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Thread: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

  1. #46
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    Default Re: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

    Here's a recent update piece on the Dubai conference from the AP.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Secret negotiations among dozens of countries preparing for a United Nations summit could lead to changes in a global treaty that would diminish the Internet's role in economic growth and restrict the free flow of information.

    The U.S. delegation to the World Conference on International Telecommunications to be held in Dubai in December has vowed to block any proposals from Russia and other countries that they believe threaten the Internet's current governing structure or give tacit approval to online censorship.

    But those assurances have failed to ease fears that bureaucratic tinkering with the treaty could damage the world's most powerful engine for exchanging information, creating jobs and even launching revolutions, according to legal experts and civil liberties advocates who have been tracking the discussions. Social networks played a key role in the Arab Spring uprisings that last year upended regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.

    Russia, for example, has proposed language that requires member states to ensure the public has unrestricted access and use of international telecommunication services "except in cases where international telecommunication services are used for the purpose of interfering in the internal affairs or undermining the sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and public safety of other states, or to divulge information of a sensitive nature," according to a May 3 U.N. document that details the various proposals for amending the treaty.

    The wording of this provision could allow a country to cite a U.N. treaty as the basis for repressing political opposition. The provision also appears to contradict Article 19 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says people shall have the right to access information "through any media and regardless of frontiers."

    An amended treaty would be binding on the United States if it is ratified by the Senate. But approval is not automatic. The treaty is sure to be scrutinized by lawmakers wary of its potential impact.

    The U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union, which oversees the treaty, does not operate like the U.N. Security Council, where the United States has the power to veto resolutions to which it objects. The ITU works on a consensus basis. Proposals can be stopped from serious consideration if enough countries voice their objections. More than 190 nations will attend the Dubai conference and the U.S. delegation is seeking support for its positions at the preparatory meetings that will continue until the conference convenes.

    "It is important that when we have values, as we do in the area of free speech and the free flow of information, that we do everything that we can to articulate and sustain those values," Philip Verveer, deputy assistant secretary of state and U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy, said in an interview.

    The drafting and debating of proposals in preparation for the Dubai conference have taken place largely behind closed doors. Public interest groups have criticized the process and said it runs counter to development of sound public policy. In response to calls for transparency, two research fellows at George Mason University's Mercatus Center launched the website WCITLeaks.org earlier this month as a way to make documents that have been leaked to them by anonymous sources available publicly.

    The negotiations have sparked rumors that the U.N. and the ITU are plotting to take control of the Internet from the loose coalition of nongovernmental organizations that establishes Internet policies, standards and rules, they said.

    The ITU's secretary general, Hamadoun Toure, has called the takeover rumor "ridiculous."

    The ITU said the preparatory process is open to all member states as well as hundreds of private sector and academic organizations. The member states, not the ITU, determine the rules of participation and are free to share documents and information as they see fit, the agency said in an emailed statement.

    The treaty, known formally as the International Telecommunications Regulations, was developed in 1988 to deal with global telephone and telegraph systems that were often state-run. The conference in Dubai, which is being run by the ITU, will be the first time in more than 20 years that the treaty is being opened for revisions.

    Independent organizations, including the Internet Society, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and the Worldwide Web Consortium, for years have served as the Internet's governing bodies. They handle core tasks like network and domain name administration and make decisions based on input from the public and private sectors. This system allows the Internet to evolve organically and react rapidly to changes in technology, business practices and consumer behavior, according to open Internet advocates.

    Yet for countries still grappling with how communications have been transformed by the Internet, ITU and the treaty are viewed as the best avenues for plugging themselves into the global information economy. For developing nations that don't have an effective broadband infrastructure, bureaucratic and regulatory measures can allow them to benefit financially from the traffic that crosses their borders.

    But treaties are static instruments that often are unable to adapt and adjust to the fast pace of Internet innovation, said Sally Shipman Wentworth, senior manager for public policy at the nonprofit Internet Society. "Further, we do not believe that we should simply take the 1988 regulatory model that applied to the old telephone system and apply it to the Internet," she said.

    A proposal offered by a European association of telecommunications network operators would put pressure on content providers such as Google, Facebook and Netflix to offset the costs of delivering Internet traffic to end-users. Traffic increasingly includes bandwidth-hungry video, and the proposal from the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association essentially argues that the investment needed to expand and improve data delivery should be borne by the operators and the content providers.

