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back to article EU joins Google, hippies, Uncle T Cobbleigh in fight against ITU

The EU is now set to fight for internet freedoms, voicing its concerns that the ITU plans to restrict the international flow of data despite the way the body keeps denying any such intent. Yesterday the ITU adopted a resolution asking member states not to impede international internet use, specifically calling for "non- …

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Silver badge
Alert

Just imagine if governments ruled the Net

Dodgy countries like Syria could just cut off phone and net access at the drop of a hat. Oh wait...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just imagine if governments ruled the Net

If the ITU ruled the net, then Syria could lobby the ITU to drop the internet for the rest of us too!

ITU = 0

USA = Winning.

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Anonymous Coward

Can we stop this crap....

"The US has protected free speech,"

It may have (although see how far you get standing next to the Twin Towers site holding a Islamic prayer meeting), but it DOES NOT have free unrestricted Internet access. If so, US citizens would be free to gamble their money away online, but they can't can they.

You have free speech, provided it doesn't harm US policy or cash flow.

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FAIL

Re: Can we stop this crap....

The difference there, is that the USSA doesn't enforce its will on the people of other countries!

The ITU would!

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Flame

Re: Can we stop this crap....

USSA doesn't enforce its will on the people of other countries

Tell that to Kim Dot Com!

I am all for preventing various governments mucking about with the internet. I am equally keen that the USA has its excessive, and much misused, control removed.

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Holmes

Re: Can we stop this crap....

He used a .com address, he had it coming. and besides, New Zealand has always been the USA's lapdog anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can we stop this crap....

"New Zealand has always been the USA's lapdog anyway."

I'm not so sure that New Zealand is the prime United States' lapdog. It my be a lapdog, but I'd wager that the UK government gets a bigger boner when sucking up to the US.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can we stop this crap....

"USSA doesn't enforce its will on the people of other countries"

Wait, I always thought the CIA was part of the USA...?

Lets see, how many governments have CIA and U.S. Military overthrown just in the last 50 years by various means?

In no particular order:

ok, Vietnam and Cuba failed, but they screwed them over with unjustified embargos forever, just for defending themselves and not wanting to be meddled with.

Iran,

Nicaragua,

Chile,

Lebanon,

Syria,

Iraq,

Afganistan,

too many African nations to count,

These are just the obvious ones you can pick out of the news.

And the relationships with various Arab Oil producer nations are also rather hard to see through.

Just wait until any of them get the idea to sell their oil in another currency than the U.S. dollar: If the CIA can't dissuade them inside a few months, the army will be bombing them back into the stone age shortly after, with some phony excuse. They'd blow up another one of their own buildings in NY, if they can't figure out another way to justify the next war. Obama won't stop anything, he'd rather avoid an early "retirement" with a headstone next to JFK.

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Headmaster

Sub Editor on holiday?

"should be left in piece": peace or pieces could be correct, and what is/are ISPa?

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Bronze badge
Unhappy

Not just Governments

Some companies also censor what their staff and contractors can see on the Internet. Not just to prevent access to pr0n, but also to prevent access to such dodgy sites as news sites, certain web forums, social media (apart from the CEO's promotional blog which all staff have to read every week) etc.

I'm waiting for them to block my access to ElReg

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

So what is the purpose of the ITU?

I still have not managed to find out what problems the ITU is supposed to solve, considering it has allegedly no powers and is criticized by so many… They do claim to have some kind of mandate, though.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So what is the purpose of the ITU?

There is no point in the ITU taking over the net, and I sincerely hope that both the USA and Europe barricade their efforts as much as possible to put it dead in the water!

ITU = China, as well as all those other 'evil' countries, do we want them having a say in how the net is run?

USA = SOPA/PIPA and ACTA/TPPA. as well as unlawful ICE domain name seizures.

Both are bad options, Germany sounds like the best one for managing the net, I wouldn't even trust the EU commission with it!

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Silver badge

Re: So what is the purpose of the ITU?

The USA owns the domain name registry. So it could decide tomorrow to hand over all Iran's URLs to some American outfit - like it did with Iraq's. Then of course Iran would set up it's own root DNS so which site you got would depend on whose root DNS your ISP prefered. Then it would do the same for all those other axis-of-evil countries, and probably France.

The ITU was setup so that country's phone (and telegraph) systems would talk to each other. Suppose BT decided that instead of +98 being the country code for Iran it would use 98 for premium rate chat lines, France could decide to use +44 to give it some extra numbers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So what is the purpose of the ITU?

