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FCC's McDowell Stokes Fears of Commie-Controlled Internet
Though No Agenda Set and ITU Doesn't Want Responsibility
by Karl Bode 02:27PM Wednesday Feb 22 2012
Other countries have long been uncomfortable with the U.S. and ICANN's control over the Internet, and have consistently proposed new UN-based governance approaches designed to increase international input into Internet policy decisions. The push had been quiet for a while, but heated up this week when FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell out of the blue penned an editorial in the Wall Street Journal lamenting the fact that numerous countries want Internet governance put into the hands of the International Telecommunications Union. Laments McDowell:
quote:
Click for full size
On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year's end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish "international control over the Internet" through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices.
Scary! This is of course the same man who doesn't think there's any serious U.S. broadband coverage or competition gaps and warned that the Internet would grind to a halt if Comcast had their wrist slapped for throttling users. While McDowell's likely right that Internet governance wouldn't be free of political pressure at the ITU, he forgets to note the ITU has repeatedly stated they don't want and can't afford this authority. He also accidentally omits the tiny fact that there's absolutely no secret evil meeting taking place next week -- or even a meeting about wresting control of the Internet away from the United States:
quote:
McDowell claims there's a meeting scheduled for 27 February where the land-grab will be agreed, and that these things will pass into international law in December...He's referring to the WCIT (the World Conference on International Telecommunications), which starts in Geneva next week, but the agenda for that was set months ago and includes no clause to make a grab for cyberspace.

So the question becomes not if anyone is trying to take over the internet, but who stands to gain by spreading the rumour that such a takeover is on the cards. ITU reps, speaking off the record, are starting to fear some sort of conspiracy themselves: they've adamantly stated that they have neither the desire, nor the budget, nor the mandate, to interfere with governance of the internet, and yet the scare stories just refuse to die.
McDowell's vision of a freedom-lovin' current state of governance tends to clash with Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow's vision of how we currently govern the Internet, which seems more astute:
quote:
McDonnell describes a present-day Internet where wise American stewards neutrally steer the net's course. I see a world where political hacks and appointees from the lobbyist/regulator revolving-door are ready to destroy the Internet to maximize profits for one or another industry, and where an amok defense industry is ready to destroy whatever is left after Big Content gets through with its dirty work.
The current government lamenting top-down force-fed global regulatory efforts when they've been pushing copyright-related efforts like ACTA or SOPA is also something that's highly laughable. While it does seem like the U.S. will ultimately need to cede some control with much of the globe wanting a less U.S.-centric approach to oversight (which might not be bad given our tendency toward shoving repressive copyright law down the Earth's throat), the push so far from most countries has been a fairly measured one. Plenty of people hate the idea of a UN-controlled Internet, but the question is why McDowell suddenly felt the need to stoke these fears?

Some additional public attention and an FCC Chairman spot should Republicans win the White House seems the most likely culprit.

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DataRiker
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00000

1 edit

People know better

How can anybody take the US seriously with ideas like SOPA and ACTA?

Our politicians are vile scum.

How many people think our GOP Presidential hopefuls (minus Ron Paul ) would have gladly supported SOPA if they had not been in the national spot light?
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Re: People know better

said by DataRiker:

How can anybody take the US seriously with ideas like SOPA and ACTA?

Our politicians are vile scum.

How many people think our GOP Presidential hopefuls (minus Ron Paul ) would have gladly supported SOPA if they had not been in the national spot light?

Unlike Egypt, we haven't tried to cut off all connections to the outside world.
ShellMMG

join:2009-04-16
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Re: People know better

And it was reported tonight that Iran is heavily starting to censor the internet ahead of next week's elections.

Lest we forget, the UN is the same money-wasting morass that allowed Khaddafi's Libya to head up the human rights department for a time.

cdru
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1 recommendation

said by DataRiker:

How can anybody take the US seriously with ideas like SOPA and ACTA?

Our politicians are vile scum.

How many people think our GOP Presidential hopefuls (minus Ron Paul ) would have gladly supported SOPA if they had not been in the national spot light?

