The U.N. and the Internet
Smaller, less developed countries are starting to gripe to the U.N. (also known as “Your Future One World Government”) about the influence that the USA has over how the Internet is run worldwide.
Key issues range from adding new top-level domains, assigning blocks of IP addresses, and operating the root servers that direct all Internet traffic. Other responsibilities that would fall under the umbrella of this new organization would include Internet surveillance, “consumer protection,” and perhaps even the power to tax domain names to pay for “universal access.” “Universal access”, according to U.N. documents, sounds like the phone tax that you pay to provide Internet service to schools.
Some of the complaints are on their face, patently silly –
Syria: “There’s more and more spam every day. Who are the victims? Developing and least-developed countries, too. There is no serious intention to stop this spam by those who are the transporters of the spam, because they benefit…The only solution is for us to buy equipment from the countries which send this spam in order to deal with spam. However, this, we believe, is not acceptable.”
Yes, we should have to take directions from Syria, lover of terrorists, on how to combat spam. Spam doesn’t just affect developing nations. It affects everybody. Please.
Part of the Bush Administration’s response to this call for internationalization included their stating that the Root servers would remain under U.S. control no matter what was decided.
Beyond the usual levers of diplomatic pressure and public kvetching, Brazil and China could choose what amounts to the nuclear option: a fragmented root. That means a new top-level domain would not be approved by ICANN—but would be recognized and used by large portions of the rest of the world. The downside, of course, is that the nuclear option could create a Balkanized Internet where two computers find different Web sites at the same address.
“It wasn’t until now” that a fragmented root was being talked about, says Milton Mueller, a professor at Syracuse University and participant in the Internet Governance Project. “China and other countries might be pursuing responses that lead to fragmentation.”
Such an outcome remains remote, but it could happen. That possibility means an obscure debate about Internet governance has suddenly become surprisingly important.
Know this – the U.N. wants control of the Internet. They may do whatever they feel they have to do to wrest control of it from the United States.