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The Internet

US Keeps Control of the Internet 1057

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-thank-good-thats-all-settled-once-and-for-all dept.
Adam Schumacher writes "As a result of a a deal reached late Tuesday, the US and ICANN will maintain control over the Internet's core systems. A new body will be created to provide international oversight, which will, of course, have no binding authority."
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US Keeps Control of the Internet

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  • Still good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by koreaman (835838) <uman@umanwizard.com> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:28AM (#14042802)
    The United States built the thing, and it's not asking for control of all the stuff Europe built.
  • by quetzalc0atl (722663) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:28AM (#14042810)
    ...to serve the internet? China?

    What other nation of the world could guarantee the free speech implicit to the internet, as sites like slashdot are testament to?
  • by sam_paris (919837) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:29AM (#14042820)
    I'm just waiting for all the stories in the American media with headlines such as: "We saved the internet", "Internet kept out of hands of cheese eating surrender monkeys!", etc etc

    Seriously, this whole debate was decided by the pressure from big American IT firms and also the furore in the American press about this whole issue. Anyone less well informed than the average geek would think the rest of the world was planning to take the internet, rape it, tie some bricks to its legs and row it over the bridge with the way the press has dealt with this topic.

    Another five years till this comes up again.. i'm hoping for a more democratic contest next time.
  • by rob_squared (821479) <<moc.derauqs-bor> <ta> <bor>> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:30AM (#14042823)
    Doesn't this remind you of AT&T, but on a larger scale?

    The US owns the hardware, has all the control, and is expected not to abuse the power. And there's no one that's more powerful that can tell them what to do.

  • this is good news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VolciMaster (821873) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:30AM (#14042825) Homepage
    So far, the US has been the only player who wants to maintain the free and open nature of the internet, with little-to-no censoring. The internet works because anyone can put anything they want up for the world to see.

    Some of that content will be wrong, inflamatory, misguided, illegal, and/or offensive, but having that open forum means that a lot of good will show up, too.

  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:31AM (#14042840)
    Gallagher said the compromise's ultimate decision is that leadership of the Internet, and its future direction, will remain in the hands of the private sector, although some critics contend that the U.S. government, which oversees ICANN, if only nominally, could still flex its muscle in future decisions.
    So in a sense, the US and the rest of the world have continued to allow the existing private corporations to keep control of the Internet.
  • by CdBee (742846) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:37AM (#14042880)
    This will get me modded down, but the US isn't as free-speech as it would like to make out. "Free Speech Zones" (which are actually the opposite), anyone?.
  • by orzetto (545509) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:37AM (#14042881)
    We paid for it so this is correct.

    Ok, so please make 398 Norwegian crowns payable to my account by the end of every the month for the next five years. Thanks.

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:38AM (#14042890)
    I don't know how to feel about the US keeping control. It's not that I care about the countries involved, but I'm afraid if the control were moved out of the US, where freedom of speech is much more voraciously protected than other countries (like Europe countries), that the PC police will go around and simply stop pointing at domains that some factions making up the international group does not approve of. Probably in the guise of protecting the people or some such.

    It may sound paranoid, but the stories of how the unelected EU parliament tries to lord over every mundane aspect of life and of how they tried to widen their scope ever more really gives me second, third, and fourth thoughts about this issue.

    I know that how the U.N. might be a more apt analogy in this case, but that just even more shivers down my spine.
  • by SlashAmpersand (918025) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:39AM (#14042898)
    No. The U.S. doesn't own anywhere near all the hardware. The U.S. doesn't control everything. But, yes, the U.S. is expected to not abuse it's power. Tell me, who do you trust the most to have the most control. How about China? How about Nigeria? Wait, let's trust the UK. We'll all end up with Internet ID cards and webcams to monitor us so they can throw us into detention for Homer knows how long until they crack our drives (which hopefully don't rely on MD5 in any way).
  • Typical UN... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kenblakely (768899) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:42AM (#14042909)
    I love how the world's diplomats "agreed late Tuesday to leave the United States in charge of the Internet's addressing system...." As if they had a choice. That's the UN for ya....
  • by Pecisk (688001) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:45AM (#14042926)
    For a moment I even thought - yeah, politicians are such @$#$%%^ that they can screw up absolutely everything.

    But somehow we finished good - until next time.

    I think in this situation we have lession, brothers - we (and I don't care about the OS, about software, about what care you drive or what your beliefs on global warming are) should spread the world that INTERNET should not be controled by NO politics. Repeat after, me - NO poltics. It is media - as paper, TV, radio. It is necessary for people. It is no more just sex.com or check out lyrics for that Britney song. It is for job, for communication with other dear ones. It is essental for many to survive (yeah, I am not afraid to say that).
    So let's send big message - each one of us - to our "dear" politics - please DON'T F#$% WITH IT. Seriously.

    Thanks for your attention.
  • by nathanh (1214) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:45AM (#14042931) Homepage

    World: We want equal partnership in the Internet

    USA: No, it's all ours

    World: Ok, we want the US to follow UN directives and not invade countries at a whim

    USA: No, can't tell me what to do, I'll invade whatever country I want

    World: Ok, we want the US to honour free trade agreements, just like you expect us to

    USA: No, I'll break free trade agreements whenever it suits me

    World: Ok, we want the US to stop polluting our part of the world

    USA: No, I don't give a crap about you, I'll shit on your lawn and piss on your door

    World: You know, you really are a jerk

    USA: Shutup or I'll beat you up

    World: ...

  • Re:Still good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by glesga_kiss (596639) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:46AM (#14042938)
    The United States built the thing, and it's not asking for control of all the stuff Europe built.

    Neither are we. If that were the way the world worked we'd be begging the middle east every time we wanted to make a calculator.

  • Re:Yeah but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meringuoid (568297) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:48AM (#14042945)
    This is great and all, but who's to say the argument won't spring up in another 3 to 4 years.

    The newly formed oversight committee is to say.

