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UN to regulate the Internet ?

conference in dubai international telecommunications union free speech

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#1 Hum

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 17:42

A U.N.-sponsored conference next month in Dubai will propose new regulations and restrictions for the Internet, which critics say will censor free speech, levy tariffs on e-commerce, and even force companies to clean up their “e-waste” and make gadgets that are better for the environment.

Concerns about the closed-door event have sparked a Wikileaks-style info-leaking site, and led the State Department on Wednesday to file a series of new proposals or tranches seeking to ensure “competition and commercial agreements -- and not regulation” as the meeting's main message.

Terry Kramer, the chief U.S. envoy to the conference, says the United States is against sanctions and believes management of the Internet by one central organization goes against free speech.

“[Doing nothing] would not be a terrible outcome at all,” Kramer said recently. “We need to avoid suffocating the Internet space through well-meaning but overly prescriptive proposals that would seek to control content.”

The conference will be run by the International Telecommunications Union (ITC), a U.N. agency that has typically provided a welcome service by making sure that the Internet works across countries. Many of its guidelines were first instituted in 1988. Most haven’t changed since then.

The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) is the first such meeting since those guidelines were created, and businesses are taking it seriously: U.S. delegates will include representatives from AT&T, Cisco, Facebook, GoDaddy, and dozens more.

To dispel concerns, the ITU played damage control in early October.

“There are no proposals submitted to create new international regulatory agencies, or mechanisms, and hence no proposals to put ITU in control of the Internet!” said Malcolm Johnson, ITU's telecommunication standardization bureau director, in a written statement.

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#2 vetneufuse

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 17:44

"Dozens more" probably include the RIAA, MPAA, Phonographic Institute in England....... you know the real law makers anymore

#3 SiCKX

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 17:48

Is there another news agency reporting this or is it just The Sun. Wait, DailyMail.

I really mean Fox! :D

#4 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:02

Terry Kramer, the chief U.S. envoy to the conference, says the United States is against sanctions and believes management of the Internet by one central organization goes against free speech.


No, the issue here is not "free speech" but that the US wants to keep control of the internet. The treatment of Wikileaks and Julian Assange perfectly demonstrates the United States' contempt for free speech when it goes against their interests. The legislation talked about here would require companies to clean up their "e-waste" and make equipment that is better for the environment, as well as setting aside investment to develop the internet backbone. Companies shouldn't be allowed to pollute and create inefficient products simply because it's more profitable - there needs to be safeguards in place.

Sadly, it's not surprising to see Fox News spin it as an attempt by the UN to take-over the internet. We know the US supposedly hates regulation - except when it comes to women's reproductive rights and preventing gay people from getting married - but it's not up to the US to dictate internet policy. It needs to be controlled internationally.

#5 MDboyz

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:05

Build their own system and controll it. Enough said ....

#6 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:12

Build their own system and controll it. Enough said ....


You say that as if the US developed the entire infrastructure of the internet. Further, doing so would limit the influence of US companies in Europe. So while your "the US rules the world, suck it!" approach might make you feel better it's not actually in the interests of the US for Europe / the rest of the world to build a separate 'internet'.

#7 f0rk_b0mb

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:17

Nobody should be in charge of the internet, IMO. It should be free (minus ISP/hosting charges) and available for everyone to enjoy..... :blink:....I really have to lay off on the GNU/Linux.... :p

#8 +LogicalApex

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:17

Build their own system and controll it. Enough said ....


Ah lets just throw logic to the wind...

#9 +LogicalApex

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:26

Nobody should be in charge of the internet, IMO. It should be free and available for everyone to enjoy..... :blink:....I really have to lay off on the GNU/Linux.... :p


In principal, yes, in practice there has to be someone there to enforce the rules of fairness. We don't need laws and police to protect us from law abiding citizens, but instead to protect us from those who have no respect for the rules of society.

I'm really unsure how we should govern the body to protect the interests of society when it comes to the Internet. Pulling it up to the UN would help to tame the disproportionate control the US levies onto the Internet, but it would also enhance the interests of parties who want to cripple the web even more, such as China and Iran. I would support the control of it being in the hands of the people, but we don't have any precedents for international elections by the citizenry and I'm not sure the average person understands enough about it that they would care to make an informed decision.

Either way, we need a central governing body in the middle; the trick is how to ensure it protects our interests and not those of corporations or governments. Otherwise, we're trading one master, the US with one head, for another, the "International Community" with many heads.

#10 vetneufuse

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:28

Ah lets just throw logic to the wind...


ah, comon, worked for GPS right?... right?... so when's the E.U.'s Galileo coming online full blown again? eh build your own always works out just great and fast when you do it for fear of someone else controlling it.... right?....

#11 +LogicalApex

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:31

ah, comon, worked for GPS right?... right?... so when's the E.U.'s Galileo coming online full blown again? eh build your own always works out just great and fast when you do it for fear of someone else controlling it.... right?....


The success of the Internet has been largely due to the standardized nature of it. If you fragment those standards you'll end up harming both sides of the chasm, not helping. To suggest they build their own when doing so would be in the best interest of no one defies logic.

#12 f0rk_b0mb

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:35

In principal, yes, in practice there has to be someone there to enforce the rules of fairness. We don't need laws and police to protect us from law abiding citizens, but instead to protect us from those who have no respect for the rules of society.

I'm really unsure how we should govern the body to protect the interests of society when it comes to the Internet. Pulling it up to the UN would help to tame the disproportionate control the US levies onto the Internet, but it would also enhance the interests of parties who want to cripple the web even more, such as China and Iran. I would support the control of it being in the hands of the people, but we don't have any precidents for international elections by the citizenry and I'm not sure the average person understands enough about it that they would care to make an informed decision.

Either way, we need a central governing body in the middle the trick is how to do ensure it protects our interests and not those of corporations or governments. Otherwise, we're trading one master, the US with one head, for another, the "International Community" with many heads.


This is true. I have no problem with the UN taking down fake sites, sites with malicious intent, and sites that cause harm to children, etc and setting up standards. However, the whole PIPA/ACTA thing is a load. The UN should be very picket and choosey about what they take down and tell us exactly what it violated, or just give them time to take it down themselves.

#13 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:43

While it would be sensible to put the UN in control of the internet - being an international organisation that can balance the needs of all countries - there needs to be safeguards in place to ensure that such power isn't abused. Net neutrality should be enshrined in law, which is something that the US isn't going to support. Even the UN seems unsure of what it intends to do and influential business organisations have made appeals to the UN to oppose net neutrality.

The issue should be how the UN should regulate the internet, not if it should.

#14 vetneufuse

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:54

The success of the Internet has been largely due to the standardized nature of it. If you fragment those standards you'll end up harming both sides of the chasm, not helping. To suggest they build their own when doing so would be in the best interest of no one defies logic.


that was kinda the point on my sarcasim...

#15 +LogicalApex

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 19:45

that was kinda the point on my sarcasim...


I have a problem getting sarcasm unfortunately. It is equally bad in person.