November 16, 2005
In breaking news, at the pre-meeting of the U.N. World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), AP reports that the final negotiated result anent control of the internet domain name servers -- basically big look-up tables that match internet domain names (like "biglizards.net") to specific internet addresses -- is that the United States will remain firmly in control; and that the U.S. will continue to allow the private Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to handle it all.
In other words, we won.
The negotiations overshadowed the ostensible purpose of the WSIS, which was supposed to be about the information gap:
The summit was originally conceived to address the digital divide - the gap between information haves and have-nots - by raising both consciousness and funds for projects.
Instead, it has centered largely around Internet governance: oversight of the main computers that control traffic on the Internet by acting as its master directories so Web browsers and e-mail programs can find other computers.
A number of countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia hijacked the pre-meeting (the actual WSIS meeting starts today) to demand that governance of the internet be turned over to a responsible international body. Not being able to find one, they demanded it be turned over to the United Nations, instead.
But in the face of American stubbornness, the internationalists caved. "Facts are stubborn things," Adams said; and the primary fact in this case is that the internet works. In fact, it works too well for some: China, for example, desperately wants to cripple the internet in their country so that anti-Communist forces cannot easily communicate with each other, and ordinary citizens cannot access web sites that show what freedom would bring. Hence, they wanted control placed into hands that they could manipulate, like puppets on a string.
They didn't get what they wanted. The only bone we threw them was the creation of a new intergovernmental group that would only have the authority to make recommendations:
Under the terms of the compromise, the new group, the Internet Governance Forum, would start operating next year with its first meeting opened by Annan. Beyond bringing its stakeholders to the table to discuss the issues affecting the Internet, and its use, it won't have ultimate authority.
John Bolton was not involved in this negotiation, but he may as well have been. The actual American negotiator appears to have been U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Gallagher; three cheers for a great American who is an expert at the rare art of just saying no!
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 16, 2005, at the time of 5:24 AM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/221
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Tracked on November 16, 2005 11:08 AM
» U.N. Drops Attempt to Steal Internet Control from Donkey Stomp
This is great news! The idea of the U.N. having control over our freedoms when it comes to the Internet is a scary proposition. High and unfair taxes along with strict restrictions have been avoided. [Read More]
Tracked on November 16, 2005 12:40 PM
The following hissed in response by: RBMN
If President Bush was really the “fascist” that some people on the left say he is, he'd be eager to turn over control of the Internet to the United Nations, where quid pro quo is the coin of the realm, and nothing is impossible if there's enough money or enough favors to spread around. The Oil For Food people are free now to take on another project....
The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman
Won what? A bunch of folks got together to vote on whether THEY should have somethng that was ours already?
Let them try to take it. To recognise this decsion as a victory implies they had the right to make a decision on this.
The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman at November 16, 2005 11:11 PM
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