    Verveer called the proposal unworkable and said it would have unintended consequences, such as blocking Harvard, MIT and other universities from putting courses online at no cost to users in places where access to education is already limited. "If it became necessary to pay in order to make these courses available, they would predictably become less available, which would be very unfortunate," he said.

    Even what appear to be minor alterations to the treaty can have far-reaching consequences. A coalition of Arab states has proposed expanding the treaty's definition of telecommunications by adding the word "processing." The change, if made, would "essentially swallow the Internet's functions with only a tiny edit to existing rules," Robert McDowell, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission, said late last month at a congressional hearing.

    The threat to Internet freedom won't come in the form of a "full-frontal assault," McDowell said at the hearing, "but through insidious and seemingly innocuous expansions of intergovernmental powers." His warning resonated with members of the House Energy and Commerce communications and technology subcommittee.

    Several lawmakers questioned Verveer, who also testified, and McDowell about the relationship between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Toure, the ITU's secretary general. Their fear is that Putin, who long has pushed for centralized control of the Internet, will use his allegedly close ties to Toure to accomplish that goal. Toure, a native of Mali, received advanced degrees in electronics and telecommunications from universities in Moscow and Leningrad.

    "Is this relationship a concern?" asked Republican Rep. Greg Walden, the subcommittee's chairman. "What steps are we taking to be able to counterbalance that relationship?"

    Verveer told Walden he has no doubts about Toure's honesty and fairness.
    But McDowell struck a more ominous tone. Putin's "designs" need to be taken very seriously, he said, and urged proponents of Internet freedom to be on guard for "camouflaged subterfuge" that could threaten the Internet's future.
    ."
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...96f43af694b37f
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  2. #47
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    Default Re: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

    Parts 1 & 2 below are simply a re-post of the first two links posted @#43 above.
    Part 3 was delayed in publishing for reasons that become apparent if you read the piece. I’ve just put them together here for convenience.

    Part 1:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/invest...19U_story.html

    Part 2:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/invest...KCV_story.html

    Part 3:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/invest...6dW_story.html

    John Sublett and his colleagues had an audacious, digital-age plan. They wanted to use the Internet to enable businesses to manage any kind of electronic device, anywhere on the planet, through the computer equivalent of a universal remote control. In 1996, nothing like it had been seen before.
    “We said, ‘Hey, there’s this cheap network, ready to use,’ ” Sublett recalled.
    Their company, Richmond-based Tridium, would succeed — but with far-reaching implications for the security of the online universe known as cyberspace.

    Tridium’s story illustrates the unintended consequences of the world’s rush to connect machines and devices into cyberspace. It also demonstrates how even small missteps in writing software or configuring systems can have huge implications. In cyberspace, determined hackers routinely transform obscure gaps into major security holes.
    Over the past two years, hackers and cyberwarriors who once focused primarily on traditional computers and networks have put control systems in their crosshairs, damaging machinery, stealing information from networks and spying on facilities. Warnings from the Department of Homeland Security about the threats have become a drumbeat, while officials at the Pentagon and White House consider them a national security priority.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  3. #48
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    Default Re: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

    Public comment for the Dec. 2012 Dubai conference on future changes to internet regulation here.

    http://www.itu.int/en/wcit-12/Pages/public.aspx

    Comments open until November 3.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  4. #49
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    Default Re: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

    Now the Europeans are the problem.


    The Hill: US ambassador: Internet fee proposal gaining momentum

    By Brendan Sasso 
U.S. officials believe the proposal to give a United Nations agency more control would only stifle innovation and economic growth.

    U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer warned on Friday that a proposal to give a United Nations agency more control over the Internet is gaining momentum in other countries.
    Proposals to expand the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) authority over the Internet could come up at a treaty conference in Dubai in December. European telecommunications companies are pushing a plan that would create new rules that would allow them to charge more to carry international traffic.

    The proposal by the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association could force websites like Google, Facebook and Netflix to pay fees to network operators around the world.

    Kramer said the idea of an international Internet fee is "gaining more interest in the African states and also in the Arab states."
    He said the United States delegation to the conference will have to redouble its efforts to convince other countries that the proposal would only stifle innovation and economic growth.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  5. #50
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    Default Re: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

    The ITU conference begins next week.


    Who runs the Internet? For now, the answer remains no one, or at least no government, which explains the Web's success as a new technology. But as of next week, unless the U.S. gets serious, the answer could be the United Nations.
    Many of the U.N.'s 193 member states oppose the open, uncontrolled nature of the Internet. Its interconnected global networks ignore national boundaries, making it hard for governments to censor or tax. And so, to send the freewheeling digital world back to the state control of the analog era, China, Russia, Iran and Arab countries are trying to hijack a U.N. agency that has nothing to do with the Internet.

