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UN Split Threatens Future of the Internet

Postby Nick » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:03 pm

The issue arose at the World Summit of the Information Society last week in <a href=http://www.itu.int/wsis/preparatory2/pc3/index.html target=_blank>Geneva</a> concerning the administration of the thirteen top level (or “root”) servers that control all routing to individual domains. Most of these servers are situated within the US, and are administered by the US government in partnership with California based ICANN. Without agreement, the Internet could fragment into different networks, which may not even be compatible with each other.

This meeting was supposed to be one in a series culminating in a summit in Tunis in November, to try to help developing countries influence the future structure and to try to redress the imbalance of their late adoption of the Internet. The US government has intimated throughout that they would be prepared to transfer all responsibility directly to ICANN. However, at the Geneva meeting the US government stunned everyone attending by rejecting outright any potential United Nations involvement. This particularly angered the EU who supported such a proposal.

EU <a href=http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.asp?feed=AP&Date=20050930&ID=5152282 target=_blank>spokesman</a> Martin Selmayr said a new system of cooperation was important <i>"because the Internet is a global resource."</i> He added <i>“that the EU ... is very firm on this position”</i>, threatening a serious rift which could even risk tearing the Internet apart. The EU was supported in their stance by other nations, notably Brazil, Russia and Iran, uniting to say that no single government should play a preeminent role in governing the Internet.

In a bid to compromise the ITU, UN International Telecommunications Union, offered to step in. At a <a href=http://today.reuters.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?type=internetNews&storyID=2005-09-30T172702Z_01_WRI062824_RTRIDST_0_OUKIN-UK-INTERNET.XML target=_blank>press conference</a> ITU Chief, Yoshio Utsumi told reporters that the U.N. agency's experience in communications, its structure, its international composition and its cooperation with private and public bodies made it best-placed to take on the role. <i>“We could do it if we were asked to”</i> he is reported to have stated. However US State Department official David Gross retorted that <i>"We will not agree to the United Nations taking over management of the Internet"</i> effectively dismissing any prospect of compromise.

Gross is concerned that the EU appears to have altered its own position, and described their proposals as <i>“a shocking and profound change”</i> that involved control by governments – some of whom already censor what their citizens can have access to on the Internet. Some may question this stance, coming from an administration that has actively supported and implemented the <a href=http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/6/6929/1.html target=_blank>Echelon</a> electronic spy network. Undoubtedly his references were directed to Cuba and Iran, amongst others with a less than perfect reputation for observing human rights

EU spokesman David Hendon controversially dismissed this as simply being <i>“misrepresentation”</i>.

Whilst there appears to be no particular grievance with the way ICANN have managed the top level servers controlling domain names, Mr Hendon is reported as having said many countries <i>"just cannot accept that the Americans have control of the Internet in their countries"</i>. The irony of this is that whilst it seems perfectly OK for the American government to control the Internet via ICANN, the Bush administration seems reluctant for any other governments to become involved. However, the UN has been at the heart of some spectacular failures over the years, most recently the oil for food <a href=http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007229 target=_blank>scandal</a> which can hardly have endeared it to member nations.

One thing for certain, there are likely to be some frantic diplomatic exchanges between the EU and the US before the scheduled November meeting if we are to avoid the possible disintegration of the Internet as we know it today. And it isn’t just the future of P2P that could be at stake.

<i>Nick Parker, now known as SlickNick previously posted to these forums under the name Rocketman05</i>
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Postby Philweed » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:26 pm

They are watching us. LoL
But i definetly hope that the inet wont fall apart and if it those we should set an internet up for the rest of the world so that america can do what it wants to.

Btw nice article slicknick.

Keep the news coming :D
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Postby Allied » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:29 pm

Nice article Nick.
Without agreement, the Internet could fragment into different networks, which may not even be compatible with each other.

One will become a monopoly and crush the other.
The US government has intimated throughout that they would be prepared to transfer all responsibility directly to ICANN.

What ever keeps the money in US banks. :roll:
However, at the Geneva meeting the US government stunned everyone attending by rejecting outright any potential United Nations involvement.

