Wednesday, November 16, 2005

U.N. Eurocrats Make Web Grab (update)

There is a war of minds between those who would live as individuals and those who would treat the world's people as farm animals. It it at times a tough call which side to support. When Europeans bring down the hell of Left dhimmi fascism and then pay to import fascist Islam to ruin the continent, one wonders if they deserve to be free at all; whether they are organically equipped to survive independently of their welfare states.

This war of minds between the individualists and the communitarians is a real war in which people are killed: riding subway trains to work in Madrid and London, sitting at work in American offices, going to school in Russia, and so on. Muslims are responsible for the actual murders, but behind them are European politicians who pay for the jihad, give it aid and comfort, who assist in the murder of civilians by protecting and nurturing Islam in European states and by protecting and promoting it world-wide. Chirac lies and commuters die.

These are the same people who want to take control of the Internet because they fear American hegemony and discrimination against "others" and inequity in Internet accessibility, and so on. These are the same men and women who are complicit in the murder of their own people who now want to control even further the lives of the infantalized dhimmi populations under their control.

Below we have two pieces from a Canadian newspaper on the European attempt to control the world's access to information.

Peter Foster
Financial Post
Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The first question one feels compelled to ask about this week's World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis is why the 14,000-plus delegates couldn't have got together online.

Silly question, of course. If there's one thing UN bureaucrats like even more than hypocritical posturing on behalf of the poor and dispossessed, it's racking up frequent flier points.

The summit was originally intended to address the "digital divide," a bogus concept based on the unavoidable fact that every time a new technology is developed not everybody immediately has it. Thus the wonders of the Internet suddenly become a cause for fretting on behalf of the "information have-nots."

Such hand-wringing tends to go hand in hand with bashing the biggest "have," and sure enough the United States has come under assault for efficiently overseeing the running of the system. How dare they!

A California-based organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was created by the U.S. Commerce Department in 1998 to administer the master list of Web addresses, which are assigned by ICANN-accredited companies. ICANN manages top-level domains such as .com and .org, as well as country-specific domains, such as .ca. Countries already have control over what goes on in their national Internet space, but apparently some are after something a little more Orwellian.

A group of the world's most repressive regimes, including China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Cuba, wants the UN to take over from ICANN. Disgracefully, the EU recently threw its weight behind this initiative. Canada appears -- thank heavens -- firmly, or at least provisionally, behind the current arrangement.

The United States has been utterly opposed to this attempted power grab. The notion that the Internet would be more safely administered by the kind of guys who hijacked the UN Human Rights Commission is little less than ludicrous. Just how ludicrous has become obvious from the actions of the summit's host.

Tunisia is reckoned to be one of the more "enlightened" North African regimes, but it severely restricts media freedom, spies on cyber-cafes and blocks Web sites. This week in Tunis a French journalist who had been reporting on Tunisian government repression was beaten up and stabbed, allegedly by state goons. Although one must sympathize with his plight, there is a certain rich irony in his nationality. When French President Jacques Chirac visited Tunis two years ago, he congratulated the country's astonishingly popular President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali (who regularly pulls in 99% of the vote) and declared, "The most important human rights are to eat, receive medical care and education and have a place to live." Fidel couldn't have said it better: You're being gagged for your own good!

A couple of weeks ago, UN Secretary-General Kofi "oil-for-food" Annan declared in an op-ed piece in the Washington Post that there had been "misinformation" about UN designs on the Internet. He claimed that the UN only wanted to "ensure the Internet's global reach." But has any technology ever spread faster and with more dramatic impact? Mr. Annan noted how important the Internet had been "for people trapped under repressive governments." But then how could he support any attempt by China, Cuba and Iran to control it?

Eventually, Mr. Annan got around to suggesting that "many" were claiming that the U.S. authority over the Internet should be "shared with the international community." However, beyond this usual collectivist UN bafflegab, he also suggested, "What we are seeing is the beginning of a dialogue between two different cultures: the nongovernmental Internet community, with its traditions of informal, bottom-up decision making, and the more formal, structured world of governments and intergovernmental organizations."

This seemingly bland statement was every bit as chilling as any direct attempt to control the Internet. By "nongovernmental Internet community" did Mr. Annan mean the kind of people who used the Internet to organize the recent riots in France, or who use it to co-ordinate the rock-throwing that now routinely accompanies every meeting of international leaders? More basically, the Internet is merely a communications tool, not an agency of political legitimacy. Nobody ever elected any "nongovernmental Internet community."

