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back to article Vint Cerf: 'COMMUNISTS want to seize the INTERNET'

No less a figure than Vint Cerf has been addressing the US Congress on why the UN can't be allowed to control the internet, whipping up sentiment against a supposed takeover bid and at the same time advocating something at least as controversial. Testifying to the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, on Google …

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Anonymous Coward

Finally it wil become a political tool....

Big Brother really will hold all the cards.

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'Few Americans are taken in by that kind of nonsense'

Actually there are plenty of them reading this site, thanks to the right-wing, heartland funded ass-hattery of Page and Orlowski.

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Re: 'Few Americans are taken in by that kind of nonsense'

Agreed, see the Romney E-mail post put up last night for more of them from posters like JPD, right wing crackpots for sure.

Also.

WHEN YOU DOWNLOAD MUSIC YOU'RE DOWNLOADING COMMUNISM.

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@Thing

You seem to be confusing "opinion I don't agree with" with "conspiracy", and have not noticed The Register actually has other journalists with differing options that are also permitted to speak.

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Re: @Thing

Also Thing, in the Romney thread there was JPD who purposely misinterpreted my post to make it sound like victimising the Repubs, don't worry about it, it is their only tactic.

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WHEN YOU DOWNLOAD MUSIC YOU'RE DOWNLOADING COMMUNISM.

Dam, must start downloading music. In order to keep it in a safe place of course.

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Devil

Red Downloads?

WHY CAN'T I HOLD ALL THIS COMMUNISM ON MY HARDDISK??

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JPD

Re: 'Few Americans are taken in by that kind of nonsense'

Wow, I must have hit a little close to home...although I do note a lack of any substantive reply both here and in that thread...ok that's expected. Again, there's a big difference between private capital at risk and public cronyism. Not much to disagree with there...

BTW - You're not downloading communism, but you are stealing...

It's fun poking the trolls...occasionally, but it gets boring pretty quickly...

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...confusing "opinion I don't agree with" with "conspiracy"

I'm so glad you cleared that up... So global warming is not a conspiracy between the majority of the worlds politicians, scientists and media to take over the US, raise taxes and install a 'one world goverrnment'.

Just so we are abolutely clear on that...

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Re:Poking trolls

Just remember, when you're having fun poking trolls then YOU are a troll too and that gets boring as well.

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"When you're having fun poking trolls then YOU are a troll too and that gets boring as well."

Trolling gets boring?

Well, shit.

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Success has many fathers...

...The Internet has more than that.

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Do they allow internet access in the Guantanamo prison camp yet? Until/unless they close that down I for one am not going to treat the US as any kind of authority on personal freedom.

Can I also point out that the US has the highest prison population per capita of any other country?

As the article says: Meritocracy is not the same thing as democracy and I think the US demonstrates that very clearly.

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Sir

"meritocratic democracy"

I suppose you could take that to meaning that the people who are best at making the most money get to control the vote.

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Re: Sir

Sir,

What you describe may be termed a "meritocratic plutocracy"; and aptly sums up the current US Gov't.

Altho you seem to have a typo in "...taking the most money..."

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Cerf was a mentor of mine, back in the early days.

In my not even close to humble opinion, he's sold out.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Cerf was a mentor of mine, back in the early days.

But to whom?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cerf was a mentor of mine, back in the early days.

Be nice. He's making a living selling what he has (credibility) while it lasts. Pro ahletes also have a limited shelf life. Remember that these guys did all the real gunt work and didn't get billions.

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Re: Cerf was a mentor of mine, back in the early days.

To whom, DAM?

The tulips of the googleplex, of course :-)

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@Nicho (was: Re: Cerf was a mentor of mine, back in the early days.)

I thought that *was* nice, given the history ...

Yes, we did the gunt(sic) work ... Most of us are comfortably retired, for the most part. Seeking billions was always anathema to what we were doing ... We were building a network to research networking. When Al Gore started the process to allow NSFnet to be accessible to the general public, that was just gravy.

