Today’s Headline: We are SCREWED!


From The Guardian

US relinquishes control of the internet

After complaints about American dominance of the internet and growing disquiet in some parts of the world, Washington has said it will relinquish some control over the way the network is run and allow foreign governments more of a say in the future of the system.

(HH: Translation; after dictators and despots and religious fanatics found the free speech of the internet a problem they have whined and bitched and moaned until their tame dogs in the U.S. gave them what they want. The power to kill communication at a whim and filter the thoughts of their “citizens”.)

Icann – the official body that ultimately controls the development of the internet thanks to its oversight of web addresses such as .com, .net and .org – said today that it was ending its agreement with the US government.

The deal, part of a contract negotiated with the US department of commerce, effectively pushes California-based Icann towards a new status as an international body with greater representation from companies and governments around the globe.

(HH: Now they are free to be bribed and coerced and intimidated by thugs against free speech all over the world.)

Icann had previously been operating under the auspices of the American government, which had control of the net thanks to its initial role in developing the underlying technologies used for connecting computers together.

(HH: Ever notice how understated the Europeans(and British) can be when talking about things that the U.S. did that the rest of the world only contributed to minimally? CERN claims its invention but without Israel and the U.S. the internet would still be a tiny network of nuclear scientists sharing data about electrons and quarks. The U.S. also was instrumental in protecting the openness of the net at crucial points. At that time. With the cold war still on or just ended the idea of free flow of information being a weapon against totalitarianism seemed like a good idea. Now that the U.S. administration seems to feel that the bad guys were right all along we can expect the internet to turn into a tool of slavery instead of a path to freedom very soon.
Golden ages were not meant to last I guess. I should be happy I got to see the golden days of the personal computer and the internet. But I will not go down without a fight!! The Internet Must Stay Free!)

But the fresh focus will give other countries a more prominent role in determining what takes place online, and even the way in which it happens – opening the door for a virtual United Nations, where many officials gather to discuss potential changes to the internet.

(HH: And we all know how well the U.N. does its job right? Will we soon see the net dominated by a rule making body that is comprised of Islamic fundamentalists and unreconstructed Marxists as well as the odd Hard Right Christian?
Did we go through the net filtering scandals of the 90’s for nothing? Sometimes it is no fun to live in Interesting Times.)

Icann chief Rod Beckstrom, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Washington insider who took over running the organisation in July, said there had been legitimate concerns that some countries were developing alternative internets as a way of routing around American control.

“It’s rumoured that there are multiple experiments going on with countries forking the internet, various countries have discussed this,” he said. “This is a very significant shift because it takes the wind out of our opponents.”

He added that the changes would prove powerful when combined with upcoming plans to allow web users to use addresses with names in Chinese, Arabic or other alphabets other than Latin. Many countries have lobbied for the shift in recent years, as the expansion of the web reaches out deeper into society and business.

(HH: Ain’t. Gonna. Happen. At least not without force from the governments controlling the net. Using anything other than roman characters will never be anything but a niche add-on. Just adding Arabic and Chinese would MORE than triple the code needed to look up any single letter. The number or Arabic and Chinese users who demand to NOT use English are far too few to drive that kind of increase of code bloat all across the Internet universe. Code is time and time is users and users is money.
Just imagine, programmers in the 50’s to 80’s felt that to use four characters for the date was not justified because of only two characters! Just the extra code to accommodate a full date was seen as too large until the turn of the century FORCED them to address all the digits. Compare that to a totally personal, voluntary use of address translation and you see that unless this Internet U.N. FORCES the internet to become split in personality will it ever have a chance of occurring.
And I see this as a good thing, the fact that the internet and micro computing are based so firmly in English is a great =unifying force in the world divorced for any particular ideology. It makes people who otherwise would never be ABLE to communicate use the same “interface” to relate to the online environment and so breaks down barriers between people and cultures.
THAT is the very thing the wannabee new masters of the net want. To keep their people isolated and informed only with the “facts” that the local thought police allow. If George Orwell were alive today I am sure that he would see in an instant that any totalitarian worth his salt would want to take over control of the internet as a mandatory first step in establishing power. No totalitarian state can survive long with something like today’s internet operating within its borders. Witness Iran in this year of 2009.
The Internet is probably the most important development in human history after Germ Theory. Will we let it be stolen from the West by Islamists, Chinese, Russians, Marxists and Fanatics?)

While the issue reached critical mass in emerging economies such as China, it is not the only country that has lobbied for a change. Earlier this year European officials said that they did not think it was proper for America to retain so much control over the global computer network.

(HH: How often do we hear this used as though it meant something? Personally I would like t see the U.S. take the stance that if the rest of the world doesn’t like it they can go build their own damn internet! This is no threat at all. Merely a tool of the hopeful net censors to try to scare people into letting THEM have control. Can you really see an Arabic or Chinese net that forbids interaction with the real internet ever growing to be anything but a government subsidized joke? The Internet is what it is because it is open and you can FIND the information YOU want to find and not only what the government nannies think you should see. To do it otherwise would be to choke and kill the very usefulness that makes it worthwhile.)

Viviane Reding, the EU’s commissioner for information society and media, said she was pleased that Washington chose to make the shift.

“I welcome the US administration’s decision to adapt Icann’s key role in internet governance to the reality of the 21st century,” she said. “If effectively and transparently implemented, this reform can find broad acceptance among civil society, businesses and governments alike.”

(HH: Right, and if everyone lived as they SHOULD we could send all the military and police home to their families. I do not expect this to be implemented in any other way than to benefit worthless politicians and hope that it finds no real acceptance in society, business OR government in the West.)

The new agreement comes into force immediately. It replaces the old version which had been in place since 1998 and was scheduled to expire today.

Beckstrom suggested that bringing more countries to the table was the best way of ensuring the long term future of the internet.

“We’re more global, period. The chances of the internet holding together just went up, the cohesion just went up,” he said. “We expect more active involvement from governments, a higher level of participation from many governments and we’re already hearing about more governments joining the team… This was, ironically, a power move from the US.”

(HH: A politician can convince themselves of ANYTHING it seems. What chance was ever there that the internet would NOT “hold up”? It is the single most important aspect of the entire world economy and of most of the world’s social life. Even money is not more universal as we use different currencies but, as has been noted, there is only one Internet.
How does letting more governments have a say in regulating the net make it MORE cohesive instead of more bureaucratic, filtered and divisive?)

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