Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Internet: United Nations still trying to get control over the internet.

"A U.N.-sponsored panel aims to settle a long-running tug of war for control of the Internet by July and propose solutions to problems such as cyber crime and email spam, panel leaders said on Monday. The panel, set up in December 2003, will lay groundwork for a final decision to be taken in Tunis in November at a U.N.-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society, where global control of the world wide web may be decided. Right now, the most recognizable Internet governance body is a California-based non-profit company, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). But developing countries want an international body, such as the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to have control over governance -- from distributing Web site domains to fighting spam. "There is an issue that is out there and that needs to be resolved," said Nitin Desai, chairman of working group and special adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan."

Hell No. The UN in control of any aspect of the internet would invite censorship and taxation, a move which got squashed in 1999. It's all about control and money to the UN, though Kofi gave the tried and true "rich countries being mean to everyone" bit last year.

Zdnet: "....U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan criticized the current system through which Internet standards are set and domain names are handled, a process currently dominated by the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, saying such structures "must be made accessible and responsive to the needs of all the world's people."

BTW, who are these developing countries that should get a part in how the internet is governed?

"Dozens of delegates from developing nations echoed Annan's remarks throughout the rest of the day, arguing that their governments do not have a voice in the way the Internet is operated and that more money and investment from richer nations is the only way to end the so-called digital divide. Khalid Saeed, the secretary of Pakistan's Ministry of Information Technology, said his country must "play an active role in all layers" of organisations that control the operation of the modern Internet. "

When I think of countries that would champion the free exchange of ideas and flow of information that occurs on the internet uncensored, Pakistan comes to mind.

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