Our representatives are just out to help us out and protect us. I mean, for example, Indiana House Rep. Bob Morris is trying to protect everyone from the evils of a homosexual creating, abortion causing radicalized organization who bakes cookies called the Girl Scouts. If our leaders don't look out for us, who will?
openbox9
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You're right, the bureaucratic morass of the UN is a lot better

The US doesn't need to be the only "keeper" of the Internet, but I doubt the UN will be a great savior.
PDXPLT

join:2003-12-04
Banks, OR

Re: People know better

said by openbox9:

You're right, the bureaucratic morass of the UN is a lot better

Yea, but the ITU is essentially "the UN" in name only. It's existence goes back over 125 years, long before the UN ever existed. It was formed when telegraph lines started crossing international boundaries. It operates under its own multinational Constitution and Convention. And it already is responsible for alot of the technical standards that the internet depends on. ISOC (the Internet Society, the governing body for the IETF) is a permanent, no-fee member. These days it's considered a UN Specialized Agency like the WHO and WMO, since it's in Geneva and that gives it access to the UN infrastructure.

The Commissioner really mischaracterized how things get done there as well. Far from being a top-down organizations, all the work gets done in Study Groups driven mostly by private companies (Sector Members) with U.S. entities predominant. I think this may be his real agenda. Unlike other international standards groups like IEC and ISO, where the only members are country national committees and every U.S. interest must go through the U.S. government, in the ITU U.S. interests can go directly to the ITU. He sees loss of control.

As for the "bureaucratic mess", don't let the clowns in the General Assembly paint your perception of other, completely separate groups. As I said, alot of the technical communications standards that the internet depends on were done in the ITU. Also, another UN Specialized Agency, WIPO, is in charge of resolving disputes concerning URL ownership, and they seem to be doing that effectively and efficiently.

ctceo
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1 edit

Like always

So the Ministry of communications commissar (or ) is calling the internet Commie controlled?

Or does this mean if your not with DHS Secretary (The FSS equivalent of Aleksandr Bortnikov) you must be communist? I thought she supported a soviet style totalitarian one-world order?

Isn't that like the pot calling the kettle black?

Better yet, lets ask Czar Sunstein at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs what his position is on who should regulate the internet and how.

LOLZ

FFH
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Re: Like always

said by ctceo:

So the Ministry of communications commissar (or ) is calling the internet Commie controlled?

McDowell never said any such thing. That is purely Karl's interpretation because McDowell pointed out Russia and China. But he didn't point them out as Communists but as dictatorships that want to implement crushing censorship on the internet. And those 2 countries along with much of the mideast and South America want a heavy censorship control implemented based on the wishes of a large number of UN General Assembly members.

He also said many countries would not agree to that and this would result in many countries withdrawing from international organizations and lead to an internet split asunder.

quote:
And let's face it, strong-arm regimes are threatened by popular outcries for political freedom that are empowered by unfettered Internet connectivity. They have formed impressive coalitions, and their efforts have progressed significantly.

Today, however, Russia, China and their allies within the 193 member states of the ITU want to renegotiate the 1988 treaty to expand its reach into previously unregulated areas.

Reading even a partial list of proposals that could be codified into international law next December at a conference in Dubai is chilling:

Subject cyber security and data privacy to international control;

Allow foreign phone companies to charge fees for "international" Internet traffic, perhaps even on a "per-click" basis for certain Web destinations, with the goal of generating revenue for state-owned phone companies and government treasuries;

Impose unprecedented economic regulations such as mandates for rates, terms and conditions for currently unregulated traffic-swapping agreements known as "peering."

Pro-regulation forces are, thus far, much more energized and organized than those who favor the multi-stakeholder approach. Regulation proponents only need to secure a simple majority of the 193 member states to codify their radical and counterproductive agenda. Unlike the U.N. Security Council, no country can wield a veto in ITU proceedings. With this in mind, some estimate that approximately 90 countries could be supporting intergovernmental Net regulation—a mere seven short of a majority.

Upending this model with a new regulatory treaty is likely to partition the Internet as some countries would inevitably choose to opt out. A balkanized Internet would be devastating to global free trade and national sovereignty. It would impair Internet growth most severely in the developing world but also globally as technologists are forced to seek bureaucratic permission to innovate and invest.
--
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
»www.politico.com/2012-election/


ctceo
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1 edit

Re: Like always

That's why it was followed by a "?".

Let's take a look here and determine what his motivations truly are. Just like you are what you eat...