    For more than a year, these countries have lobbied an agency called the International Telecommunications Union to take over the rules and workings of the Internet. Created in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, the ITU last drafted a treaty on communications in 1988, before the commercial Internet, when telecommunications meant voice telephone calls via national telephone monopolies.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...821852508.html
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  6. #51
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    Default Re: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

    It's increasingly obvious, even to the most obtuse or servile, that it's the bloody politicians and bureaucratic apparatchiks that cause nearly all the problems we as ordinary citizens have to put up with, and don't seem to actually do anything useful, not a single one of them.

    I do actually think a functioning, sane, regulating/market-externality-adjusting, safety-net-for-the-unfortunate State is necessary....but the sprawling useless incompetent corrupt unjust and authoritarian entrenched pork machines that are modern governments have got to go.

    Nuke 'em from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

  7. #52
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    Default Re: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

    There are many dark forces out to tame the net. Fortunately they are also many of them out to tame each other. So far, they have not had much of their evil way, but the threat is real and they just keep on coming.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  8. #53
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    Default Re: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

    The top item on the U.S.'s agenda is to confine the scope of the international treaty to telecommunications networks, so its regulations only apply to major operators like AT&T and Verizon. Members of the U.S. delegation, led by Ambassador Terry Kramer, are pushing back against proposals from Russia and other countries that want to include measures in the treaty that apply to the Internet.

    But with just days until the conference wraps up on Dec. 14, the matter remains unresolved.
    http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-va...t-of-un-treaty
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  9. #54
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    Default Re: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

    I was about to write “Looks like we dodged a bullet” when I saw the first piece below, and then I saw the WaPo and Bloomberg pieces and now I’m not so sure.

    THE LEDE: A proposal for a United Nations treaty that the United Arab Emirates had planned to submit with Russia and other Arab countries was withdrawn on Monday, a development welcomed by the United States on Monday.
    http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-va...ation-proposal


    The U.S. and the the U.K. are among countries that refused to sign a United Nations agreement to update 24-year-old telecommunications rules on concerns that some governments would use the text to regulate the Internet.
    The countries who pulled out on the 10th day of negotiations in Dubai at the World Conference on International Telecommunications, including Canada, Denmark and Costa Rica, said that amendments to the international telecommunication regulations that dealt with security and spam blocking would clear the way for states to monitor content or exert authority over the Web.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-1...nications.html

    But late Wednesday night, according to the administration official, the conference chairman, Mohamed Nasser al-Ghanim, director general of the Telecommunication Regulation Authority of the UAE, inserted text in the treaty that included the restrictive Internet provisions.
    “At that point, it became clear to us that there was probably no path toward signature here,” the official said.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...y.html?hpid=z4

    US announces it will not sign ITR Treaty.

    I just got out of a briefing with the United States ambassador to the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12), Terry Kramer.
    The U.S. has just announced that, "U.S. cannot sign revised telecommunications regulations in their current form." Further, Kramer stated, "ITR should be a high-level document, and the scope of treaty does not extend to the Internet.
    http://www.zdnet.com/u-s-announces-w...od-7000008769/
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  10. #55
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    Default Re: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    Richard Clarke in The New York Times on Chinese cyberattacks For months, Congress has heard testimony about oversees cyberattacks, much of it from China, that takes valuable data from U.S. firms and government researchers. "Yet the same Congress that has heard all of this disturbing testimony is mired in disagreements about a proposed cybersecurity bill that does little to address the problem of Chinese cyberespionage," writes Clarke. He describes the economic threat our unsafe data poses, and the current lack of protection, or even of knowledge that our data is insecure. With Congress tied up in debate, he suggests Obama act unilaterally to shore up defenses against cyberattacks, and he addresses ways the government could do this while respecting privacy concerns. "But by failing to act, Washington is effectively fulfilling China’s research requirements while helping to put Americans out of work," he warns.
    Hackers have targeted US weapons design. Congress might take notice if the Pentagon starts to

    Chinese hackers have accessed designs of nearly 70 US weapons systems, including those for Patriot missiles and Black Hawk helicopters.

    The revelations made in a Defense Science Board report give details of 37 breached programmes, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

    It also includes the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense weapon - a land-based missile defence system that was recently deployed to Guam to help counter the North Korean threat.

    Other programmes include the F-22 Raptor fighter jet and the hybrid MV-22 Osprey, which can take off and land like a helicopter and fly like a plane.