There is a reason that old UNIX[tm] hacks have the reputation for "long hair, full beard, and kinda scruffy" ... we were hippies, kinda, in a high-tech way. It wasn't about making money, it was about sharing information.

Idealized delusion? Probably. But I can live with it. I regret nothing :-)

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What's missing from this picture?

Ah, yes! What's missing is even the vaguest description of how the ITU, UN or any other body could "take over the internet". Let's try a few scenarios.

1) Dr Evil (for want of a bogeyman) takes over ICANN and re-assigns all the IP addresses so that the USA doesn't have any. Bwuhahaha! Except that the USA just carries on business as usual and anyone connecting to a US network who doesn't use the USA's addressing simply doesn't get their packets delivered. Assuming both sides dig their heels in, the USA gets shut off from all the spammers and malware eminating from Dr Evil's country and Dr Evil stops getting Gootube and Windows update. (Everyone else is free to join whichever party they choose.)

2) Dr Evil (now pretty pissed off, so he's having another go) firewalls his country so that no-one can pass packets in or out without his permission. Bwuhahaha! Except that we *already know* how this one plays out because it has already happened and basically no-one outside the afflicted countries is actually affected.

3) Dr Evil really needs a third strategy because he's trained in rhetoric and knows about the rule of three. Unfortunately, he can't think of one. It seems there just isn't any way to "take over the internet".

Pausing for reflection, Dr Evil wonders how this can be so. After all, if it is impossible to control the internet, how have the Americans gained such a dominant position? Reluctantly, Dr Evil concludes that US dominance rests on the fact that US companies and institutions generate loads of content that foreigners want, and those foreigners have to play by US rules if they want to talk to a US server. In fact, it is just like Dr Evil's own country, except that no-one outside Evil-land gives a stuff about the content on Evil servers, so poor Dr Evil has less leverage than Californian porn providers.

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Facepalm

Re: What's missing from this picture?

What's also missing is serious discussion of the 3rd option (which was in fact Plan A back in 1997, before the Clinton administration forced the creation of ICANN as a contractor to the US government). That is, allow all US government contracts and agreements with ICANN to lapse, and leave ICANN as it should always have been - a self-sustaining community-driven non-profit NGO. It would be better to move it out of US jurisdiction too, to some suitably neutral place such as Switzerland. (The ITU is in Switzerland for the same reason, but that's beside the point really.)

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This is the same UN

That allows countries like Iran and Algeria to head human rights commissions.

Of course they accept our (USA's) tax dollars and pay off corrupt officials, what else is new. The organization has probably outlived its usefulness. Maybe if they move the HQ to a nice country near the equator (Africa has a couple) they might sweat a bit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This is the same UN

The USA is pretty much the same third world country as many others, apart from having more money.

There's plenty of corrupt officials and stacks of interests which, if not actually vested are at least posessed of a very nice cardigan or two.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This is the same UN

You obviously seem to think that your "tax dollars" are some kind of charitable donation. Feel free to stop paying, just don't snivel when you (the US), find that everyone else is ignoring YOUR interests and taking your opponents money instead.

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FAIL

Re: This is the same UN

That allows countries like the USA to head human rights commissions.

The same USA that allows extraordinary rendition to countries known for human rights abuses

The same USA that doesn't class water-boarding as a torture technique (what else would you call something that tricks the body into thinking is dying, causing extreme pain, vomiting (behind a gag I must point out) and blackouts) .

The same USA that allows indefinite detention without trial.

pot meet the kettle.

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Mushroom

Re: This is the same UN

> charitable donation

I don't consider donations to corrupt organizations bluewashing the bombing of foreign lands as charitable at all.

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Re: This is the same UN

Well said, Sir.

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Re: This is the same UN

From my point of view any country with death penalty and prison camps where people are detained indefinitely without due process is at least questionable.

And did the US pay it's debt with the UN by now?

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Big Brother

Its Me as well !

