Feeds

back to article European Parliament votes to fight ITU internet power grab

The European Parliament has passed a resolution protesting plans by the International Telecommunications Union to seize regulatory control of the internet. "[The European Parliament] believes that the ITU, or any other single, centralised international institution, is not the appropriate body to assert regulatory authority over …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Flame

Best Option?

Whatever else may happen, I am quite convinced that any organisation controlled by the US Government or its corporate masters is entirely unsuitable for managing the internet.

In fact, I think that the only management the internet "needs" is technical. Not only do I not want the US Government but I don't want any other ones either. That means I don't want help from Russia, China, the Middle East, Africa or any other political or religious organisations.

The internet needs technicians and it provides governments and corporations with a lot of money in taxes and profits. Some of that income needs to be returned and spent on maintaining and expanding the infrastructure. Technicians need political interference like they need orchidectomies without anaesthetic.

15
1
Bronze badge

Re: Best Option?

I agree with you on everything besides the bit about the taxes. Hasn't tax money, generated from private companies, who are being safe guard by governments from taxes, expanding the internet? You can access the internet on your mobile today. How exactly, without government, can that happen? Is there a shit load of wifi hot spots and mobile antennas in war stricken countries like Afghanistan I've somehow not heard of? Ever try to communicate without a satellite over there? It's not easy. Now can you do it out your back door?

The governments of the "Western" world have done well in letting it evolve. But, I agree it is time for my country (USA) to loosen the grip on these internet controls. But good luck getting the USA to loosen their grip on anything. But then again, which Western country likes to give up control, even when it is needed?

0
6
Boffin

Nobody can regulate Internet traffic flow

You couldn't regulate who uses the English language either for similar reasons.

There's lots of ill-informed FUD behind this article. What ICANN regulates isn't traffic flow or what the Internet is used for. The Internet is a protocol, more akin to a language than any controllable thing. The job involves how the blocks of addresses are allocated and, more importantly, how the namespace (i.e. the DNS) is organised at the top level. ICANN, which does this job, would prefer to remain under California law instead of becoming responsible to everyone. What they do is more profitable for their executives that way. All the IPV4 blocks are gone and IPV6 space is unlikely ever to get short whoever manages it, so raw address management isn't really the issue here.

What's really at issue here is who manages the DNS naming root. ICANN seem to want to be able to pimp top level domains eg .whores to the highest bidder for executive profit. No way the ITU have ever been guilty of messing around in this sort of way with the international dialling codes, which they do manage uncontentiously. There's also some standards work to the extent this can be agreed - the ITU may be slow and bureaucratic, but that's the problem of working based on consensus.

In practice there's nothing to stop the ITU setting up an alternate DNS root zone if they want to and anyone else can. That's because it's a small file and easily obtained. OK if everyone wants to use your version of it, it helps to have some pretty powerful and reliable server clusters to serve it in every continent. It's then a question of where those who configure DNS clients choose to point these.

4
4
Bronze badge

Re: Nobody can regulate Internet traffic flow

ICANN, which does this job, would prefer to remain under California law instead of becoming responsible to everyone. What they do is more profitable for their executives that way.

I think somebody missed the fact that ICANN is a nonprofit. Sure, things like the "anything as a TLD" move are guaranteed to end in disaster but there isn't any profit motivation there.

2
2
Holmes

Re: Nobody can regulate Internet traffic flow

Quote: I think somebody missed the fact that ICANN is a nonprofit. Sure, things like the "anything as a TLD" move are guaranteed to end in disaster but there isn't any profit motivation there.

Surely, Sir, you are missing the point that the organization is non-profit, but that the people at the helm are most certainly for-profit. Have you never seen these pensioners running charitable / non-profit organizations and creaming off to make sure that the organization is indeed non-profit?

Just saying,

Guus

4
3
Bronze badge

Re: Nobody can regulate Internet traffic flow

Surely, Sir, you are missing the point that the organization is non-profit, but that the people at the helm are most certainly for-profit. Have you never seen these pensioners running charitable / non-profit organizations and creaming off to make sure that the organization is indeed non-profit?

The rules in the US tax code on nonprofits are very strict and prevent that, otherwise everyone would do it. Reasonable salaries can be paid but the idea that directors can tap millions from a nonprofit and turn round and claim "but the company didn't make any money" is completely wrong. Indeed ICANN's own articles of incorporation are clear:

No part of the net earnings of the Corporation shall inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its members, directors, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article 3 hereof.

