United Nations to rule over world wide web?

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United Nations to rule over world wide web?

Post by Atlantis Services »

Anyone else think this is a bad idea?
A UN Controlled Internet
China decries U.S. 'monopolization' of net
Written by Karl Bode
China's ambassador to the United Nations last week lashed out against what it called the U.S. "monopolization" of the internet, and urged the UN to employ a "more rational and just" governance system. The call to move Internet management away from ICANN and into UN jurisdiction has grown louder, a number of countries complaining ICANN operates with an American bias.

Most of these countries want to see Internet governance handled by the 138 year old International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a division of the UN. To aid that migration, the UN recently established a new internet governance group, dedicated toward dealing with spam, cyber-security and other Internet-related issues.

At the first "World Summit on the Information Society", ICANN president Paul Twomey wasn't allowed to attend at least one of the meetings. From outside he told journalists:

"At ICANN, anybody can attend meetings, appeal decisions or go to ombudsmen, and here I am outside a UN 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. I am not amused."


The Anti-ICANN sentiment in Europe wasn't aided by ICANN's proposal of a new rate structure last summer, which less affluent registrars in many smaller nations believed was unfair. In the past, rates were determined by the number of global top-level domains (gTLDs) a registrar wanted to sell from; ICANN switched to a flat fee structure regardless of size.

To dampen criticism from abroad, last November ICANN released a Strategic Plan (pdf) that outlined their intentions for the next three years. The plan was quickly slammed by many in Europe as more of a one-sided sales pitch than any real effort to bridge what is becoming an increasingly hostile divide.

In Europe's defense, Americans likely aren't objective enough to detect an anti-American bias if one did exist at ICANN. At the same time, Europe can't be shocked when Americans react with hostility when criticized by the Chinese government; their long history of human rights abuses and censorship limit the receptiveness to lectures on political etiquette.

There's also plenty of legitimacy to the concern a UN controlled internet would be a beurocratic nightmare, slowing the decision making process to a crawl.

The next U.N.-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society meeting will be held in Tunis this November. It's there many countries opposed to ICANN hope to solidify their belief that the United Nations is better suited to manage the web.

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Post by adamsmark »

Gee, I don't want to sound paranoid, but, no, I don't wan the U.N. controlling the Internet. In fact, I'd like to think private industry could take over its management.
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Post by MHobbit »

adamsmark wrote: Gee, I don't want to sound paranoid, but, no, I don't wan the U.N. controlling the Internet. In fact, I'd like to think private industry could take over its management.


Somewhat agreed.

What, by "preventing other countries and the US from controlling the internet," and the US making "a monopoly" over it, the UN is doing the exact same thing! There's no need for the UN to control the internet!

US dominated? Yes, I believe that most servers and sites are hosted in the US, but does that automatically mean that we're monopolizing the internet? Jeez. Anyways, how is the US controlling the internet?!

China just wants the US out of the way to rule the economy; not to mention they just don't want the US to prosper. That's my opinion, anyway.
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Post by arhodes16 »

I'm in favour of anything other than the current system, ICANN is terrible, and quite simply there is a huge bias to American interests in the current system.

Obviously the majority of Americans like this and have and will continue to reply to this topic stating what is best for American interests only, we don't want those naughty UN folks having anything to do with America afterall.

The simple fact is that the 'Internet' is a global infrastructure that many countries other than the US rely on and needs to be managed by a global, democratic system and not by private commercial interests - Verisign being the huge example of when this goes wrong. Whether the UN would be the answer to this I do not know, but it'd be a hell of a lot better than the current setup. An international system depended on by nations around the world for commercial, non-commercial, infrastructure, government and educational interests should not be controlled by an elite few mostly American companies with private commercial mostly American interests.
adamsmark wrote: Gee, I don't want to sound paranoid, but, no, I don't wan the U.N. controlling the Internet. In fact, I'd like to think private industry could take over its management.

I'm really having trouble finding the words to reply to this. You are paranoid about an international organisation controlling an international infrastructure that many countries outside of the US depend on. And yet you somehow aren't 'paranoid' about a private, presumably American, company to take over it's management. That's logic for you.
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Post by adamsmark »

Don't mean to chime in so quickly after posting my original message, but who is China to complain about the U.S. allegedly controlling the Internet? China is a nation known to raid Internet cafes to enforce its draconian laws regarding Internet usage.