    Thus far, the US has had a pretty much hands-off approach to running the internet. That's been great, guys. However, the internet is getting larger and larger and more and more important to the economies and to the security of all nations. The potential power that comes from running the internet is getting greater. The day may come when the US government starts to abuse its position here - for instance, how about imposing export tariffs on domain names, or on IP space?

    Hence the oversight committee. If, five years down the line, the US has been naughty, then it's time to seriously think about splitting the internet. But if they've continued to behave as they generally have in the past, then all is well. The committee won't have power as such over the running of the internet, but if it isn't kept happy then the next round of negotiations might not go so smoothly.

  • by Winterblink (575267) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:51AM (#14042965) Homepage
    The Slashdot crowd really intrigues me. On one hand we're adamantly against operating monopolistic tendencies in one regard (Microsoft with Windows and other software ventures), yet we cheer when another one is formed (US having control over the internet).

    If there's a difference in philosphy here then can someone please point it out to me? I can't be the only one befuddled by the difference of opinion between the two issues around here.
  • Re:Al Gore (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SlashAmpersand (918025) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:53AM (#14042982)
    Actually, we should ask him, as the inventor of the internet, what he thinks of the whole thing.
  • by TuballoyThunder (534063) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:56AM (#14042994)
    You mean something like this [orsn.org].

    This was more an exercise of some countries wanting to exercise content control rather than just technical control. Many people point to the .xxx domain as an example of US interference. I would like to point out that it was a good idea that the .xxx domain got nixed since the very idea promotes censorship. If governments can partition content that it finds objectionable into subdomains, that action aids censorship.

  • Here's an idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by arevos (659374) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:57AM (#14043001) Homepage
    As the majority of people here know, this debate was not about who controls the Internet, but which countries have authority over the body that controls the central DNS servers.

    Frankly, I couldn't care one bit where ICANN is based, just so long as politicians bloody stay away from it! If you don't understand it, then it might not be a good idea screw about with it, especially when all of the experts are telling you not to. How hard is this concept to grasp?

    To its credit, the US has been quite good about not fucking things up... so far. However, I rather fear that the political fuss over the xxx domain may be the tip of a rather ugly iceburg.
  • by GoodOmens (904827) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @09:58AM (#14043020) Homepage
    Keep in mind its a US COMPANY in "control of the internet" ... a ",i>private sector, non-profit corporation".

    If the other parts of the world want control of it they should have invented it first ;-)

  • by Distan (122159) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:00AM (#14043030)
    I know how these "internationalists" work. First they'll form this forum or committee or whatever, that has non-binding powers. But once the committee is up and running, they'll never shut it down, and in a decade or so they'll find some excuse to start beating their drums to give it more oversight capability.

    Someone needs to put their foot down firmly. While people are free to form whatever little "international internet gossip" knitting circle that they want, the message should be put out that this group will have even less insight to internet governance than the public at large, and all communications from this body will be treated as less than spam.

    Do not grant the slightest bit of recognition or credibility to this thing.
  • by moviepig.com (745183) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:03AM (#14043060) Homepage
    [The] new body will...have no binding authority.

    Per Merriam-Webster [m-w.com] . . . To bind means to constipate...

  • by meringuoid (568297) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:05AM (#14043065)
    Sorry, forgot to give references:

    IP allocation by country [whois.sc].

    USA: 1.3 billion. UK: 254 million. Japan: 141 million. China: 72 million.

    Something is going to have to change here.

  • by CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:05AM (#14043066) Journal
    Currently the US, shuts down some "Islamic Extremist" websites. If Germany had control, they'd probably shutdown more Nazi websites. If Venezula had control, they'd probably shutdown Pat Robertson's website.

    If the UN is in control, it could at least limit these types of unilateral actions. Not saying it'd be perfect or even better, but I'd think it might be a bit more fair.
  • by Jussi K. Kojootti (646145) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:05AM (#14043069)
    ...stories of how the unelected EU parliament tries to lord over every mundane aspect of life...
    I understand your fear of faceless bureaucracy, but ... what the fuck are you talking about here? The parliament is directly elected by EU citizens (the last time this happened was June 2004, next elections will be in 2009).

    Furthermore the parliament cannot propose laws, so it's really not in the position to "lord over mundane aspects of life". Maybe you're thinking of the Council of Ministers or (most probably) the Commission? The commissioners are appointed by the member states, so maybe that's what you were referrring to. Even then:

    • Governments of member states are democraticly elected
    • Comission as a whole must be approved by parliament (this is not just a rubber stamp as was seen when Barroso had to withdraw his first list)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:07AM (#14043087)
    That's part of the problem. We did listen to everyone else. We believed the French and German intel that also claimed that Saddam had WMDs. The difference was that we acted on the same, shared bad intel.
  • by Tim C (15259) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:07AM (#14043097)
    But the slashdot moderation process creates effective censorship

    No it doesn't, you can always adjust your display preferences and read absolutely everything.
  • by hfarberg (593921) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:14AM (#14043144)
    The UN is not a higher moral standard. It's not like som god-like creature is running it. It's run by people, and people with power tend to get corrupted.

    And, even though I'm not a EU citizen, I am from Europe, so I know how the social democratic welfare state imposes restrictions on its citizens. The UN is the largest social democratic institution in the world and would certainly impose restrictions given control of the internet. One must not let people decide for themselves, god forbid.

  • by TotoLeFoobar (256317) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:20AM (#14043198) Homepage
    I haven't been following the debate much, but this problem with the alphabet is rather annoying for any non-English language. Most latin languages use accents, therefore it's not even a question of "latin" alphabet, but a "us-ascii" limitation.

    Another note, is that from personal experience, I really get annoyed from transliterating words of languages using the Cyrillic alphabet (ex: Russian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, ...). It just sounds stupid, those languages make no sense in the us-ascii alphabet, and often people transliterate in ways which only they understand (well, anyway, from my perspective as a foreigner).

