Friday, October 14, 2005

Keep the Internet Free!

Some sensible comments from a European politician, and from Sweden no less. Carl Bildt is former Swedish PM from the conservative party Moderaterna in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, his government, too, was weak on immigration, but all in all, Bildt is probably the best PM Sweden has had for decades:

Who is going to be isolated?

On the one side is the United States, which wants to retain supervision of the Internet and has managed to get the reluctant support of most of the global Internet community. With the theocracy of Iran as the standard-bearer, this group brings together Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba and Venezuela. North Korea is probably keen to join in as well. The European Union seems to be in the middle, wavering back and forth - and in its wavering it has recently come down with a position that has brought it enthusiastic applause from Tehran, Beijing and Havana. The Internet is vital to our future, and we Europeans should be as keen as anyone to preserve the essence of a system that has worked amazingly well. If that entails leaving some ultimate safeguard powers in the hands of the United States, that's certainly better than having theocrats or autocrats around the world getting their hands on the levers of control.

EU Wants to “Internationalize” the Internet

“It’s a very shocking and profound change of the EU’s position. The EU’s proposal seems to represent an historic shift in the regulatory approach to the Internet from one that is based on private sector leadership to a government, top-down control of the Internet.”

Defend Web from thug states

This worldwide web of tyrannies, hiding behind the veneer of technical complaints, now seeks to control not just what its own citizens are able to see and say on the Internet, but what every individual on the face of the planet is able to see and say. If the UN is given control of the Internet we can expect free trade and freedom of speech to be crushed. The Internet was created in and by the land of the free, America. It has now become the object of an alarming power-grab by the world's dictatorships and their puppet, the United Nations. America must not surrender its citizens' freedom to the mercy of a debating society for dictators.

Blogger says the future of journalism is online

Journalist K. Paul Mallasch sees the future of journalism as a conversation, something he says is only viable through online journalism. "In the past, media has been, for the most part, a one-way process, with the 'journalists' telling the people what’s important," Mallasch said.


At October 14, 2005 4:49 PM, Blogger John B said...

Re: "With the theocracy of Iran as the standard-bearer, this group brings together Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba and Venezuela. North Korea is probably keen to join in as well"

Iran, Saudi Arabia, N. Korea, Cuba - geez, I can't wait to migrate by internet use to this bunch. I expect them to run the internet about as successfully as they run their economies. I bet these cretins haven't a clue as to how insanely ridiculous they appear. OTH - it might be interesting to see internet porn stars clad in burquas

At October 14, 2005 9:33 PM, Blogger nouille said...

I am on Europe's side on this one.

N.Korea,Iran,Saudi Arabia and Cuba, not exactly the coalition of hope and freedom.


At October 15, 2005 12:02 AM, Blogger John B said...


I suggest you read Wretchard's comments first. Given the EU's lack of spine on various issues it would only be a matter of time before Kofi Annan and the UN got involved. Wouldn't that be fun (for those on the take in the UN at least).

At October 15, 2005 12:04 AM, Blogger jd said...

This is so utterly UNbelievably STUPID.
Just look at the report that WGIG has come out with here: And check out where some of these people come from on page 20 and onwards - WOW!
Also read what Gates of Vienna has to say on this here:

jd in Oslo

At October 15, 2005 12:07 AM, Blogger jd said...

Thanks, john b,

I forgot to mention what The Cat had to say about this.

At October 15, 2005 2:48 AM, Blogger Zach said...

Regarding nouille above, I would point out that WWW is not the internet, it is just a part of the internet. Also WWW refers to the breadth or coverage of the web, not its ownership.

The internet is essentially a result of US military work decades ago however, so the US control is legitimate broadly speaking. Now if people in Europe or Asia wish to connect their hardware to the US portion, and thus become a part of the network, or if they wish to work out some kind of alternative network/rootserver/protocol
scheme is really quite up to them; certainly nobody is being forced with a gun to hook up to the US legacy internet.

I think the best solution for everyone would be for the UN, EU, or whoever, to start a parallel network, call it the "globalnet". In theory, a user should be able to connect to both of them, and/or use a proxy so that they would be interconnected. Of course, this might be part of the fear, that it would be difficult to really control/censor information on "globalnet" without controlling information on the internet too.

At October 16, 2005 12:27 PM, Blogger Rudi Vansnick said...

Just one liner.
WWW is an European "invention", created by Tim Berners-Lee (UK) and Robert Cailliau (BE).

At October 17, 2005 7:56 PM, Blogger Don Miguel said...

"Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba and Venezuela."

Sounds like the membership of the United Nations Committee on Human Rights.


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