Who Should Rule The Internet?

from the not-me dept

The well known libertarian think tank, the Cato Institute is looking at the question of whether or not the UN should gain control over the internet. This was the big question last week at the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society. The fear is that giving control over the UN would end up with rules that went against everything that made the internet successful. Trying to appease every country would mean that none would end up being particularly happy. Not surprisingly, the folks at Cato support leaving the internet as open as possible, and suggest that to solve the “biggest” problem about jurisdiction, you just use the location of origin.

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Comments on “Who Should Rule The Internet?”

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triciaminor (user link) says:

Internet is public domain

No way. Keep the internet free. The internet is for the people. Big companies always try to s**** the little people. The first thing to get messed up was Sonny Bono and his copyrighting. I recently read a story of a prisoner suing a judge for copyright. People are too sue happy. The internet is becoming a big tool of society. You should keep the government out of it. You have libraries censoring their online connections. What do you think is going to happen if the little people hand control of the internet to the United Nations? If that happens, you might as well say hello to Big Brother.

scottylad says:

Re: Internet is public domain

What kind of moronic statement is “you should keep the govenment out of it” with regards to the Internet?
Pop quiz: Who invented the Internet?
Answer: The U.S. government. I know that’s not very fashionable these days to give credit to the U.S. or its government, but the truth is the Internet would not exist without a lot of bright people working for and being funded by Uncle Sam.
And as far as turning the Internet over to the United Nations, that just makes me want to laugh. This is the same United Nations that “oversaw” the Iraqi oil-for-peace program which merely funneled oil money back into the existing dictatorial regime at the same time lining the pockets of those who (with no oversight whatsoever) administered the billions of revenues. Obviously this is a giant tangent, but suffice to say the United Nations is a deeply corrupt kleptocracy operating under a pathetically thin veneer of do-good -for-the-third-world socialism.
The U.S. government gave birth to the internet. It was overcapitalized and overbuilt during the 90s bubble — but now begins the important part, the long 30-year build out. To understand this cycle, study the boom and bust cycle of the American train system.
Those who don’t like the Internet as it currently exists are extended a formal invitation to create their own network. Nobody says you have to plug into the “Internet” — just start your own. France, only a few years ago, dismissed the Internet, saying it’s own Minitel system was the answer. France is arrogant, ignorent — but worst of all, pathetically stagnant. The Minitel system had the whiffy odour of a dead corpse about it since the moment I heard of it.
So let’s hear it for the genious of the American government. Let’s hear it for the excess of the free market. And let’s hear it for a dynamic, unencumbered 30-year rollout of an amazing transformative infrastructure that will not be crippled by the small-minded likes of those at the United Nations or any other corner of the planet still in denial that the global economy has left the station, being pulled by the strong engines of American growth and innovation.

aumouse (user link) says:

Re: Re: Internet is public domain

dear frog hater aka scottylad, the internet was not built because of the us fed govt, (remember iso protocol) but because they didnt know about it. it was just another research system that grew beyond expectations.

as tot he oil for peace, while i dont like the un, your usa fed govt did provide sadam with millions in credit, the raw materials to make chemical weapons & the support during his war on iran. i agree the un is corrupt, but equally the usagovt is just as corrupt & hypocritical.

unfortunately the internet is increasingly being controlled by telco & cable companies, trying to increase their vertical market share ie control everything, including content. amerika is still in 1st gear, partly due to the social cutbaks & military spending of the bush fascists.

if you want fast rollout, look at sth korea or japan.

aNonMooseCowherd says:

the Islamic net

If the U.N. takes control of the net, expect rules regarding religion similar to laws found in Islamic countries. In particular, expect a rule saying that any content that “defames Islam” (i.e. says anything that could be taken negatively about the religion or its adherents) is a crime and that the perpetrator is subject to extradition to a country ruled by Islamic law, such as Saudi Arabia. Any content that asserts or implies the validity of any other religion would likely fall into this category. If the Taliban and Wahhabists don’t succeed in taking over the world by force, they will try to start by taking over the net.

PhilTR (user link) says:

Two internets

I suspect that two internets will eventually evolve. One with all the constraints MicroSoft is able to build into and one for the rest of us who like a wild n wooly but free environment.

An Open Source processor is being developed which should off set Palladium (aka, TCPA; aka NGSCB.) I for one don’t look forward to using a computer over which I don’t have total control. It’s bad enough that I have to delouse my puter periodically to get rid of all the web-lice, web-mites, and web-fleas placed there by sites trying to “better serve me.”

You know, it’s kinda like going to a neighbor’s house where you dread sitting on her furniture because you just know every parasite known to man is going to crawl onto your clothes and eventually into your hair.

The whole time there you’re trying to remember the exact route to the nearest drug store to buy two or three bottles of Quell.

Sorry to be off topic here but, cookies are just a pet peeve of mine which I don’t seem to have a lot of control over preventing their placement onto my puter. Disgusting things! I’m starting to itch just thinking about them.

I’ve migrated away from XP to Linux just to avoid the intrusiveness of folks who use MicroSoft’s products and Winners products in general. I’ve discovered the pure pleasure of using my mind again. What an experience! Everyone should try it, just once.

Saygin(?) says:

Re: Two internets

OCD kicking in?

The rules of engagement on the Net ARE being influenced by telcos and cable companies. But their power is limited both by the impact of individual innovation and the dirge-like pace of the regulatory bodies on which they rely.

Should the UN control the Internet? The bigger question is can the Internet even be controlled, and if so, who would really want to. ICANN for all of the knocks it gets, is wise to keep its role fairly limited – security being an area where ICANN has been notably absent.

Microsoft may indeed be reshaping the average user’s network experience in its own image. But Microsoft too is limited by the free will and innovation of individual users. The company may have stepped up to the plate in trying to fix or patch old security flaws, but increasingly it appears that the only right thing for Microsoft to do is to start with a fresh OS and User experience model – legacy architectures be damned.

Point being that controlling the net is a lot like controlling nature: I’ll mow my yard, you might not mow yours, and sure enough we both have to deal with droughts, pests, and the regulations of our local homeowner’s association. In the meantime, while you’re on my little slice of nature you’re welcome to hang in a hammock or lounge by the manicured garden. When I’m in yours I’ll be careful to keep the c–p off my shoes.

suzi (user link) says:

Re: Two internets

quote – “Sorry to be off topic here but, cookies are just a pet peeve of mine which I don’t seem to have a lot of control over preventing their placement onto my puter. Disgusting things! I’m starting to itch just thinking about them.”

You can completely control cookies with a little program called CookieWall.


It’s very easy to use and uses little resources.

alternatives says:

It is already 'ruled'

By ISOC and RFC’s.

And it also has the SAME ‘golden rule’ that rules any Government body – He who has the gold makes the rules.

As long as there is a court where disagreements can be acted on in a timely matter and by the ‘rule of law’ (that is what a Government CAN do), no further involvement is needed.

aNonMooseCowherd says:

Re: It is already 'ruled'

It is already ‘ruled’…By ISOC and RFC’s.

No it’s not. There is no “RFC police”. If Microsoft suddenly decides to ship email software, for example, that uses its own proprietary protocol rather than SMTP, in the hopes of forcing everyone to switch to Windows, no one has any power to stop them, except for the customers, but they’ve already been brainwashed (mainly by the press) into believing that there are no alternatives to Windows.

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