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> Cyber empire?, Who should own the net?
moif
post Oct 17 2005, 02:27 PM
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EU-Commissioner Viviane Reding has called for the internet to be placed under UN authority. Her call is backed up by near all the EU nations as well as Russia, Brazil and most of the so called 'developing nations'.

The USA has rejected such calls:

QUOTE(BBC news online)
"We will not agree to the UN taking over the management of the internet," said Ambassador David Gross, the US coordinator for international communications and information policy at the State Department.

"Some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable."



The fears regarding US control of the internet come after examples of the USA using its position as 'owner' of the internet for own gain as well as extending its legal powers into the realm of other nations in what many are describing as an American bid to extend its laws to the rest of the world.

One particular high profile case (by no means an isolated example) in the UK has raised a lot of fuss as the USA has used new legal agreements with the UK (designed to fight terrorism) to call for three British businessmen to be extradicted to the USA, in the wake of the Enron scandal, to face charges for 'crimes' they committed in Britain. These crimes are not considered as such in Britain, and even the bank which lost the money did not regard the loss as a crime. The only people who do, are the US government and the reason why it is involved in the case is because the money was 'pinged' through a US bank.

QUOTE
Mr Bermingham said that US had no right to call for their extradition as the case involves British defendants and the offences were allegedly committed against a UK company.

"The US is almost unique in the world today in being able to criminalise behaviour that has absolutely no nexus with the US whatsoever," he said.

"They can accuse somebody of breaking US law who has never set foot in the US, and they are doing it on a daily basis and they are doing it with gay abandon."
Link.


On the opposite side of the coin is the matter of Eschalon which is a US/UK run global signals and e-systems monitoring network that reputedly has access to any and all files on the internet. In other words (and if you believe the theory) the CIA can see what you have on your computer.

Link.


ph34r.gif


Should America continue to own and run the internet?

Can the UN do a better job?


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Amlord
post Oct 17 2005, 03:10 PM
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What authority does the UN have in this?

According to the UN Charter the UN is for:

QUOTE
to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,


The UN's purpose is for limiting war and increasing human rights and freedoms. Where does the internet figure into that mission? ermm.gif

Should America continue to own and run the internet?

Has Icann done a bad job? Let's not forget that Icann is a private company. It is not the US government. It is not "American owned and run".

Can the UN do a better job?

No. It is outside of the UN's mission and the UN has not given me any faith that they can run such a task efficiently. More likely, it would be used as a tool to harm US interests.
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Jobius
post Oct 17 2005, 09:16 PM
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QUOTE(moif @ Oct 17 2005, 07:27 AM)
The fears regarding US control of the internet come after examples of the USA using its position as 'owner' of the internet for own gain...

Can you name any examples of this phenomenon? The Enron-related case you cite doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Internet.

QUOTE(moif @ Oct 17 2005, 07:27 AM)
On the opposite side of the coin is the matter of Eschalon which is a US/UK run global signals and e-systems monitoring network that reputedly has access to any and all files on the internet. In other words (and if you believe the theory) the CIA can see what you have on your computer.

Echelon monitors data in transit. If the data stays on your computer, Echelon won't have a chance to see it.

Should America continue to own and run the internet?

Yes, to the limited extent that it does as sponsor of ICANN.

Can the UN do a better job?

No. The UN is not committed to the ability of individuals to freely communicate. It is committed to the idea of national sovereignty, which is to be expected given its membership and history. Unfortunately, there are plenty of countries like China that believe their sovereignty is threatened by the free exchange of ideas, and already filter the Internet at their borders.

I generally favor the approach that the US has taken by putting the root DNS control into the hands of ICANN, which focuses on technical matters:

QUOTE
ICANN is responsible for coordinating the management of the technical elements of the DNS to ensure universal resolvability so that all users of the Internet can find all valid addresses.

Link

Putting the DNS system in the hands of the UN will give more countries the opportunity to block domains that they find objectionable. I don't think that's a good thing. Look at the controversy over the .xxx domain:

QUOTE(Brazil @ responding to ICANN's preliminary approval of .xxx domains)
For those that are still wondering what Triple-X means, let's be specific, Mr. Chairman. They are talking about pornography. These are things that go very deep in our values in many of our countries. In my country, Brazil, we are very worried about this kind of decision-making process where they simply decide upon creating such new top-level generic domain names.

Link

Of course, the Bush administration also objected to .xxx, but in general, I think the US is less likely to actually block "objectionable" domains than most other countries, due to our strong First Amendment tradition.