I want to own and control the internet , well doesn't everyone. Just think of the possibilities ... Charge Goomle ( yes i know) £1 for every advert they display, hence causing the downfall of the evil empire, also for Macrosoft ( Yes I know about this as well) The should be charged at least £2.50 for every advert they show about any of their products which are taking up out valuable time and causing Brian tumours ( yes i know about this one too).

In fact I would charge every large company including the Rogister :) to use the internet and make it free for people like us what are looking at this non news right now ,and helping large companies get even larger.

One company I would like to see charged £2,000,000,000 per advert is

Conversation Conversation ( im sure you know the one) they drive me crazy, so whos with me for my controll of the internet, and if you are you'll be next !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Its Me as well !

OK, which retard downvoted a joke?

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Re: Its Me as well !

OK, which retard downvoted a joke?

Don't worry, nobody downvoted any funny ones.

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Headmaster

"Few Americans are taken in by that kind of nonsense....................

.....................but suggestions that a World Order cyber coup is in the offing seem to be swallowed more easily."

I am sure that the author is right in saying that only a minority of Americans are taken in by that particular brand of hard line right-wing tin foil hat nonsense. However, it is also an observable fact that they are heavily over-represented on that wing in Congress. Some sixty or so years after that lunatic Joel McCarthy wanted to investigate the then President of the United States Harry S. Truman for alleged communist sympathies nothing much has changed amongst his political inheritors.

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Paris Hilton

Is ICANN a meritcratic democracy?

Just wondering.

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Pirate

Which evil you choose

The question here is which evil is less: to stay under the US jurisdiction and allow some lunatic judge from West Texas to tell ICANN/Verisign which domains they must throw away from the root zone, or surrender to the consortium of colluding incumbents who kept the telephone system the way it was until 90s. Until a few years ago, the US stayed away from ICANN, and the answer was obvious. Now it is not.

Pirate because I am in favour of the "meritocratic democracy" J.P.Barlow style.

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Re: Which evil you choose : More than just two choices

My impression is that the ITU has done a relatively good job of keeping politics out of telecommunications. I doubt that it would be possible to make telephone calls to and from countries on America's shit list if a US body had governance of those aspects of telecommunications.

When US politicians started talking of controlling the Internet for political and foreign policy ends, alarm bells rung in Moscow and Beijing. The snag is that there are not just two alternatives: another possibility is that some countries or even groups of countries may choose to go their way. China is not known for an open approach to the Internet and the Russian government has indicated that they may take steps to protect their part of the Internet from anything that they perceive to be external interference. It would be a pity if the Internet becomes segmented because some US politicians and corporations want to enforce their view on the rest of the world.

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Neither the USA nor the UN should control the Internet

The USA has shown that it cannot be trusted to administer the Internet in an impartial manner - look at how it has blocked countries with which it is currently waging war; and how it has grabbed domains that are legal elsewhere but upset some commercial USA interest.

The UN is far too political an organisation. It will be pulled to decisions decided on who short term expidiency. For one recent wacky example I see that it has made that butcher Robert Mugabe the UN leader for tourism!! See:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/29/robert-mugabe-un-international-envoy-tourism

The ITU is too sluggish and backward looking an organisation. Look at the dire mess of the ISO protocols that it was pushing for a few years - thankfully now a distant memory.

So who then ? The Unix greybeards who developed it in the first place ? Maybe a good idea, but they will be subject to pressure ... so choose those who ignore pressure and say what they think is right. But would we want the likes of Stallman to be in charge of the Internet ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Robert Mugabe the UN leader for tourism

You really need to read articles rather than just believe sensational headlines.

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Coffee/keyboard

Jeez, I always thought Cerf was getting a bit whacked in his old age...

...but it sounds like he's finally sailed off the edge of the Earth this time.

Communists want to seize the Internet? Is that the new, improved flavor of "Electronic Pearl Harbor"?

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@Mike: (was: Re: Jeez, I always thought Cerf was getting a bit whacked in his old age...)

My take is that he's in it for the bucks, and doesn't believe a word he's saying.