[sarcasm]The UN won't have power over something! What a shock![/sarcasm]

I like the UN, no sarcasm in that statement. Managing the internet would be a grat project for them. Anything that keeps them away from military and oil operations.
It doesn't have to be the UN directly. They could throw together a new group of beurocrats.
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Postby WitchHunterRobin » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:30 pm

It would be difficult to persuade the ICANN to hand over control of the internet from pioneers such as Vint Cerf, and give control to the inept UN.

The precursor to the internet was created by the US Department of Defense, and would seem an unusual proposition to wrest primary control away from it's parent country only to see power delegated to a corrupt UN spawned organization.

Let the world create a splinter network. Those who wish to participate in an oppresive network rife with censorship can be referred to the UN for connectivity.
Last edited by WitchHunterRobin on Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby IceCube » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:57 pm

Man. A world deprived of the internet. Talk about throwing technology back into the stoneage :(
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Postby SirejOe » Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:34 pm

There is no doubt the UN has a bad rap on things in its past, but truly america isnt exactly in clearer water.

I like the idea that the net be put into "neutral" hands. I never really thought about it in that manner, that america really does "control" the internet. I can certainly see why other countries dont want the US to maintain full authority over it.

But a compromise could, I think anyways, be easily be met. The "founding fathers" as they were certainly needn't be left out of it, but managed under a global jurisdiction. Quite frankly I think its just american arrogance and thier need to control, or moreover not let control of anything be taken away from them.

Scary thought though, the internet becoming fragmented....not a pretty future for our little global village.

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Postby IceCube » Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:38 pm

What if the governing powers of the internet be moved to Switzerland? The Swiss remained neutral in both world wars, so I think that they would be an excellent candidate for it if the governing powers were switched over to another country.
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Re: UN Split Threatens Future of the Internet

Postby crackerjacker » Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:42 pm

SlyckNick wrote:The issue arose at the World Summit of the Information Society last week in <a href=http://www.itu.int/wsis/preparatory2/pc3/index.html target=_blank>Geneva</a> concerning the administration of the thirteen top level (or “root”) servers that control all routing to individual domains. Most of these servers are situated within the US, and are administered by the US government in partnership with California based ICANN. Without agreement, the Internet could fragment into different networks, which may not even be compatible with each other.

This meeting was supposed to be one in a series culminating in a summit in Tunis in November, to try to help developing countries influence the future structure and to try to redress the imbalance of their late adoption of the Internet. The US government has intimated throughout that they would be prepared to transfer all responsibility directly to ICANN. However, at the Geneva meeting the US government stunned everyone attending by rejecting outright any potential United Nations involvement. This particularly angered the EU who supported such a proposal.

EU <a href=http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.asp?feed=AP&Date=20050930&ID=5152282 target=_blank>spokesman</a> Martin Selmayr said a new system of cooperation was important <i>"because the Internet is a global resource."</i> He added <i>“that the EU ... is very firm on this position”</i>, threatening a serious rift which could even risk tearing the Internet apart. The EU was supported in their stance by other nations, notably Brazil, Russia and Iran, uniting to say that no single government should play a preeminent role in governing the Internet.

In a bid to compromise the ITU, UN International Telecommunications Union, offered to step in. At a <a href=http://today.reuters.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?type=internetNews&storyID=2005-09-30T172702Z_01_WRI062824_RTRIDST_0_OUKIN-UK-INTERNET.XML target=_blank>press conference</a> ITU Chief, Yoshio Utsumi told reporters that the U.N. agency's experience in communications, its structure, its international composition and its cooperation with private and public bodies made it best-placed to take on the role. <i>“We could do it if we were asked to”</i> he is reported to have stated. However US State Department official David Gross retorted that <i>"We will not agree to the United Nations taking over management of the Internet"</i> effectively dismissing any prospect of compromise.

Gross is concerned that the EU appears to have altered its own position, and described their proposals as <i>“a shocking and profound change”</i> that involved control by governments – some of whom already censor what their citizens can have access to on the Internet. Some may question this stance, coming from an administration that has actively supported and implemented the <a href=http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/6/6929/1.html target=_blank>Echelon</a> electronic spy network. Undoubtedly his references were directed to Cuba and Iran, amongst others with a less than perfect reputation for observing human rights

EU spokesman David Hendon controversially dismissed this as simply being <i>“misrepresentation”</i>.

