US Congress Rejects UN Internet Takeover

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http://phys.org/news/2012-05-internet.html

As a followup to a previous story about congressional hearings regarding a proposal to turn over control of the internet to the United Nations International Telecommunications Union, we are happy to report that extensive public pressure has ensured that there remains a bipartisan consensus against allowing this transfer of power over the Internet.

“There’s a strong, bipartisan consensus within the (US) administration and Congress that we must resist efforts from some countries to impose a top-down governance of the Internet,” Representative Henry Waxman told the hearing.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui added that “any international authority over the Internet is troublesome, particularly if that effort is being led by countries where censorship is the norm.”

A top State Department official, in prepared remarks, reaffirmed the opposition of the Obama administration to UN governance of the Internet.

“In all bilateral encounters and multilateral meetings, the United States consistently opposes the extension of intergovernmental controls over the Internet,” said Philip Verveer, deputy assistant secretary of state and coordinator for IT policy, saying this would lead to “very bad outcomes.”

“It inevitably would diminish the dynamism of the Internet,” he said.

Verveer told lawmakers that UN control would possibly “aid in censorship and repression” in some countries.

“Father of the Internet”, Google’s Vint Cerf, said Thursday that proposals to bring the Internet under United Nations’ control “holds profound — and I believe potentially hazardous — implications for the future of the Internet and all of its users”.

The ITU is scheduled to have their annual meeting in December where Russia, China, and other repressive countries will continue to press for this transfer “on behalf of developing countries”.

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56 Responses to US Congress Rejects UN Internet Takeover

  1. Katabasis says:

    “on behalf of developing countries”.

    – Where have we heard that before….?

  2. hum says:

    I thought Al Gore was “father of the internet”?

  3. Jenn Oates says:

    People who say they oppose censorship often only oppose it when it impinges on their own right to free speech–they’re not so keen on defending free speech by those who disagree with them…so this is good.

    Matsui used to be my rep, but I moved a few miles away and now Dan Lungren is my guy. That was worth the move all by itself.

  4. Facebook and Google alone fail miserably at controlling the internet. I can’t imagine how the UN would come out smelling good in the same role.

  5. Pull My Finger says:

    Thank God. This is the first and likely the last time I will agree with Henry Waxman.

  6. steveta_uk says:

    “There’s a strong, bipartisan consensus within the (US) administration and Congress that we must resist efforts from some countries to impose a top-down governance of the Internet,” Representative Henry Waxman told the hearing.

    But was this in his own words, or was it plagiarized?

  7. Smokey says:

    Americans to the UN: BUTT OUT!

  8. Ted says:

    Henry Waxman gets dewaxed/revelation across the head, just in time to talk common sense for the 1st time in his life.

    “There’s a strong, bipartisan consensus within the (US) administration and Congress that we must resist efforts from some countries to impose a top-down governance of the Internet,” Representative Henry Waxman told the hearing.

    It’s got to be a miracle!
    sarc off.

  9. Jason says:

    For this to be debated in the United States Congress is disturbing. If I’m not mistaken, for this to have happened, it would have needed a sponsor. I would love to know who that idiot of a congressman/woman was.

  10. MangoChutney says:

    hum says:

    May 31, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I thought Al Gore was “father of the internet”?

    How can Al be the father of the internet, when he’s too busy screwing the rest of us?

  11. Tom G(ologist) says:

    To Jen Oates:

    “A revolution is only illegal when it is ‘their’ revolution. Never when it is ‘our’ revolution.
    Benjamin Franklin

  12. RockyRoad says:

    Only N. Korea or Venezuela would have been a worse choice than the UN. But you do have to admire their chutzpah!

  13. hum says:
    May 31, 2012 at 10:52 am
    I thought Al Gore was “father of the internet”?

    Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.

  14. Rhoda R says:

    “on behalf of developing countries”.
    Right up there with “It’s for the children!”

    RockyRoad, they’ll be back with this same proposal. Persistence and patience are their most potent tools.

  15. mikelorrey says:

    Jason,

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hres628/text

    Cosponsors were McCaul and Langevin.

    Their proposed House Resolution 628 actually is intended to set US policy *against* allowing any administration to support attempts by the ITU and the UN to either take over the Internet, or create an alternative ITUnet.

  16. Gary Hladik says:

    Katabasis says (May 31, 2012 at 10:51 am): ‘“on behalf of developing countries”.

    – Where have we heard that before….?’

