back to article FCC boss applauds moves to block UN internet control

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has issued a public statement of support after a senior Congressional committee unanimously approved a resolution condemning moves to bring the internet under new management. Government representatives should "continue working to implement the position of the United States on Internet governance …


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  1. David 45

    If I ruled the world

    "Don't let the UN or anyone else muscle in, 'koz we Yanks aim to run the internet and, ultimately, rule the world."

    1. g e

      Re: If I ruled the world

      Plus who the hell would Hollywood pay their kickbacks to if no US senators had any influence over intertube policy?

  2. Esskay

    Vint Cerf...

    Everytime I see that name it conjures up an image of a scared, slightly demented man smoking a cigar in a dark office, with a belt of ammunition around his neck and a machinegun on his desk, mumbling about "precious bodily fluids" whilst scribbling "Peace On Earth" on a notepad.

    Also Mary Bono Mack sounds like a raw, unadulterated nutter. ""Despite denials, the Russians and Chinese are working quietly behind the scenes – and have been for years – to exert control over Web content and infrastructure,"" Last time I checked, the UN involved more than just Commies and ex-commies - in fact China are probably more surprised than anyone to suddenly find themselves mentioned as a major part of the UN's supporters, considering how many of the UN's policies seem to be at odds with China.

  3. Turtle


    "FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has issued a public statement of support after a senior Congressional committee unanimously approved a resolution condemning moves to bring the internet under new management."

    Well that's fine but get rid of those scammers at ICANN.

  4. mrd
    Thumb Down

    This is a joke right?

    If the US govt wasn't letting bloody corporates and their own crappy institutions bully the internet then I could maybe take the kind of talk in that article seriously.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lol, politicians eh, they really think they rule the world

    ... ok so they do for now, but am i the only one looking forward to a distributed internet in the future where the infrastructure is me and my local device.

    The power of smart phones combined with distributed technologies like clouds and bit torrent mean that there could come a time when there is no government controlled internet if you dont' want to be part of it.

    This may not be soon and the tech i have suggested may not be appropriate but the concept of a central system controlled by the US or if you live in China or Russia controlled by them, is only something we have today and just like anything will evolve and innovate to get around these attempts at control.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: lol, politicians eh, they really think they rule the world

      No child. Your personal device & your P2P only work because of companies you've obviously never heard of. If you really think that the people own the Internet I pity you.

  6. heyrick Silver badge

    "meritocratic democracy"

    MegaUpload? DCMA takedowns on flimsy pretences? All your dot coms are belong to us? Data held on a server in the US is ripe pickings?

    Basically you think it's your party and you want to play with the biggest toys and don't see that the rest of the world is getting fed up with that. The beauty of the system is, however, that the technology exists to cut you out of the loop completely. Might be time to try a little compromise and a bit less bullying, eh?

    1. nexsphil

      Re: "meritocratic democracy"

      > Basically you think it's your party and you want to play with the biggest toys and don't see that the rest of the world is getting fed up with that.

      B-b-b-b-but it's manifest destiny!

    2. g e

      Quick amend...

      Don't care that.....

      While they have the ability to bomb 'freedom' into you on a whim.

  7. Peter Galbavy
    Big Brother

    I'll take the good ol' USofA over the ITU anyday

    While the US may not be the most genuinely democratic or open country in the world it is hand and feet above the ITU and their UN masters. If the ITU were serious above their claims of transparency and open process then they should be publishing a lot more in a transparent and open way. Instead there are spurious claims of commercial confidentiality and implications of security through obscurity and all the other excuses that most civil service organisations are proud of.

    The IETF as was may have been subverted by the big players like Cisco et al. but at least most of it is aired in the open and, up to a point, anyone could join in - hence the reference to a "meritocratic democracy". Of course that became a fantasy towards the end of the last millennium but it's still far far better than what the ITU would do.

  8. Don Jefe


    You do realize that we built the Web & just share it with you. All of our National Labs have been operating on their own fiber network for years & we're just waiting & laughing as the rest of the world fights over yesterdays tech. Suckers.

    1. asdf

      Re: Ours

      Hey look at the troll. Perhaps we can make a claim the internet was built in the US (of course I am sure foreigners and immigrants were involved) but if you look at who built the Web you will see the inventor Tim Berners-Lee was actually born in London and is British and actually invented the Web while at CERN which is on the border of France and Switzerland. For the record I am American all the way but as shown by the number of Republican voters who make less than 30k dollars a year my country has plenty of uneducated retards.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ours

        Anybody who thinks there is really a difference between the two major parties is a moron.

  9. Stuart Grout

    UN has a better track record than USA

    The UN has a much better track record on these issues than the USA.

    If you look at the work of the UPU as delivering fair and effective international postal traffic you can see how it has managed to resist the vested interests of big players for over 100 years. The same can't be said of the USA which bends to the whim of whatever well paying lobbyist is stuffing the brown envelopes.