    Another issue, is that I have seen some domains advertised using Cyrillic letters, but ".com" at the end. Now that's even more confusing, especially for non-technical people (and the fact that you have to continuously switch your keyboard layout). Imho, the TLD for those countries should also be available in Cyrillic.

    Just my 0.02$ -- sure, there will always be spam problems, but this is about connecting people and making sure the Internet is accessible no matter where they are. :-)
  • by bheer (633842) <.rbheer. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:21AM (#14043202)
    Ahead of the summit, rights watchdogs say, both Tunisian and foreign reporters have been harassed and beaten. Reporters Without Borders says its secretary-general, Robert Menard, has been banned from attending.

    These people are obviously qualified to run the Internet. Pity they won't get the chance.

  • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:22AM (#14043218) Homepage
    It wouldn't break anything really... for example if france decided to have their own root, putting all the US domains under .US (which is one scenario) nothing would break really (you might have some trouble with absolute CNAMEs but most such records are relative so wouldn't be affected).

    If countries decided to have their own root and didn't actually change the heirarchy at all - merely added to it (a new.net scenario) nothing would break *at all*.
  • by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:24AM (#14043238)

    ...to serve the internet? China?

    Why do American Slashdotters always bring up China? You know there are other countries than the USA and China, don't you? You do realise that it's the UN that manages the international phone system, don't you? Does China censor your phone calls?

    What other nation of the world could guarantee the free speech implicit to the internet, as sites like slashdot are testament to?

    Um, how about a country that doesn't have the DMCA? How about a country that didn't force the 2600 website to stop linking to some code because Hollywood didn't like people watching DVDs on their own terms? How about a country that didn't pass a law letting the Church of Scientology pressure Google into removing links from their index? [slashdot.org] And, since you brought up the subject of Slashdot, did you know that Slashdot was censored by the Church of Scientology with a USA law? [slashdot.org]

    In France and Germany they ban hate speech. In the USA they ban speech that might offend people with lots of money. Stop pretending you are any better than the rest of the world.

  • Re:Yeah but... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:29AM (#14043302)

    The day may come when the US government starts to abuse its position here - for instance, how about imposing export tariffs on domain names, or on IP space?


    Tariffs and censorship are precisely why there is opposition to the UN exerting control over the internet. The nations that compose the UN have demonstrably less support for free exchange of information, and the UN has already made noises about taxing data transfer on the internet to raise money for their own ends. Given that set of facts, I prefer the status quo.

  • Re:America (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:30AM (#14043304) Journal
    Because those people who live in the US are either burying their heads in the sand or trying to work out how to fix their country before it becomes completely broken.

    Those of us who live in countries that are heading the same way as the USA are trying to work out some way of avoiding it, and consider that more important than who controls the root DNS servers - if the USA really tries to screw around with that then there will be some incentive to fix it, but at the moment there isn't really.

    Those people who live in countries which respect freedom and the rights of the individual (assuming that such a place exists) are keeping very, very quiet about it, in case immigration suddenly becomes overwhelmed.

    In Wales we seem to have sensible politicians at the moment (unusual, I know) - my MEP campaigned strongly against software patents. Unfortunately they are subordinate to the idiots in London. Maybe we adopt Jasper Fforde's idea, and become The People's Republic of Wales...

  • by flyinwhitey (928430) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:31AM (#14043316)
    I'm sorry, but you have made a common error, which I must correct.

    The United States, as a country, has no hate speech laws.

    Such laws are the province of local (mostly state) governments, and have never had their Constitutionality genuinely challenged.

    Please don't generalize a local law into a nationwide ideal.

    PS A federal hate crime amendment was defeated in the Senate about a month ago. So for all of you planning to mention that, don't.
  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:31AM (#14043325) Homepage Journal
    ``...to serve the internet? China?''

    Ok, so far so good.

    ``What other nation of the world could guarantee the free speech implicit to the internet, as sites like slashdot are testament to?''

    What? The country that has free speech zones [amconmag.com], has the media only telling half of the news (the other half censored by themselves - or maybe there is some entity imposing censorship on them after all?) or even blatant lies (I'm thinking of Fox here); the country where one of the political parties blocked Internet access to their campaign site from outside the borders; the country where disagreeing with the government can get you labeled anti-patriotic or even considered supporting terrorists?

    The country that invades other countries based on false allegations of possesion of weapons of mass destruction and ridiculous claims of being a threat, without even so much as an apology, or even admitting guilt? The country where corporations have so much power that some people find it hard to believe voting in elections still makes sense?

    The country that had Dmitri Sklyarov arrested for breaking a law that wasn't even in power in the country where he lived and worked? The country where the corporate world is a circus of lawyers, with the lawsuits flying even beyond the country's borders, draining the recipients' money and energy, even thought the lawsuits are often completely without merit? The country that, at the same time, lets some of the worst offenders go unpunished?

    Yes, there's a lot of USA bashing in this post. Yet, I feel it's no more outrageous than the suggestion the parent makes that the USA is the best country in the world to protect free speech on the Internet. I can think of plenty of countries that would be on about equal footing with the USA.
  • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:33AM (#14043342) Homepage Journal
    50% of the world is NOT free! If you count number of countries, the shithole dictatorships far outnumber the free countries. If you count number of people in non-free countries, China makes 25% single-handed. I'd trust the US, even now, more than I would trust "the world".
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:33AM (#14043344)
    You're right, error in translation on my part.

    Furthermore the parliament cannot propose laws, so it's really not in the position to "lord over mundane aspects of life". Maybe you're thinking of the Council of Ministers or (most probably) the Commission? The commissioners are appointed by the member states, so maybe that's what you were referrring to. Even then:

            * Governments of member states are democraticly elected


    HAHAHAHAHA!

    I like how Germany passed the EU constitution so overwhelmingly through it's parliament while it's people had similiar ambivalence toward it as the French did. I mean, it was not only off by public opinion by a few percent - but the vote of 569 to 23.