Whilst there appears to be no particular grievance with the way ICANN have managed the top level servers controlling domain names, Mr Hendon is reported as having said many countries <i>"just cannot accept that the Americans have control of the Internet in their countries"</i>. The irony of this is that whilst it seems perfectly OK for the American government to control the Internet via ICANN, the Bush administration seems reluctant for any other governments to become involved. However, the UN has been at the heart of some spectacular failures over the years, most recently the oil for food <a href=http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007229 target=_blank>scandal</a> which can hardly have endeared it to member nations.

One thing for certain, there are likely to be some frantic diplomatic exchanges between the EU and the US before the scheduled November meeting if we are to avoid the possible disintegration of the Internet as we know it today. And it isn’t just the future of P2P that could be at stake.

<i>Nick Parker, now known as SlickNick previously posted to these forums under the name Rocketman05</i>

why did you change your name?
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Postby Overnet User » Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:13 pm

Without agreement, the Internet could fragment into different networks, which may not even be compatible with each other.

He added “that the EU ... is very firm on this position”, threatening a serious rift which could even risk tearing the Internet apart.

The EU was supported in their stance by other nations, notably Brazil, Russia and Iran, uniting to say that no single government should play a preeminent role in governing the Internet.


If this means that the MPAA & RIAA are not there, I am all for it.
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Postby Drake » Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:14 pm

They should give control of the Internet to Sweden.
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Postby curzlgt » Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:27 pm

WitchHunterRobin wrote:It would be difficult to persuade the ICANN to hand over control of the internet from pioneers such as Vint Cerf, and give control to the inept UN.

The precursor to the internet was created by the US Department of Defense, and would seem an unusual proposition to wrest primary control away from it's parent country only to see power delegated to a corrupt UN spawned organization.

Let the world create a splinter network. Those who wish to participate in an oppresive network rife with censorship can be referred to the UN for connectivity.


I agree. Internet nationalism could be comming, with all of its "benifits"... Either way there will likely be many different internets, with varying degrees of connection, in the nearish future....not that there are not many already.....And don't forget about Googlenet.....it'll be "free" :twisted:

Great writing Nick! Very thought provoking.

@ Drake.... :lol: :lol:....P2P, porn, and pot, all the time, every where.....Now thats my kinda Net!
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Postby mea2214 » Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:48 pm

Does anyone really "control" the Internet? Is there a person sitting in some silo somewhere with access to the master switch to the Internet? The whole concept of the Internet was to be a network that can survive a nuclear war, one that can fragment into a million pieces and then find its way back together again. What are these people fighting over? Domain names?

Let the UN be figurative rulers of the Internet with about as much power as the Queen of England has over England. Who cares and what's the real point of this pissing match?
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Postby Kalper » Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:28 am

Is it possible for the American Government to make friends beyond the borders of its country?
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Postby IceCube » Fri Oct 07, 2005 1:11 am

mea2214 wrote:Does anyone really "control" the Internet?


Funny you should mention that...

Masters of the Internet

Careful though, you don't want to be Banned from the internet :lol:

Sorry, I had to throw that in just because it was too funny to leave out. ;)
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Postby BillyGates » Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:25 am

I'm amazed at the hype about this issue and the lack of understanding.

What's -only- at stake here (that I'm aware of) is who controls the Domain names. Why should Sweden or the UN control the top level domains, like .com? Who cares about .com? There's a lot of names to go around. I know everyone else in the world hates the US. But the US invented the Internet so why should they give up control of .com?

If Europe or the rest of the world want to create their own domain names on their own DNS servers they're free to do so. All countries already have their own top level domains, so we're just talking about who is owning and controlling new ones and the popular existing ones.

In a splintered network, if ISP's want to participate in top level domain names from other regions of the world they're free to do so. It would just be a matter of pointing to root servers in ICAN plus Europes DNS root servers.

