The inside story of the attempt to take over the Internet

December 23rd, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Eli Dourado is a co-founder of Leaks and was part of the US delegation to where various repressive countries tried to grab control of the Internet from the private sector.

He blogs on what actually happened at WCIT. It’s a fascinating read for those interested. He makes a key point:

Though the world had been assured that WCIT would not attempt to mount a “UN takeover of the Internet,” that was in many ways what happened.

The months of weasel words were exposed as lies. We knew that it was always about control of the Internet.

After last night’s performance, the could never again deny that it had designs on the Internet, it could never again imply that those who were concerned about the possibility of a takeover of some aspects of by nation-states were misinformed conspiracy theorists. The battle lines were now drawn, and this clarity comforted me. But would we stand alone?

This was always the worry. Not would the US resist, but would the EU surrender monkeys agree to a bad compromise?

The United States took the floor. Ambassador Kramer announced that the US would not be signing the new treaty. He was followed by the United Kingdom. Sweden said that it would need to consult with its capital (code in UN-speak for “not signing”). Canada, Poland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Kenya, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and the Czech Republic all made similar statements before the Chairman cut the meeting short.

At a later meeting that night, additional countries expressed their reservations. The EU issued a directive that the new human rights language was unacceptable, and therefore no EU country would be allowed to sign. An intensive overnight lobbying effort was launched. Once senior-level ministers got an earful from private sector representatives back in their own countries, they sent instructions to their delegations in Dubai not to sign the new treaty.

All told, 89 countries signed while 55 did not.

Very pleased that NZ was one of those consistently opposed.

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33 Responses to “The inside story of the attempt to take over the Internet”

  1. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    The UN represents the most significant threat to sovereignty of nations, and to the freedom of people. It’s time for a few like-minded countries stand up together and walk away

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  2. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    God forbid that an international treaty be proposed but monetising to benefit corporates is okay?.

    http://www.bitrebels.com/technology/google-economy-ad-revenue-infographic/

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/8112892/How-the-internet-became-a-closed-shop

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  3. kowtow (7,584 comments) says:

    The UN is being used by dictatorships and Muslim countries to destroy fundamental and age old western rights and traditions.Well past it’s use by date.

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  4. kowtow (7,584 comments) says:

    “Progressives” ,who are just as bad see it’s usefulness too.

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  5. MT_Tinman (2,985 comments) says:

    kowtow (3,391) Says:
    December 23rd, 2012 at 10:40 am
    “Progressives” ,who are just as bad see it’s usefulness too.

    Regressives don’t?

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  6. kowtow (7,584 comments) says:

    Progressives are regressive.

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  7. flipper (3,537 comments) says:

    hanks for that David.
    May we appoint you as the Lord High Executioner for of the UN and the ITU ?
    You would do an excellent job….and think about that tax free six figure salary!
    It would be too much to hope that the MS miight pop the odd question or two to Helengrad, would it not? :)

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  8. burt (7,793 comments) says:

    Very pleased that NZ was one of those consistently opposed.

    That is till we get a Labour government who don’t like dissent and want to censor what people say so dear leader can relax comfortable that people only post good things about him/her online.

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  9. NeutralObserver (93 comments) says:

    Oh FFS “I don’t always get what I want so am going to leave and throw my toys out of my cot” The UN is 193 members states trying to find solutions to fucking complicated problems. It is no more no less than what states make it. Sure consign it to history, after all with all the hard power NZ has we can force what we want on everyone (though seem to struggle with the mighty Fiji). Just remember though next time you take a plane, train or sell something overseas without the rules agreed by the multilateral system (including the WTO) much to NZs overwhelming benefit you wouldn’t be able to do any of that without these useless multilateral organizations, because narrow minded shits / flat earthers can’t see beyond their tiny cozy little world views. By saying the UN is useless and should go away – you are simply saying the 193 member states who actually run it are useless and should go away.

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  10. burt (7,793 comments) says:

    NeutralObserver

    I don’t think I was saying that – but I do think some of the people there are useless and self serving – is that OK ?

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  11. NeutralObserver (93 comments) says:

    It was Krazykiwi – with their apt nomedeplume – that fired me up. Having a crack at the UN is liking shooting fish in a barrel. I’d rather be inside the tent and trying to make the thing work than taking cheap and easy shots from outside. People read this stuff and it informs them. I didn’t want the first post to at least go unchallenged.