    I wonder if it went to referendum, how overwhelmingly it would have passed. Or not.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4539393.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    We can trust our democratically elected officials for nothing. It's not surprising when the vote in most democracies gets reduced to that of the South Park election parody - Douche vs. Turd.
  • by Masa (74401) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:35AM (#14043360) Journal
    ... with this issue is that it seems like there is some sort of systematic slander campaign in the US press to make the UN look bad. This thing has gone so far that now every time when someone mentions anything related to the UN, the most vocal part of the crowd will yell things about food for oil program and how the UN is The Great Evil. I don't know, how common this negative attitude is overall, but it's clear that the age-old attitude against the UN is raising its head again.

    It has been interesting to see, how surprisingly many will state that the UN is same as the EU, which it isn't, and how ignorant the general population can sometimes be. (To these people I would recommend to take a quick look to the world history and how things have built up.) All this however is (at least in my opinion) a clear sing of some sort of anti-EU attitude that is growing in the USA and this can turn into something bigger and worse in the future. It looks like that the USA would really like to cut all connections to the outside world and start living in the isolation. This is especially sad, because there seems to be more and more issues nowadays that require international co-operation between countries. So, all this anti-EU and anti-UN crap I have seen lately is doing nothing good to anyone.

    Personally, I don't care how is controlling the Internet as long as it is kept free and functional for everyone. Things have been working pretty decently so far, so why to change anything. But what I care is this ignorant mentality, which seems to color news stories related to EU or UN.

    Finally, as far as I know, the UN is not a "nation". It doesn't have a nationality. This seems to be a thing that most people tend to forget. Also, I have understood that the UN does not have a single body or single agenda, which it is trying to pursue. The UN was designed to be a democratic organisation with different sub-organisations, which try to improve this world we are living in. Yes, sometimes some individuals might have some selfish motives, but in the general, the UN was meant to be something completely different what American people seems to think.

    OK, now I stop this ranting. Sorry if my opinions hurt somebody. And sorry about my bad English. It just pisses me off to see this black and white thinking I've seen lately when reading news and forum postings.
  • by kisak (524062) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:36AM (#14043374) Homepage Journal
    Actually, even though one can paint this as a "victory" for the US (been some time since last time ;-), I think the UN is very happy about the outcome. This is because this oversight committee is set up with the approval of most countries in the world, most notably both the EU and the US. International law is a slow moving process, which is based much on precedence and established ways for countries to cooperate. When a relative new thing (on the time scale of international law) like the internet comes a long, it is important then to make a new framework for countries to cooperate and make rules (treaties) that affected countries agree too. Of course international law will take inspiration from similar technology, like the telephone system, but there are many new challenges when talking about the internet.

    This committee will now start its work and lay down a precedence on how the different countries can cooperate and make international agreements when it comes to how to run the internet effectively. Again, with the blessing of most UN nation as always is important when forming working international law. Of course, much precedence is already made by ICANN, but many countries were not particularly impressed with how ICANN has been run. This committee will make start making suggestions to ICANN how to change its course on certain issues. And in some years down the line, ICANN will again have to justify its existence, and the UN will by then have a working system to take over if this committee does its work properly (and ICANN doesn't).

    I guess this can be seen as the first step to get rid of ICANN, or a chance for ICANN to reform. Whatever spin you like to put on it. It is at any rate a good thing that an agreement has been reached.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:38AM (#14043395) Journal

    Do the US vote who gets to be Secretary of State? Defence? DHS ? Didn't think so.

    SecDef has absolutely no power over American citizens or American Armed Forces. He doesn't even have the authority to tell a private in the Army to drive him somewhere. He certainly can't launch nuclear weapons. What he can do is relay the President's orders to the Armed Forces, act as the second voice of approval in a nuclear launch (two-man system), and advise the President on matters relating to defense.

    In the American system of Government that's what the cabinet does. It advises the President. The only cabinet member that you could make a case for needing to be an elected official would be the Attorney General. And there would be disadvantages of having him elected as well -- he could be open to political pressure -- which is the reason why we don't elect Federal judges and they have lifetime appointments. Of course having him appointed by the President is a conflict as well (if he needs to investigate the Executive Branch) -- but that's what Special Prosecutors and Grand Juries are for.

    Nobody said it was a perfect system but it seems to have worked well enough for the last 200 years :)

  • by jasongetsdown (890117) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:49AM (#14043486)
    Why can't every country run their own Internet type network

    The siblings are missing something here. This only makes sense if you abandon the philosophy upon which the internet is built. The founding principle of openness is just as important as the fundamental technology.
    How much hubub has been raised around China trying to sensor its part of the internet? Perhaps not enough, but the paradigm you suggest would allow a state such as China to choose not to make any peering agreements and flood the local "intronet" with its own propaganda. It would become just another state run news outlet.

  • by IntlHarvester (11985) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @10:49AM (#14043489) Journal
    > Currently the US, shuts down some "Islamic Extremist" websites

    Do they shut them down by getting ICANN and NetSol to remove their DNS records? No? Then it's not a relevant point.
  • by SilicaiMan (856076) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @11:04AM (#14043632)
    The difference was that we acted on the same, shared bad intel.

    And the UN was acting on the same intelligence. There is a big misconception in the US that the UN hasn't been punishing Saddam. The truth is that it has been doing that for years, ever since the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, through economic sanctions, in a bid to limit Saddam's power, and save hundreds of thousands of innocent lives. Most of the world wasn't against the US in punishing Saddam. They were against the use of force without convincing evidence. Turns out they were right.

    I don't really understand why the American public looks down at the UN. Probably because they don't understand its role. Over the years it has done a great job in many places. It's not perfect, of course, but it's always ready to take on the dirty jobs that no one else wants.

  • by TheGavster (774657) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @11:06AM (#14043651) Homepage
    That's pretty much what you have now, except that traffic between networks is pretty much equal in both directions. You saw what unequal traffic levels do with the Level 3/Cogent thing last month. Things like that would only become more common if you had countries getting in pissing contests; it's a lot harder to change countries than change Tier 1 providers.