3
0

Re: Nobody can regulate Internet traffic flow

"ICANN, which does this job, would prefer to remain under California law instead of becoming responsible to everyone."

This whole issue with the ITU arose after some US politicians suggested that the US government should use their control of the Internet for military/geopolitical purposes - and that they could start by exerting control over ICANN. Although this idea didn't fly, it didn't go down at all well with the Russian and Chinese governments (amongst others) and the whole idea of of placing the ITU in charge was started.

The Russian government have indicated that, if they feel that the impartiality of bodies such as ICANN is threatened, they will go their own way e.g. set up their own root servers and force Russian ISPs to use them exclusively. China would likely take a similar route.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Vaguely Related

Evil abhors a vacuum:

https://www.eviscerati.org/comics/comic/storyline/evil-abhors-vacuum

1
0
Coat

Hey, McLeod! Get off my ewe!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

It is not nation states which are pushing this

It is incumbent telecoms operators desperate to charge for "browsing foreighn web sites" and "browsing premium websites" on a per-minute basis. The ones that want it are the ones incapable of generating money by any means different from artificial scarcity or government backhanders. This goes along very nicely with the ideas of some countries to achieve through financial means what has proved impossible technically. Example - China/Huawei's proposed financial model for internet peering (which will pretty much create a financial great FireWall of China around most world markets).

This list includes most usual suspects from surprise surprise - Eu. Coming back to the the way ITU works you have both government representation and incumbent telecommunication company representation. The reason why this madness is getting traction in the first place is not China or Russia, it is the industry reps from the Eu which support it.

So the Eu parliament should clean up its own backyard first. Otherwise its intervention will not work - it will be a repeat event.

4
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: It is not nation states which are pushing this

I suspect its both the telcos - some of which are indeed EU based and indeed have significant minority national government shareholdings but many others besides. There are however other nation states supporting it - some for the control aspect others who have lost tax revenue as they tax international POTS calls. The countries who have kept VOIP illegal (including Dubai last I looked) are a case in point as to who is losing out to these kind of rule rapidly becoming impossible to enforce and marginalising political and financial controls.

Oh El Reg - 'a large majority of EP officials' - those 'officials' would be (semi) elected MEPs. Officials are the ones that propose legislation, its Parliamentarians that pass pointless democratic graffiti .... hmmm.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Curious bedfellows

The "Socialists" in the EU parliament and the Republicans in the US being of the same mind?

Either something is seriously wrong with the ITU's plans, or they haven't understood the situation.

I'll go with option 2, but the outcome of this motion is only "Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States." who are the ones who will make the decisions.

0
0
Bronze badge

Voting

having waded through the electronic documents to

a) read the motion text ( tedious in the extreme)

b) see how the vote went, and if any particular elements did or din't support it

I found it was a simple majority vote, so there's no details. It could have been passed by two MEPs putting their hand up while a single objector was busy checking the time for the train home. Anyone know more?

0
0
WTF?

Missing the point (several times)

"the internet regulations that have remained unchanged since 1988"

The what? There were no Internet regulations in 1988; the ITU didn't even know the thing existed until about 1995, and didn't take it seriously until after the industry crash in 2000/2002. What they're trying to do is extend the kind of control governments have had over traditional telecommunications like mail coaches and dial telephones to this new Internet thingy. Bad Idea, and good for the European Parliament to say so.

"What's really at issue here is who manages the DNS naming root."

No it isn't. That's chickenfeed. It's who gets to control what people do once they have a domain name. Describing what ICANN does as "governance" is obfuscation of the real intent, which is to govern users (whether content providers or content consumers).

"I am quite convinced that any organisation controlled by the US Government or its corporate masters is entirely unsuitable for managing the internet."

That would be terrible, but there is no such organisation. If you think ICANN is either controlled by the USG, or is managing the Internet, you are sadly misinformed.

2
1
N2
Bronze badge

Does this mean

That pack of thieving vandals otherwise known as Nominet will all get fired?

If so they'll get my vote.

0
0
Joke

Re: Does this mean

So, if they vandalized but didn't steal, or robbed but didn't deface, it'd be ok?

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.