back to article US sides with UK, walks away from sticky WCIT treaty

America has stated that it won't be signing the new ITU treaty after the text was pushed though on a forced vote, with the UK being the first of many to agree that the final text is not acceptable. The conference Chair took a gamble, closing discussion earlier in the day and presenting a modified version of the ITU treaty, which …

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Good!

Glad to hear that the western nations (I'm assuming) refused to sign this treaty. even if its for reasons of self interest and refusing to give up its own control of the internet.

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FAIL

Re: Good!

Yeah great to know that a few giant corporations can crush something useful like this on a whim, while millions and millions of people have little to less than no effect on various trade agreements that actually are negotiated in secret and actually do cause any harm.

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Meh

Re: Good!

It was always going to be this way,

A simple "fu*k you, there's no way you gonna get your hands on the net" prior to wasting all this time energy and expense would have been better.

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Pint

Re: Good!

I'm glad myself that they did this, now let's give them a hand, I'll bring the shovel.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good!

It was always going to be this way...

I have just won a bet that the "powers that be" would try to railroad a treaty that can be used to take over the Internet on a post-factum basis due to its vagueness. Anyone who has ever had to deal with the ITU knows that it is one of the most morally bankrupt organizations known to man (the UN pales by comparison). At the very least the UK and US reps showed some vertebra which I find surprising.

In any case, the book does not close on this chapter. There will be a repeat - again, again and again. As long as the union of X Telecoms (X ~ incumbent monopoly or ex-monopoly in most world countries), Russia, China and Iran is out there there will be another chapter, and another, and another...

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Trollface

Re: Good!

It was always going to be this way...

I have just won a bet that the "powers that be" would try to railroad a treaty that can be used to take over the Internet on a post-factum basis due to its vagueness. Anyone who has ever had to deal with the ITU knows that it is one of the most morally bankrupt organizations known to man (the UN pales by comparison). At the very least the UK and US reps showed some vertebra which I find surprising.

In any case, the book does not close on this chapter. There will be a repeat - again, again and again. As long as the union of X Telecoms (X ~ incumbent monopoly or ex-monopoly in most world countries), Russia, China and Iran is out there there will be another chapter, and another, and another...

And this is exactly why the USA and the EU will veto this shit no matter how many times they try.

Big Business trumps Iran's and China's wishes, don't think for one second it does not as that shows just how naive you really are.

Go at it thumbs down tards you hate the TRUTH and you know clicking a button makes your life feel better :P

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Anonymous Coward

Old proverb

If your hand is stuck in the cookie jar, you should let go of the cookie.

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Anonymous Coward

Does this actually matter?

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Anonymous Coward

dunno, I've not seen anywhere what the point of the whole affair was, just mental Americans saying the ITU was going to take over the internet and equally mad EU politicos saying the same thing.

I only have a vague inkling that the main point was coming up with how all the interlinks should work, how data should be treated and if ip addresses should be managed in a sane way. Given the last agreement was in the 80s it probably doesn't bare much of a relationship to the modern world.

But who knows.

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The company you keep

Politics in the US and UK are bad at times. However, when there's an issue of free speech (because that's what this boils down to in the end) with US/UK on one side, and Russia, China and Iran on the other, I'm pretty sure that the US/UK side is the one I want to be on.

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Meh

Re: Does this actually matter?

It would have mattered a great deal if the more egregious proposals had been adopted. They didn't have much chance, but only because people defending Internet freedoms were vigilant, and lobbied their governments successfully. Ignoring WCIT would have been disastrous.

The final output, even though the US/UK/etc won't sign it as-is, is not totally disastrous (http://www.itu.int/en/wcit-12/Documents/final-acts-wcit-12.pdf).

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Facepalm

Re: The company you keep

This is exactly why we need to kick the ITU into touch, taking a landgrab at the internet is NOT the answer people are looking for, in fact it's a solution in search of a problem, in this case, if the ITU were to run the internet, expect a major major shitstorm over the amount of non-islamic websites get seized by Islamic countries because they depict the prophet muhammad in a bad scenario or in a bad way. the amount of seizures would make USA ICE seizures look like a dot in comparison.

Common sense regtards, not that I would expect you had some, of course, otherwise why would you be reaching for the thumbs down button everytime you see anything bad about the fucking ITU!

Anyone that actually downvotes this post is a fascist and also most likely a pedoterrorist!

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Black Helicopters

Re: The company you keep

I agree with your post - but I downvoted it because I've always wanted to see a Black Helicopter (especially now they are robotic!) and being accused of being a fascist pedoterrorist seems like the quickest way to see one in Britain.