    At least they’re not saying “It’s for the children.” Yet.

    So if handing over control of the internet to the UN is a bad idea, why would we give the UN control of anything? You know, like the IPCC.

  17. Curiousgeorge says:

    Excellent news. Another blow to the Obama admin. Lesson learned: “We the people” are still a force to be reckoned with. :)

    Now to deep six the other 4 or 5 globalization agendas.

  18. Skiphil says:

    The solution is simple:

    put Al Gore in charge of the Internet

    [ducks under table as projectiles fly in cyberspace]

  19. Bob Diaz says:

    This is the first bit of proof of intelligent life in Washington DC.

  20. Keith Pearson, Formerly bikermailman, Anon No Longer says:

    Smokey on May 31, 2012 at 10:57 am said:
    Americans to the UN: BUTT OUT!

    I would add an amendment to that statement.
    Americans to the UN: GTFO!

  21. David Larsen says:

    We only need top down control of our energy resources, like coal being the first priority.

  22. Former Forecaster says:

    I can only imagine that a UN-controlled Internet would be lacking certain controversies. For example, I don’t imagine them allowing Wattsupwiththat or Joannenova to continue. After all, it wouldn’t be in the “public interest” to allow it.

  23. Zac says:

    Thank goodness for that. The UN seems to be pushing to be The World government. As the might of the corrupt EUSSR moves on with the blessing of the USA I increasingly find myself supporting China and Russia in their attempts to promote individualism. Which is odd as I have always thought them against free speech and people power. I don’t know the public feeling in the USA but we people in Europe (actually the British Isles are not in Europe) are totally pissed off with what the so called political class have delivered.

  24. Owen in GA says:

    Even if this hadn’t been a resolution to state opposition to this action, this is an election year, so sometimes things get introduced into congress in order to force certain parties to go on the record with an unfortunate position, even if the sponsor then votes against the issue. For instance, in the US House of Representatives, the Democratic Party refused to introduce the president’s budget for consideration because none of them wanted that albatross hanging around their necks and didn’t want to be on record as voting against their president. So the Republican Party leadership introduced it to force a vote. This kind of gameship happens all the time in Washington.

    In this case I am very glad that they seem to have all recognized the danger in this ITU idea.

  25. mojo says:

    Giving the likes of China, Russia, Iran and the rest of the rather odious members of the World’s Biggest Dictators Club control over anything more important than a lawn mower is a mistake.

  26. henrythethird says:

    “…Verveer told lawmakers that UN control would possibly “aid in censorship and repression” in some countries…”

    There’s already extensive censorship on the internet.

    Just try getting comments against CAGW on RealClimate, OpenMind, RabittRun, ThinkProgress, etc.

    THERE’S the real censorship. Or is it all just strict moderation?

  27. Ian H says:

    If US courts are going to continue to try to impose US law on the entire planet by claiming jurisdiction over the internet then don’t expect the rest of the planet to put up with it for long. If you don’t like UN jurisdiction over the internet then tell your crazy lawyers and judges to pull their horns in. Stop allowing ridiculous and expensive court actions to be brought against people who have never set foot in the US, with default judgements rendered against them if they don’t pay an absurdly expensive US lawyer to defend them. Stop allowing US courts to order the confiscation of domain names of non-US websites on the basis that ICANN is a US company. The US court system is an expensive bad joke in urgent need of reform and we don’t want it to have any power over us.

  28. Robin says:

    Now if we could just get them to take their hands off of US education through their Education for All, Millenium Development Goals, and especially the Education for Sustainable Development. Today’s post is on what the ESD mandates do to US education.

    http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-facts-wont-cooperate-there-is-always-pedagogy/

    The quotes were taken from the Working towards a Balanced and Inclusive Green Economy: A United Nations System-wide Perspective.

    British readers won’t want to miss the previous post on Tony Blair’s man for all seasons advisor Michael Barber and conglomerate Mott MacDonald and the streams of revenue from connecting Big Ed with the Climate Change Advocacy.

    Doesn’t it seem like we exist to fund these bureaucrats? The passengers who exist for the sake of the ship?

  29. Steve in SC says:

    Pull My Finger says:
    May 31, 2012 at 10:57 am
    Thank God. This is the first and likely the last time I will agree with Henry Waxman.

    I am totally there with you Pull.
    There is not a single thing that the UN has ever done that has been done competently.
    Just like the League of Nations before it, it is a toothless bureaucracy that is utterly corrupt.
    We don’t need to flush another penny their way.

