history proves it's anything but that. Filled with corruption and incompetence everywhere and huge wastage of funds with no accomplishments to show for it. Even Kofi Annan the "chief saint" is awful, when he was head of the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations in
    • > How can a "governing body" exist for something that it's currently not in charge of?
      > This is like someone moving into your house, and then starts explaining how you've
      > got everything set up incorrectly.

      Actually, it's closer to this analogy. You create your own housing project and give them addresses 1 to N. A few other people decide to build a house on that street and they need to come up with a street address. They can either let you name the address since you were first, or name it themselves
  • "The question of a future mechanism, the question of oversight, and the paradigm of co-operation amongst all stakeholders."

    The word paradigm alone reminds me of the Dilbert pointy haired boss learning manager speak through self help tapes.
  • by alucinor (849600) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:41PM (#14030059) Journal
    What we need is an Internet Bill of Rights to guarantee several conditions of the Internet as it exists today. The Internet today only enjoys things like freedom of speech and freedom from taxation because that is the current policy of the U.S. -- but who knows when that could change? I'm not giving disrespect to how the U.S. currently runs the Internet; rather, I think some of the U.S.'s policies of Internet governance need to be codefied into international law. Then and only then should we even consider handing the Internet over to the U.N.
    • Two points. One, the current administration doesn't believe in international law (the same way the mafia doesn't believe in federal law). Two, not all countries, given any measure of control over what goes on within their borders, are going to agree to an arbitrary set of "American-style" freedoms. It just will not happen. China is going to go on being a repressive totalitarian regime, no-name tropical countries will go on ignoring intellectual property laws (hurray!), and so on. There would be no enforceme
  • by E8086 (698978)
    I nominate Senator Orin Hatch for the office of Lord Gov'nor of the Internet. Oh, wait, we're trying to 'save' the Internet. In that case the interview should consist the question: "What do you know about the following: Dan Glickman, Mitch Bainwol/Cary Sherman and Orin Hatch? the first person to say "who?" gets the job. And an special section of the Internet should be created to contain the RIAA, MPAA, Hatch and Kansas.
    • Someone who hasn't heard about the people trying to screw the Internet over probably isn't involved in it enough to know why listening to them would be a bad idea. And trust me, once you picked someone, he would soon be receiving letters from them.
  • by Tim (686) <{timr} {at} {alumni.washington.edu}> on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:43PM (#14030077) Homepage
    "I would encourage you all not to focus on general themes of internet governance but instead go to the heart of the matter"

    Okay.

    Fascist states are pissed that they don't get to regulate the content on the internet, because it hinders their ability to feed their population piles of political bullshit.

    What do I get? Is the problem solved yet?

    Seriously. The only correct theme here is the "general" one -- freedom is linked to prosperity.
    • Last time I checked, "fascist states" like China and North Korea had no problem regulating content on the internet (the ongoing Cisco fiasco, the Yahoo debacle in China, etc.). For that matter, organizations like the MPAA and RIAA don't even have a big problem regulating content on the internet here in North America, with the help of the U.S. gov't. The problem isn't so much one of controlling content, it's the problem of controlling tax bases and influencing the future direction of the internet. And like
    • Hmm. Except plenty of the states that are interested in this issue are not, in fact, fascist states. Come to think of it, most of Europe is decidedly less fascist than the US.

      It's just a matter of principle. The internet as a whole can't be governed, but the TLDs corresponding to countries can (and I would assert, should) be managed by those respective countries. And as long as the US (or a U.S. corporation) holds all the keys, I'm guessing Europe is worried, in principle, of unilateral action. Seriously,
    • Don't forget his take on it:

      The question of a future mechanism, the question of oversight, and the paradigm of co-operation amongst all stakeholders.

      In other words, vague, poorly-understood, out-of-context buzzwords are the "heart of the matter." I can only conclude that the "themes" he was deriding were so vague as to be inexpressible in human languages.

      Congratulations, you have now been promoted from useless bureaucrat to management consultant. It's a lateral move.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    KHAAAAAN!!!!! [khaaan.com]
  • "I would encourage you all not to focus on general themes of internet governance but instead go to the heart of the matter," were Khan's opening words. And then he listed them. "The question of a future mechanism, the question of oversight, and the paradigm of co-operation amongst all stakeholders."

    Aren't "oversight" and the "paradigm of co-operation amongst all stakeholders" pretty much at the heart of "general themes of internet governance"?

    ie: 'Let's not focus on how we're going to run this thing, lets
  • In other words... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 16K Ram Pack (690082)
    it's not broke, so let's fix it.

    I really think that of all the things that the UN should be worried about, the internet is close to the bottom of the pile.

