back to article Entire US Congress votes against ITU control of internet

The US House of Representatives has voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to keep the internet "free from government control," in a move clearly aimed at the United Nations' World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), currently taking place in Dubai. In a display of bipartisanship rarely seen on Capitol …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So every single person voted for an internet "free rom government control"?

    I guess that's kind of reassuring?

    Is it because they are more interested in an internet under corporate control?

    I only ask, because the last thing I remember hearing about the US government and the internet was related to certain proposed bills that'd give rights-holder a lot of power over the internet. I guess since it's only government control in the second degree (as in based on a government mandate) it's fine :)

    1. NullReference Exception

      Re: What?

      The funny thing is the Internet isn't free from government control. The Internet, at least as far as DNS and addressing is concerned, is run by ICANN. ICANN doesn't derive their authority from the consent of the Internet community, but from a contract with.. the United States Department of Commerce!

      Congress was really voting for an Internet free from OTHER government's control. Not entirely surprising.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What?

        Congress was really voting for an Internet free from OTHER government's control.

        That was precisely my first thought as well. Wanna touch my spy network? Come on, make my day (with apologies to Clint).

      2. peyton?

        Re: What?

        Honestly though, I would be amazed to learn that anyone in Congress actually appreciated that point. I'm pretty sure you'd lose most of them at "DNS".

  2. Tom Maddox Silver badge

    Well, obviously . . .

    "Never mind that the ITU itself says no threat exists."

    . . . they would say that, wouldn't they, especially if they were launching a power grab!

    1. Invidious Aardvark

      Re: Well, obviously . . .

      So any denial is confirmation of intent to do what is denied? Do you work for the Spanish Inquisition by any chance?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well, obviously . . .

        @Invidious Aardvark I don't expect so.

      2. BillG

        Re: Well, obviously . . .

        Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

      3. Tom Maddox Silver badge

        Re: Well, obviously . . .

        Ooh, look at that, you've earned the coveted Double Facepalm.

        Noooooo . . . my point is that someone attempting to grab power via political machination is unlikely to forecast the fact that they're going to do so by admitting it, so a denial is meaningless. It is not confirmation of intent, per se. How seriously one takes the denial depends on how trustworthy one considers the ITU.

        None of this should be construed as a statement of belief on my part that the ITU is in fact attempting any such thing. I was making a lighthearted off the cuff statement and have now driven this point as far into the ground as I can bear.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile in Canada...

    The C-11 bill passed in June and since last month the internet is being monitored by the Police 24/7 using a third party contractor and ISPs are forced to disclosure personal information of users without a judicial order.

    An estimated 1 million Canadians (1/34 of the country) will be officially notified, fined and/or arrested in the next few months (probably myself included), just because we downloaded some TV series show that we have the cable subscription for, but we cannot see when I want since TVs are not on demand here at all. 50 people already got the fucked in the arse last month.

    Worse of all, if anything can be worse than that, very few people know about this.

    Maybe El Reg should talk a little bit about it to help us folks up here.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Meanwhile in Canada...

      Thought about using Tor?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Meanwhile in Canada...

        Thought about using Andrew Orlowski?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meanwhile in Canada...

        @Uncle Slacky

        How about realizing that Tor uses very low bandwidth and video sharing across it would kill most connections.

        @AC 01:03 No government wants to fiddle with the Internet, but they all want to monitor it for their own purposes. I agree with this poster. Lets highlight the Canadian struggle with "Internet Freedom".

  4. Ole Juul

    What a relief

    I'm looking forward to the withdrawal of the current controlling measures applied by governments - particularly the US.

  5. Esskay

    In other news...

    The entire US congress has voted against giving free ice cream to Terrorists. Next week they'll be voting on whether Kim Il Jung should be invited to Obama's birthday party, and then they'll decide whether Iran should be allowed to wipe out Israel.

    Because nothing drums up fear like having a vote on a ficticious issue.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Any decent journalism on the subject?

    Whilst I am largely aware of the issues -DMCA, SOPA and the like- of having a Hollywood-controlled US Government controlling major aspects of the internet I am not sure it would be preferable to having countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia having any say at all in its management.

    Are there any decent journalistic articles on the subject -written by real journalists and not bloggers with opinions- anyone could point me to?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Any decent journalism on the subject?

      Hmm, there's an interesting interview in Russia Today of all places, but I have mixed feelings about the Pirate Party in general (plus RT gives air to some "Assange™ show" which immediately robs them of any respectability IMHO).

    2. FormerKowloonTonger

      Re: Any decent journalism on the subject?

      This is soooooo applicable to most of the snark-smugness posted here......thanks for saying this...

      "Are there any decent journalistic articles on the subject -written by real journalists and not bloggers with opinions- anyone could point me to?"

  7. Justicesays

    USAians, Your elected representatives

    Working for you Google.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Free from grubbyment control?

    Cough Cough .xxx domain anyone?

    "...Crawford also pointed out that the United States was not the only government to oppose the .xxx domain. ICANN also received objections from Australia, Brazil, and several other countries."


  9. Colin Millar

    Forget Iran

    America's next war will be on the UN

    Finding their main base will be a lot easier than it was with that Al Kaida lot

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Forget Iran

      If their targeting is as good as the one in Serbia where they took out the Chinese Embassy "by accident" (more like because they stored some F-111 parts in there, amirite?), fun's gonna be had.

      > In a display of bipartisanship rarely seen on Capitol Hill these days

      ...Congress unanimously voted to pull USD 4400 out of the pocket of every working USian next year and give it to the military-industrial complex. Think about that. That's gonna pay for a lot of invasion of ITU country.