Then of course Iran would set up it's own root DNS so which site you got would depend on whose root DNS your ISP prefered

Then Iran would make it highly illegal for any Iranian ISP to use any root servers other than their own.

Problem solved!

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Silver badge

Re: So what is the purpose of the ITU?

Except outside Iran. In the USA and UK it would resolve to the american version, in Turkey it would resolve to the Iranian one, in France it would resolve to the Iranian or USA one depending on the last row between their presidents.

Imagine if all international phone numbers depended on who was currently having a diplomatic row with who

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So what is the purpose of the ITU?

There would be little point accessing the Iranian version anyway in which case the USA version would serve to be the de facto version for non Sharia law countries!

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lookup the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Freedom of expression is subject to the following restrictions:

these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

1. For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

2. For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals

it is obviously easy for a tyrant to bend the meaning of the above

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Silver badge
Joke

69?

Definitely a non-discriminatory policy built around give and take.

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Extra-Territorial Reach

You know, there really is a serious issue here that you shouldn't dismiss so cavalierly.

The ITU could end up establishing a treaty regime in which it is _illegal_ for people outside certain censorship-prone countries to provide Great-Firewall-Busting technical assistance to Internet users inside those countries. Individuals who set up proxies, onion routers, VPNs and so on for the benefit of users in China or Iran could find themselves on the wrong side of newly-minted International Law.

That strikes me as a dangerous contingency well-worth guarding against, and if Google, the EU, "hippies", et al. are attempting to poke a stick in the spokes of this process, perhaps their efforts deserve a little less sneering contempt than you appear able to muster.

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Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: Extra-Territorial Reach

There are an infinite number of bad things the ITU could hypothetically do, and are very unlikely to do based on their history, constitution and good reputation. If you don't want to be ignored by crying 'wolf' or claiming that the sky is falling down once too often about potential landgrabs the ITU has never seriously considered, then don't accuse the ITU of being likely to carry out behaviour entirely at odds with the history of what it has done in the past and does now.

One job the ITU has done well is manage allocation of international dialling codes to member states, and much more consensually and much less contentiously than what ICANN is currently up to concerning top level domain names.

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Thumb Up

Re: Extra-Territorial Reach

I was the one that upvoted your post as it's the only intelligent and sensible one on the whole of this article!

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Re: Extra-Territorial Reach

In the first place, your faith in the "good reputation" of the ITU is, to put it mildly, puzzling, at least insofar as Internet regulation is concerned. The ITU has no record at all of regulating computer networks of any kind. It's reputation, such as it is, is in the regulation of the cartel of cartels of International telecom businesses, which are dominated by government-run incumbents. The culture at ITU fossilized with long-serving civil servants who see the networking world according to the International telephone network model, which leads to utterly inappropriate and damaging proposals being considered "serious". If you have doubts on this score, go have a look at the "termination fee" debate that is taking place in one of the main rings of this circus. A regulatory concept from the 1970s long-distance phone call world is proposed as an organizing principle for Internet network charges. Really?

Furthermore, the trust that you propose may be placed in an organization of "good reputation" might be appropriate, at least in a limited way, if that organization operated with any semblance of transparency. The ITU is opaque. Many key stakeholders are not present, not invited, not even understood to be relevant by the organization, whose deliberations will be revealed in the end as a finished package, fashioned after the interests of the organizations that did make it to the table. This is how the SOPA debacle got off the ground. You'd think they'd know better, but you'd be wrong. _Anything_ that comes out of this process will be attacked, simply (and correctly) because of the opaqueness that attended it.

Finally, note that simply acknowledging that "nations can censor their own network use already, so what's the big deal" is a disingenuous attitude. What is being discussed is the recognition, in International Law, that states have the "right" to so censor what their citizens see. The problem is that the obverse of every "right" is a "duty" -- my right to life is identical to your duty not to kill me, and so on. So ask yourself this: If China, Iran, Russia, etc. have the right to protect their citizens from having undesirable information delivered to them over the Internet, and that right is to be enshrined in International Law, what then is the duty thereby created for other nations and their citizens? And, why exactly do you imagine these nations are so eager to see these rights written into treaties?

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Anonymous Coward

somewhat disingenuous press release

ITU resolution only covers member states impeding *other countries* Internet access. Says nothing about freedom of communication inside a country.

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Anonymous Coward

ITU Strike again

http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/workprog/wp_item.aspx?isn=7082

They need to be stopped and all the regtards need to realise this, go on downvote my post, you know the truth is inconvenient and contrary to your misinformed opinions.

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