    And the obligatory "Yay free markets!".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @11:09AM (#14043674)
    how the unelected EU parliament tries to lord over every mundane aspect of life

    Yeah, I'm sure glad the American government doesn't try to do stuff like that.

    - is what I'd say if I hadn't read a newspaper in 50 years and was completely ignorant of things like "digital rights management" or "the USA PATRIOT Act".

    It must be nice to live in a cave... on Mars... with your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears.
  • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @11:15AM (#14043738)

    Last time I checked I had the right to be a neo-Nazi and try to convert others to my viewpoint in the United States. Last time I checked I still had the right to wear religious clothing to public school in the United States.

    That's because the US didn't really suffer all that much because of the nazis. Yes, they lost quite a few soldiers; but Europe was reduced to smoking ruins and half of it was occupied by Soviet empire. Germany still hasn't recovered completely; the eastern half still suffers the results of the communistic dictatorship era, a direct result of nazism.

    But put on a T-shirt saying "Osama rules !", go stand next to where the World Trade Center used to be, and start giving Al-Qaida recruitment leaflets to everyone passing by. Let's see how long you'll walk free.

    Once you've been arrested for being a potential terrorist, you can reflect on how Al-Qaida is to Americans pretty much what Nazi Party is to Europe, with about 10 000 -fold difference in deaths caused by them - in material destruction the difference is simply uncomparable; Al-Qaida destroyed two scyscrapers, World War II reduced most major cities of Europe to rubble.

    The point here is that Americans, at least in this respect, are no more or less free than Europeans; the USA simply has a different boogeyman.

    We fought a revolution for those ideas.

    Actually, didn't you revolve so that you wouldn't need to pay taxes to England ? And now you pay them to Washington instead. The more things change ;)...

    People left Europe and came over to North America for religious freedom even before there was a United States of America.

    A nonexistent state can not curtail anyones freedoms, so this is hardly surprising.

  • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @11:15AM (#14043739)
    How about Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Trinidad or Bosnia and Herzegovina? They're all better than the USA [rsf.org] when it comes to press freedom. As has been pointed out before, citing the worst alternative is not a valid argument.

    The real answer is that no single country should be trusted with control of the Internet and that the UN didn't want to control but to manage the 'net.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @11:15AM (#14043741)
    I believe China illustrates that indivual nations have control over the content that their nations receive and provide from/to the internet.

    The US doesn't tell China that they can not level such controls over their countries internet domain. China wishes to put what westerners consider censorship over their .cn and over content coming into China.

    This shows that indiviual nations have control over the internet in their country if they seek it.

    I do not see where the UN has the technical infrastructor needed to managed what ICANN does. Also, ICANN is being turned over to the private industry, recall that you couldn't get a domain except throught the ICANN arm.

    Since the mid 1990's there has been a group working on turning the control over to the private industry at an international level and that is happening, the first of which was the registrants, they are companies from around the globe.

    The UN is supposed to the the new and improved "League of Nations". The UN should focus more on political matters. A country that doesn't allow industry the room to manage and grow their business will have strife amongst it's citizenship.

    The UN should work to improve individual freedoms around the world and thy must do this at the political rather than business level.

    In order for businesses to strive and at the highly competative global level, a political system must be in place that encourages individual freedoms. Strivung globally improves a nations prosperity and therefor improves the opportunities it's citizens can partake in.

    The current structure of ICANN is right for the present state of the world, and the future should see private industry in an even greater role worldwide.

    The UN has more pressing issues to spend their time and resources on. The cost of these meetings in personnel and costs could have went to Human Rights issues on nations that violate them.

    Monique Bizzell
  • Yay! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gyakusetsu (930337) <gyakusetsu@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @11:19AM (#14043772) Homepage
    The USA government may love to regulate things into bureacratic ineffiency, but they still don't do it as badly as the rest of the world! Here's to a (somewhat) free Internet!
  • by Easy2RememberNick (179395) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @11:22AM (#14043803)
    Canada.

      Excuse me but I believe Canada has far more freedom than the US has. Gay marriage, marijuana acceptance, your soldiers fleeing here, DMC and RIAA free, only recently did we get gun registration, no Intelligent Design forced in schools, available cheap prescription drugs and free medical care, a very diverse multi-cultural society...I'm sure there are lot's more examples!

      Sure we have our faults but I think overall we have the most freedom of any nation. Part of that is Geography, look at where the US and Canada are, we have no enemies at our borders, we have two oceans (three for Canada) between us and most of the World. We have been isulated for the most part from World aggression throughout our history. ...oh yeah, and where do you think most of the power (powering those servers) going to your east coast comes from? ;)
     
  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @11:33AM (#14043888) Journal

    Once you've been arrested for being a potential terrorist

    Actually, merely wearing a t-shirt that says "Osama Rules" would not get you arrested for being a terrorist. It certainly wouldn't get you convicted for anything. And before you throw out the name Jose Padilla or anybody like that, I'd like to point out that there's a huge difference between wearing a t-shirt (arguably free speech) and planning a dirty bomb attack. Not that I wouldn't agree with you that he is being unfairly held without trial.

    Wearing such a t-shirt at ground zero would likely paint a giant bull's-eye on your back and get the shit beaten out of you. In fact wearing such a t-shirt anywhere in New York City would probably ensure that you got an ass-whooping. But that's just fine -- free speech doesn't mean you get to escape the consequences of your speech. It only means that you get to say it in the first place. And I rather suspect if I wore a Nazi armband to certain places in Europe that I would get the shit beaten out of me too :)

    Passing out the recruitment leaflets could be another matter. That would probably be considered supporting a terrorist organization. But you were passing out leaflets telling Al Qaida's side of the story (infidels in the Holy Land, Israel, etc, etc) you wouldn't be breaking any laws. Think I can pass out leaflets in some European countries telling Hitler's side of the story?