  30. Robin says:

    Plus let’s not forget that the UN sees Broadband Development and Climate Change to be intimately related.

    http://www.broadbandcommission.org/work/working-groups/climate-change.aspx

  31. GeoLurking says:

    It’s not over.

    It never is. Anytime these receptacles of human filth loose a battle, you can rest assured if will come back up in a few of years. This goes on and on until it passes. Eventually, they get their way. It’s their guiding principle. Until these criminals (IMO) are imprisoned, they will not stop.

  32. Math Genius says:

    Is there any information about some congressmen who argued are IN FAVOR of ITU’s plan? Don’t tell me 535 people are in complete agreement.

  33. Obie says:

    It is long past the time for the UN to be kicked out of the US of A. The ideals that were put forth at its inception have long been sunk into the muck of graft, corruption and empire building that seems to be the preoccupation of so many of the current crop of delegates.

  34. hum says:

    Ian H I might agree with you about some of the court rulings, but as to the naming jurisdiction, if you don’t like it start your own internet.

  35. TomB says:

    Bob Diaz says:
    May 31, 2012 at 11:50 am

    This is the first bit of proof of intelligent life in Washington DC.

    No – it isn’t. It’s purely survival instinct. When almost all registered voters, regardless of party, gives the same answer to a question you can be sure Washington politicians can figure out which way the wind is blowing.

  36. aharris says:

    Waxman is up for re-election, and SOPA and PIPA were universally unpopular. I’m not suprised he said this.

  37. Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented:
    One small victory for human liberty…

  38. jonathan frodsham says:

    I find it hard to even comprehend that the UN would even have the NERVE to propose such an invasion to our privacy! Oh sorry its the UN, of course they have the nerve, they have the nerve to lie, cheat and steal already so why would they not want to invade our privacy and ban us from expressing our views on AGW. We all need to remember had it not been for the internet and the likes of Anthony Watts and all the other hard working realists; that today we would have the lie of all lies firmly rooted in our lives. Remember also that the left thinks that the masses cannot think for themselves so they think that thinking should be left to BS experts like Mann, Hansen, Gore, Trenberth and Gleick.

  39. Gail Combs says:

    GeoLurking says:
    May 31, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    It’s not over.

    It never is. Anytime these receptacles of human filth loose a battle, you can rest assured if will come back up in a few of years. This goes on and on until it passes. Eventually, they get their way. It’s their guiding principle. Until these criminals (IMO) are imprisoned, they will not stop.
    ___________________________________
    You have got that right.

    If nothing else they will slip it through in a lame duck session, a late night session just before a holiday or attached it as an amendment to a bill that “Must” be passed like the budget. If that does not work, then with the help of the propaganda arm, errr Media, a high profile case will be used to “strike horror into the hearts of the sheeple” and that will be used as an excuse to “Fast Track” legislation.

    The worse part is once one of these ideas becomes law the bureaucracy it generates becomes set in concrete. For example the bureaucracy that was set up to deal with alcohol during Prohibition never went away even though Prohibition was finally repealed. It just moved around until it morphed into the ATF – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, made famous for selling guns to Mexican drug runners to get strict gun laws passed in the USA. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-57338546-10391695/documents-atf-used-fast-and-furious-to-make-the-case-for-gun-regulations/

  40. Robin says:

    jonathan,

    Everything I have researched and am systematically describing is designed to prevent the ability to think for yourself. To make emotions and instinct the habitual response.

    UNESCO has even dramatically changed what constitutes literacy. A couple of decades ago literacy meant easily reading print. Now it is much more limited. The ability to access print in an everyday functional way. They are determined not to undermine oral traditions in cultures where the people themselves crave facility with the written word.

    If it can be managed at least in theory, some UN agency or initiative or affiliated NGO is targeting it.

  41. Tom in Florida says:

    Ted says:
    May 31, 2012 at 10:59 am
    “Henry Waxman gets dewaxed/revelation across the head, just in time to talk common sense for the 1st time in his life. It’s got to be a miracle”

    In a pig’s eye, or is it a nose?

  42. Allen says:

    The libertarian in me throws up a little bit when I hear about the UN’s money-sucking schemes.

  43. MaineIdea says:

    “on behalf of developing countries”.

