Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Freedom of the Seas

Although the blog has historically been a quintessential American phenomenon, it's greatest potential impact will probably be in countries without a working First Amendment. Global Voices Online, a website that is "sponsored by and launched from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School" describes a head-on collision between the Third World blogosphere and Third World courts.

The blog of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, or PCIJ, has made history — of sorts. Last week, the PCIJ was served with a court order to remove this Aug. 12, 2005 post related to an ongoing political scandal. The scandal revolves around taped wiretaps allegedly of Philippine Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordering an election official to rig her election. The President admitted the voice on the tape was hers, but her government claimed that the recordings had been doctored. Opposition politicians seized on the ensuing controversy to lead an aborted attempt at her impeachment.

The PCIJ post revealed information from a police dossier on the background of Jonathan Tiangco, an audio expert presented to dispute the authenticity of the recordings. The post described several criminal cases against Tiangco and mentioned that Tiangco had two wives. In October, Tiangco’s spouse requested a temporary restraining order against PCIJ, which a lower court granted after the Philippine Supreme Court turned down her petition. The order enjoined PCIJ for 20 days from “broadcasting, publishing or posting or causing to broadcast, publish, or post articles and statements similar and related to, or connected and in conjunction with” that blog post. In its post announcing the gag order and the removal of the post, PCIJ directed its readers to look to Google if they wanted to know the deleted post’s contents.

Basically, the PCIJ blogpost contained material which was deemed offensive to one of Mr. Tianco's wives and the court had it taken down. A number of bloggers raised the question of how a judge, especially one in a Third World country, could expect to expunge information from the Internet, when the content might be hosted, mirrored or cached in countries beyond his jurisdiction. The Berkman Center's website contains links to bloggers who see the judges actions as a threat to free expression, unspeakably futile, founded on ignorance or all of the above.

Before anyone laughs too loudly, it is well to go to the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) project of the United Nations website, which is embarked on a crusade to liberate the Internet from United States nongovernance. In a recently concluded meeting in Tunis, WGIG delegates failed to take the root servers away from the United States -- for now. According to Information Week:

World leaders on Friday approved a plan to leave Washington squarely in charge, as they wrapped up a three-day U.N. technology summit in Tunisia's capital. The EU and a host of other countries said, however, that summit delegates had simply delayed the battle for another day by agreeing to set up another multinational forum for debate, instead of tackling the issue now.  ... The computers, known as root servers, act as the Internet's master directories so Web browsers and e-mail programs can find other computers. Users around the world check those directories millions of times a day without ever knowing it. Pakistan and other countries wanted an international body, such as the United Nations, to take over the directories. 

Alan Anderson, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald noted that it was impossible to attend the Tunis conference without tripping over ironies.

Ronald Reagan once quipped that a government's view of the economy was: "If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidise it." The United Nations, having adopted Reagan's joke as policy, proposes to apply it to the fastest-moving sector of the economy: the internet.

The UN's World Summit on the Information Society has its final meeting in Tunis ... The Tunisian Government and President Ben Ali's family manage all Tunisian internet service providers. Access to international news and human rights websites is blocked. Online political dissenters face prison.

So summit nations are focusing fire on the obvious target: ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) the non-profit US corporation that administers internet protocol addresses and domain names - the internet equivalent of a phone book. The European Union, China, Iran, Cuba and others want a UN organisation to take over the administration, ending US "control" of the internet.

Commentary

One of the reasons the Internet has been so successful is that it has so far escaped the restraints of Filipino judges, Tunisian government officials and United Nations bureaucrats. Addresses which are published onto the root servers can be resolved and their content displayed, subject to the restrictions of their publishers. The United States, by refusing to regulate the Internet, has occupied the position of an information central banker maintaining the coin of the realm. If lower court Filipino judges and assorted bureaucrats get their way, the pathways of the Internet will be subject to bureaucratic gatekeeping, conducted in the name of "governance".  But the proper word would be debasement.

The moment the free flow of packets over the Internet is no longer substantially guaranteed, it will cease to be trusted. Companies which are building businesses worth billions over the Internet protocols would stop if they knew a relative of the Tunisian President had to be placated for commerce to continue. Applications such email, instant messaging, searches, e-commerce, online banking, virtual medicine -- to name a few -- would be at the mercy of bureaucratic caprice, not just in the United States, but in every swamp and backwater imaginable. In the end, governing the Internet, especially in the United Nations sense,  might be indistinguishable from destroying it. But one can see how that would appeal to those who yearn for bad, bad old days.

