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back to article ITU to treaty haters: Enjoy your pricey roaming, boatloads of spam... suckers

According to UN agency the ITU, more than half the world's population will enjoy cheaper international roaming, faster connectivity, less spam and an improved economy. This is all thanks to a new treaty of global telecoms regulations 89 countries have signed up to, the same one firmly rejected by America and its pals, who felt …

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Silver badge
Facepalm

I'm a bit puzzled too

Two-thirds of the world's population hasn't got proper internet access, and most of those countries wanted this treaty. Meanwhile the minority - which has the fastest broadband - gets to extend its control from the internet into telephony, much to the delight of the Western blogosphere.

I can see why some of the ITU proposals were worth questioning but I'm still waiting for an explanation as to why the Internet would be better if it was run by Google.

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WTF?

confused

In spite of all the bluster from both sides, it still isn't clear to me exactly what was being proposed and what was being rejected*. Like most (even technically-minded) people, I'm not well-versed on the nuts-and-bolts nitty-gritty, and neither side has been able to properly explain their position.

And "They are threatening the freedoms of the Internet" is NOT an explanation.

For example, China routinely filters all of it's internet traffic. Most western countries have a sort of 'paedo blacklist' that gets filtered out. Syria recently cut off the whole Internet... so clearly every country in the world that has a state apparatus strong enough to take physical control (or realistically threaten physical control) of the servers and gateways that make up that country's internet connections, then they can censor or cut off whatever they want. I don't think that this situation is going to change, treaty or no treaty.

So what is this really all about?

*My office firewall isn't playing nicely so I can't see the PDF

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Anonymous Coward

Re: confused

I'd also like to know that... perhaps in terms of "what are they trying to change?". There is a current treaty in force, so what are the changes that the new treaty would make?

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Bronze badge

Re: confused

This may be wildly off, but what I've read is that there were proposals for data to charged very much as if it were voice (which is probably already just treated as data by the phone companies...).

Essentially, it seemed as if when data travels over national borders, there would be a fee collected by the recipient.

It's probably a good deal more complicated than that, I can't imagine Wikipedia (for example) being charged by BT every time one of their customers looks at an article.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: confused

Yeah I don't have much of a clue, I think it's more the ISP level comms. But yeah - I too have no idea what the whole thing was really about just what mental people in the States and Europe said and what google kept repeating. All I remember seeing from the other side "we have no interest in taking control of the internet, but we need a new international treaty or else everyone is on their own."

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Facepalm

Re: confused

If the ITU got control off ICANN, we would probably see some conflicts of interest, especially among the Islamic countries which want to globally censor anything bad about their imaginary friend 'Mohammad'.

This fact alone makes me vomit and glad the USA, Canada, and the EU gave them the middle finger.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: confused

Mohammed wasn't the imaginary friend, he was a war lord that cottoned on to the good idea that during the middle ages the best way to get people to do things you want them to do was to tell them they'd be rewarded or punished in the after life. Allah is their word for God...

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Facepalm

Re: confused

OK. so you have just got my up vote, but you would do well to remember this.

Every organized religion before and after Mohammed has done the same. They just use different names, and rules, but it's the same principle.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: confused

Well yeah I wasn't implying he was the only guy to come up with the plan. It's a pretty solid plan! And has been repeated time and time again throughout history!

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Meh

Re: confused

@Beau

I'm well aware of this, it was a rushed post, I am well aware of Muhammad being a prophet rather than a god, but the rest of my post still stands, who in the EU or the USA wants to be told by the ITU that their site offends someone in Iran or Sierra? I am no fan of the ITU if they give Iran or any other backward country a stick to mess with the rest of the western world, I am no fan of the status quo either, with SOPA ACTA etc, but until we have a BETTER system, then I say leave well alone.

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Happy

Re: confused

You make it sound like a King's Quest.

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Alien

Good. I don't want dictatorships and fundamentalist states dictating to the civilized countries that invented and developed the internet into what it is; we've got enough trouble keeping our own "Think of the Children" and "let's all live in the 5th century" idiots under control, last thing we want is some backwards prats telling us how to do things.

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Anonymous Coward

Do you actually have a single clue what the treaty was about or are you just following the crazy google line??

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Silver badge

Content

The whole censorship issue is a red herring. The problem is that if content, of any kind, gets considered in regulations then telecoms have an excuse to set content related fees. I'd be worried about that.

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Anonymous Coward

Do you actually have a single clue what the treaty was about or are you just following the crazy google line??

Google isn't spreading crazy information, live with it!

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FAIL

The conference broke down for good reason

The US was right. The treaty allows governments to inspect the contents of Internet traffic. It does not claim control over addressing and naming yet, but leaves those open to future conferences. The treaty dances on the line of whether or not Internet is telcommunications per se (and thus regulated) or the content of telecommunications, which is how the US views it and how it got going int he first place without government, ITU, or telephone company blessing.

The ITU has simply shown that it is obsolete, a place for dictators to strut their ability to shut off their own countries from the developed world.

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Meh

Re: The conference broke down for good reason

"The US was right. The treaty allows governments to inspect the contents of Internet traffic."