    What precisely is the grievence? The US created the internet (with Al Gore’s invaluable input) and the whole world gets to use it without restriction…… except as imposed by local governments such as China. What interests of the poor nations are being abused?

  44. Ric Werme says:

    hum says:
    May 31, 2012 at 10:52 am

    > I thought Al Gore was “father of the internet”?

    Absent a smilely, I’ll leave one off too. You thought wrong.

    Vint Cerf headed the effort to make the transition from the ARPAnet, with its limit of 256 nodes and inefficient protocols to the Internet with its 4 billion addresses and TCP/IP protocol suite. Some application protocols like telnet and FTP made a graceful transition and their general form is much like they were when they were last “new”.

    Al Gore deserves credit for getting government agencies to use the Internet, or so I’ve heard. I don’t know if the .gov TLD (Top Level Domain) was his doing.

    I met Vint Cerf on Feb 6, 1978. I even mention him in my http://wermenh.com/blizz78.html and chronicled his attempts to leave Massachusetts. In fact, that web page exists directly because of that meeting – Thanks to that meeting, I didn’t leave work until the Blizzard of 1978 was well underway, and I had the most exciting and harrowing drive in the snow that cannot be improved upon.

    BTW Anthony, Vint has a significant hearing loss, possibly much like yours.

  45. Curiousgeorge says:

    It might be entertaining/useful if the WCIT meeting this Dec. were to be “Occupied” . Don’t know how many people are committed enough, and have the money, to spend a few days in Dubai. On the other hand we have the US Navy already there, among others. I’m sure they would have a vested interest in the outcome, especially if Congress made a phone call.

    http://www.itu.int/en/wcit-12/Pages/overview.aspx .

  46. Tenuk says:

    The move to global governance of the World Wide Web, was intended from its inception by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, as it will be needed by the UN to manage the planned World Government.

    Sir Tim set up the World Wide Web Foundation with the objective of helping the developing world to use the technology. The following is relevant, I think, to the topic of this post…

    Web Foundation Announces Publication of Accelerating Development Using the Web: Empowering Poor and Marginalized Populations

    May 15, 2012 • Justin Edwards:
    “We are pleased to announce the release of The World Wide Web Foundation’s first major publication, Accelerating Development Using the Web: Empowering Poor and Marginalized Populations, available for download today.

    Generously supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and in partnership with the United Nations…”

  47. techgm says:

    Doesn’t Cerf look (eerily) like “The Architect” from “The Matrix Reloaded”? Too bad the ITU was handed over to the UN to begin with. Perhaps in those heady, post-WWII days of 1947, no one realized what a bureaucratic, anti-liberty monster the UN would become

  48. Blair says:

    In 2005 the UN wanted to take it over to “stop spam”.

    http://news.cnet.com/The-U.N.-thinks-about-tomorrows-cyberspace/2008-1028_3-5643972.html?tag=nefd.lede

    Now it’s for “developing countries”, I don’t doubt “just for the Hell of it” is on the list right after ” to stop climate change”.

  49. Gail Combs says:

    techgm says:
    June 1, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Doesn’t Cerf look (eerily) like “The Architect” from “The Matrix Reloaded”? Too bad the ITU was handed over to the UN to begin with. Perhaps in those heady, post-WWII days of 1947, no one realized what a bureaucratic, anti-liberty monster the UN would become
    _____________________________
    Don’t bet on it.
    You might start with researching the Rockefellers. http://www.amazon.com/David-Rockefeller-Memoirs/dp/product-description/0679405887

  50. The Other Pamela Gray says:

    I had the distinct honor of meeting Cerf over 20 yrs ago. I was stunned when I saw this photo. He hasn’t changed one iota. He had just returned from Japan. I was sitting with my boss in a hotel restuarant near our office. She had helped him develop – in what way I’m not sure – what became email. It was just the three of us and he sat down – and yanked out his hearing aids! He was the definition of courtly gentleman. To be honest, I’m shocked he’s still alive.

  51. Tony Mach says:

    Again, the ITU is an organization were the major telcos call the shots – the ITU is most definitly not “the UN”. It is the same telcos that wanted to get rid of net neutrality that are now using their organization ITU to try it again.

  52. Barbara Skolaut says:

    “Russia, China, and other repressive countries will continue to press for this transfer ‘on behalf of developing countries.’

    You don’t like ours? Develop your own goddam internet then.

    We’ll wait….

  53. jared says:

    a internet controlled by government is worse than a country controlled by monarchs and dictators

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