65 Comments:

Blogger showhank said...

I just wrote a post somewhat connected to this here:
http://showhankhill.blogspot.com/2005/11/jefferson-and-internet.html

It includes the following quote from Jefferson:
"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions."

--Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804. ME 11:33

11/22/2005 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Too bad those Google Boys aren't raving conservatives or libertarians.
If the UN Took over, they would simply put in place a starting infrastructure for a separate and free 'net.
The market would take care of the rest, and the UN Net would rapidly shrivel and become a(nother) welfare client.

(Would they then enjoy legal protection of the US Govt. or would they simply be sacrificed to the "world order" also?)

11/22/2005 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

For one really interesting read on what google is up to ...check out this article titled Google-Mart
Sam Walton Taught Google More About How to Dominate the Internet
Than Microsoft Ever Did
By Robert X. Cringely

11/22/2005 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

WGIG’s proposed internet governance forum is widely supported, but the US is unlikely to give up its power:

Frank March, senior specialist adviser at the Information Technology policy group of the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development, took leave from the MED to take up the role of senior programme advisor with the WGIG secretariat.

What the various countries want

In all probability WSIS in Tunis will just be another small step towards an agreement.

Frank March explains that the countries of the world are basically divided into four groups:

1. Countries that want direct involvement of governments and a UN organ (The ITU) taking over the whole domain and IP-numbering system. Pakistan and a number of Arab countries belong to this group.

2. Countries that want direct involvement of governments in key decision areas of the IP-numbering system. China, Brazil and South Africa are examples here.

3. Countries that have no problem with the existing system but want greater international involvement. The process towards internationalised internet governance should be cautious and evolutionary. New Zealand belongs to this group.

4. Countries that do not want to change the existing system.

WGIG's Proposed Governance

11/22/2005 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

sam,

I may be wrong about WGIG, but I think their concerns are totally contrived. Nothing prevents them from building their own DNS system. In fact, they should to test their own assertion. The market will shift to them if an "international system" provides any benefits over the existing one, because it eliminates the "uncertainty" inherent in a "foreign government" controlling the system.

The UN can sign up Tunisia, Cuba and anyone in Europe who sees any benefit to their system. That's the way the current system became standard. It should be recalled that no one forced anyone to use the existing "US dominated" system. It became dominant on its merits. Now WGIG is proposing a change that the market isn't asking for but which the bureaucrats feel is essential. If the bureaucrats are right all they have to do is invest in another system, their so-called better system, and watch the market flock to them. Or do they doubt that it will?

Thousands of boaters, hikers, pilots and even Iraqi insurgents trust the Global Positioning System daily with their lives, using it to navigate despite the fact that it is a "foreign controlled system". For the insurgents it is even an enemy-controlled system. They trust it because the US would lose the value of the system in an instant if it debased it.

I honestly cannot see any merit in the WGIG's proposals. If it had any merit it wouldn't need to be promulgated by some bureaucratic fiat.

11/22/2005 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Andrewdb said...

It may already be too late. Non Pasaran says the French are already up to "information management". See http://no-pasaran.blogspot.com/2005/11/wrong-weasels-wrong-woodpile.html

11/22/2005 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

It is NOT necessary to believe "the Internet was created IN ORDER TO allow people to access information about The Lord of Hosts, the Glory of God, BUT IT DOES!

Ecclesiastical hierarchies are NO LONGER necessary or desirable, especially since most of them engage in the morally dubious 'damnable heresy' St Peter warned us against, "scoffing and denying our lord who redeems us" has returned.

By way of the Internet, people can Google "May 23, 1844" for themselves: no Tunisian officials, no Chinese senior comrades and no Iranian imams able to stand between the oppressed of this world and the Promised One of All Ages!

11/22/2005 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Wretchard,

I am in total agreement with yourself and Doug. Build it and let the market decide. Which sounds reasonable to me. As Frank March states in the article, “The internet is currently running well and securely. Nothing is broken.” The system now is totally open and free. I can't imagine a UN system bettering that. After what we've seen as to how UN members corrupted OFF, a UN controlled system is just asking for trouble. Unless they put Bolton in charge, of course.

11/22/2005 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger Rizalist said...

Most bloggers laughed it off when the Quezon City judge issued the TRO on the PCIJ. But a noticeable chill down the spine was sent throughout the archipelago to local and provincial radio and tv stations and newspapers. PCIJ is a hotshot outfit. It would've been like trying to TRO 60 Minutes. That was in fact the consensus of the bloggers here as the purpose of the attack on PCIJ.