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
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1 recommendation

In my opinion, the heavy handed tactics of the USA in recent years has fueled the world opinion that the USA has "too much power" over the internet and ability to exercise control and pressure over foreign sites and even Governments. (Bully)

As a result this opens the door for "control" to be "wrested" away from the US supported bodies and handed over to the auspices of some "U.N. Governing Internet Commission".

Which of course would be a disaster, IMHO, but again we have ourselves to blame.

Some of these proposals are truly very detrimental.... and the sad thing is the US doesn't even act like it's too concerned about this idea, it appears. Worse could be that some of our "Security" forces may support the idea of increased regulation, and some of our big telecom companies certainly wouldn't mind finding new ways to "generate revenue" so I'm wondering how strong our opposition to this really would be.

If anything, the Internet should remain as is, and the US should actually BACK OFF and stop trying to over police it. IMHO, anyway. You want to showcase freedom and liberty, try leading by example instead of practicing "Do as we say, not as we do."
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

ctceo
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Re: Like always

I concur KrK.

Though my personal preferences are being seen as "anarchic" or even Communist, I am heavily leaning toward an RBE over Capitalism OR Socialism. I also agree that the net should remain neutral and left as a constructed manifestation of our group heritage and a tool to use for communication and sharing rather than a tool to enforce political positionism across the globe thus enforcing the, IMO, VERY fascist state of the US.

When the systems fail us we need to rework or replace them, and right now reworking them hasn't been working.
--
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Rekrul

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said by KrK:

Some of these proposals are truly very detrimental.... and the sad thing is the US doesn't even act like it's too concerned about this idea, it appears.

Why should it be? It's not like the US would obey any UN created law that they don't agree with.

ctceo
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Re: Like always

This will only happen until it (the US) starts treating it's allied states, like Israel, as more of "it's bitch", no offence intended to the people of any of these countries and I'm truly sorry in advance for anything stupid our government does "on our or the worlds behalf". I so tire of that f*n attitude from the US. You have my word that I personally do not condone anything other than self defense. I don't believe in a US only led "InTernational Guard" or any of it's bastardized counterparts.

Instead we need to LEARN from the mistakes presented to us by the emergence of a global society. Whether your a Capitalist, Communist or whatever type of "ist" you are I'm sure you can find some good that comes from each new progression of society and it's cumulative cultural awareness.
--
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As long as superstition prevails, we will fall short of eradicating war, poverty, and hunger. -J. Fresco

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Flibbetigibb

@lmco.com
said by Rekrul:

said by KrK:

Some of these proposals are truly very detrimental.... and the sad thing is the US doesn't even act like it's too concerned about this idea, it appears.

Why should it be? It's not like the US would obey any UN created law that they don't agree with.

And rightly so. The Constitution doesn't give any authority to super-national organizations. The Bill of Rights isn't subject to a vote of foreign dictatorships.
viperlmw
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join:2005-01-25

Re: Like always

said by Flibbetigibb :

said by Rekrul:

said by KrK:

Some of these proposals are truly very detrimental.... and the sad thing is the US doesn't even act like it's too concerned about this idea, it appears.

Why should it be? It's not like the US would obey any UN created law that they don't agree with.

And rightly so. The Constitution doesn't give any authority to super-national organizations. The Bill of Rights isn't subject to a vote of foreign dictatorships.

Uhh, there's a whole section about treaties, and how the senate has to ratify them with a 2/3 vote, isn't that then, 'the law'?

Flibbetigibb

@lmco.com

Re: Like always

said by viperlmw:

Uhh, there's a whole section about treaties, and how the senate has to ratify them with a 2/3 vote, isn't that then, 'the law'?

Indeed. And I'd like to see any UN-created "law" (there's actually no such thing, but you brought it up) that meets that criteria.

ctceo
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Re: Like always

The UN is a "global power base" established by the 1% behind closed doors as a sort of "test" NWO. Right now it's not terribly efficient because it works for the corporate interest of the EU, US & Oil countries right now.

As for a "Bill of rights" I'm pretty sure that document is only a "flower" on the dung pile right now alongside the Constitution, well, the framers version anyway, until our global society breaksdown and reforms.
--
----
As long as superstition prevails, we will fall short of eradicating war, poverty, and hunger. -J. Fresco

khanacademy.org
en.lernu.net
www.k12.com
churchofreality.org
kopimistsamfundet.se
zeitnews.org
thezeitgeistmovement.com
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---
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
said by viperlmw:

Uhh, there's a whole section about treaties, and how the senate has to ratify them with a 2/3 vote, isn't that then, 'the law'?

