September 29, 2005


U.S. insists on keeping control of Web (BRADLEY S. KLAPPER, September 29, 2005, Associated Press)

A senior U.S. official rejected calls on Thursday for a U.N. body to take over control of the main computers that direct traffic on the Internet, reiterating U.S. intentions to keep its historical role as the medium's principal overseer.

"We will not agree to the U.N. taking over the management of the Internet," said Ambassador David Gross, the U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy at the State Department. "Some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable."

Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly concerned about the U.S. control, which stems from the country's role in creating the Internet as a Pentagon project and funding much of its early development.

Nothing is more certain to turn even those Americans who aren't entirely hostile to transnationalism into full-throated unilateralists than the idea of the UN controlling the Internet.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 29, 2005 5:25 PM

"... U.S. control, which stems from the country's role in creating the Internet as a Pentagon project and funding much of its early development."

Which leads to the obvious solution: fund and build your own.

But like all good little Leftists, the "tranzis" prefer to steal what others else built. (And something they most likely could never build on their own.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 29, 2005 5:39 PM

Don't we need Al Gore's permission?

Posted by: obc at September 29, 2005 5:47 PM

Also, for great fun, make sure you point them to this article in the New York Times about Europe's libel laws stifling dissent and forcing publishers to publish censored books in Europe, as opposed to in the US where they are better protected.

Posted by: John Thacker [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2005 5:58 PM

Come and get it.

Posted by: Luciferous at September 29, 2005 6:18 PM

Mr. Ortega, it's an old story....
'When they scratched the reindeer-bone,
Someone made the sketch his own,
Filched it from the artist-then
Even in those early days,
Won a simple Viceroy's praise
Through the toil of other men.
Ere they hewed the Sphinx's visage
Favoritism governed kissage,
Even as it does this age.'

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at September 29, 2005 6:18 PM

Don't laugh. Bill Clinton would have given it to them for a suitcase full of cash. Think Hilary.

Posted by: Duke of Url at September 29, 2005 8:30 PM

OJ -

I saw this in the news yesterday and wondered when a post would come up on it.

Nothing (except trying to take away guns) could turn the US against the UN more than this.

But, at least for the next 30 or 40 years, every Presidential candidate is going to have to denounce this idea and state that he is keeping the 'structure' in US control.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 29, 2005 9:21 PM

Who are the "trannies" you mention in your title?

Posted by: at September 30, 2005 2:54 AM

Nobody "controls" the Internet. Historically there was a window of opportunity back in the late 1980s when AOL, MSN or some other gigantic service provider could have bought out everyone else and become the de-facto monopolist on internetworking. But thankfully it never happened.

The UN lost its chance to run the Internet in the late 1980s, when the Europe and the UN via the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) tried to replace the Internet TCP/IP communicaton protocol standards with something called OSI. Basically it was an attempt by the world PTT (Postal, Telegraph, and Telephone) monopolies to wrest control of the Internet out of the hands of the US government. The PTT monopolies are especially strong in the 3rd world countries and they dominate the ITU, which sets world telephone standards.

The ITU is a big reason why phone calls to 3rd world countries are so ridiculously expensive. The bureaucracy of the ITU is Kafka-esque: The OSI documents for TP4/X25 are written in uncomprehensible legalese and you must pay through the nose just to peek at them. If the EU/ITU/UN had taken over the Internet 15-20 years ago with OSI/TP4/X25, today instead of paying $24.95/month for your megabit DSL you would be paying five or ten times that amount for your X25/ISDN connection at 64 kbps.

But this is all on the dustbin of history. The war is over and decentralization has won. The modern Internet is a concatenation of millions of independent networks that all agree to talk to each other voluntarily (the word "Internet" comes from the term "inter-network"). World connectivity happens through an untold number of independent bi-lateral contractual agreements between peering ISPs.

The only centralization on the Internet is at the root DNS nameservers. These suffer ICANN only by the grace of their respective independent owners. (The largest owner of root nameservers being the US Department of Commerce.) There is nothing to prevent them from bolting and setting up their a new root DNS, or from anyone else using an alternate root DNS.

The transnational progressives and lefty social engineers can chit-chat all they want at their UN workshops about how they want to "run" the Internet. But as a practical matter it is simply hot air.

Posted by: Gideon at September 30, 2005 7:27 PM