From an end-user's point of view, the Internet is a very free place to operate.
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Post by Kanuck »

The fact that China is filing the complaint doesn't invalidate it at all, though. I'll throw my full support behind the statement that ICANN is awful.

If the U.S. participated in the U.N. in the spirit in which it was founded, this wouldn't even be an issue. Instead, the U.S. government expects to be in charge of the U.N. and get its way, every time, or it takes its ball and goes home.

Frankly, the entire domain name system needs to be fully thought out all over again. Its current state is deplorable, we've basically run out of useful domains... it's just a mess, and it needs cleaning up. It needs reinvention.
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Post by arhodes16 »

adamsmark wrote: Don't mean to chime in so quickly after posting my original message, but who is China to complain about the U.S. allegedly controlling the Internet? China is a nation known to raid Internet cafes to enforce its draconian laws regarding Internet usage.

From an end-user's point of view, the Internet is a very free place to operate.


China's decisions affect people within their borders. America's decisions via the companies that effectively 'control' much of the internet as we know of it today affect every user in the entire world.
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Post by Flaming_cows »

Perhaps someone can elaborate on what exactly ICANN was doing so horribly wrong with non-American (I guess?) countries that prompted the UN to step in? I can understand not liking ICANN, but at least stuff (in a generic sense, I suppose) was working (AFAIK). Why not stick with the devil you know? I'm not supporting ICANN, I just don't understand the situation fully.
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Post by prince_of_oreon »

You will recall that in the mid 50's China lashed out about the forming of the UN saying that it extended American Imperialism over the world. So, if we're going to speak about who supports or doesn't support the UN China is the last country (after pre-war Iraq of course :wink: ) that can point a finger at the states.

/me fears China is learning that socialism < capitalism, and English > Mandarin, and on this account are vengeful.
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Post by arhodes16 »

Flaming_cows wrote: Perhaps someone can elaborate on what exactly ICANN was doing so horribly wrong with non-American (I guess?) countries that prompted the UN to step in? I can understand not liking ICANN, but at least stuff (in a generic sense, I suppose) was working (AFAIK). Why not stick with the devil you know? I'm not supporting ICANN, I just don't understand the situation fully.

The UN hasn't 'stepped in' as it has no authority to do so, ICANN is a non-profit company registered in the US and given it's power by the US government. What most other countries would like is for ICANN to be replaced by a truly international democratic system (and the UN best fits these requirements, unless you're America in which case the UN is apparantly evil as it won't always agree to what you say), rather than a system tied to the US government and US industry.

Some interesting reading (only takes a few minutes to read each):
http://www.icannwatch.org/icann4beginners.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICANN

As for 'why not stick with ICANN?' - many non-US countries are extremely unhappy at the new rates and taxes that are being proposed on domain registrations to fund a huge increase in expenditure for a US based company with little to no accountability. And the simple ties with the US government and US industry mean fairly obvious potential problems for anyone who isn't in the US, both on a commercial and political level.
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Post by MrTorrance »

Kanuck wrote: Frankly, the entire domain name system needs to be fully thought out all over again. Its current state is deplorable, we've basically run out of useful domains... it's just a mess, and it needs cleaning up. It needs reinvention.

A bit drastic don't you think. The domain infastructure is amazingly simple considering the mind boggling scope in which it must operate. To "reinvent" it, especially on a international level could prove disaterous if not impossible.

In the interest of the United Nations, I think that ICANN should be monitored for thier bias and possibly fined for various offences(to be decided by UN) Rather than take control from them and other private business, keep control in the hands of ICANN and regulate the hell out of them.
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Post by adamsmark »

I suppose the real answer is to reform ICANN. I don't know that changing to the U.N. solves anything.
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Post by MHobbit »

adamsmark wrote: I suppose the real answer is to reform ICANN. I don't know that changing to the U.N. solves anything.


Ditto then.

I honestly haven't known what's been wrong with ICANN, but if you people say it's bad, alright then...
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Post by MHobbit »

Accidental double post. Please delete, thanks.
Last edited by MHobbit on Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by NewGuy »

The internet originated and evolved from within the US, if China doesnt like it they should start their own "monopoly".
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