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Dontreadonme
I usually keep up with what those zany guys at the United Nations are doing, but this one slipped by me.

Financial Times Article
QUOTE
An attempt by developing countries to put management of the internet under United Nations auspices is likely to be shelved at next month's world information summit in Geneva - but the issue is now firmly on the international agenda, summit sources say.


Should the United Nations control the internet? Or is the present system administered by the Icann (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) working well enough?
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GoAmerica
QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Nov 10 2003, 09:59 PM)
Financial Times Article
QUOTE
An attempt by developing countries to put management of the internet under United Nations auspices is likely to be shelved at next month's world information summit in Geneva - but the issue is now firmly on the international agenda, summit sources say.


Should the United Nations control the internet? Or is the present system administered by the Icann (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) working well enough?

I think ICANN should stick to controlling the Internet because it has done a fine job without any unnecessary help. The UN, like everything else, would just flop it up.

The Internet is a public access point to where everyone has a freedom to flow information without anyone's control..as mentioned in your article:

QUOTE
Defenders of the status quo say handing over power to governments could threaten the untrammelled flow of information and ideas that many see as the very essence of the borderless internet.


Let ICANN stay in control. It's the only thing the US & EU can actually agree on!

QUOTE
However, the US and the European Commission are staunchly defending the ICANN model, which is based on minimal regulation and commercial principles. ICANN members are predominantly drawn from industrialised countries and the established internet community.
Platypus
QUOTE(GoAmerica @ Nov 10 2003, 11:30 PM)
QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Nov 10 2003, 09:59 PM)
Financial Times Article
QUOTE
An attempt by developing countries to put management of the internet under United Nations auspices is likely to be shelved at next month's world information summit in Geneva - but the issue is now firmly on the international agenda, summit sources say.


Should the United Nations control the internet? Or is the present system administered by the Icann (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) working well enough?

I think ICANN should stick to controlling the Internet because it has done a fine job without any unnecessary help. The UN, like everything else, would just flop it up.

The Internet is a public access point to where everyone has a freedom to flow information without anyone's control..as mentioned in your article:

QUOTE
Defenders of the status quo say handing over power to governments could threaten the untrammelled flow of information and ideas that many see as the very essence of the borderless internet.


Let ICANN stay in control. It's the only thing the US & EU can actually agree on!

QUOTE
However, the US and the European Commission are staunchly defending the ICANN model, which is based on minimal regulation and commercial principles. ICANN members are predominantly drawn from industrialised countries and the established internet community.

So many misconceptions, so little time. First, ICANN does not run the internet; they only control the assignment of names and addresses. The technical standards, including those used by ICANN, come from the IAB (Internet Architecture Board) and IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), while the actual bandwidth and routing that get your data from A to B are handled by a combination of private industry and national-level entities. Second, ICANN really is corrupt. Their dispute resolution policy, used when conflict arises regarding who owns a name, is a joke that can best be summed up as "richest guy wins". People have literally had domain names which were there surnames, and which they had registered first, taken away from them when some Johnny-come-lately dot-com decided they wanted to use that name for their company. ICANN has also pursued campaigns of character assassination to oust board members who stood up for the rights of individuals and small businesses. If there's a single body less deserving of more control over the internet that the UN, it might be ICANN.

That said, UN control is a terrible idea. For one thing, this idea seems to be driven by several countries' desire to control internet content, and I'm against restricting the free flow of information. Second, the UN just isn't likely to be very good at this sort of thing. While conservatives might point to the UN's record in other areas, I'd point to the record of other political bodies in regulating information technology. Combine those two, and the UN regulating information technology is pretty much a recipe for disaster.

The alternative idea of having the ITU (International Telephony Union, and it's not a labor union) run the internet is marginally more appealing. At least they have a track record in creating standards for transmission equipment/media and protocols used by modems and such. On the other hand, standards bodies aren't necessarily very good at managing operations, and ITU is affected by a different kind of politics that exists between the telecommunications and computer industries. The current model of distributed control, with no single entity completely in charge, seems to be working quite well, and might work darn near perfectly just by replacing ICANN with a more competent and professional organization doing the same thing. There is no need for a single uber-organization controlling the whole thing from start to finish, and the creation of such would only make it easier for governments to meddle with information flow.
GoAmerica
The UN has too much to control now it doesn't need control the ever growing world wide web. A new agency within the UN might mean that there will have to be due hikes that member nations will have to pay, making it difficult for some because of the slow recovery from the global recession we are getting out of.
GoAmerica
I just read on another forum that the representive of ICANN has been prohibited from attending this meeting that is scheduled for this week

Article

QUOTE
PARIS, Dec. 7 - Paul Twomey, the president of the Internet's semi-official governing body, Icann, learned Friday night what it feels like to be an outsider.

Mr. Twomey, who had flown 20 hours from Vietnam to Geneva to observe a preparatory meeting for this week's United Nations' conference on Internet issues, ended up being escorted from the meeting room by guards. The officials running the meeting had suddenly decided to exclude outside observers.

Icann and the United States government are expected to come under heavy fire at the conference, which begins Wednesday in Geneva and will be one of the largest gatherings of high-level government officials, business leaders and nonprofit organizations to discuss the Internet's future. An important point of debate will be whether the Internet should be overseen by the United Nations instead of American groups like Icann.

"I am not amused," Mr. Twomey said via a cellphone outside the conference room Friday evening after he was barred from the planning meeting. "At Icann, anybody can attend meetings, appeal decisions or go to ombudsmen. And here I am outside a U.N. meeting room where diplomats - most of whom know little about the technical aspects - are deciding in a closed forum how 750 million people should reach the Internet." Mr. Twomey said that others were also kept out, including members of the news media and anyone who was not a government official.