But what Harvard Law School completely missed, being a Law School, is the relation this incident has to the hunt for Dulmatin, the "genius of the Jemaah Islamiyah", and the missing ONE-ARMED bandit terrorist Radulan Sahiron, which I covered in my post on the event for Philippine Commentary:

Will Bloggers Get Clobbered in the Philippines?

and here

11/23/2005 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger EddieP said...

In any reasonable change, there needs to be some Quid Pro Quo. What is the WGIG's to US Commerce and Industry, The Academy, The Military, The General Populace, Federal, State and Local Governments? I understand why China, Cuba, etc. want to gain control of it, but I don't discern any conceivable benefit by relinquishing it. There's enough popular animus toward the UN, that I have to believe there'd be a massive outpouring from all US institutions against turning control over to them.

11/23/2005 02:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

EddieP said...
There's enough popular animus toward the UN, that I have to believe there'd be a massive outpouring from all US institutions against turning control over to them.
---
One would hope the animus, plus the fact that the netstorm that would follow, including libertarians, some liberals, conservatives, religious groups, etc would be enough to do the trick, but best to be on gaurd, as Govt and the UN can be extremely unresponsive to any rational input from the outside.

If Clinton and his cheerleading Corps the MSM had any ethical principles at all, they'd be on board since he could take full credit for it being deliberately set up during his administration to be free of governmental meddling.

11/23/2005 02:43:00 AM  
Blogger Bill C said...

I am ignorant of much of the workings of the internet and so I have no idea how easy it would be to counter turning over those servers to UN control. I do know that it would not be that hard, politically, to do this in the US. There is a minority of people who are conservative/liberatrian and who use the internet in the US. I am not sure how influentual we would be when aligned against the many who would see nothing wrong with this power grab. I imagine the following list would be very happy to see UN control:

1) Owners of the MSM,
2) Leftists who lionize the UN,
3) Businesses that would benefit from internet taxation,
4) Any group that wants a more "moral" internet.

This would be a formidable group and if it could be done by executive order then there would be little debate. President Clinton would assure us that Secretary General Clinton is the best person to manage our internet.

11/23/2005 02:52:00 AM  
Blogger Cardozo Bozo said...

Would it even be possible to turn over the root servers? I mean, say we did turn them over. Fed-Ex'ed 'em overnight to Beijing, or wherever.

What would stop MIT from setting up a new root server, and everyone just switching to that?

In understand and agree with the position that the current system wins on the merits, but I'm wondering if the WGIG is inherantly a technological futility as well.

11/23/2005 03:28:00 AM  
Blogger Cardozo Bozo said...

Timely:

Quantum "one time pad" encrypted VOIP

http://rdvlivefromtokyo.blogspot.com/2005/11/necs-quantum-telephone.html

In Tunis, Robert Mugabe criticizes "nihilistic and disorderly freedom".

http://news.com.com/Cuba%2C+Iran+lash+out+at+Internet+freedom/2100-1028_3-5960298.html?part=rss&tag=5960298&subj=news

11/23/2005 03:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

An insidious United Nations treaty.
"Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions,"
...This brave new world order is being established via "global governance," the adoption by organizations such as the U.N. of a vast overlay of political arrangements that transcend national borders, such as international agreements, rules, and laws.
(One such arrangement currently being promoted by the U.N. and EU, similar in thrust to the cultural diversity pact, could result in the regulation and censorship of the U.S.-created Internet by foreign powers.)
...Thus it gives the prestigious U.N. seal of approval to what Louise Oliver, the U.S. ambassador to UNESCO, cites as the "cultural exception" promoted in recent years by some nations: the notion that cultural goods can be exempted from free-trade agreements.

To justify such protectionism, the treaty declares that "cultural activities, goods and services" must not be viewed "as solely having commercial value." On a loftier note sounded by France's culture minister, as quoted in the Oct. 14 Wall Street Journal, "Works of art and the spirit must not be considered to be goods."
Of course the cultural goods actually targeted for exclusion are those of the culturally prolific, exuberant, and contagious U.S., and the agreement gives standing to nations to restrict or thwart competition from American cultural imports, such as movies, TV programs, CDs, print publications — or even such products as California wines.

Although the U.S. delegation steadfastly opposed this convention, it should have walked away from the conference when the treaty was approved, as recommended by the Heritage Foundation. In addition, America should now withdraw altogether from UNESCO, as it did once before in 1984. It is perverse for this country to donate the noose to its hangmen. Far better uses can be found for the many millions of dollars the U.S., as UNESCO's largest benefactor, has been pouring into the organization since the Bush Administration led America to rejoin it.