    The report also listed another 29 broader defence technology projects that have been compromised, including drone video systems and high-tech avionics.

    While officials have been warning about the problem with Chinese cyber attacks for years, the breadth of the list underscores how routine they have become.

    http://news.sky.com/story/1096826/ch...stems-breached
    Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer

  11. #56
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    Default Re: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

    Two events within the last month have reopened the "Net Neutrality" debate.

    1: Last month Verizon won an important court case on NN against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

    2: This past week the No 1 and No 2 cable companies announced a merger, giving them a combined 30M homes or 30% of the market.

    Here's some reporting on the court case and its fallout.

    Federal appeals court strikes down net neutrality rules. "A federal appeals court has struck down the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, which prohibited Internet providers from blocking or prioritizing Web traffic. The decision on Tuesday is the latest in a lengthy legal battle over whether the FCC can regulate the Internet. In an opinion written by Judge David Tatel, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that the network neutrality rules contradicted a previous FCC decision that put broadband companies beyond its regulatory reach." Brian Fung in The Washington Post.

    WINNERS AND LOSERS - "Verizon Victory on Net-Neutrality Rules Seen as Loss for Netflix," by Bloomberg's Scott Moritz and Cliff Edwards: Verizon's victory over the FCC "lets the carrier charge extra fees for speedier delivery of online content, potentially increasing costs for Netflix Inc. and other Internet companies. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington decided in favor of Verizon , s... triking down the FCC's so-called net-neutrality rules. ... With the restrictions lifted, carriers like Verizon, AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. could be free to charge Internet companies higher rates for preferred treatment ...

    "Netflix, ... YouTube and Amazon ... face higher costs of doing business, changing the industry's economics. In Netflix's case, the expenses could climb into the hundreds of millions of dollars a year ... 'Goodbye, open Internet,' said Jennifer Fritzsche, an analyst at Wells Fargo."

    SO, WHAT'S NEXT? Washington's still digesting the ruling, but it's hard not to consider how the court decision could shape telecom policy for the foreseeable future. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, for his part, huddledwith Sen. Jay Rockefeller Tuesday afternoon as part of a previously scheduled meeting, though aides wouldn't disclose exactly what they discussed. Wheeler's statement on the ruling says he's looking at "all available options," for next steps - but Sens. John Thune and Roger Wicker said in their own statement the FCC boss needs to "honor his commitment" to come to Congress for direction before embarking on any new Net Neutrality effort. Obviously, this all comes in the context of efforts in the House to redo the 1996 Telecommunications Act - and the appeals court ruling "lends to the debate that the telecommunications law as written really needs to be re-looked at and updated, based upon new delivery means and new applications," House E&C Republican John Shimkus told MT.

    EXPECT MORE OF THAT SENTIMENT to circulate this morning at the House telecom subcommittee's first hearing on the mammoth undertaking that is updating the '96 Act. Chairman Greg Walden, for instance, will make the connection in his opening statement, saying that the D.C. Court's "rationale highlights the ongoing confusion regarding regulation of different services," meaning "it is vital that we take a hard look at the laws in this space and reconcile them with the realities of technology." The hearing, with four former FCC leaders, kicks off at 10 a.m.: http://1.usa.gov/1du3CDl

    MORE ON THE NN RULING - Wheeler's extended response to the decision, in a blog post: http://fcc.us/1d2dv8B...The WSJ ed board calls the ruling another "rebuke to the Obama administration's abusive rule-making habits": http://on.wsj.com/1eHLbK3...Ars Technica raps the FCC over a missed opportunity: http://bit.ly/Ki1Sjt

    You can listen to a 50 minute panel discussion on the cable merger below. The discussion focuses heavily on NN.

    http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/20...mean-consumers
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  12. #57
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    Default Re: World War 3.0 SOPA & Much More

    I haven't been to this forum for good while cos i bought new smartphone. That said, didn't need to go to internet cafe, which had saved me a few bob.

    Since the advent of new smartphones, i noticed that my usage of internet cafe had dropped hugely. Also i kind of stopped using political world/others cos of app which was useless- very tiny - hard to read.

    I felt that creation of smart phones enabled the security/intelligence agencies to track more easily to whom whatever they want to find as i turned off the location. But i felt there is something hidden inside smartphones that we don't know such as other sensors for locations.

    But the benefits of smartphones outweighed the negatives re accessibility for any person with a disability and ease of booking or info that i need, which had saved me loads of time and money as well.

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