Q&A Friday #25: What About The UN Taking Over The Net?

Question: “I would like to know more about the UN wanting to take over the internet. To me, this is very disturbing. Can they actually do it? If so, how is this possible since it was invented by Al Gore?(I had to throw that in). Is there any way that we (bloggers, readers, the average Joe) can prevent this?” — Jonybrepublican

Answer: There is no good reason for the UN to be given control of the root servers, but on the other hand, there are some excellent reasons not to give it to them.

First of all, if it isn’t broken, why try to “fix it?” Heck, if it were broken, would the incompetent bureaucrats at the UN be the people you’d even want to try to fix it? Of course not. There are a thousand different ways the idiots at the UN could screw up the internet, and there’s no way they could make things better. That, in and of itself, is good reason to keep the root servers out of their hands.

Secondly, there would be enormous potential for abuse of the root servers by autocratic governments. For example, let’s say China was angry about a Chinese blogger agitating for Democracy for China. If the Chinese government had access to the root server via, they could literally wipe that blogger’s domain name off the net. Hell, theoretically, they could wipe every domain registered to an American company off the map if they so desired. Because that sort of damage can be done, the US would be nuts to risk giving up control of the net.

As far as stopping the UN from getting their hands on the net goes, I don’t think you have anything to worry about as long as there’s a Republican in the White House. Now if another Democrat gets in, it’s always possible that they might have another “Jimmy Carter moment” and give away the Panama Canal internet.

The best way to prevent that would be to make sure that the candidates for President in 2008 (and thereafter) are asked, and agree, not to allow the UN to take control of the net. If they won’t make that pledge, don’t give them your support.

But at least for the moment, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

*** Update #1 ***: RWN reader Dave made another excellent point about this topic via email:

“The real reason the UN wants the root servers is to tax the internet. They have broadly hinted that it is a ripe untapped resource for them to siphon off. The biggest problem the trans-natsies have is a lack of recurring revenue. The internet tax would solve that.

Currently domain name registration is ~10/yr. What if the UN decides that .com registrations are $1000/yr or $10000/yr. Or that .il is $1000/yr and deserving countries like cuba and china should only have to pay $10/yr?

It is about the money.

If stable control were the issue, the UN would “manage” an IPV6 segment of 4billion IP addresses. IPV6 will allow the management of 4billion current internets. They don’t want to manage “an” Internet. They want to own “the” IPV4 internet to “tax” the rich countries.”

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