back to article Three little words stall UN's 'bid for INTERNET DOMINATION'

Time is running out for the world to agree on a new ITU treaty, which will define how countries communicate electronically with each other. The daylight is failing and three words still present immovable barriers to consensus - unless the chairman can magic them away. Meanwhile, voting guidelines are starting to circulate. At …


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  1. NoneSuch Silver badge

    May I suggest a single line agreement.

    We, the undersigned, shall not infringe on any communication, conversation or data transfer while bringing the Internet to those without.

    That is all.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Ah but how would you define infringe?

      Is it infringing on the communication to introduce enough delay to make it worthless once received. Is it infringing on it to take a copy for analysis later? Is blocking access to a resource infringing if you've a policy banning that type of content.

      Obviously I'd answer yes to all of the above, but I can quite believe that some governments may want to argue the toss on at least one or two.

      1. Dani Eder

        Google > ITU

        This is why I would rather have Google as my Internet overlord than the ITU. They at least understand how the darned thing works.

        Governments are a local monopoly on force. Since humans are self-interested, they will always try to leverage that monopoly into total control. Therefore you have to provide strong limits on government power, such as constitutional guarantees of certain rights and limits on their ability to meddle in things they should not.

        If you want to make certain actions illegal (possession of child porn is the poster child (pun intended) for such actions), make the possession illegal. Don't go breaking use of networks, video cameras, studio rentals, and cash because they *might* be used for that purpose. They have other uses that are perfectly legitimate, so you end up punishing the bystanders and not just the criminals.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google > ITU

          "This is why I would rather have Google as my Internet overlord than the ITU"

          Really? The same Google that has now decided what users in the USA can and cannot see by making safe-search mode compulsory?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Google > ITU

            "The same Google that has now decided what users in the USA can and cannot see by making safe-search mode compulsory?"


            "Disable the SafeSearch filter

            Here's how to disable SafeSearch:

            Visit the Google Preferences page.

            In the "SafeSearch Filtering" section, uncheck Filter explicit results.

            Click Save Preferences."

            You must have a different idea of 'compulsory' than I have...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Google > ITU

              "You must have a different idea of 'compulsory' than I have"

              No, the method you described doesn't turn it off. If you search for "blowjob pics" for example, the filter is very much still active and cannot be disabled.

              1. ArmanX

                Re: Google > ITU

                It's possible to mangle addresses to force the filter to 'on' regardless of user settings; the university I attended and one of the companies I worked for did just that. That may be your problem...

                Alternate solutions include "You're an idiot and didn't do it right" and "You're a troll who's trying to get people fired when they run that search at work."

          2. Dani Eder
            Thumb Up

            Re: Google > ITU

            What are you talking about? I tried "Naked Boobies" in Google image search, and got a page full of topless women. Works just fine as far as I can tell.

            1. cortland

              Re: Google > ITU

              Plucked birds? Hmm!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google > ITU

          "I would rather have Google as my Internet overlord than the ITU"

          It only takes one guy to be arm-twisted or convinced to do a bad thing, rather than hundreds who have to be inconvenienced to gather somehow into a solitary place...

          Benevolent dictatorship beats Democracy every time... until the genocide begins... then everyone wants to have their say & choice...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Infinge you, you infringing infringer. (apologies to Robert DeNiro)

    2. LarsG

      You know, I know, there are people who want to own the net and in controlling the net want us to see what they want us to see and not what we want to see.

      Shit, it's already happened....

    3. LarsG

      USA, "we own it f**k off"

      1. Tank boy
        Thumb Up

        USA: "we own it f**k off"

        Yup, and you can move your headquarters too!

  2. Syed

    I nominate Bill Clinton

    Anyone who can debate what the definition of the word "is" is deserves to be locked in a room with like minded intellectuals until all the worlds' problems are solved.

    1. ArmanX

      Re: I nominate Bill Clinton

      "They've been in there for three months without food or water, but we're pretty sure they're reaching an agreement - the arguing and yelling has died down considerably."

  3. harmjschoonhoven

    Re: three little words

    "The traditional standard of clarity of a language is a cultural inheritance which should be carefully guarded. Language is one of the most important institutions of social life, and its clarity is a condition of its functioning as a means of rational communication." The open Society and its enemies by K.R. Popper (1945), Ch 12 note 30.

  4. Dani Eder
    Thumb Down

    Stick to technical standards

    The ITU should stick to technical standards for the same reason we set standard voltages on electrical outlets or standard symbols on highway signs. We didn't vote these guys the powers to decide anything political, so they should keep their mitts out of issues like security, public vs private, and what constitutes content and speech.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Stick to technical standards

      Absolutely agree. Have an upvote.

    2. cortland

      Re: Stick to technical standards

      All right. Enough of those pesky frequency allocation tables. Every man (firm) for himself! Sauvez-vous qui peut!

      I've got a 2500 watt amplifier. Is that enough?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been There but no tee shirt

    I have to agree that technical standards are one thing but as soon as philosophy, politics, religion, social norms or any of the other soft issues come into view the battle is lost. I have not been to one of the ITU meetings for 15 years or more, they were 'interesting' and I would not have missed their 'technical' games for anything. (The issue of end to end encapsulated signalling was going so well until one delegation suddenly started to understand what it was all about!)

    The land of the free ruled their delegation with something more like a rod of iron, move out of the pre-agreed commercially set delegation line and you would be out within minutes. Other countries had a far more laid back attitude with no fixed line to be toed. Perhaps we should have been more rigid in our approach but then we would not be who we were.

    The issue latest issue of the internet control was never going to end in anything other than tears given the mainly political rather than technical issues it had to face.

    Probably better to be AC even though I have been out of the business for some years.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ITU should be a technical standards body

    or shut up shop. (The word "shop" is optional in the previous part).

    Just how hard would it be to setup an alternative "Internet" that just simply ignores the people / governments who abhor freedom? Including Theresa May's Home Office, if necessary ...

    Not very. But the politicians are too dim to understand what they want to regulate - if they don't understand it, and want to regulate it, they should simply be fired for such ignorance.

    (Yeah, I've been reading the Communications Data Bill, and want all Home Office civil servants and politicians to die*, tonight, in a very horrible way. Unless they admit they are MORONS.)

    *(bit strong?)

  7. Hoe


    I suggest we as founders of the English language once and for all correctly the Americans, it's Colour not Color, etc. etc. once you have achieved that then problem solved.

    If you can't resolve that, be firm, tell them they are wrong, simples.

    1. nuked

      Re: English...

      Your comment is full of so much irony it isn't even funny...

      1. cortland

        Re: English...

        It's a fairly fair ferric. And cursed be he who first cries "Hould, enough!"

        Let's scotch that discussion, shall we?

    2. cortland

      Re: English...

      "...think it possible that you may be mistaken."

      THERE was an Englishman.

  8. mike acker

    remember what Geo Orwell taught us:

    "The Greate Enemy of Clear Language is INSINCERITY

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