The Internet empowers individuals, and I think the less government interferes with that the better. Handing the Internet to the UN would invite more government interference.
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Moonduck
post Oct 17 2005, 10:23 PM
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Should America continue to own and run the internet?

No one entity owns the internet, per se. It is too decentralised for overall ownership. ICANN controls the root directory, and has a fair amount of power over 'net interchange, but I cannot call that ownership.

The US Dept of Commerce does have veto authority over ICANN decisions, but I would not call this control, precisely. It can veto, yes, and it would be naive to think that it does not influence, but the internet is not an arm of the US govt.

Can the UN do a better job?

First, as was stated above, I see exactly zero justification as to why the UN should be in control of the internet. Such an idea is far outside its' intended function.

My other major concern, in this area, is the pervasive lack of respect for free speech and expression showed by far too many members of the international community. While we are certainly not perfect on that front, our laws do protect free speech quite a bit more strongly than many other nations (the EU Constitution, for example, has some serious problems regarding its' guarantees of protection of free expression). In essence, the 'net is all about expression and the transfer and sharing of information, and I trust the US govt to protect that free flow of data more than, say, China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, etc.

This should not be taken as some expression of nationalism. I have a lot of issues with my own government. I just have no desire to see control of the 'net pass to a body composed of so very many free speech suppressors as are in the UN.
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moif
post Oct 18 2005, 10:57 AM
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Hello Jobius. Welcome to the forum.

QUOTE(Jobius)
Can you name any examples of this phenomenon? The Enron-related case you cite doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Internet.
I was under the impression that I already did, that the 'Net West Three' as they are called are to be charged in the USA for a crime known as wire fraud...

QUOTE(Wikipedia)
Wire fraud is a legal concept in the United States Code which provides for enhanced penalty of any criminal activity if it is determined that the occurrence of the crime involved electronic communications of any sort, at any phase of the event. Like mail fraud, this statute is often used as a basis for a separate federal prosecution of what would otherwise have been only a violation of a state law.

The legal definition of wire fraud in the US is:

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 63 > § 1343. Fraud by wire, radio, or television 2004-08-06
Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the violation affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
Link.

...my understanding of this case (in particular) is that, A: it is not unique and B: the crimes committed by these men are not crimes in the country where they were committed, and yet they face a possible prison sentence of 35 years.

By my understanding I am forced to conclude that the US government intends to prosecute these men and is misusing UK legislation brought in to speed up the transfer of suspected terrorists to do so. Since these men are not terrorists, at least not by any definition I am aware of... and since the 'crime' they are being charged with by the US government is wire fraud I see no other way to look upon this matter except as a gross misuse of US government authority over the electronic communications systems in an attempt to impose US law onto the citizens of other countries.

Whether or not the internet is directly involved in this matter is besides the point since the internet is clearly included under the description electronic communications of any sort.



QUOTE(Jobius)
Echelon monitors data in transit. If the data stays on your computer, Echelon won't have a chance to see it.
Well, first of all, how do you know what Echelon is capable of?
A lot of people believe that Echelon is only the tip of the iceberg.

Secondly, the point still stands that the USA and its allies use Echelon and other similar systems to eaves drop on the rest of the world and almost certainly misuse the system for commerical advantage (as mentioned by the Wikipedia article to which I a provided a link in my starting post)

QUOTE(Wikipedia)
Furthermore, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey has admitted using the system to uncover information about foreign companies using bribes to win contracts. The information was passed on to US companies and foreign governments were pressed to stop the bribes. Media coverage of a couple of such events tended to give the impression that ECHELON was being used to give the trade secrets of foreign companies to US companies.
Link.

You can choose to accept this interpretation or not, but the point is, most of the rest of the planet (those who don't speak English as their first language) do not trust the USA, and this goes for the democratic nations of the EU as well as the despotic regime in China.

This distrust is so strong that the EU is developing quantum encryption techniques in order to protect itself and its business interests against the USA. Link.


And, one last point regarding Echalon with regards to the internet...

Echalon was built by Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Zeta Associates.

Lockheed Martin is the largest defence contractor in the world.

QUOTE
Part 1: In the Beginning

The technology of early online was a confluence of systems, databases, and people. Although they worked together to grow a new industry, the individuals and companies instrumental in early online also competed with each other. The two systems that became virtually synonymous with the term "online" in the 1970s and 1980s were Dialog and ORBIT. Both systems owed their early growth to the persistence of individuals in scientific and technical enterprises. Dialog came out of the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, and ORBIT started within System Development Corporation, a spin-off of the RAND Corporation.
Link.