So this in no way affects P2P as we're just talking about name resolution here... and fortunately most P2P doesn't rely on DNS at all.

Don't worry everyone... the Internet won't break or split and even if it does from a DNS perspective, I'm not too worried about it anyway. I'm confident my ISP DNS servers will resolve names that I really care about.
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Postby Manov » Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:35 am

Well i think this is a greater matter than just the internet , its about showing who has the power.
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Postby schitauri » Fri Oct 07, 2005 3:42 am

screw it lets start our own network now. damn it if people had started a private unmoderated internet in the late nineties we would be huge by now. Down with bureaucracy!
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Postby Kalper » Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:13 am

schitauri wrote:screw it lets start our own network now. damn it if people had started a private unmoderated internet in the late nineties we would be huge by now. Down with bureaucracy!


I've got a couple of wires and some planks of wood in the back shed. Lets get started.
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Postby ultracross » Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:48 am

good for the bush administration. keep the internet where it was originated. if the other countries want to setup their own root servers, let them, but sever there connections with the internet as-we-know-it.

Internet - Made In USA :)
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Postby AlexanderHanff » Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:51 am

WitchHunterRobin wrote:It would be difficult to persuade the ICANN to hand over control of the internet from pioneers such as Vint Cerf, and give control to the inept UN.

The precursor to the internet was created by the US Department of Defense, and would seem an unusual proposition to wrest primary control away from it's parent country only to see power delegated to a corrupt UN spawned organization.

Let the world create a splinter network. Those who wish to participate in an oppresive network rife with censorship can be referred to the UN for connectivity.


That is rubbish. The US Department of Defence did NOT invent the internet. The internet developed from 2 different school of thought. One was the old ARPANET (US military) the other was a joint academic effort by several universities around the world.

The internet came about as a combination of the two, not as the result of ARPANET.
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Postby AlexanderHanff » Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:54 am

ultracross wrote:good for the bush administration. keep the internet where it was originated. if the other countries want to setup their own root servers, let them, but sever there connections with the internet as-we-know-it.

Internet - Made In USA :)


Yet another one who needs to go and learn some history, again the US did NOT invent the internet, see my post above.
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Re: UN Split Threatens Future of the Internet

Postby ilbozo » Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:56 am

For the simple fact they that would probably end up stretching further control, I dont want any single country having control. With the UN's record for human rights and all things fair concerning humanity I think it would be better to have it controlled by them.
Why not? If its only domain name controls. I dont see the issue and certainly feel that a country who has an agenda for censorship and at the moment only things wrapped in money then I would rather they didnt have control.


SlyckNick wrote:<i>Nick Parker, now known as SlickNick previously posted to these forums under the name Rocketman05</i>


Nice article man, some good reading there thanks!Good work Nick but why the i?
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Re: UN Split Threatens Future of the Internet

Postby ocin » Fri Oct 07, 2005 5:05 am

SlyckNick wrote: However, the UN has been at the heart of some spectacular failures over the years, most recently the oil for food <a href=http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007229 target=_blank>scandal</a> which can hardly have endeared it to member nations.

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Postby RottenFoxBreath » Fri Oct 07, 2005 7:53 am

america won the 2nd world war-----------FALSE
america deciphered the ENIGMA code------FALSE
america created the internet------------FALSE
get over it,america isnt a superpower any more and people arent going to take there shit for much longer.
its a corporation run country,and i for one am glad i dont live there.
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Postby Trev0r269 » Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:29 am

If America (Americans) didn't develope/fund/create the internet, then who did? I see one answer in the replies above but, that doesn't give much detail as to funding/development (where?). There are a lot of gray areas with this, oh well.

This article came across to me as "we are poor countries who need money and power, lets try and get a piece of the internet since the USA essentially runs that." The last I saw brazil, Iran weren't economical powerhouses. I see it as the poor crazy guy creating a lawsuit against (insert big company) because he actually invented product X. If you don't like the USA controlling the internet, make the internet 3.

No we didn't win the war, but as the fresh "6th man" off the bench we did help a good amount. Seeing as we came into the war when it was half-way over.
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