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back to article US reiterates resistance to ITU-Internet land grab

American lawmakers and officials are continuing to give the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) the “hands off our Internet” signal ahead of a key meeting of the body late this year. The united voices against the United Nations were heard at a congressional hearing on May 30, with representative Henry Waxman, …

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Tricky

The USA shouldn't be in charge of anything except the American bits.

But you don't want a load of nutty Dictators deciding anything either.

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Joke

Re: Tricky

"The USA shouldn't be in charge of anything except the American bits.

But you don't want a load of nutty Dictators deciding anything either."

Wait a minute, so do you want the USA to be in charge of anything or not. On the one hand you're saying they should be in charge and on the other you're saying nutty dictators shouldn't decide anything. Make your mind up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tricky

You are misunderstanding who is paying the bill behind the scenes. I am going to post this as anonymous because I am familiar with some of the key characters behind the scenes on this one.

It is _NOT_ China and Russia driving it. It is a raft of incumbent telecommunications operators including most of the 'usual suspects' in Western Europe who would like a return of "we would like to charge you by the minute for 'calls' to foreign websites".

China and Russia simply have political goals well aligned with these operators and are happily enjoying the marriage of convenience while fronting the agenda of a lot of companies with T in their names who would like to push the big red "Stop" button on the "Internet as we know it".

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Meh

Behind the scenes influence

Quite right, but don't exclude US-based operators who have their own interests and have considerable influence over the FTC and the DoC. We don't need *any* form of governmental interference, neither via the ITU nor from the US. What we need is for ICANN to (a) be free of US government control and (b) do less, e.g. stop printing money in exchange for worthless domain names.

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Silver badge

@Yes me: There's always some damned fool out there who thinks anarchy is a good idea,

It never works out. Some government or governmental agency will always wind up in control. The trick is to pick the least bad of the options. The UN is now a parliament of dictators and whores, so that's not an option. The EU is getting ready to implode because you've got too many damned fools who bought the socialist lies. That pretty much leaves the US as the guarantor of an open internet. Get over it. We're also pretty much the only country in history that has made a routine of pulling our troops out of countries after we've had to smack down some damn fool dictator the rest of you idiots couldn't stop before we intervened.

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Anonymous Coward

So what is the ITU actually planning?

I keep on seeing these stories, but nobody ever says what it actually is that the ITU is supposedly planning to do. Can anyone actually point to any agenda of any substance, or is it all just pre-emptive FUDmongering and jockeying for position?

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WTF?

But why should they?

I have yet to see a convincing argument as to why the US should voluntarily give up control of the levers of the internet. I can certainly see why some would want the ITU to have that control instead of the US government, but that's certainly not the same thing. What possible leverage do they have on the US government to do this?

That's right. None at all.

And really, despite occasional foibles, the US government has done a decent job so far, mostly letting the internet take care of itself.

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No to ITU

Indeed the US hasn't done such a bad job so far. Nevertheless, the ITU being an international organization as opposed to a national one would be a good argument to my way of thinking. It's just too bad the ITU has shown itself to be such a failure at the very things that we've come to expect from the internet.

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Stop

If Internet is given to the UN / ITU to govern...

I'll tell you what will happen. Same thing that happened with human rights: Tyrants will preside over the "democratic" committee and criminals will criminalize fair use.

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Re: If Internet is given to the UN / ITU to govern...

^ this.

Latest use case: look at the response from Russia and China over the atrocities in Syria. Obviously, the Internet won't kill loads of people, but there's no way I would support allowing nations like Russia and China to act as roadblocks to progress.

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Rock and hard place come to mind

I certainly have no desire to see the internet managed by any nation but nor do I want it to fall in to the hands of a bureaucratic non-entity like ITU. I don't trust the US any more than I would trust Russia or China or most other countries come to that.

Perhaps we could transfer it Switzerland or Costa Rica with the latter being my preference since they have no standing army and keep their heads below the parapet whereas the latter may well introduce laws based on local referendums.

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Anonymous Coward

Stuff the bureaucracy there the sun ....

Just a quick look at how inaccessible ITU-standards documents are, and how they are littered with commercially licensed technology speaks volumes about the distance between ITU and the IANA/RIR hierarchy. Then there's ITU's secrecy and shady back-room deals compared to the open policy-building model.

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Boffin

Concept of Internet governance significantly misunderstood

As far as I'm concerned the ITU and those who support their involvement in this space are welcome to put their money where their mouth is and operate an alternative root DNS/DNSSEC domain service. It's possible not many admins will point their resolving DNS servers there, or it's possible many will, but few countries will dictate their choice on political grounds, and those that do will be the nutjobs, likely to be putting their own infrastructure at risk if the ITU don't manage this job right.

So what else does ICANN do ? All the IPV4 address blocks have already been allocated to the regional registries so no more work to be done centrally there. There will never be a shortage of IPV6 space so allocation of that is uncontroversial. The rest is also relatively uncontended bean counting e.g. in relation to protocol numbers and well known port number registrations which someone has to do.

It's not as if the US or anyone else can unilaterally prevent the ITU setting up an alternative DNS root zone, and it's only a few loony dictatorships which will mandate local admins either to use it or not to. If the ITU are going to build the momentum for DNS admins who have the resolver configuration ability to change theirs, maybe they are going to have to act in ways which improve their credibility within this space in order to succeed.

Those of us who configure other computers will then get to decide whether to use DNS resolvers pointing at ICANN or at the ITU provided root zones.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Concept of Internet governance significantly misunderstood

The governance tasks are more than DNS and address-manangement. The most important bit in the long term is the internet standards for which ICANN operates the secretariat (IANA). You can't seriously equate the openly developed IETF standards (RFCs) that the internet successfully has built upon for decades to the secretive and patents-littered mess that are the ITU technical specifications. If the ITU gets control of the standards your working DNS and other working internet protocols may soon be modified beyond recognition.

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Big Brother

No ITU control of internet

Perhaps the USA may have some hidden agenda for retaining control of the Internet but I trust that there is at least some reason and logic behind how they have managed it so far.

On the other hand, I will NEVER trust an "international body" such as the ITU or the United Nations to to be anything except be the two faced, corrupt, self serving scum they have already proven themselves to be.

The Internet MUST remain free of political control, it is truly one of the last bastions of free speech.

Even though the outcome of the Arab Spring uprisings were not in favor of the USA, they did nothing to prevent communication via internet. Those things happened at a local carrier level.

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