Lockheed, as it was then, built, or at least, helped to build, the internet. (I've also heard that Lockheed Martin has the power to shut the internet down, but I don't know if this is true)
No matter how 'private' ICANN may be perceived, it like every other aspect of the internet, only operates at the behest of the United States government.

The point about Lockheed Martin, the internet and Echalon is that it is utterly inconceivable that the relationship between these three entities is unrelated.


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BaphometsAdvocat...
post Oct 18 2005, 12:50 PM
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QUOTE(moif @ Oct 17 2005, 10:27 AM)
EU-Commissioner Viviane Reding has called for the internet to be placed under UN authority. Her call is backed up by near all the EU nations as well as Russia, Brazil and most of the so called 'developing nations'.

SNIP

Should America continue to own and run the internet?

Can the UN do a better job?

*



The first and most important thing to understand here is networking and the DNS system. If Russia wants to run DNS servers they can. There are 13 "root" DNS servers that are "the reference" for the rest of the internet. They don't actually get "hit" all that often. Of the 13 10 are in the US. So 3 are outside the US. It is unnecessary to control these DNS servers to control content.

This is the second most important thing. Controlling content. This is what this is all really about. Keeping information from the masses. When China wants a root server they want it to make accessing certain sites impossible. This is already possible. However, a moderately intelligent computer user could access a root DNS server thus bypassing China's "block". So a China would need to "poison" the rest of the root servers to "forget" sites a China doesn't want accessed. Again a moderately smart user could get there if they wanted. Unless! a China were to also poison the routers to "forget" sites by IP address. (Basically block them.)

The free wheeling Internet we all know and love and use for everything from duck pornography to political discussion would be radically changed. It would be possible for each country or continent to isolate themselves from one another and if the UN pushes too hard that would be the outcome.

The Internet can take care of itself. There are people who want it to be freer than it is. They're smarter than the UN. They will ultimately decide all of this.
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moif
post Oct 18 2005, 01:14 PM
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QUOTE(BaphometsAdvocate)
This is the second most important thing. Controlling content. This is what this is all really about. Keeping information from the masses.
Are you really suggesting that the EU is interested in keeping information from the masses?

This is not 'what this is really about'. The whole of the rest of the world does not revolve around China or any interest in strengthening the Chinese regime in the oppression of the Chinese people.

This is about security, yes, but its about securing our repsective interests from direct American interference and the availability of duck pornography and political debate pales into insiginifance when weighed against our security from unwelcome interference by other nations.

And why is the threat of China misusing power more frightening than the reality of America already doing it to pursue innocent European business men as 'terrorists'?

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Doclotus
post Oct 18 2005, 08:55 PM
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Should America continue to own and run the internet?
For now, yes. Two reasons support this judgement. First, I don't think ownership up to this point has been abused, in spite of the examples supplied. Icann is not synonymous with the US government so its probably better left in their hands. Second, I really don't see any other country or NGO in the world capable of doing a better job.

Can the UN do a better job?
I'm with Amlord on this one. I see this being wholly outside of the UN's charter. Nor do I think they would be terribly good at managing it.
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Jobius
post Oct 18 2005, 10:55 PM
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QUOTE(moif @ Oct 18 2005, 03:57 AM)
Hello Jobius. Welcome to the forum. 
Thanks!

QUOTE(moif)
QUOTE(Jobius)
Can you name any examples of this phenomenon? The Enron-related case you cite doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Internet.
I was under the impression that I already did, that the 'Net West Three' as they are called are to be charged in the USA for a crime known as wire fraud...

... and since the 'crime' they are being charged with by the US government is wire fraud I see no other way to look upon this matter except as a gross misuse of US government authority over the electronic communications systems in an attempt to impose US law onto the citizens of other countries.
I think that last sentence would be better written without "over the electronic communications systems."

QUOTE(moif)
Whether or not the internet is directly involved in this matter is besides the point since the internet is clearly included under the description electronic communications of any sort.
The way I read the story is that the US government got involved because of the Enron connection, not because of the electronic network involved. There's no indication that the electronic communications were run by the US, or that the US government would have behaved any differently if it had been somebody else's network.

If you're bothered by the US government asserting the right to act outside its borders, that's not something you're going to cure by letting the UN run the DNS root servers.