    The USA would find there would be much less support for changes if it would just leave the Internet alone and stop trying to impose it's internal agendas on the rest of the world.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: UN has a better track record than USA

      That UN thing is ours too. Did you not notice it is parked in New York?

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: UN has a better track record than USA

      The UN couldn't organise a pissup in a brewery, even if someone else sorted out the taxis for them. Every decision made has to be watered down to cater for the various nations with an axe to grind and anything even remotely constructive gets vetoed.

      Imagine the internet being run by a UN committee. Now roll on a few years to when Iran, North Korea or somesuch gets the chair via the usual UN selection process of "Buggins' Turn"........

      Also imagine where we'd be with IPv6 if it had to be approved by the various nations. If the UN were already running this, I'd be gobsmacked if they had the first draft of the standard out yet.

      The old gag about a camel is that it is a horse designed by a committee. You can tell it wasn't a UN committee as the bloody thing's got four legs.

  10. Fazal Majid


    The ITU predates the UN by almost a century, and has its own institutional culture (it is based in Geneva). It is effectively the talking shop where Big Governments trade favors with Big incumbent Telcos with PTT mindsets. This whole exercise is just naked rent-seeking by the telcos, nothing more, nothing less.

  11. Trollslayer
    Thumb Down

    Hypocrisy again

    These people simply have no shame.

  12. Suricou Raven

    Activists may have some advantage here.

    There are plenty of grassroots activists around who really want the internet to be unregulated and unregulateable. In any other arena, they'd be a joke - the people who wave signs that everyone else ignores. But this isn't any other arena, because the internet differs in a crucial way: Software is real power. Avoiding the obvious star wars quote, the more governments try to control the internet the more annoyed users will start developing software to resist that control.

    It's already lead to an arms race situation in regards to things like copyright enforcement: Users started hosting files, copyright holders started suing, so users invented napster, so copyright holders found new legal avenues, so users invented decentralised networks, so holders designed monitoring systems, so users invented darknets... and so it goes, as the two sides fight through technology. And so far, look who is winning.

    Fast forward twenty years, and what is it going to look like? Distributed ad-hoc wireless content-addressible networks, ubiquitous encryption, a hundred different ways to make your collection of forbidden Mohammed-mocking cartoons look like background noise in a VoIP call, and technology so advanced you can fit every movie ever made in your pocket. The only way to maintain control then would be to ban data communications entirely, and that's going to destroy the economy so badly only the most desperate would try it - and even then, someone over the border is going to be scatting wireless repeaters over the country from balloons. There's already a Christian ministry that does that to airdrop bibles into North Korea from adapted weather-ballons.

    Such technology will always be niche though. Most people just don't want to rock the boat, and have nothing more dangerous to discuss online than idle gossip and the latest sports results.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Activists may have some advantage here.

      "a hundred different ways to make your collection of forbidden Mohammed-mocking cartoons look like background noise in a VoIP call"

      And... you'll never be able to find a single bloody thing of interest unless you're in the right circles at the right time.

      [we're already starting to see a minor version of this with Google with results less and less relevant as time goes by, what with the "Showing results for <something ELSE>"; just think in the future when it is all decentralised, everything you could possibly want is online (rockin' rule 34, baby) but you just can't find a single damn thing]

  13. solidsoup

    "These distortions and mis-statements could be found plausible by credulous members of the public, and could even be used to influence national parliaments, given that the documents themselves are not officially available."

    Very well, then make them officially available...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Problem is, if they leaked their idle musings now before they have been properly sanitized, PEOPLE would be really scared. The reason everyone hates the ITU is that it is the final bastion for greedy telcos and monopolists. An internet ruled by committee ain't gonna work guys, just keep chatting and leave it alone.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "in accordance with their national law, any private telecommunications which may appear dangerous to the security of the State, or contrary to its laws, to public order or to decency."

    Are you paying attention Mrs I'm-happy-For-All-Euro-Data-To-Be-Held-On-Machines-In-The-US Euro MP Lady?

  15. Old Handle

    Although I completely understand why people don't trust one country (particularly mine, to be honest) to control the internet, it strikes me as nothing short of miraculous that the internet has remained relatively free and democratic for this long. So the the gamble that any change would be for the better rather than worse seems like a risky one.

  16. asdf


    Since I am sure plenty will be said about the thuggery of the US government (which is deserved) I am going to take the other tack and point out that I doubt the UN could take time away from its busy schedule racism conferences and non-binding environmental treaties to actually do something useful. The UN exists as a dumping ground for bureaucrats even too worthless for their respective national governments. Good job on protecting the civilians of Syria UN.

  17. Matthew Hale

    If the UN take control

    ...we are done for. Most comments here are naive in the extreme.

    I wouldn't trust the guy in the picture with my gardening.

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