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  12. kowtow (7,584 comments) says:

    193 states don’t run the UN. 5 control it.
    57 states are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.Aim; to promote Muslim solidarity in economic,social and political affairs.

    It would be interesting to see how many of those 57 largely undemocratic states made up the 89 that supported this attempt at world governance through the democratic machinery of the once laudable UN.

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  13. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Neutralobserver

    KK is usually a total loon but what he states first on this thread is apt and accurate.

    This is the UN that appointed Muammar Gaddafi as head of its Peace Committee and we could fill the page with similar bullshit.

    The UN is a socailist wet dream slowly turning into a nightmare.

    Free societies have nothing to fear from the internet , closed societies are terrified.

    When Sweden abstains or votes against something at the UN you know it was a dog that was up for the vote

    By saying the UN is useless and should go away – you are simply saying the 193 member states who actually run it are useless and should go away.

    yes, its a bloated corrupt organisation that is years past it used by date.

    and please tell me when the UN actually solved any major problem that was not total appeasement to some tin pot fuck wit

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  14. Azeraph (603 comments) says:

    Personally i applaud our stance but is it in the role of the follower? Considering the States and their strange obsession with copyright domination.

    Anyone would like to update me please, it would be appreciated.

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  15. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    PEB – Thanks for the vote of confidence. This loony appreciates it :)

    NeutralObserver - 

    By saying the UN is useless and should go away – you are simply saying the 193 member states who actually run it are useless and should go away

    The UN is not run by ‘member states’, it is run by people with aspirations. The US is a place where sovereign oligarchs aspire to go when their egos have outgrown the patience of their national voters. Or in the case of despots, it’s where they’re invited to lead disarmament commissions, and help coach the more civilised on the finer points of ruling without a mandate.

    For these would-be global dictators the UN is a place where the gold trough is immesurably deeper, and accountability nonexistent.

    Your notion of neutrality might see you happily directed by these unelected dictators. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to elect those who aspire to rule.

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  16. Australis (99 comments) says:

    The World Bank and IMF are part of the UN. Every third world country (comprising about 70% by number of the 193 UN members) has loan applications under consideration by these agencies. UN apparatchiks make it abundantly clear that voting records on UN resolutions are an important factor being taken into account.

    When issues are raised which bear upon the workforce or power of the UN itself, the LDCs are reminded to behave. They generally bloc-vote on such issues and any stand-out needs to be very brave.

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  17. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    !@#$% edit. That should read “The UN is a place where …”

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  18. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    and please tell me when the UN actually solved any major problem that was not total appeasement to some tin pot fuck wit

    The Korean War? The Balkans War? The nearly 40 years of peacekeeping in the buffer zone between Israel and Egypt?

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  19. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Not the Korean war,, the fact that it was described as UN Forces in a police action, it was nothing other the the US again having to do the shit work. What stopped that was that there was a real chance that the US and Russia were going to face off with nuclear weapons

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  20. NeutralObserver (93 comments) says:

    Well tell that to the NZ soldiers buried in the UN cemetry in Busan. I’d argue also that you only get to hear of the failures, successby its nature does not fit the catastrophy driven news cycle. ( Though the UN WHO did ok during bird flu, and thanks to the UN FAO and codex alimentarus NZ can rely on phytosanitary rules for its exports and not be blocked by Technical barriers all the time) And no the UN is not run by 5 states – yes the SC is the only part of the UN that can invoke chapter VII – but of the 5, 3 are western liberal democracies and have used the veto the most. And the UNSC is but one aprt of the UN.

    As for who gets elected – well it is member states who decide – Now you can say the states are ratbags – fine but what are you going to do. As I said throw out your toys cause you don’t like/agree with everyone in the game. So ok NZ leaves the UN, or it falls over then what? We flex our muscles and impose our world view? NZ as a small country benefits like the other 104 ‘small’ member states more than most. It is far far from perfect but it is a global compromise, when we NZers think it is perfect it will be too much like us. And it is all we have.

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  21. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    but it is a global compromise,

    to compromise wth the rat bags is appeasement- appeasement or attempted appeasement resulted in the second world war.

    if the US had not followed the UN over the Kuwait war and crushed Iraq when they could have easily ,thousands of lives would have been saved so go tell that to the dead soldiers including the NZ ones

    compromise with bullies and gangsters and all you get is stronger and more confident bullies and gangsters

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  22. NeutralObserver (93 comments) says:

    Oh as for the soverign oligarchs KK – well if they have a job in the UN they are either elected by member states or appointed by the SecGen Ban ki moon. You have a democratic right through your elected representative to have NZ vote / not vote in the election processes of both. Call me old fashioned but just because you don’t get the result you particularly want doesn’t make a system / process ‘non democratic’ – indeed one could argue the opposite.