QUOTE(moif)
QUOTE(Jobius)
Echelon monitors data in transit. If the data stays on your computer, Echelon won't have a chance to see it.
Well, first of all, how do you know what Echelon is capable of?
No special knowledge; I've probably read some of the same articles you've read. It's widely thought to be a system for monitoring and sifting through vast amounts of data traffic intercepted from wired and wireless networks.

QUOTE(Wikipedia)
Furthermore, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey has admitted using the system to uncover information about foreign companies using bribes to win contracts. The information was passed on to US companies and foreign governments were pressed to stop the bribes.
I can believe that. I hope the Echelon data isn't used for merely commercial purposes very often, but I can believe it's happened.

QUOTE(moif)
And, one last point regarding Echalon with regards to the internet...

Echalon was built by Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Zeta Associates.

Lockheed Martin is the largest defence contractor in the world. 

QUOTE
Part 1: In the Beginning
The technology of early online was a confluence of systems, databases, and people. Although they worked together to grow a new industry, the individuals and companies instrumental in early online also competed with each other. The two systems that became virtually synonymous with the term "online" in the 1970s and 1980s were Dialog and ORBIT. Both systems owed their early growth to the persistence of individuals in scientific and technical enterprises. Dialog came out of the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, and ORBIT started within System Development Corporation, a spin-off of the RAND Corporation.
Link.

Lockheed, as it was then, built, or at least, helped to build, the internet. (I've also heard that Lockheed Martin has the power to shut the internet down, but I don't know if this is true)
The title of the article you're quoting is "Online Before the Internet," so it certainly doesn't show that Lockheed built the Internet. These were different networks. I'm glad you haven't uncritically accepted the notion that "Lockheed Martin has the power to shut the internet down."

QUOTE(moif)
No matter how 'private' ICANN may be perceived, it like every other aspect of the internet, only operates at the behest of the United States government. 
Every other aspect? When did the US government bless the IETF? How much influence does the US government have over subdomains of .dk? If the US wanted to kick China off the Internet, do you imagine it could?

My point is that the Internet is already highly decentralized. The root DNS servers are coordinated by ICANN because somebody has to coordinate them, if we want the same name to resolve to the same address, no matter where you're logging in from.

QUOTE(moif)
The point about Lockheed Martin, the internet and Echalon is that it is utterly inconceivable that the relationship between these three entities is unrelated.
I'm sorry, I can't take this seriously. I strongly suspect that this message will cross the Internet from me to you without ever touching anything made by Lockheed Martin.
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Leash
post Oct 24 2005, 07:17 AM
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I don't think it would be entirely possible for any one group of people to own the internet. There are people out there that have the power to combat such a thing, and they would combat it.
If somebody were to claim ownership of the internet, it would cause a fight for the internet.
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AuthorMusician
post Oct 24 2005, 08:29 AM
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I've read this thread with not a small bit of amusement. The Internet is just one kind of network. Would it shock anyone to know that Xerox had (and still might have) the largest private Ethernet in the world? There's nothing sacred about the Internet. Anyone can build a network, and that network can be as open as the builder wants.

Anybody old enough to remember CompuServe? That was more popular than the Internet before 1993.

Speaking of 1993, anybody remember computers before then? SNA? Dedicated telephony lines? Back when virus was a word associated with biological illness? Spyware, adware and so on were unheard of. Online information was highly trusted, which is a target for jokes today. There was one incident with a worm, and it made national headlines. Some fraud too, infamous for its day.

The Internet has been highly successful. It has come as a mixed blessing, bringing in great opportunities and also the most banal parts of humanity. Give a moron a computer and ISP (or set it up as an ISP), and what do you get? A moron with a computer and ISP (would fail as an ISP).

So if anyone doesn't like the way the Internet is managed, go out and build your own network. It's easy! Expensive, but easy. And there is no law that you have to use TCP/IP protocols for the network. Shoot, build your own protocol stack. It's just software. Well, firmware too. You might want to hire some help.

This whole issue is an argument about who owns something that is owned by nearly countless entities. Nobody asked anybody to get on the wire. Everyone has done so voluntarily, and often with a profit motive. I'm as guilty of this as the next person, but if you don't like it, don't log on to your ISP. There. Problem solved.

On another level, if a country doesn't like it, stop linking to it. It's easy! Just lock out your servers and your telephony switches. Nobody has a gun to anyone's head.

