UN wants to ‘regulate’ the internet

As if SOPA, ACTA Bill C-30 were not enough, there is a new threat to the information superhighway – from the United Nations, none the less.  From The Wall Street Journal:

On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year’s end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish “international control over the Internet” through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices.

If successful, these new regulatory proposals would upend the Internet’s flourishing regime, which has been in place since 1988. That year, delegates from 114 countries gathered in Australia to agree to a treaty that set the stage for dramatic liberalization of international telecommunications. This insulated the Internet from economic and technical regulation and quickly became the greatest deregulatory success story of all time.



Does this not illustrate that it is:

  • time to leave the UN – iff we cannot de-legitimize and dismantle the organization as a whole
  • time to really push to establish an internet substitute which is diffused, so that there are no pipelines which could be controlled by any regulatory body (the current technology that could be used for this is still under development – and much too slow)

Yeah, I have called for both these things in the past, but perhaps the time is running out faster than we expected…

One Response to “UN wants to ‘regulate’ the internet”

  1. CodeSlinger Says:


    We’re almost there.

    Good algorithms for dynamic routing through ad hoc wireless mesh networks are already available in the public domain. Most people already have more processing power and bandwidth than they actually use, and the amount of computing power you can buy for a buck just keeps on doubling every 18 months. All this surplus is can be made available to carry other people’s traffic.

    The only thing holding back a truly unkillable internet is the fact that most people aren’t willing to spend much money on the uplink side. They will buy a wireless router with enough range to cover their home, but not enough to cover their block. But just let some of these draconian measures pass and see how fast that changes. People will quickly figure out how much better the internet works when everybody is their neighbours’ ISP.

    Already, in densely populated areas, we are seeing increasing overlap between the coverage areas of people’s routers and their neighbours’ routers. As this trend accelerates, larger and larger urban areas will de facto become independent sub-networks that cannot be killed or surveiled from outside.

    In rural areas, however, the problem is a lot worse because each router has to cover an area that may be miles in diameter in order to achieve overlap. Before you get anywhere near that range, though, you run into CRTC limitations on transmitted power.

    And maintaining connectivity between distant population centers is an even bigger problem. However, a German group called the Chaos Computer Club is developing the Hackerspace Global Grid: a system of communications satellites (!) which will interface to inexpensive ground stations that anyone can buy or build.

    Here is an article about the project: Hackers plan space satellites to combat censorship.

    The internet is about to get dramatically harder to regulate!

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