    The point here is that Americans, at least in this respect, are no more or less free than Europeans; the USA simply has a different boogeyman.

    I disagree. I think I've made my point in the paragraphs above :)

    Actually, didn't you revolve so that you wouldn't need to pay taxes to England ? And now you pay them to Washington instead. The more things change ;)...

    Actually it wasn't the fact that we were being taxed by the UK. It was the fact that we were being taxed by them and no representation in Parliment. Leading to the rallying cry of "No Taxation without Representation".

  • by dfenstrate (202098) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `etartsnefd'> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @11:34AM (#14043901)
    Why would anyone need a slander campaign to make the UN look bad?

    Standard news will make the UN look bad all on it's own- which you'd know if you've been paying any attention to the oil-for-food scandal, or any other story that's popped up in the past decade or so.

    It just pisses me off to see this black and white thinking

    I'm sure you're into all sorts of sophisticated and multi-layered shades of grey, but when it comes down to it, there is still Good, Evil, Better, Worse, etc. People like you would use the justification of 'sophistication' to shut down your naturaul-born facilities for judgement, and actually consider any situation less clearly, and take no resolute position or action- all in the name of appearing 'compassionate' and 'understanding'. Such thinking makes a man less useless, slow, and indecisive.

    Don't keep your mind too open, buddy, or people will throw a lot of trash into it.
  • by jesterpilot (906386) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @11:51AM (#14044055) Homepage
    Any country where people do not blindly believe they're the most enlightned in the world (and get modded up "insightful" for that).
  • by jesterpilot (906386) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:03PM (#14044179) Homepage
    USA: Do as we say.
    UN: Sorry, the rest of the world doesn't agree.

    USA: You must do as we say.
    UN: But really, the rest of the world doesn't agree.

    USA: You are running out of time. You must do what we say, and do it now.
    UN: You are irritating the rest of the world. They want something else. You should respect that.

    USA: The fact that you don't take your responsibility to do as we say, proves you irrelevant because of your disrespect for freedom and democracy.
    UN: Still, the vast majority is against your proposal.

    USA, puts fingers in ears: DOASWESAYDOASWESAYDOASWESAYDOASWESAY NOW YOU FORCED US TO START BOMBING TO DEFEND THE FREE WORLD. THE FREE WORLD, THE FREE WORLD, THE FREEEEEEEEEEEE WORLD. WE ARE THE FREEEEEEEE WORLD, NOONE IS FREE ONLY WE ARE FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE, THE FREEEEEEE WORLD, THE FREEEEEEE WORLD [...]
  • It aint broke (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GeorgeHernandez (796954) <gh&georgehernandez,com> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:05PM (#14044201) Homepage

    Usually I'm not for the U.S. having special treatment (equal treatment under law), but I'll make an exception for the Internet. It works, it aint broke, it's internationally very libre and practically gratis. Everyone is also free to explore variations, fixes, improvements, etc. but this should be tested by techies and not bureaucrats.

    I'm sure we'll eventually truly integrate Unicode in URIs but since ASCII and the Latin alphabet are at the heart of the C-like languages, *NIX, and Microsoft, it will never go away in computers. Unless of course we have to convert to alien computer technology.

  • by trollable (928694) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:14PM (#14044285) Homepage
    This discussion should clear the different issues. For me, there is at least two things: DN allocation and DN requests. The first one required some kind of centralization, to avoid dupes. Each country is free to manage its own name space. Some international organizations could also get its own, like .eu today. We could have .un for example (i don't know if .un is already attributed). IMHO, generic domains, being international, should be moved to the UN or to the .us domain, to make it clear for every one.
    OTOH, the second one should not be centralized. There is no reason for having root servers. Replicating the DNS database is something quite easy so we should have root servers at least in each country (plus some additional ones). Additionaly every one should be allowed to use the root servers they want. Shutting down the us servers would have no effect on users. Massive changes would be detected and stopped. Limited changes would still be possible but at soon they're detected, people would be able to switch to a more 'reliable' root server.
    Summary: no generic domain (.com -> .com.us or .com.un), no central root servers
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:14PM (#14044287)
    Most Americans don't like the idea of a huge corrupt overpowered beauracracy that seems to do nothing

    At least we don't like corrupt FOREIGN beauracracies... Homegrown [whitehouse.gov] ones are just fine.

  • by Wellspring (111524) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:18PM (#14044334)
    You can't just say "we're all thieves" and leave it at that.

    • Different levels of corruption. In the US, corruption is isolated and fairly low (sorry, it is outrageous to us when we find it but it's minor compared to our GDP). In most of the world, bribery isn't just a pandemic, it's part of the accepted way of doing business.
    • In US hands, the DNS system is largely not political. Domain names are not revoked or transferred for political reasons. Under UN control, the leverage of being the ultimate arbiter of whether you have a site or not gives them the lever they need to impose political and social controls on content and usage-- which is what Iran, China and Brazil are really after.
    • Basically, you're assuming that because things work one way in your corner of the world, that every other system will fundamentally resemble the one you're used to. Anyone who's worked with one of the land-line telecoms in Europe (for example) knows that that ain't necessarily so.
    • Another issue is this: in much of the world, it's POWER, not money, that is at stake. Dissidents and underclasses are suddenly (slowly) starting to embrace technology as a way to reach more of their countrymen than ever before. Dictatorships and theocracies are horrified. They haven't hesitated to kill to maintain control, and they won't shrink from trying to manipulate the internet's technical architecture. And those kinds of countries get more votes than free prosperous democracies.


    Make no mistake, there were huge issues at stake here. Claiming that who has authority in the system is irrelevant is a case of cynical naivete. Cynical, because you're assuming that any system will be equally corrupt. Naive, because you underestimate how bad it can really get.
  • by EnglishTim (9662) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:28PM (#14044421)
    Last time I checked I had the right to be a neo-Nazi and try to convert others to my viewpoint in the United States. Last time I checked I still had the right to wear religious clothing to public school in the United States.