  10. Buster
    Big Brother

    Google had to do something...

    to keep the paranoia hyped up - how else are they going to shift all those tin foil hats they have stockpiled.

  11. g e

    "free from non-US government control"

    There. Fixed that.

  12. ratfox

    ITU's role is […] not to act as a regulator? O RLY?

    Lessee what Reuters says on the subject this week:

    "A U.S. and Canadian proposal to protect the Internet from new international regulation has failed to win prompt backing from other countries, setting up potentially tough negotiations to rewrite a telecom treaty."

    "The idea, also supported by Europe, would limit the International Telecommunication Union's rules to only telecom operators and not Internet-based companies such as Google Inc and Facebook Inc."

    "That could reduce the prospective impact of efforts by other countries including Russia and some in the Middle East and Africa to obtain more powers to govern the Internet through the ITU, an arm of the United Nations. Those efforts, slated for discussion next week, could make Net anonymity - or the ability to remain anonymous online - more difficult to maintain and could bolster censorship, critics say."

    This article implies rather clearly that the role of the summit is to write new regulations…

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the point?

    They already have fios splitters and building largest data center on Earth. Every packet is already copied. They are the worst pirates in history, Stealing EVERYTHING, ALL THE DATA. It's done! don't you get it? You all sound like the Green Movement claiming the climate is GOING to change, no you fucking idiots, the CLIMATE ALREADY has changed, they're doing it NOW, they who blame it on CARBON, are the ones changing it via geoengineering, and a whole shitload of RF. Your local government (likely now an ICLEI member) has CONTRACTS FOR WEATHER MODIFICATION, how stupid to call me a denier in that light when you don't even fucking bother to look the shit up. It's more like YOU ARE A LIAR.

    It's all going to go one of three ways.

    1. Disconnect, screw the internet, ISP's, hosting, domains, wireless, mobile phones, ecommerce, ebay, amazon , etc. What's the point, vampires, leeches, spies, and bullshit through and through. Might as well go off grid.

    2. Encryption, like never before, something will replace SIP and Skype and all the rest of the backdoored voice/vid bs.

    3. Get your data gobbled up, have your whole life in a database, to be exploited by the fucking oath breaking animals running this shit in every way they can possibly imagine, watch as examples are made, hit lists are made, as fascism and the NWO reign over everyone on Earth, until monetary fraud, revolution and war are everywhere.

    Your three lives which should be separate

    1. Public/Work/Anonymous

    2. Home/Family/Baby Talk/Sex

    3. God/Self/Prayer/Ritual

    Will now be rolled into one.

    Where your public life can be condemned because of your sex habbit, where your job and finances might be destroyed by your religion, and your family ruined by your job. Or any combination thereof.

    Go ahead mix them up, see if your life doesn't turn to shit. Tin-FOil Hat My ASS

    Go ahead let drug cartels, spies, mobsters, banksters, and oath breakers into your data, let see if you don't get robbed, murdered, or have your rights fucked.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the point?

      Gosh. Impressive rant!

      Regarding "point" 2: You can already securely encrypt your SIP comms... there are even some rather natty "OTR" schemes. Just don't touch Skype/Google clients - OBVIOUSLY!

    2. keith_w

      Re: What's the point?

      Is Amanfrommars back in a new guise?

  14. Tony Paulazzo

    > In calendar year 2012, the search giant has spent more on Washington DC lobbyists than in any previous year<

    Thank God!

    They, like Hollywood, have realised the only way to set law is to buy law, and at least Google don't want to fuck the little people over - just sell us shit.

    As for the ITU, why is the Reg so convinced they don't pose a threat? Is your dad working for them? 'cause everyone else seems more than a little worried...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ITU actually CAN regulate

    Google the phrase "ITU regulations aircraft radios" and you will see that the ITU actually CAN and DOES make people and countries do what they want. I own an old, slow, two seat aircraft which costs about $20K, not a lot for an aircraft. Since I got it, I have had to replace perfectly good radios three times because of "trickle-down" ITU regs. The 90 channel comm it came with had to be replaced with a 360, the 360 with a 720, and the 720 with a 760 with tighter frequency tolerances. The radios are expensive, about $2K each, plus that again for installation (you can't do this yourself on certificated aircraft). So I've spent $12,000+ on radios for a $20K puddlejumper airplane.

    Multiply this by 500,000 private airplanes and 10,000 jetliners, all of which have multiple radios considerably more expensive ($30 to $50K a pop), and yes, the ITU is costing us money in increased operating expenses which come out as higher air fares with no particular safety improvements.

    ITU also made 406 mhz emergency locator beacons mandatory, and decided that 600,000+ of the 121.5 mhz beacons were obsolete. The 406 mhz beacons cost 2 to 5K, the 121.5 beacon costs $200. The FAA and the FCC here told the ITU to fsck off, 121.5 beacons are still legal in the US, and will remain so.

    The ITU isn't regulated by anyone and answers to no one. They CAN make rules with no consideration of the cost/benefits because it costs THEM zero. How would you feel if the ITU declared all your radios, TVs, modems and routers "obsolete for technical reasons" and arbitrarily required you to replace everything NOW, at your cost? Oh yeah, all your ISP's hardware is going to the skip, too - and YOU will get to help pay for the replacements, if they are still in business.

  16. mhenriday

    «[Entire US Congress voted] unanimously against thing nobody has proposed»

    In another notice, resolutions supporting apple pie (the ones supporting cherry pie were withdrawn, due to GOP fears that they could be misinterpreted) and motherhood (in a good, «normal», heterosexual relationship) were also passed unanimously. Who says that the legislative branch of the US government is gridlocked and incapable of cooperating for the good of the country ?...


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