Zut alors! The mind reels with the potential of a Planetary-Wide, Multi-Media Neo-"Book-Burning" to add fire to the flames of existing international conflict.

11/23/2005 04:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

doug
do not forget what Uncle Nikki said:
"They'll sell us the rope we'll hang 'em with", or there abouts.

Same same with this.

As long as the Government does not decide there is an over riding "Public Interest" in the INet it is safe, but if ANYONE offers highers fees or taxes to the Government for the INet, well then, Public Interest can prevail and your property could be siezed and title transfered, possibly to competitive Private Interests.

Such is precedent from SCOTUS

11/23/2005 04:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It's early and this is totally OT
But if interested in Iranian Nukes read these
1. Vouce of America
Title:"US Says IAEA Report Shows Iran Has Plans for Nuclear Weapons"

2. Reuters
Title:"Iran president confirms retaliation if sent to UN"

Is the 10 year CIA projection to capability accurate?

11/23/2005 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger Esbiem said...

elgintyrell.com (Monday Nov. 14) has a good expose of the irony of the UN's attempt to userp the governance of the internet from the United States to the free wheeling tyranny of despots and dictators. Unfortunately it's a graphic that you'll have to view on their site as we cannot post it here.

11/23/2005 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

This looks like the Law of the Sea Treaty and the Law of Outer Space Treaty all over again.
Both those treaties asserted that the open oceans and the planets were "the property of all mankind" and that anyone who wanted a share of wealth derived from exploitation of those resources had only to ask.
Develop a undersea mine and great seagoing nations such as Switzerland and Mongolia could demand a cut without any investment - or even as much as a boat.
The same concept was to be applied to outer space.
Ronald Reagan told the U.N. to shove it on the first day he was in office - and that was that.
Control of the Internet is just another form of this economically and culturally Marxist idea.

11/23/2005 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Macklin said...

There is little about this effort on the part of the U.N. that has anything to do with the management of domain name databases. This is driven by two things first and foremost the desire for content control over the internet and second just because it's the U.S. in charge.

The UNternet would be a miserable thing.

http://nomayo.mu.nu/archives/134764.php

11/23/2005 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger John B said...

There was an interesting discussion of this topic on CBC radio recently. The producer of the program Bob Carty is pretty much a leftist liberal type and he attended the Tunis conference. Holding the conference in Tunisia was probably the WSIS's worst mistake as the Tunisian security rounded up a group of European journalists who had video taped Tunisian protestors being arrested and harassed. The Euro journalists were only released after they surrendered their video footage.

In a statement that somewhat surprised me, Carty came down firmly in favour of the current system. If a bleeding heart liberal organization like the CBC likes things as they are, that is a good omen.

11/23/2005 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger the African sky said...

Someone please explain to the ignorant: Can the UN, or any other body for that matter, take or wrest control away from the US?

11/23/2005 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Can the UN, or any other body for that matter, take or wrest control away from the US?

From our cold, dead fingers...

11/23/2005 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

Am I missing something? I thought that my access to the internet--wherever the root servers are (and whatever they are, for that matter)--was regulated through my internet service provider, to whom I pay a monthly fee for access. In countries that wish to control people's access to the internet, could there not be a system of regulating the internet service providers (Pakistan's version of AOL, for example) that would deny access to particular sites? Or does the control have to go deeper because of the myriad ways around roadblocks such as that? Or is there some other reason?

Enlighten me, please.

11/23/2005 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Jrod said...

Al Gore invented the internet. We should ask him what is to be done.

11/23/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Perhaps the greatest irony would be if the UN succeeded to wrest control of the internet from USA stewardship. It would be a leap to a new internet that was used only by free-trading democracies. Alas, the League of Democracies will be born.

People have been rightfully uneasy with Google’s unprecedented opportunity to control web content, a UN controlled master directory would, without doubt, be too tempting for the power hungry UN officials not to attempt to control content in order to mold world opinion.

What technology has the UN ever created? This kind of hubris is a prime example of this organization’s over-reaching aspirations of dominion.

“…European Union, China, Iran, Cuba and others…” Is this a good representation of our friends?

And a final thought, the UN has been athirst to tax the internet, what backwater, tin-horn dictator wouldn’t offer the UN a little tax in order to create content filters for their ignoble enterprise?

AM

11/23/2005 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff Medcalf said...