    Last time I checked you were not allowed to burn the US Flag, though.

    I can burn any flag I like.

    My point is that Europe and US are largely similarly free. The difference is in the details.

    People left Europe and came over to North America for religious freedom even before there was a United States of America.

    That is true. Likewise, some people left the US to come to Europe during the McCarthy era for their political freedoms. Both Europe and the US have moved on since.
  • Conviction (Score:2, Insightful)

    by marx (113442) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:40PM (#14044578)
    There are many people in Guantanamo Bay who have been a victim of essentially exactly what you are claiming will not happen. They have been held for several years without trial and have been subject to torture. So your talk about free speech is just bullshit.
  • by Monoman (8745) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:47PM (#14044659) Homepage
    I follow you but what is stopping China from doing that now if they REALLY wanted to isolate themselves?
  • by ianscot (591483) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:49PM (#14044686)
    and who better than the US...?

    Nice troll, and good results so far in the modding anyway... The idea is that no one country should have "control over the internet" in ways that don't include oversight by others. "Transparency" is the usual jargon. Nobody, including us, has had it.

    I've corresponded with some friends in Ireland and France over this one, and it's not like they haven't ever read the word "Carnivore" in a news item, you know? You'd like my friends to trust us because you wave a flag and think rosy thoughts about how we're founded on principles of liberty, or something? While all three branches of the federal government are in the hands of a party whose authoritarian leanings couldn't be more clear?

  • by elrous0 (869638) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:56PM (#14044762)
    free speech doesn't mean you get to escape the consequences of your speech. It only means that you get to say it in the first place.

    I always love to hear that argument. I love it because it broadens the definition of "free speech" so much as to render it utterly meaningless. By that definition, ALL human beings in all times, all places, and under all regimes had "free speech." Hell even Jews in Nazi Germany could "say it in the first place." Of course, they would be carted away to "worker camps" about 5 minutes after they said it, but hey, you can't escape the consequences of your speech.

    -Eric

  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:10PM (#14044909) Journal
    It's simple. A large proportion of the Slashdot crowd lives in the United States.

    If a large proportion of the Slashdot crowd worked for Microsoft, I'm sure they'd cheer that monopoly on, too.
  • by Decameron81 (628548) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:12PM (#14044944)
    "Actually, merely wearing a t-shirt that says "Osama Rules" would not get you arrested for being a terrorist. It certainly wouldn't get you convicted for anything. And before you throw out the name Jose Padilla or anybody like that, I'd like to point out that there's a huge difference between wearing a t-shirt (arguably free speech) and planning a dirty bomb attack. Not that I wouldn't agree with you that he is being unfairly held without trial.

    Wearing such a t-shirt at ground zero would likely paint a giant bull's-eye on your back and get the shit beaten out of you. In fact wearing such a t-shirt anywhere in New York City would probably ensure that you got an ass-whooping. But that's just fine -- free speech doesn't mean you get to escape the consequences of your speech. It only means that you get to say it in the first place. And I rather suspect if I wore a Nazi armband to certain places in Europe that I would get the shit beaten out of me too"


    I completely disagree with your concept that being beaten to death does not take away your freedom of speech. In fact I can't think of a worse punishment than that for something you might say. Hell, if freedom of speech means getting a chance to say what you want to say then you always have that.

    If you fear for your safety simply because of what you're saying or what you want to say, then sorry my friend, but you don't have freedom of speech on that topic.

    "Passing out the recruitment leaflets could be another matter. That would probably be considered supporting a terrorist organization. But you were passing out leaflets telling Al Qaida's side of the story (infidels in the Holy Land, Israel, etc, etc) you wouldn't be breaking any laws. Think I can pass out leaflets in some European countries telling Hitler's side of the story?"


    Wearing a t-shirt that says "Osama rocks!" can be seen as exactly the same thing. After all you are supporting Osama by doing that.

    "I disagree. I think I've made my point in the paragraphs above :)"


    Only if you agree first that being killed is not a way to restrict your freedom of speech. I think otherwise because I definately would refrain from saying those things if my life was at risk.
  • by Shotgun (30919) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:13PM (#14044969)
    Last time I checked you were not allowed to burn the US Flag, though.

    You didn't check very well, did you?

  • Re:THBBBPPPPPP!!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by flibuste (523578) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:28PM (#14045115)

    while the rest of the world screams bloody murder at their stupid governments because they can't reach many of the sites they use daily. (Slashot being an example of this.)

    You wrongly assume that the "rest of the world" eagerly read things on USA web sites.

    First, as you undoubtly know, english is not spoken by everyone. Actually, Chinese and Hindi would be a better target language.

    Second, there is many similar sites in many countries, which you probably do not know because you'd preferrably read american web sites first.

    Third, what "sites" are used "daily" by, say the average people outside of USA? EBay, Amazon, Google, Yahoo, definitly not slashdot. All those big players have portals in other countries. So aside from technical documentation, research papers, american web sites are not so important to the "rest of the world". And you can bet the aformentionned sites or people would make sure the InternetS would both be reachable from where they are. That's how the internet started: exchanging research papers, results and such.

    So, no, our american overlords are not so omnipotent that the rest of the world cannot live without them.

  • Chinese or Hindi (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cro Magnon (467622) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:34PM (#14045178) Homepage Journal
    Chinese and Hindi might reach a lot of people, but they'd all be clustered in one place. English can reach people in all the continents, not just one.
  • Re:THBBBPPPPPP!!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:08PM (#14045475)
    The thing that bugs me most about this is where was Europe's computer industry while ours was building Apple ][s and IBM PCs? Where was European and Japanese companies when we were developing DOS, CPM, Windows, MacOS, Xerox PARC? Why is Japan running computers with Microsoft's OS? Where the hell was Sony and Mitsubishi when all of this was being developed? Were they even trying to create their own technologies?