In fact, the "nongovernmental Internet community" to which Mr. Annan referred is a deliberately seeded and funded web of NGOs who broadly oppose demonic "globalization" and support UN interventionism. They are dragons' teeth sown by the likes of Canada's former UN-meister Maurice Strong to create "calls to action" to which the UN can then "respond."

The whole point about the Internet is that it is essentially -- and blissfully -- free of "governance." ICANN is an overwhelmingly technical organization. If the United States tries to interfere with its operations (as in fact it has done on the issue of pornography), we soon hear about it. That's because the United States, unlike Cuba, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, is a free society.

Other countries are quite capable of balkanizing the operations of the Internet in retaliation for the U.S.'s "non-cooperation," but in doing so they would make clear their real purpose: to control a medium that threatens their repressive regimes.

Compromise on overseeing Internet opens World Summit on Information Society

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) - A UN technology summit opened Wednesday after an 11th-hour agreement that leaves the United States with ultimate oversight of the main computers that direct the Internet's flow of information, commerce and dissent.

A lingering and vocal struggle over the Internet's plumbing and its addressing system has overshadowed the summit's original intent: to address ways to expand communications technologies to poorer parts of the world. Negotiators from more than 100 countries agreed late Tuesday to leave the United States in charge, through a quasi-independent body called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.

That averted a U.S.-EU showdown that threatened to derail the so-called World Summit on the Information Society.

"If the Internet had been developed in Australia, I don't think we would have had so much heat on this discussion," ICANN chief Paul Twomey, an Australian, remarked of the tension surrounding the U.S. control of the Internet.

The computers under dispute control Internet traffic by acting as its master directories so web browsers and e-mail programs can find other computers.

Although Pakistan and other countries sought a takeover of that system by an international body such as the United Nations, negotiators ultimately agreed, as time ran out, to create an open-ended international forum for raising important Internet issues. The forum, however, would have no binding authority.

The onus now lies with the developing world to bring in not just opinions, but investment to expand the Internet to their benefit, said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Gallagher.

David Gross, the U.S. State Department's top official on Internet policy, told reporters that despite the U.S. hand in ICANN, Internet governance was not the provenance of one specific country.

"The term . . . is quite broad. It is very inclusive," he said, trying to dismiss claims that the U.S. is holding onto its position as the arbiter of the Internet.

Negotiators had met since Sunday to reach a deal on a draft declaration that world leaders are expected to ratify before the three-day gathering ends Friday.

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Beware a 'Digital Munich' - Internet Under threat

By Norm Coleman
Posted Tuesday, November 8, 2005

It sounds like a Tom Clancy plot. An anonymous group of international technocrats holds secretive meetings in Geneva. Their cover story: devising a blueprint to help the developing world more fully participate in the digital revolution. Their real mission: strategizing to take over management of the Internet from the U.S. and enable the United Nations to dominate and politicize the World Wide Web. Does it sound too bizarre to be true? Regrettably, much of what emanates these days from the U.N. does.

The Internet faces a grave threat. We must defend it. We need to preserve this unprecedented communications and informational medium, which fosters freedom and enterprise. We can not allow the U.N. to control the Internet.

The threat is posed by the U.N.-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society taking place later this month in Tunisia. At the WSIS preparatory meeting weeks ago, it became apparent that the agenda had been transformed. Instead of discussing how to place $100 laptops in the hands of the world's children, the delegates schemed to transfer Internet control into the hands of intrigue-plagued bureaucracies.

The low point of that planning session was the European Union's shameful endorsement of a plan favored by China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Cuba that would terminate the historic U.S. role in Internet government oversight, relegate both private enterprise and non- governmental organizations to the sidelines, and place a U.N.- dominated group in charge of the Internet's operation and future. The EU's declaration was a "political coup," according to London's Guardian newspaper, which predicted that once the world's governments awarded themselves control of the Internet, the U.S. would be able to do little but acquiesce.

I disagree. Such acquiescence would amount to appeasement. We cannot allow Tunis to become a digital Munich.

There is no rational justification for politicizing Internet governance within a U.N. framework. The chairman of the WSIS Internet Governance Subcommittee himself recently affirmed that existing Internet governance arrangements "have worked effectively to make the Internet the highly robust, dynamic and geographically diverse medium it is today, with the private sector taking the lead in day-to-day operations, and with innovation and value creation at the edges."

Nor is there a rational basis for the anti-U.S. resentment driving the proposal. The history of the U.S. government's Internet involvement has been one of relinquishing control. Rooted in a Defense Department project of the 1960s, the Internet was transferred to civilian hands and then opened to commerce by the National Science Foundation in 1995. Three years later, the non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers assumed governance responsibility under Department of Commerce oversight. Icann, with its international work force and active Governmental Advisory Committee, is scheduled to be fully privatized next year. Privatization, not politicization, is the right Internet governance regime.