To inject some answers to some technical questions that have come up:

Anyone can set up a root name server. It's not difficult. Of course, you have to either have the current netmap, or be willing to start over, but that's not difficult in either case. The big tricks are reliability and connectivity, and those are both pretty easy to do really.

But why would people point at it? And why would they use a registrar that puts its names on your root server rather than the accepted root servers? Without regulation, you'd have to offer a few things, including equivalent stability and dependability, and the ability to resolve current names as well. In other words, you'd need the active cooperation of the current operators of the root name servers.

Now, a country like France could set up their own, and compel all ISPs to point to those, and compel all French by law to only get their domains from organizations that use that root server. But how would people outside of France resolve those domains? And how would people in France get to domains from the normal root servers? And for that matter, how would the French compel some guy with a Linux box or a Mac to point to the French root servers, other than as a matter of assessing penalties?

In other words, transfer of control is either voluntary or meaningless. It cannot be wrested away.

In real terms, the names are meaningless: they are maps to the underlying IP addresses. The real battle for control will not be of the domain name servers, because creating alternates for special purposes is easy and because reaching a server by its IP rather than its name is easy, but for control of the address space. And once you have the name servers, it's a fairly easy argument to make that you should also control the address space. Then you can deny, outright, access to those you don't like. That's the real goal of all of this.

11/23/2005 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

With an eye on the United Nations-sponsored technology summit taking place this week, Congress passed a resolution Wednesday stating that U.S. control of the Internet is inviolable.

U.S. lawmakers passed the resolution (H.Con.Res. 268) by a vote of 423-0. It calls for keeping oversight in the hands of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which operates under the Department of Commerce.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20051118/tc_nf/39529

...wow. unanimous ... I think we can assume our American lawmakers understand implicitly how important issue is.

11/23/2005 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger ed said...

Hmmm.

Frankly I'd like to see what the impact of blogging and the $100 laptop program are going to have when they converge. The $100 laptop program is oriented towards educating children, as of right now, but an inexpensive ubiquitous crank-powered laptop might create such a volume of information flow that could augment, subvert and ultimately destabilize many repressive regimes.

11/23/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger ed said...

Hmmm.

A root server is the functional equivalent of a internet "post office" for computers.

This "post office" translates address requests into the specific TCP/IP address that represents that computer. As an example if you are looking for Google.com, you'd type in "www.google.com" rather than the actual TCP/IP address "72.14.207.104".

Do it yourself: type in a DOS window "ping www.google.com" followed by [enter].

The reason for this is because it's a lot easier to remember "www.google.com" rather than having to remember "72.14.207.104". So anyone who controls the root servers effectively controls the internet. It's the same sort of scenario that brought about the invention of the modern mechanical telephone switch. A mortician invented it because the local telephone operator was directing all of the mortuary business to a competitor. So this mortician invented a mechanical telephone switch in order to prevent this loss of business.

In internet terms the functional equivalent would be typing in "www.google.com" and getting sent to a different website. You're expecting Google, but you're getting something else.

In real terms control over the root servers is the simplest way of controlling the internet. You can allow or disallow any website simply by entering or removing it's existence in the root server directories.

You can create your own separate set of root servers. In effect each and every single private LAN has it's own set of root servers that represent all of the devices on that network.

Hope this helped some.

11/23/2005 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

I think and I believe that a great many others agree with me, that from the viewpoint of usefulness to the United States the UN is as useful as a dead whale on the beach somewhere and it dosen't even smell that good. We need to get rid of this blight from US soil and never send it another nickel. Why should we worry about whether the UN is able to take over anything? Just get rid of it and the problem goes away.

11/23/2005 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I got a private email arguing that a UN Internet system would simply include its members out. Consider. If you wanted to resolve the IP of a URL and used the UN system, which was "govererned", you would resolve URLs less frequently than using the existing name servers. In other words, the UN DNS would be a proper subset of the existing system. But why would you use it? (This is a fancy way of saying that the UN will offer less for the same price.) So the market would use the current DNS system because it was a superset of the UN system and carried no extra cost.

In the end, the better standard would prevail. The current Internet would not only survive but prosper. However, a UN system would be, in the emailer's words "the end of the Internet for Tunisia" and its users, but no one else.

11/23/2005 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Here's what the U.N. would like to do with control of the internet (for starters anyway):

1. A tax on each email delivered.
2. A tax on all internet connections.
3. User fees (tax) on all public and private institutions accessing the "WWW".
4. Control over all content on the web and eradication of all material that fails to promote the "one-world ethic", devisive religious material, for example.