But the illusion is strong. O-mi-got, what if the Internet goes away ohmy.gif ??!! What ever will we do? Read a book? A newspaper? Take a walk? A road trip? Have an actual conversation? How could people have ever lived like this?

Indeed. Was there life before 1993? I somewhat remember one.
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post Oct 26 2005, 12:56 AM
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Ok, first off let me preface this by saying I am fairly well versed in the feasibility of setting up a private network, creating your own DNS, and networking in general. I remember CompuServe and BBSes. So I know what possibilities exists. However, solutions such as: "If you don't like it, go create your own" aren't possible for a developing country whose economy is at stake.

Now, what we really need is to fully understand what is actually going on here. The media and Senators have blown this whole thing way out of proportion so it’s easy to get confused as to what the real issue is. One day, people will learn to leave technology to the engineers. No more pointy haired flunky liberal arts business managers dictating to programmers, no journalism majors trying to explain the lastest “super computer virus worm thingy,” no politicians or judges passing laws about stuff they don’t understand. But I digress… tongue.gif

The whole US/UN internet issue isn't about controlling content, US abusing its powers and spying across the globe, or the US or UN having "control" over the Internet. What the US and the world is getting into a tizzy about is one of the four major policy issues regarding Internet governance that the Working Group for Internet Governance came up with. The WGIG was created by the UN in order "to investigate and make proposals for action, as appropriate, on the governance of Internet by 2005." Governance is a huge misnomer here so it would be best to jump to their site and see what they're all about. WGIG
QUOTE
The WGIG devoted much of its attention to the identification of public policy issues that are potentially relevant to Internet governance, as called for in paragraph 13 (\b) of the Plan of Action. It agreed to take a broad approach and not exclude any potentially relevant issue. Based on this fact-finding work, the WGIG established four key public policy areas:
            (a)        Issues relating to infrastructure and the management of critical Internet resources, including administration of the domain name system and Internet protocol addresses (IP addresses), administration of the root server system, technical standards, peering and interconnection, telecommunications infrastructure, including innovative and convergent technologies, as well as multilingualization. These issues are matters of direct relevance to Internet governance and fall within the ambit of existing organizations with responsibility for these matters;
            (\b)        Issues relating to the use of the Internet, including spam, network security and cybercrime. While these issues are directly related to Internet governance, the nature of global cooperation required is not well defined;
            (\c)        Issues that are relevant to the Internet but have an impact much wider than the Internet and for which existing organizations are responsible, such as intellectual property rights (IPRs) or international trade. The WGIG started examining the extent to which these matters are being handled consistent with the Declaration of Principles;
            (d)        Issues relating to the developmental aspects of Internet governance, in particular capacity-building in developing countries.
See “final report” on first page: here


The first issue is what the US has objections to. Currently, ICANN is responsible for the administration of the domain name system (DNS) and administers the creation top level domains (TDLs like .com .net .org) and trademark issues. ICANN’s creation was based of the principles of a green paper and a white paper issued by the US department of Commerce in 1998. “President [Clinton] directed the Secretary of Commerce to privatize the domain name system (DNS) in a manner that increases competition and facilitates international participation in its management.” (bolding mine) This document addressed the issue of a rapidly growing network and need for change. Ones such as:

QUOTE
An increasing percentage of Internet users reside outside of the U.S., and those stakeholders want to participate in Internet coordination.


The request for comments (RFCs) as asked for by the Green paper were addressed in the white paper. Most relevant to our debate is the comment and response below:

QUOTE
Comment: Almost all commenters supported the creation of a new, private not-for-profit corporation to manage DNS. Many suggested that IANA should evolve into the new corporation. A small number of commenters asserted that the U.S. Government should continue to manage Internet names and addresses. Another small number of commenters suggested that DNS should be managed by international governmental institutions such as the United Nations or the International Telecommunications Union. Many commenters urged the U.S. Government to commit to a more aggressive timeline for the new corporation's assumption of management responsibility. Some commenters also suggested that the proposal to headquarter the new corporation in the United States represented an inappropriate attempt to impose U.S. law on the Internet as a whole.

Response: The U.S. Government is committed to a transition that will allow the private sector to take leadership for DNS management. Most commenters shared this goal. While international organizations may provide specific expertise or act as advisors to the new corporation, the U.S. continues to believe, as do most commenters, that neither national governments acting as sovereigns nor intergovernmental organizations acting as representatives of governments should participate in management of Internet names and addresses. Of course, national governments now have, and will continue to have, authority to manage or establish policy for their own ccTLDs.