Look up Reid v. Covert. Treaties can not confer power to the Government free from the restraints of the Constitution.

ctceo
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Re: Like always

No, but it does nothing to prevent barry from issuing an executive order in the name of "national security". Since he and his appointed cabinet support a "global order" he said himself that he was willing to effectiovely "create an appropriate legal framework from scratch", essentially to hell with current laws.

ctceo
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1 edit
I'll see your Reid vs. Covert and raise you 1 x Continuity of Operations Presidential directive 51 (NSPD-51) & Raise you by 1x HSPD-20, FCD-1 and FEMA CGC-1.

Also Executive Order 12803 has some importance when looking at the bigger picture here.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
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They wouldn't have a choice in this case!

ctceo
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South Bend, IN

Re: Like always

Correct, If the majority of countries in the UN participate in a vote that sanctions the US or determines that it needs to do something and they don't, bad things would happen, guaranteed.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT
said by FFH:

That is purely Karl's interpretation because McDowell pointed out Russia and China. But he didn't point them out as Communists but as dictatorships that want to implement crushing censorship on the internet.

Wait, I thought China was the shining example of measured internet blocking that the US should aspire to duplicate...
elray

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The Devil You Know

While there is always reason to be skeptical of our government's motives and intent, we are far better off having them in charge, wherein we can keep an eye on them and counteract their missteps, than hand over control to an even more corrupt "world" body.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: The Devil You Know

That may be true for us (U.S. citizens) but not for those in other countries. They don't vote in our elections, and they can't influence our politicians (whether we can is debatable, but we won't go there right now).

But let's imagine that the Internet's core infrastructure was under the control of, say, France. I chose France because, although it's a democratic society, there are some in the United States who have taken issue with some of their policies. Now, what if France was in control? Would the situation be a bit different for those in the U.S. then? I suspect that, for some, it would.

I think that we have a multi-layered situation here.

Some in the UN may want to get control of the Internet because, well, regulators like to regulate, and having control of the Internet could be quite a nice feather in their caps.

Some national governments would also like the UN to regulate the Internet because it could serve their own varied interests, which are too many to name here.

Finally, some ordinary citizens of other countries may not necessarily favor UN control, but they don't like the U.S. having absolute control, either, and they want another option.

Personally, I don't care what the UN or any government, ours included, wants. I think the best way forward is to come up with a solution that puts ultimate control in the hands of Internet users. One person, one vote, and keep the governments out of it. I don't know what that solution would look like, but I think it's doable.
elray

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Re: The Devil You Know

said by ISurfTooMuch:

That may be true for us (U.S. citizens) but not for those in other countries. They don't vote in our elections, and they can't influence our politicians (whether we can is debatable, but we won't go there right now).

Finally, some ordinary citizens of other countries may not necessarily favor UN control, but they don't like the U.S. having absolute control, either, and they want another option.

Personally, I don't care what the UN or any government, ours included, wants. I think the best way forward is to come up with a solution that puts ultimate control in the hands of Internet users. One person, one vote, and keep the governments out of it. I don't know what that solution would look like, but I think it's doable.

One person, one vote, runs the risk of becoming "One person, one vote, one time", or as we see out of Chicago, "one person, voting early and often".

I don't like the US having "absolute" (we don't, by any measure) control either.
But until a proposal is offered that demonstrates a better approach, that doesn't strip us further of our basic rights and sovereignty, I don't see any reason to change the status-quo. Change for change sake doesn't achieve anything.

We don't need a "world body" ruling on commerce, employment, banking, religion, entertainment or communications. Its hard enough to have consensus on such with your next-door neighbor.
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD

because that's what he wants to do

"Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings.

Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted unconscious impulses or desires without letting the conscious mind recognize them."

conservatives do this a lot...to keep their heads from exploding.

Flibbetigibb

@lmco.com

I see Karl is getting his Bolshie on again

There's no good upside to letting the UN get its claws into the internet. You think US corporate interests are a problem? Just wait until you see what you get when a bunch of autocracies start pushing their UN flacks to limit the internet in the name of "stability."