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Re: Neither the USA nor the UN should control the Internet

To quote Billy Madison:

"what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

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FAIL

"The greatest strength of the current system of internet governance"

Where was this Governance when ICE was taking over thousands of website or when the DHS were tramping all over wikileaks? And where was the front line troops when ACTA, SOPA and PIPA raised their ugly heads? In bed with the **AA, that's where, selling out the little people who normally in the real world don't have a voice. Give it a few years and they'll lose that as well, because the US is just like every other tin pot dictatorship, looking after the interests of those with a lot money.

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Anonymous Coward

don't see the fuss

I see Vint is worried about an orginization establishing "“international norms and rules standardizing

the behavior of countries concerning information and cyberspace"

What would be his opinion if the phrase swapped "information and cyberspace" for the words "trade and services" or "conflict and war".

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Let them have it

Let them have it. We will build another. :)

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Start ur Engines/Open ur Minds

...but suggestions that a World Order cyber coup is in the offing seem to be swallowed more easily.

Some would have you believe that that is already fait accompli with relatively anonymous leaders testing quite openly for the disbelief which allows for absolutely fabulous unhindered and stealthy progress/reinforcement of positions/gathering of forces in spooky programs which are more alien and true than normal and false? .......... Too True to Believe

And you cannot deny that you have not been copied into such alien developments via random commentary on certain particular and peculiar articles registered here, over a good number of years. That you have missed out on that which would now be in a secure place taking over leadership at ITs leisure, is surely entirely down to an obvious lack of exercise and display of intelligence and a dogged and crippling disbelief in what you have consistently told. And you would not believe what the future has launched for you to deny is happening, even as you see and hear and read of it happening.

Thanks for all the phishes, El Reg ....... and when can we expect AI lead with something novel and noble and completely different rather than just reporting on everything which would really be heralded as news somewhere else yesterday, and decided as worth sharing here today?

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Meh

Re: Ladies and Gentlemen, Start ur Engines/Open ur Minds

Sir, what is the point of communication if you don't communicate?

I'm sure you're having lots of fun but whats in it for us?

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Progress being made ....... in a heart and minds capture program that sets you free

Re: Ladies and Gentlemen, Start ur Engines/Open ur Minds

Sir, what is the point of communication if you don't communicate?

I'm sure you're having lots of fun but whats in it for us? ... Geoffrey W Posted Thursday 7th June 2012 19:26 GMT

I am thoroughly heartened, Geoffrey W, and you may consider it a point worthy of communication, that you have thought to ask two pertinent questions about something which has been freely shared with no thought about what is in it for the engine.

And some might see that as a colossal enigmatic spanner in the works of the something for nothing brigades which have you on your knees and as would be slaves to their wishes.

And is that fact or fiction when honest and true and pure base metadata?

If your life is not fun, who and/or what is to blame ....... although the real shame may be that you may never have thought about resolving such fundamentals that have an absolute power and remote virtual control over you?

So what/who stops you doing what you want to do, just whenever you want to do it?

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Re: Progress being made ....... in a heart and minds capture program that sets you free

"To achieve, you need thought. You have to know what you are doing and that's real power." – Ayn Rand

Of course, if you fear sharing freely exactly why you are doing what you are doing, is that real power false and one would be quite delusional and probably psychotic and sociopathic too. And such is a phorm of madness requiring immediate treatment and urgent attention for such destroys its host server.

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Re: Progress being made ....... in a heart and minds capture program that sets you free

"So what/who stops you doing what you want to do, just whenever you want to do it?"

The answers to your final question are many, ranging from my partner, the government, and nature; which are all commonplace and mundane. But by far the most common impediment is me, which I suspect is what you were getting at.

But yet another answer is you. I read your posts and though I feel there is something of worth somewhere in your words you aren't communicating whats going on in your head clearly enough for heads outside of your own head (if indeed you possess a head) to get more than a somewhat Burroughs-esque cut-up outline of what you mean. Which may indeed be the point whether by accident or by design. A Turing examination of your posts reveals little. It may indeed be the case that you are the machinery controlling us by attempting to disorient us. We love you anyway. We hope that you love we.

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