We do not stand alone in our pursuit of that goal. The majority of European telecommunications companies have already dissented from the EU's Geneva announcement, with one executive pronouncing it "a U-turn by the European Union that was as unexpected as it was disturbing."

In addition to resentment of U.S. technological leadership, proponents of politicization are driven by fear -- of access to full and accurate information, and of the opportunity for legitimate political discourse and organization, provided by the Internet. Nations like China, which are behind the U.N. plan to take control, censor their citizens' Web sites, and monitor emails and chat rooms to stifle legitimate political dissent. U.N. control would shield this kind of activity from scrutiny and criticism.

The U.S. must do more to advance the values of an open Internet in our broader trade and diplomatic conversations. We cannot expect U.S. high-tech companies seeking business opportunities in growing markets to defy official policy; yet we cannot stand idly by as some governments seek to make the Internet an instrument of censorship and political suppression. To those nations that seek to wall off their populations from information and dialogue we must say, as Ronald Reagan said in Berlin, "Tear down this wall."

Allowing Internet governance to be politicized under U.N. auspices would raise a variety of dangers. First, it is wantonly irresponsible to tolerate any expansion of the U.N.'s portfolio before that abysmally managed and sometimes-corrupt institution undertakes sweeping, overdue reform. It would be equal folly to let Icann be displaced by the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union, a regulatory redoubt for those state telephone monopolies most threatened by the voice over Internet protocol revolution.

Also, as we expand the global digital economy, the stability and reliability of the Internet becomes a matter of security. Technical minutiae have profound implications for competition and trade, democratization, free expression and access to information, privacy and intellectual-property protection.

Responding to the present danger, I have initiated a Sense of the Senate Resolution that supports the four governance principles articulated by the administration on June 30:

• Preservation of the security and stability of the Internet domain name and addressing system (DNS).

• Recognition of the legitimate interest of governments in managing their own country code top-level domains.

• Support for Icann as the appropriate technical manager of the Internet DNS.

• Participation in continuing dialogue on Internet governance, with continued support for market-based approaches toward, and private- sector leadership of, its further evolution.

I also intend to seek hearings in advance of the Tunis Summit to explore the implications of multinational politicization of Internet governance. While Tunis marks the end of the WSIS process, it is just the beginning of a long, multinational debate on the values that the Internet will incorporate and foster. Our responsibility is to safeguard the full potential of the new information society that the Internet has brought into being.

Mr. Coleman is a Republican senator from Minnesota.


The post below, written by Lisa, comes from jihadwatch:

When the EU threw its weight behind the China-Iran proposal, many in the EU were surprised by this action, as made clear in the linked article in the nodhimmitude blog. The EU bureaucracy, being a non-elected government, needs money to survive. The EU is seeking to impose a DNS resolution tax on Internet usage. More than censorship or balkanization, this tax would do more to kill the Internet than anything.

As Jay points out, "Feel free to use it." That is the beauty of the Internet to all except EU bureacrats, to whom nothing should be free, least of all, free from taxation.

For a pittance, less than a week's supply of grande lattes from Starbucks, anyone can own a piece of the DNS space, your very own domain name For an month's supply of grande lattes, the domain owner can find space on a web server that hosts the domain for 1-3 years. With a little sweat equity and some rudimentary knowledge of HTML tags, anyone can have their own personal space on the Internet.

What the EU would like to do is tax the owner of each time someone's browser sends a DNS request to the DNS root servers to translate to the IP address (e.g., 012.345.678.901) of the space on the host web server. Imagine as a small retail business owner being charged a tax each time someone came into your store to browse and did not buy.

Many websites are informational only, such as this one. No revenue is generated from the visits, much to the chagrin of Mr. Spencer would no doubt be independently wealthy by now. If an information website is popular enough, ad space could be sold (which is also taxed as income) to help cover the DNS tax. But then informational sites contain a message. Even if such message is personally appealing to a prospective advertiser, perhaps many of that advertisers customers are not, leading to a loss of customers.

Since our visits to this site do not make Mr. Spencer independently wealthy, what then would be the effect of a DNS tax levied against him? Even a tax of one tenth of one United States penny could become an impossible financial burden for a website owner who does not generate any income from a highly successful website.

Thus, the website would be taken down. Hugh's excellent commentaries would be silenced.

Posted by: Lisa [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 19, 2005 05:36 PM

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