  • by Punto (100573) <<puntob> <at> <gmail.com>> on Monday November 14, 2005 @07:11PM (#14030297) Homepage
    the question of oversight, and the paradigm of co-operation amongst all stakeholders.

    Nobody wants to have supervision, and nobody wants some comitee deciding who the 'stakeholders' are. What we need is to be certain that no government or corporation will be able to pull stupid shit like killing the xxx TLD or Verisign's hijacking of the root for their little search engine.

  • by oliderid (710055) on Monday November 14, 2005 @07:14PM (#14030318) Journal
    We all hear people complaining that they don't "control" the internet.
    I'm not American. But well Internet works, it is free and I trust more an American administration than a Chinese one at the moment.

    So the basic question is: Who force them to stay "inside" the Internet? They have routers, they have servers, uplinks, they can setup their own ICANN server within a day.

    If they feel so threatenned by the American institution, why don't they leave it and setup their own?

    Do you often surf on their web sites? Personnaly all I receive from China is SPAM.

    Let's call it the "Politically correct" Internet. It will under the control of China, Iran, Cuba, Syria, Tunisia and all these fantastic countries we hear complaining. And for the rest of us we keep things as they are.

    I don't want to surf all the day on a network partly monitored by non democratic countries. The UN is full of them, I don't want them to control any part of my life, not a single nanosecond, not a single bit.

    Olivier
    • I don't want to surf all the day on a network partly monitored by non democratic countries.

      Then you should stay on your private LAN. That is the only way to accomplish your wish.
  • We wouldn't have this debate if ICANN weren't so royally screwed up and operating in sometimes shady ways. Think of the monopolies and $$$ granted to Network Solutions/Verisign which have, to the detriment of common users, kept the prices for .com/.org/.net domains artificially high. (Counter example: In Germany, every 9th citizen statistically owns a ".de" domain because they are dirt-cheap and offered for free with almost every ISP/hosting deal.)

    And an example of U.S. censorship is how the creation of ".x

  • by Anthony Liguori (820979) on Monday November 14, 2005 @07:42PM (#14030543) Homepage
    Including many Americans...

    The American government is built on the principle[1] that the government are servants of the people. They are elected by the people and the people are protected from the government through the Constitution and checks and balances. The structure of the American government is one that is untrusting of itself. This is the way it's always been. There's no history of monarchy in American government.

    Americans have trouble with organizations like the UN because it exists outside of this world. The UN presupposes trust in government--which Americans simply don't possess.

    The idea of turning over control of something as important as the internet to an organization that assumes that government is a trust worthy thing is very contrary to the basis of the American form of government.

    It's not because the US doesn't respect the rest of the world or wants to control everything. American's don't trust government. I'm not claiming this is the best system, I'm just attempting to explain the mentality.

    [1] You can argue until the cows come home whether this is true in practice but it suffices to say that American's believe this to be mostly true.
  • Is anyone else scared that "the man who will save the Internet" is the ambassador from Pakistan, a country that can't even save itself? Sure, Pakistan has gotten lots of people and governments around the world to agree on some things lately, but none are due to Pakistan's effective management and consensus building.
  • by trygstad (815846) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @01:27AM (#14032450)
    In the ultimate irony, the U.S. Department of Defense has created the first funtional anarchy in the history of mankind. Yes, there is some "Internet Governance" (i.e. ICANN and IANA) but the core of the matter is that the Internet only actually works because everyone cooperates. When folks stop cooperating (bickering over peering agreements, etc.) parts of it may stop working, demonstrating the validity of the ananarchical model and proving that, at the core--at the heart--it really is an anarchy. A co-operative, mercantile, market driven anarchy. Even anarchists agree there have to be standards but on the Internet they are so loose that we call them either a "Request for Comments" (IAB/IETF) or a "Recommendation" (W3C). And you can just ignore them if you want--look at how Microsoft has been blowing of the W3C for years with their browser. And who can be a member of an IETF Working Group? ANYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! You just join! (How cool is that--it's not perfect but it actually works, and anyone who wants to participate has a voice.) People can propose and build new protocols but if no one uses them they wither on the vine (i.e. desktop push models; no one really wanted push, and where is it today? And how about VRML? Seen any lately?). The last thing we need is for someone to step in and slap a government on top of this wonderful anarchy. I feel I should end with a rousing call for all of us anarchists to unite, but the sad thing is that is contrary to the concept of anarchy; so at least let's all cooperate, to oppose this attempt to impose tyranny on our anarchy. And while we're at it, let's just celebrate the whole concept of an anarchy created by the Depratment of Defense. Irony not only lives but thrives online.

"Don't discount flying pigs before you have good air defense." -- jvh@clinet.FI

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