And you think the US (or any other Western givernment) doesn't already do this to the best of its abilities?

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FAIL

Re: The conference broke down for good reason

It is one thing for governments to do this surreptitiously. They can, after all, do whatever the hell they please, as they are soverign. It is something else for a treaty to call for governments to read all Intenet traffic, ostensibly in the name of stopping spam, but of course it is well inside the application layer, so not something that a telecom carrier, or treaty, should have any business whatsoever touching. And not something that magically could be stopped if only governments interceded. The conceit that government can stop spam by filtering Internet traffic, even though private parties couldn't, just proves how incompetent ITU-T is.

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Facepalm

Re: The conference broke down for good reason

"The treaty allows governments to inspect the contents of Internet traffic"

Which treaty, the existing one or the proposed new one? The current treaty was conceived mostly in a phone-and-fax era. By the current treaty it must be OK for governments to examine content in their own jurisdictions as long as it complies with local laws (I would be flabbergasted to the contrary, otherwise international calls could not be wiretapped, and all western governments do this, hopefully under judicial review).

So clearly by the current treaty it's already OK for, for example, China to inspect content on any internet server that's physically located in China. So I still fail to see what the difference is and why the backlash.

My suspicion is that the authoritarian states want to get their intrusivenes enshrined in the treaty, not because they won't keep on snooping either way, but to give them some sort of moral high ground. The western states don't want to relenquish their own perceived moral high ground, and Google et al want to be able to feed massive volumes of data around without being forced to pay more for access, or see their traffic being bumped down in priority if real-time data like VOIP gets priority.

And no-one wants to admit their real agenda so they're all blustering about freedom

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Silver badge

Re: The conference broke down for good reason

Well if for example I attempt to visit http://thepiratebay.se , I am informed that I'm not allowed to visit that page, so this sort of thing is already happening.

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Big Brother

But what if they _can't_ inspect it?

@Fred Goldstein: ``The treaty allows governments to inspect the contents[....]''

If this is indeed true (I've downloaded the PDF, but not yet read it), how long do you think it would take the signatories to decree that the packets _must_ be inspectable---i.e., no encryption. Thus, what we USians have finally gotten the government out of (mostly) will see the world roaring back into.

So far, there's enough pushback here to prevent the feds from decrypting without a warrant (and maybe not even then, depending on what happens when the Supremes get a case claiming the contents of your brain are yours alone). But all the governments which would instantly say ``So sorry, but international treaty prohibits encryption'', and back it up by dropping any packets they can't read, would put paid to anything but steganography.

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Big Brother

It's started already

Bruce Schneier (https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2012/12/china_now_block.html) reports that

``The "Great Firewall of China" is now able to detect and block encryption''

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Silver badge

SPAM

As far as I know the ITU is involved in running the worlds phone systems. When they can stamp out the phone SPAM then they can start on the Internet stuff.

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Gold badge

Re: SPAM

That'll be a long wait, then. As soon as I read: "cheaper international roaming, faster connectivity, less spam and an improved economy" I thought, "Well I know the bit about less spam is just bullshit, so I suppose the rest must be as well.".

If the ITU *want* to sabotage any and all credibility, this is pretty much the easiest way of doing it: tell internet users that you've found a cure for spam.

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FAIL

protecting us from spam

If bureaucrats like in the ITU were in charge of protecting us from spam, we'd never eat anything else!

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Silver badge

Re: protecting us from spam

If Google policies are allowed to reign, we'll eat spam and believe it's smoked salmon.

Why exactly do people trust Google more than the ITU?

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Happy

Re: protecting us from spam

"Why exactly do people trust Google more than the ITU"

As far as I have understood Google was not invited to that meeting, nor was Facebook or Twitter, and so forth.

Google have expressed its opinion about it, and they have, as anybody else, the right to do so.

Without being anything like an expert I think this came down to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Some other day, some other text, some real demand for it, perhaps then. But until then why sign onto a new mess.

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Silver badge

Re:Why exactly do people trust Google more than the ITU?

Who ever said I was trusting Google?

My point was that the ITU claiming they can do anything about SPAM is just total B*&^%cks. They have a track record in setting up treaties for the worlds phone systems and those treaties have no history what so ever of successfully stopping the barrage of unsolicited and frequently fraudulent nuisance phone calls that disturb our lives.

Given this track record why should we believe they are in any position to do anything about email SPAM?

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Bronze badge

Fixed it for you

"was built on the accusation that the UN was trying to wrest control of the internet from the freedom-loving people big advertisers of the world (particularly the USA)"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fixed it for you

@graeme leggett

was built on the accusation that the UN was trying to wrest control of the internet from the freedom-loving people big advertisers of the world (particularly the USA)

And hand it over to Islamic countries and countries like China and Russia? What are fuck are you smoking dude?

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It's clear the "key powers" don't want to allow the rest of the world to do "officially" what the "key powers" already do themselves.

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Anonymous Coward

This tells you all you need to know about who signed the WCIT treaty and why

http://infogr.am/-mebuell_1355447340

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