    It kind of reminds me of the airliner thing. France and England got pissed that all the airliners were coming from the US, McDonnell Douglass and Boeing, and so decided to create their own aerospace company from scratch. But where was the British and French aerospace industry? Surely they have fighters built there, right? Why couldn't they build airliners?

    Basically, if these countries had been half as progressive as the US was, they'd *already have* control of the Internet because they would have been there setting up DNS with us in the first place. It just bothers me. If you miss the boat, you can't swim out to catch it.
  • by PhraudulentOne (217867) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:12PM (#14045517) Homepage Journal
    I have no problem with the USA having control of DNS right now. If the Gov't got involved and wanted to use it to influence other countries, then yes, I would have a problem. I support a decentralized layout of DNS though. Each country should have a couple of ROOT DNS servers handling their own TLD. The .com, .net, etc should be mirrored to ALL OTHER ROOT SERVERS. Authority over the main TLDs (not country-specific) could still be handled by the USA (they did make the TLDs after all), but they should be mirrored (read-only) to every other ROOT server out there. This would increase redundancy and share workload. Each country can control its own TLD with as many ROOT servers as it deems necessary. Each country can promote its own TLD in its own country. Hopefully businesses in those countries will make more use of their own TLDs. If the USA went crazy and wanted to shut down DNS, everyone would still have their own TLDs, their own ROOTs, and their own way of keeping communication active. I would rather use .ca than .com anyway.

    Now, with all the Freedom pissing contests going on in this thread, lets get one thing straight: None of us are free. We are free-minded, but in the real world, we aren't free to do what we want. We can't go and find a piece of land, build a home, and live on it. We have to pay someone (who paid someone else, who never really owned the land anyway), and then we have to pay taxes on the purchase, and then we have to pay yearly taxes on the property - sort of like a LEASE. If we don't get a job, we can't live on "our" land, so the Bank (who doesn't really own the land) gets to take it away. We are only free if we lump our existing responsibilities into what we call "Freedom."

    Stop bitching about who is more free. The USA has shitty laws, Canada has shitty laws, everyone has shitty laws. Laws = control = lack of Freedom. If there is a law, it controls you in some way (unless it's the obvious Law #1 - no laws).
  • Re:THBBBPPPPPP!!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @03:14PM (#14046041) Journal

    Where was European and Japanese companies when we were developing DOS, CPM, Windows, MacOS, Xerox PARC?

    I wouldn't be much of a Slashdotter if I didn't point out that you forgot Unix. Which of course was created by Bell Labs. An American outfit :)

    Basically, if these countries had been half as progressive as the US was, they'd *already have* control of the Internet because they would have been there setting up DNS with us in the first place. It just bothers me. If you miss the boat, you can't swim out to catch it.

    You don't have much of a reason to be progressive/innovative when you have a 35 hour workweek and can't get fired or laid off.

  • by kisak (524062) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @03:25PM (#14046130) Homepage Journal
    It is strange how little people understand of the power and influence of the UN. Don't kid yourself, the UN is a very powerful institution, and its influence has been steadily growing since WWII. This is of course why neo-cons are doing their futile fight against the UN with all those lies and propaganda. It is also why the US leaders after WWII were smart and made sure the UN headquarter is on US soil.

    The main goal for UN is to formulate and shape international law, and in this day and age with the rapid rise in international trade and travel, the UN has become more and more important. As I point out, international law is not formulated in some parliament in a days vote, but takes long time to establish and set into practice. But when some principles of international law have become practice, it is also a long process to change it again. This is why the UN process is so powerful and so important for all countries to play a part in. The way to play a part is of course by having good diplomates and good allies. (The lack of diplomatic abilities is one area where the Bush team will hurt US interests on the longest time scale, for these reasons).

    Take as an example the International Criminal Court which now starting to make indicements. Its history goes back to the court cases against people from the third reich in 1946 (and also international courts before), and it has been a very slow process to make it into a permanent court in charge of cases of genocide etc. But this slow process is what you get when you need to build a system which most of the UN nations will respect and abide by. You might think that ICC will not matter to you, but the fact is that international law and court verdicts by this court will have direct influence on the laws in the country you live in. For instance, there are several verdicts in the supreme court in the US where the ruling is based on what the judges see as international law. The ICC took a long time to make, but its rulings will also have a long lasting effect.

    It is naive to think that the slow pace of the UN system is a sign of weakness. It is just a sign of the process, not of a bureacracy that is not effect.

  • Re:Conviction (Score:2, Insightful)

    by marx (113442) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @04:13PM (#14046600)
    captured on the battlefield engaged in hostile actions against American Armed Forces?
    How can you say that? Do you know that all prisoners at Guantanamo have been engaged in hostile actions against American Armed Forces? Even the American military itself says that's not the case. Read this [washingtonpost.com] article. Here's an excerpt:
    Adel is innocent. I don't mean he claims to be. I mean the military says so. It held a secret tribunal and ruled that he is not al Qaeda, not Taliban, not a terrorist. The whole thing was a mistake: The Pentagon paid $5,000 to a bounty hunter, and it got taken.

    The military people reached this conclusion, and they wrote it down on a memo, and then they classified the memo and Adel went from the hearing room back to his prison cell. He is a prisoner today, eight months later. And these facts would still be a secret but for one thing: habeas corpus.

    Why are you posting lies?

    It doesn't matter if there aren't laws specifically against standing in New York with an "Osama Rules" t-shirt, if the US government can arbitrarily arrest people and put them in prison without trials. You don't need to have violated any laws, you're still in prison.

    I don't think you would be allowed to wear a t-shirt with a Hitler motive in Germany. But if you are in America and female, you can be arrested for taking off your t-shirt in public. I don't really see why one law means "free speech" and the other doesn't. It's essentially the same thing, it's just that Hitler is taboo in Germany and sex is taboo in America. The difference is that in Germany you would at least have a trial, in America you can be thrown in jail without a trial and tortured (not theoretically, this is happening as we speak).

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