The UN has reached a new level of utter stupidity & disgust with me. Kicking out a representive who knows more about the internet and it's technical stuff then the idiots who will decide whether it will be controlled by the UN or not.

Hopefully, our governmental officials will tell these bozos that their level of intelligence is so low that they shouldn't be trusted with a piece of string.

$10 says the UN votes China to chair the committee that controls the net laugh.gif
Platypus
QUOTE(GoAmerica @ Dec 8 2003, 11:06 AM)
The UN has reached a new level of utter stupidity & disgust with me. Kicking out a representive who knows more about the internet and it's technical stuff then the idiots who will decide whether it will be controlled by the UN or not.

Yeah, except that Paul Twomey doesn't fit that description. I would also be a little wary of accepting anything from an article that describes ICANN as "the Internet's semi-official governing body."
Dontreadonme
Thankfully, today news: Wa Times Link
QUOTE
The United States, backed by the European Union, Japan and Canada, has turned back a bid by developing nations to place the Internet under the control of the United Nations or its member governments.


The biggest and scariest part of this UN coup attempt is outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Article 19 it says that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression." It also says that everyone has the right "to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
That sounds just peachy until you get to Article 29 Section 3:
"These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations."
Mike
This is such an easy question to answer. You don't even have to know what the Internet or the UN (other than they are not comprised entirely of American citizens) are in order to know that having the UN control it is a bad idea.

Last month, millions of Americans went to the polls to vote for their government representatives.

Not a single US Citizen voted for their UN representative.

The Constitution's pretty clear-- only Congress can write law. If the UN controls the Internet, and there is a system set up under whose jurisdiction the US usage of the Internet falls, the system must allow for US election into the positions of power.

So, I guess I'd be perfectly fine with the UN controlling the Internet, so long as the UN was disbanded and repopulated with elected US citizens. wink.gif Seems simple to me. biggrin.gif

Mike
GoAmerica
QUOTE(Platypus @ Dec 8 2003, 10:56 AM)
QUOTE(GoAmerica @ Dec 8 2003, 11:06 AM)
The UN has reached a new level of utter stupidity & disgust with me. Kicking out a representive who knows more about the internet and it's technical stuff then the idiots who will decide whether it will be controlled by the UN or not.

Yeah, except that Paul Twomey doesn't fit that description.

I know. Mr Twomey was never an idiot in my mind...just the idiots who want the internet under UN control. He seems bright unlike the people who kicked him out of the meeting.

DTOM:
QUOTE


This may be the only time but Thank God for the EU & Canada! I knew Japan was strongly against it but i didn't know about the EU or canada.

The Chinese & Vietnamese whining was a concern for me in this issue:

QUOTE
The draft declaration to be issued at the end of the conference Friday also includes strong references to freedom of the press and freedom of information online, despite protests by Vietnam and China, which pushed for more restrictions.


Both communist nations wanting restrictions? Why am i NOT surprised! w00t.gif
rikomatic
I have been participating in the UN negotiations on internet governance for more than two years now. Indeed much of the discussions have resembled the "blind leading the blind." But the most dangerous aspect of the debates has been the very narrow way in which the issue of internet governance has been debate. That is, it has been portrayed as "ICANN versus the ITU."

For many of us who have been involved in other internet governance debates, both of these "solutions" are undesirable, and too restrictive. The ITU as it currently stands is too antiquated, too closed, too bureaucratic to adequately manage the domain name system. ICANN's is viewed by many other countries as being too American, i.e. governed by California law, overseen by the US commerce dept. And the elimination of the "user vote" has greatly diminished the accountability of the institution.

More importantly, ICT (information communications technologies) governance is a much broader debate than just the domain name system. Just to name a few critical issues: network and information security, intellectual property, governance of the radio spectrum, satellite slot allocation, and e-commerce. None of these are dealt with in the ICANN versus ITU debate.

As a result of the December UN conference, the UN secretary general is mandated to establish a UN working group to continue to discuss ICT governance. Clearly this is a global issue that deserves high-level international debate and deliberation. Hopefully we will see better alternatives come out of these meetings than those currently before us.

(First post!)
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Julian
QUOTE(Mike @ Dec 8 2003, 06:12 PM)
This is such an easy question to answer. You don't even have to know what the Internet or the UN (other than they are not comprised entirely of American citizens) are in order to know that having the UN control it is a bad idea.

Last month, millions of Americans went to the polls to vote for their government representatives.

Not a single US Citizen voted for their UN representative.

The Constitution's pretty clear-- only Congress can write law. If the UN controls the Internet, and there is a system set up under whose jurisdiction the US usage of the Internet falls, the system must allow for US election into the positions of power.

So, I guess I'd be perfectly fine with the UN controlling the Internet, so long as the UN was disbanded and repopulated with elected US citizens. wink.gif Seems simple to me. biggrin.gif

Mike

It's a small point, but there is nothing at all to prevent the USA from electing its UN representative if it wanted to. The UN asks for representatives of member governments, but there's nothing to say how each member government should select them.

I would certainly like the opportunity to vote for the UK's UN representatives, but then my country traditionally votes for far fewer public officials than the USA anyway.
GoAmerica
It's begun again!

Groups debate Internet control

QUOTE
This week, about 200 diplomats, activists and representatives of companies like Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc. met at the United Nations to share ideas on whether the Internet should be governed and, if so, how.


I seriously hope this doesn't take place.
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