From this document, the responsibilities and general principles of what was to become ICANN are laid out. Throughout the document you will notice that the US is committed to "global participation in the management of Internet names and addresses." However since ICANN’s inception, the US government has continued to contradict its own policy by failing to relinquish veto power over ICANN and its special status with ICANN as the unilateral contracting and oversight authority. No one seemed to care too much as the US kept putting out various statements saying they would hand total control over to ICANN. (As an aside, most of these statements also contradicted themselves.) The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was….you guessed it, the .XXX domain. Remember that debate? I guess we're finding out the political ramifications now!! biggrin.gif Anyways, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) recent intervention in the .xxx TLD proceeding undermined the assurances that the US would not use its special relationship with ICANN to shape ICANN’s policy. The NTIA’s intervention came just three days before the vote to establish the xxx TLD and after about a million dollars were spent and 18 months of research were finished. The basis for concern about the domain was due to about 6,000 letters from hard lined, right wing Christian groups like Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. Other countries such as Brazil were also against the creation of the domain name but had no say. So it stands to reason, if a few American people can disturb the proceedings of ICANN, shouldn’t the rest of the world have a say in the matter as well?

I’ll grant you that the UN’s Working Group on Internet Governance is concerned with other “governing” issues such as spam, network security, cyber crime, international trademarks etc. etc. However, currently no one controls or is addressing these issues other than private companies. And let me assure you, that if the US, UN, China, or anyone else tried to take away your Porn on demand or what have you, one of us nerds will find away to circumvent or “hack” their restrictions. This isn’t what this issue is about though. No one controls the internet nor will any one entity ever. This is about the US government’s control over the ICANN/ the DNS. The fact of the matter is, ICANN does need reformed or to be adjourned and its responsibilities ported to a truly international organization. A non-profit, privatized company should not be responsible for making decisions that concern International Trademarks. Furthermore, there are many legitimate concerns for developing nations whose commerce is near dependent on the functioning of the internet. These among others are the issues the the WGIG (again, an entity of the UN, not the UN itself) are trying to address.

This post has been edited by psyclist: Oct 26 2005, 01:00 AM
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moif
post Oct 26 2005, 01:13 AM
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Thats a great post psyclist (yours also AuthorMusician) and I don't doubt any of it for a minute... except the premise that the US grip on ICANN is what the problem is all about.

There is a considerable amount of unease in Europe about the level of direct influence the USA commands over our internal communications systems. So much so that Europe is doing all it can to build up systems that do not rely on US controlled systems (for example, the Galileo geostationary satelite system) and this unease most certainly extends to the level of control Washington has over the internet.

The reason why I started this thread was to get a better insight into how this set of affairs was viewed from the opposite perspective, but what I find is a total dismissal that any such confrontation between the USA and the rest of the world exists with regards to signals and communication espionage.

I don't doubt that the UN is concerned that the US is not letting go of its control over ICANN, but I have, to date, not heard much about ICANN from any one in Europe at all... and I have heard quite a lot about Lockheed Martin.

So, two possibilities remain open to me.

The first is, no one here is even aware of the problem that seems to be raising hackles in Brussell.

Or...

The EU is paranoid.

I can't quite bring myself to believe the EU is going to so much trouble to safe guard itself against the USA simply because we are paranoid... especially when I read about such systems as Echalon.
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j10pilot
post Oct 26 2005, 02:43 AM
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Well, most politicians aren't technically savvy enough to understand what the ICANN does anyway. It doesn't really OWN the internet. It oversee the root servers for the world wide web and the assignment of IP addresses, among other things. This is not to say that it cannot screw you over big time. For instance, hypothetically speaking, if Britain were to go to war with America, ICANN can direct you to a fake BBC site, which has as its headline -- The British Prime Minister Announces An Unconditional Surrender. This would, of course, cause some confusion within the British population and possibly aid the American war effort. But then, the Brits still have their radio and TV so the confusion would not last long and the effects will be minimal.


QUOTE(moif @ Oct 17 2005, 10:27 PM)
Should America continue to own and run the internet?


Well, we are going to run out of IP addresses soon anyway, another solution would be to let ICANN handle the sites without country suffixes and sites in the US, and let each country handle name resolution for sites with their country suffix, i.e. Denmark gets to handle the .dm domain etc.


QUOTE
Can the UN do a better job?
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Maybe, but it really isn't that big of a deal. The chances of ICANN intentionally screwing you over is really not that big.
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