11/23/2005 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

It seems they are desperate for revenue now that the OFF has been exposed and given the US sentiment of cutting them off/expulsion.

Could be they are fighting for their survival.

11/23/2005 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

Annoy Mouse -

I recall reading during the tsunami relief efforts that that the UN didn't even have a helicopter to its name to inspect, much less provide relief. It was only through the military efforts of the US, Australia, and others that relief was able to be delivered.

http://www.ainonline.com/Publications/HAI/HAI_2005/d1reliefp16.html

An excerpt:

“It was fortuitous that the U.S. Navy was able to divert carriers and their helicopters to the region to take care of immediate needs,” Resavage said. “The agencies didn’t have any means of getting [private] aircraft over to the region, there wasn’t enough fuel available and they didn’t have the infrastructure set up to coordinate private efforts.”

Given their repeated displays of incompetence, I can only imagine how well the UN would be able to govern what's left of Al Gore's internet...

Cheers - DC

11/23/2005 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There was a Fox news segment regarding Iran and the high volume of blog traffic there.
If for that reason alone it is imperative that as a National Security issue the INet remains "secure".

11/23/2005 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Whit, above, touches on a VERY potent concern for thugocracies in Iran, Saudi and elsewhere...

Controlling access to Internet access to published information about (The Coming of One Promised in OUR Holy Scriptures).

The current governments want to keep their citizens IGNORANT of His Coming, because 1)they cannot revise or edit out all the pre-existing references to His coming in 1260 AH; 2) He explicitly OBVIATES the need for ecclesiastics (priests or clergy of any sort); 3) He explicitly promulgates the equality of male/female; 4)He advocates the independent investigation of truth...

All of which are inimical to entrenched orthodoxies around the world and therefore MUST be kept from the people as long as possible!

11/23/2005 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If I ran the Internet, I'd have some way to keep that Male/Female equality thing under the rug.
...at least for MY family's computers.

11/23/2005 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

On a lighter note:
RWE,
One of Hewitt's regular guests (the Stratfor Guy or the Center for Security Policy, I think)
regularly cautions us that the
Law of the Sea Treaty
is not dead, and is still being kicked around by our present establishment in DC, thus still represents a threat.
Heard anything about that?

11/23/2005 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wretchard,
It appears the search function is working for the fallback url, but still does not on the original Belmont Club.

11/23/2005 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I won't be surprised if China, France, and a bunch of the banana republics and middle east thugocracies *do* try to set up their own internet where they can control what comes in, and more importantly, control what their citizens can see looking out.

It would have to exist side-by-side with the current model, however, and I'm not sure how easy or hard it would be to hack from the (bad) China/French/UN model to the (good) American model.

What we need to be watching is whether Microsoft and Google decide to be good capitalists and try to sell the "new internet" club all the hardware, software and expertise they'll need to launch their tacky new enterprise.

Or if the Big Boy companies of international computing decide it's more important to be good world citizens and decline to take part.

Incidently, France already had a shot at setting up its own internet. I wonder what ever happened to Minitel ...

11/23/2005 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sadly, I guess I just figured it out:
It used to search both the posts and the comments.
It appears as though it no longer searches the comments.
Kind of like losing the Smithsonian and Library of Congress.
Oh, well, Praise be to Google!

11/23/2005 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Or if the Big Boy companies of international computing decide it's more important to be good world citizens and decline to take part."
---
That would be a new one:
They already accomadate the Chicoms.
I thought everyone used Minitel.

11/23/2005 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Last OT on Women's Equality:
. A Woman's Place is in the Hunting Lodge .

The howling, participants soon learn, evolved from a popular contemporary book that suggests women and wolves have a lot in common. "Women Who Run With the Wolves" is a mix of anthropology, new-age spirituality and self-help, but this crowd isn't interested in big books. It just likes to howl.

As participants rush out to the first of their classes, they get a final word of advice from one of the instructors: "Remember — what happens in Wonder Valley, stays in Wonder Valley."

Ow, Ow, Ow, Owwww, OOOOooooo.

11/23/2005 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Doug, there was something in one of the ICANN stories that Microsoft supported keeping it the way it is ... which surprised me, given what they've been doing in China.

11/23/2005 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Hal said...

For Heaven's sake, why go to the Philippines and the "Third World"?

Go ask Abe Foxman why he and the ADL sponsored an October, 2005 New York conference to coordinate hate speech suppression worldwide, including in the USA. Abe wants better and more effective ways to send US citizens posing on US websites to jail for violating foreign hate speech laws.