    Merry xmas

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  23. NeutralObserver (93 comments) says:

    PEB – you appear to infer ‘compromise’ by its nature is pejorative. One ‘capitulates’. I don’t. Situations are not binary, good/bad – be great if they were but they are not. If I ruled the world I would not compromise, but – I/NZ doesn’t, hence we have to compromise. Criticizing the machinery which enables compromises to be made serves little purpose. I think the UN is a bit like your knees ‘ you only miss them when they are gone’. And I have yet to see anyone offer a better alternative – other than walk away.

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  24. NeutralObserver (93 comments) says:

    “Appeasement resulted in the second world war.”. So remind me which world wars have occured since the UN was established?

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  25. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    All organisations have a “use by” date but those bureaucratic self servers who run them have a knack of concealing that information. In the case of the UN it needs to be consigned to the garbage before its tentacles strangle democracy & impose a nightmare world government.

    The UN rose from the ashes of the League of Nations & it’s time for the phoenix to fly again.

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  26. NeutralObserver (93 comments) says:

    Really? Excellent let’s get rid of the police, judicary and treasury for a start – let’s refresh them. Its odd that the arguments against the UN here are similar to the nutters against the TPP – strange bedfellows. As an aside the North Korean philosphy which underpins their state and was developed by Kim I’ll Sung is ‘juche’ – which literally translates as ‘self reliance’ – works well for them. Not.

    Btw didn’t the system work – ratbags put up a bad idea at the itu – it failed and even if it got the numbers states could walk away. Is that not how it is supposed to work.

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  27. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    NeutralObserver

    …”Btw didn’t the system work – ratbags put up a bad idea at the itu – it failed and even if it got the numbers states could walk away”…..

    It failed…..this time. Surely you don’t really think that those who view the internet as a threat won’t try again.

    The UN needs to stick to its core purpose & provide a resolution process between disagreeing nations yet every year it incrementally gets bigger, more top heavy & more ambitious’

    Your effort to drag the red herring of ” police, judicary and treasury” across the argument is disingenuous. In a democratic nation those institutions are subject to control through the ballot box.

    Not so with the venal UN.

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  28. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    it failed and even if it got the numbers states could walk away. Is that not how it is supposed to work.

    it therefore serves no purpose than to act as a stage for the ratbags, it does serve as an enorous sink hole where money disappears a wee bit like the IOC

    The EU would be a prime example of UN thinking and that is such a success!!!!!!!!!like I said a socailist’s wet dream

    and the world has been at war constantly for the last 70 years, the UN certainly does not prevent war it doesn’t stop it men were meeeting to ratify settlements centuries before the UN came along

    Read a book by Paul Theroux called Dark Star Safari where he re-visits Africa after being there as a Peace Corp worker in his youth. Makes for pretty depressing reading if you are UN fan.

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  29. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Sorry, what is the UN good for apart from promoting socialism?

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  30. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    Monique Watson

    Pass!

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  31. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Actually it’s really now about promoting World Government. But then that’s the same thing for all intents and purposes.

    Our Public Servant of the Year, Mikey, is very much in favour

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  32. NeutralObserver (93 comments) says:

    Nothing monique – useless let’s leave and next time NZ wants something internationally we can just send a gunboat. Small states like ours do really well when there are no rules. We will unilaterally enforce IP rules, don’t need WIPO, no one will stop our exports by jove, and fuck the IAEA and the NPT we will make sure no one gets a nuke caise we can send Te Kaha, better still we can declare ourselves non nuclear and watch everyone follow.

    And yeah the EU is a total mistake becuase the euro is a failure, no wonder states want to leave ’cause eveything written by xenophobic english rags is how everyone sees the eu – hasn’t stopped any intra eu wars either. The sooner people around the globe realise NZ has it right and they are all wrong the better.

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  33. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    NZ, and most other Western nations, would be better off without the UN. It serves no useful person. “Neutral” Observer does not have a clue about the UN and it’s long history of promoting tyrants and terrorists. His notion that without it NZ will have no say in the world is drivel.

    We would be better off with a loose Anglo-Sphere alliance of like minded countries that we share history and cultural values with.

    The UN is not simply appallingly run, it is not necessary in the first place.

    Thank God for English xenphobes!

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