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Russia, China, and Others Seek Greater Control Over Internet 174

kodiaktau writes "A proposal put forth by Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates seeks greater international control and government of internet addressing. 'A leaked draft (PDF) of the Russia-led proposals would give countries "equal rights to manage the Internet including in regard to the allotment, assignment and reclamation of Internet numbering." This could allow governments to render websites within their borders inaccessible, even via proxy servers or other countries. It also could allow for multinational pacts in which countries could terminate access to websites at each others' request.' The move would basically undermine ICANN and decentralize control of internet addressing: 'The revision would give nations the explicit right to "implement policy" on net governance and "regulate the national Internet segment," the draft says.'"
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Russia, China, and Others Seek Greater Control Over Internet

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  • Oh FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @09:32AM (#42232947)

    Well, I knew it was coming. No "free" source of information can remain free forever. Here's to hoping they fail.

  • Re:Oh FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Armakuni ( 1091299 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @09:35AM (#42232961) Homepage
    They likely won't fail completely. They will get some small victory, at least. Next time, they will get a little more. And the time after that. This is too important to governments to ever give up.
  • Re:Oh FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LateArthurDent ( 1403947 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @09:39AM (#42232973)

    They likely won't fail completely. They will get some small victory, at least. Next time, they will get a little more. And the time after that. This is too important to governments to ever give up.

    Sometimes I fear that I'll be telling my grand kids about how I remember when the internet was free. Actually, my biggest fear is that they'll be so indoctrinated they'll compare it to the wild west, and tout how all the regulation of the mature internet made it a safer place. I fear they'll just file my complaints about lack of freedom under "old man rambling" category.

  • by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @10:09AM (#42233145)

    "Social and Economic Justice" = Totalitarianism in a nutshell.

  • by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @10:11AM (#42233153) Journal

    Which is fine, they can already do this.

    Let them have their own IP based networks. Nothing's stopping them now. The technology's freely available.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us will use the interconnected networks on which we can largely do as we please. When we can't, we'll switch to other interconnected networks.

    The cat's out of the bag. Either you allow connected networks or you don't, and you can already make that choice.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @10:12AM (#42233161)

    Be fair. There is a matter of degree. The UK has an extensive internet surveilance system and a secretive committe who have the power to ban any website without any oversight or accountability and maintain a secret blacklist which all ISPs are obliged to block (In the name of fighting child porn, of course), true - but we hardly ever use such powers. China, on the other hand, frequently and as a matter of routine blocks websites for posting non-government-approved oppinions, revealing facts that could impact the government's support, go against the rulers cultural ideals or even that could compete commercially with domestic companies. They may do the same thing, but China does it to a far greater extent. The UK has a lot of catching up to do before it can claim to be in the same category of oppression as China.

  • Re:Oh FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @10:15AM (#42233177) Homepage Journal

    Don't pretend the US administration, donkey or elephant regardless, doesn't want this.

    Okay, I won't pretend. They don't want this.

    The primary reason is that it's simply bad for business. Secondarily, they simply don't want Internet governance to become a matter of political and diplomatic negotiation with countries that don't love them. Tertiarily: There's a reason the EU, Canada, Japan and Australia are all lined up against these proposals: They actually do occasionally give a shit about human rights. I know it's not au fait to think so, but it's true.

    And regarding delegates' stupidity: Judge for yourself [] whether the US Ambassador to this event sounds stupid or not.

  • by aurispector ( 530273 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @10:17AM (#42233189)

    Remember that the next time some idiot starts blathering about the need for gun control. Freedom can be dangerous. The most dangerous thing of all is an idea.

    Take away people's ability to defend themselves, then take away people's ability to educate themselves. The last hurdle is taking away people's ability to think for themselves.

    "1984" was a warning, but a lot of governments seem to be using it as an instruction manual.

  • by Halo1 ( 136547 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @10:18AM (#42233197)

    Seems like my browser decided to log me out. So, again, logged in this time:

    "Social and Economic Justice" = Totalitarianism in a nutshell.

    I completely disagree with that statement, although it can be perfectly abused for that purpose of course. Then again, so can "spreading democracy".

  • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @10:26AM (#42233259) Homepage Journal

    One country can implement rules to abuse the whole world.

    It can, yes. But the problem, you see, is that it doesn't.

    Oh sure, it plays fast and loose with its own law enforcement against individual sites and services that piss it off, but it does not implement rules to abuse the world at large. In fact, it doesn't even implement rules at all, for the most part.

    What you're suggesting here is that we trade the potential for abuse of power by a national government that has a track record of avoiding any egregious abuses, for the certainty of abuse of power by a bunch of governments whose history is riddled with examples of some of the most appalling derogations of human rights in the history of the world.

    How can this possibly be a Good Thing(tm)?

  • by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @10:27AM (#42233275)

    What's interesting here is that these countries already have plenty of control over the internet at home. They want to extend that control further abroad.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @10:29AM (#42233287)

    The Internet is such a great success today, precisely because the ITU was not involved with it. If it was their creation, it would be their right to regulate it. The other countries just want a piece of the action of Internet control because it is now such an important resource to the economy of the world.

    Well, so is crude oil . . . so should the UN also declare that crude oil is a world resource and crude oil exploitation and distribution be regulated by the UN? Saudi Arabia might not be so happy about that.

  • Re:Oh FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kesuki ( 321456 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @11:13AM (#42233533) Journal

    you can do something about that here and now.
    the government tried taking away alchohol, the people stopped following laws.
    it's not like the government can just make us think whatever they want us to think. even if they control the information people find ways to fact check, there have been people who sneak in digital cards with non state approved data on them in countries with tight controls.. before that they snuck in microfilm, and used whatever magnafier they could find.
    before that they printed papers and before that they wrote cyphers that could be decoded with innocent looking canes.
    the government has a contract with the people not just the top 1% they truly are the servants of all the people. the sooner they realize they are servants the better.
    the internet isn't free on the whole earth and probably never will be, freedom is fought for daily, almost everywhere. i know a lot of smart people and i know that i benefited greatly from freedom on the internet, maybe the internet will be reduced to walled gardens, but for some reason i think people will not tolorate the loss of the 'free' internet.

  • Wild west (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tony Isaac ( 1301187 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @11:40AM (#42233705) Homepage

    Nostalgia aside, there are significant parallels to the wild west.

    - The Internet has been a place of wide open spaces and unparalleled freedom.
    - Everybody who wanted to could go stake a claim (domain name) somewhere, for next to nothing.
    - If you don't protect your own turf (Web site, community, etc.), often nobody else will.
    - Peddlers (Web ads) roam around selling goods you probably don't want or need, only to disappear when the goods don't turn out to be what was advertised.
    - Outlaws lurk around the periphery, and sometimes roam around causing damage to established communities, or you own computer.

    The wild west could not stay wild. As it became a more popular place to live, the old free-for-all could no longer be sustained. People demanded security and enforcement of laws to protect themselves and their communities. Whether we like it or not, the same thing will happen / is happening to the Internet. We must be vigilant to ensure that the new, "civilized" Internet is a place where people will want to live.

  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @12:09PM (#42233867)

    you hit the nail on the head. they already have all the control they NEED (over their own people).

    thread over; you win.

  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @12:18PM (#42233921) Homepage

    The real goal is to require all other nations and institutions to actively cooperate with their censorship.

  • Re:Wild west (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @01:01PM (#42234193)

    They wanted laws, not censorship. There is a difference.

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.