Go ask Yeshiva University why they sponsored a November, 2005 conference in New York to "harmonize" European and US hate speech laws and devise new legal theories of hate speech that will trump the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

We have a fifth column right in our greatest cities that wants to control the Internet and send people to jail for "Holocaust Revisionism" and whatever else they can characterize as anti-Semitic. Yet the best evidence of free speech subversion you can find is a grab bag of crooked Pilipino politicians.

Sheesh!

11/23/2005 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

I'm not too keen on their general political bias, but the good folks at Boing-Boing have some DYNAMITE coverage of the battles being waged by Sony, Apple and other entrenched orthodoxies; to break our TVs, strangle our music and castrate our cable...

Y'awl might binnersted...

11/23/2005 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Try this:

Whois

Plug in your IP address.

11/23/2005 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I have to second whit's post:

1. A tax on each email delivered.
2. A tax on all internet connections.

3. User fees (tax) on all public and private institutions accessing the "WWW".

4. Control over all content on the web and eradication of all material that fails to promote the "one-world ethic"


It's all about attempting to gain more revenue and power. I would suggest that the UN get it house in order first. Next, if they UN wanted to build and new set of DNS let them do so Without tax payer dollars. I doubt the effort would succeed.

Carridine comments on the information control angle:

Whit, above, touches on a VERY potent concern for thugocracies in Iran, Saudi and elsewhere...

Controlling access to Internet access to published information about (The Coming of One Promised in OUR Holy Scriptures).

The current governments want to keep their citizens IGNORANT of His Coming, because 1)they cannot revise or edit out all the pre-existing references to His coming in 1260 AH...


Yes, there could a religious censorship angle to the UN's proposal. Which is all the more reason to keep the root servers under our control.

Now, some have suggested that the UN could collaborate with some unfriendly nations, create some root server with duplicate domain names or incorrect map of names which could re-rout Internet users to the wrong location. I am not sure this can be done. But, it's somewhat of a threat.

I think the bottom line of the UN's plan is money - in the form of taxation and fees.

11/23/2005 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I was certainly leaning towards accepting Wretchard’s arguments about keeping the internet based in the United States until I heard about George W. Bush’s plans to launch Operation Linebacker III over the skies of Qatar in order to silence al-Jazeera. I haven’t heard much comment on this; it would be fascinating to know what members of a newly formed media group think about the United States establishing the principle that when a country feels threatened by the reporting of a media group, that said country has the right to silence -- with bombs -- the offending media company, who for example, call for an invasion or even violent regime change in certain countries.

What really got me worried was the fact that some day we won’t have the security of Bush’s reasoned and sober (ahem) decision making. Let’s face it, if the MSM can make 60% of Americans doubt that obvious strategic brilliance of the invasion of Iraq, then they might just be able to get 50% of Americans to vote for a Howard Dean, or worse yet, Himmlery (Hitlery is sooo pre-9/11) Do you really want Ms. Rodham to have her finger on the switch that could terminate with prejudice the internet portion of “the vast right-wing conspiracy”?

While the UN is obviously not even competent to form the question, the answer seems consist of two principles. First, that under no circumstances, for no reasons (even if doing so would stop a horrible nuclear attack on a certain capital of Europe) should content ever by edited or censored or regulated in any shape or form by way of its roor servers. Obviously national laws would still be in effect, for example calling for the assassination of President Himmlery would still be a crime, as would child porn.

The second principle, given the well-known fact the governments will always be tempted to silence critics through regulation of the root servers, is redundancy. The should be many sets of root servers, perhaps ten, all placed in different countries with the actual functioning root server being rotated annually. They should be connected in such a way that if the host country in any fashion tried to regulate content, its servers could be immediately bypassed and the function of being the root server would pass to the next nation in line. Now in order to insure that these ten countries don’t get together and agree on some “rational” regulations, the states chosen (perhaps even a non-state actor or two should be thrown into the mix) should be diverse enough so that they would be highly unlikely to ever all agree on anything. That means a rotation between a diverse group of powerful countries along with a few nut-case nations should assure that there will always be someone willing to allow the unvarnished truth (or egregious horrific lies and slanders) to flow on freely between servers on the Internet.

11/24/2005 02:47:00 AM  
Blogger gregor said...

Kevin

"..that there will always be someone willing to allow the unvarnished truth (or egregious horrific lies and slanders) to flow on freely between servers on the Internet."