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Thumb Up

Re: The company you keep

That's okay, its nice to see why people downvote posts, if only they were an option for downvote with reason option, and kudos for the black helicopter reference as that's how I feel the UK is fast turning into and glad I'm not the only one!

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Megaphone

Good riddance to bad ideas

"Now we have a treaty without signatures, containing important details on international roaming and billing intended to support telecommunications in developing countries who are vulnerable without it."

And the people who scuppered it, by trying to enable / promote censorship and oppression (for example, filtering of pro-freedom of religion websites in Saudi Arabia, or pro-democracy sites in China) should be forced to go to said developing countries and explain to people, one by one, that suppressing their own citizens is far more important than empowering others who do not share their beliefs.

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FAIL

Re: Good riddance to bad ideas

I'm not sure wherever you support this ITU motion or not, but it's clear that if it comes to pass, it would hurt us all. Do we want China and Islamic countries having a say on Internet affairs? seriously?

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Bronze badge

Re: Good riddance to bad ideas

Hear hear. If such lovely places as Iran China and Saudi are for it, how good could it be?

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Not about censorship... well not THAT censorship

The real reason why it wasn't signed is not that it would allow censorship, it's that it would take some control away from the US. The whole Internet is de facto censored by the US, as they have control over domain name, act as a hub (with the fattest pipes) and a significant portion of the world's hosting/storage capacity. Hence the ability to seize domain names for foreign gambling website if the local law doesn't allow them, or the Megavideo servers being seized, etc.

And what little power eludes them they grab by military-like action (Kim Dotcom) or Bond-like underhand machinations (Assange).

That treaty would diminish the almost complete control that the EU have over the internet, and we can't have these filthy gambling sites or filelockers on the grid now, can we?

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FAIL

Re: Not about censorship... well not THAT censorship

You also missed how my country targets communications infrastructure during wartime (which is anytime now given the Global War on Terror") and the weaponization of cyberspace. I'm ex-military and well aware of the issues so I can "understand" why we wouldn't like having those options removed from our options. Still, we won't have a leg to stand on when someone does it to US.

I was already against the ITU regulating the internet for pretty much one reason. The power to tax. Currently the UN has to somewhat behave itself as we (the US being their #1 source of cash) have a habit of bitch-slapping them whenever we feel like they are misbehaving (which is most of the time). Should they ever have an independent source of income, no one will be able to pull their leash short. The rest of it is window dressing.

I also get the feeling, nothing factual I can point to, that this was the sweetener that the telecoms lobby has been dangling in front of them. I would bet at least some, if not a lionshare, of the funds would come from taxing the traffic originating from say Google or Netfix, properties that the telcos haven't managed to say moo to get milked properly. [Despite the fact that they already pay for numerous fat pipes already.} Something of not only rent-seeking but combined with regulatory-capture as well for the economists in the audience.

The backroom players really need to get a better game on for ITU2013 coming to a venue near none.

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FAIL

Re: Not about censorship... well not THAT censorship

> You also missed how my country targets communications infrastructure during wartime

I also don't know which country is "your country".

I wasn't praising the censorship of the Internet, just stating the the one state that currently does censor the worldwide net is not ready to give up its censorship powers. And THAT is the real reason why the treaty won't be signed by the US and friends (including MY countries: France and Canada) as long as it includes ANY reference to the 'net, be it explicit or implicit.

I'm not judging on the merits of one censorship vs another, just stating that the 'net is indeed censored right now, mostly by the US.

The censorship issue is a red herring. Nothing in the treaty would give any special censorship power to China, Iran, North Korea, or whatever the current Scrooge may be. It would however remove some power from the hands of the current rulers. Which is why the current rulers won't have it. Whether it's a good or a bad thing depends on where you live, I suppose.

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Silver badge

The censorship issue is a red herring

Indeed, it is just a political way to distinguish between some nations. In fact, by doing that it makes it less obvious that the real threat here is telecoms who want to find justification for more tariffs. All they need is a thin wedge.

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Joke

I saw what you did there...

"sticky WCIT"

wicked!

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Thumb Up

Toure needs to be canned. There was never a coherent rational given for this ridiculous proposal. They actually cited spam in one pathetic justification.

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WTF?

Not a lot of thinking going on

A lot of commenters here seem to ascribe the most noble and pure of motives to Russia, China and Iran, and the basest of motives to the US and UK. Do you really think the governments of Russia, China or Iran give a shit about stopping spam or improving telecomms in developing countries? If anything, they want to stop telecomms improvement to maintain their information monopoly.

Some people who grew up in a free country really don't appreciate how much of a gift that is, and seem bizarrely keen to throw away that freedom for themselves and those who have never had it.

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