Q&A Friday #24: Is The UN About To Take Control Of The Internet?

Question: Here is a Legitimate (not LW&P) question: How will this affect the internet in general and sites like this one in particular?

Breaking America’s grip on the net

After troubled negotiations in Geneva, the US may be forced to relinquish control of the internet to a coalition of governments

You would expect an announcement that would forever change the face of the internet to be a grand affair – a big stage, spotlights, media scrums and a charismatic frontman working the crowd.
But unless you knew where he was sitting, all you got was David Hendon’s slightly apprehensive voice through a beige plastic earbox. The words were calm, measured and unexciting, but their implications will be felt for generations to come.

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Hendon is the Department for Trade and Industry’s director of business relations and was in Geneva representing the UK government and European Union at the third and final preparatory meeting for next month’s World Summit on the Information Society. He had just announced a political coup over the running of the internet.” — Kermit_H

Answer: The original story is from the ultra-left wing Guardian and it’s complete bilge. Here’s the crucial detail about how the UN is going to takeover the internet:

“(T)he world’s governments are expected to agree a deal to award themselves ultimate control (of the internet). It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce.”

Oh no! Not “international consensus”. Anything but that! Why, how could we ever bear the shame of standing against international consensus? Wait a second — there won’t be any angry letters written, will there? If there is a scrap of humanity left in any of these foreign governments, one tiny scrap, they won’t unleash that horror on us on top of their searing scorn!


Here’s the US position on letting the UN take control of the net’s root servers:

“The US coordinator for international communications and information policy at the State Department, Ambassador David Gross was quoted as saying, “We will not agree to the UN taking over the management of the internet. Some countries want that. We think that’s unacceptable.”

We invented the internet, we developed it, we’re running it, and we’re not giving up control of it, especially to the ninnies at the UN. The rest of the world can like it or lump it, whichever they prefer, but that’s how it is and how it will continue to be — at least as long as there is a Republican in the White House.

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