How utterly naive of you to believe that that is what our dear establishment wants. (see Hal's comment above) But then again, I myself believe in the tooth fairy.

11/24/2005 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Gregor,

You’re right, it would be highly naïve of me to trust any elite, especially our own, to keep the Internet free, for better or worse. That’s why I propose to divide and conquer state elites by placing them in direct competition with each other. Just like the 16th monarchs set their aristocracies against each other or the colonial powers created, by placing the local tribes in competition with each other, the necessary conditions to conquer and rule them; if we could find ten countries that would never all agree on anything and gave each a set of servers and there was a way of switching to the server set that wasn’t regulated, the internet should remain free, The only other way is to place ten sets of root servers on barges in international waters and outside of any state’s jurisdiction – although the hard wiring might prove a bit tricky in this case.

11/24/2005 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Wretchard,

Speaking of "being at the mercy of bureaucratic caprice":

Link

11/24/2005 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The should be many sets of root servers, perhaps ten, all placed in different countries with the actual functioning root server being rotated annually.

Kevin, there's currently 13 being run by ICANN, with 3 outside the U.S. Suggest you do some research before posting further long-winded exhortations about nothing.

There are 13 root servers with equal authority, and only one of them is directly controlled by ICANN (the L server). They are operated by 13 different private companies (well, 12 since VeriSign owns two of them), 3 of which are outside the US. And that's not even physical servers BTW, there are over 80 physical DNS root servers belonging to these organisations, spread over 30+ different countries, and most of them outside the US.
http://www.fuckfrance.com/read.html?postid=1628188&replies=38&page=2

11/24/2005 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger aidan maconachy said...

It should be a market decision. Let whoever wants to compete build their own net and see how it plays.

My conviction is that people who want internet governance and controls will end up running a very large and empty cyber gulag.

11/24/2005 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Sorry nahncee, my bad.

There should be ten or so "ulimate" roots all connected together but located in different countries, so that if we take tha example from the Le Monde article, if the current ultimate root in the US decides to kill all the .fr addresses, another ultimate root can be selected and the rogue US ultimate root can be bypassed.

Is that better?

11/24/2005 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Kevin - from what I understand, not appreciably. Discussions of geeky types who know about these things say that the LeMonde article is full of fallacy, and that one such fallacy is that there is an "ultimate secret super-dooper root" server where you can erase France with the flip of a switch. It don't work that way.

Again, google and read the *technical* journals about ICANN (not popular paranoid stuff like what LeMonde wrote), and it's also amazing what you can pick up in comments sections of blogs, too. Although Belmont is better at military strategy for information than computery network stuff.

11/24/2005 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger ed said...

Hmmmm.

"... until I heard about George W. Bush’s plans to launch Operation Linebacker III over the skies of Qatar in order to silence al-Jazeera."

You really believe this do you?

11/24/2005 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Kevin has a taste for the paranoid stuff, so who are we to judge?

11/25/2005 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

More Misogyny:
Pajamagame .
From Baldilocks, the new girl in Pajamas (Media)

11/25/2005 03:59:00 AM  
Blogger usually mellow said...

Forgive me for asking the obvious but how can this UN group compel the US to actually 'turn over control'? What sort of perceived leverage does this group have over the US?

And it better not be 'international moral authority'...

11/25/2005 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger David Davenport said...

The problem with different entities sharing the Internet is that somebody may decide to sabotage OUR internet by allowing spurious, duplicate web sites and web addresses to operate. ... a bizarro world Left wing Belmont Club, for example.

You say we can trust foreigners not to do this and to play fair? Oh, OK.

11/27/2005 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Netpowersoft said...

You take pleasure in the most twisted things...

keep it up :)

hey i am fully agree to what all you have written here ..
i am lovin this blog...

This is looking really nice stuff..
Well you win my heart..


i am lovin this blog...
This is a cool stuff
:)

http://netWallpapers.com

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11/28/2005 03:34:00 AM  
Blogger Netpowersoft said...

You take pleasure in the most twisted things...

keep it up :)

hey i am fully agree to what all you have written here ..
i am lovin this blog...

This is looking really nice stuff..
Well you win my heart..


i am lovin this blog...
This is a cool stuff
:)

http://netWallpapers.com

http://tradealoan.com

11/28/2005 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger USpace said...

Good info, we gotta keep an eye on those totalitarians in Turtle Bay.


United Nations -
corrupt club where thug countries
often get their way

barbarians play grownup
always blame America
.

1/29/2007 10:06:00 AM  

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