A War Over The Internet? Doubt It.
From the way the Guardian's Kieren McCarthy described last week's European Union sucker punch to United States ambassadors, a tiff that began over the who should control Internet's root servers, you'd think that World War III was about to break out next month in Tunisia.
US officials walked away from the Geneva meeting, the final preparatory meeting before November's World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis, Tunisia, a little stunned at the overwhelming and sudden collective demand on behalf of the UK, the EU, China, Iran, Tunisia, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil that the United States government hand over control of the Internet's 13 root servers to international governance--perhaps under the watchful and efficient (please read that part with sarcasm) eye of the United Nations.
David Gross, the US State Dept.'s coordinator for international communications and information policy, answered them with, "some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable," which was much more diplomatic than flipping them the bird and squealing out of the parking lot.
The perspective stateside on this issue is that the story pretty much ended there. It was a preposterous proposal for the US to give up even a little sovereignty to be governed by other countries, many of whom had done nothing but quell freedom of speech and commerce and freedom of pretty much anything else, all of whom had no real investment in building, paying for, or maintaining of these crucial root servers.
It's very simple. They're ours. We paid for them. You can't have them. Everything runs just fine as it is. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The end.
But a week later you learn that the other side of the ocean is still smoldering over the rejection, even if was based upon some very valid points put forth by Michael D. Gallagher, assistant secretary for communications and information at the Department of Commerce, the current governor of the Internet.
In fact, according to McCarthy, it's much worse than anger.
"But the refusal to budge only strengthened opposition, and now the world's governments are expected to agree a deal to award themselves ultimate control. 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," writes McCarthy.
Um. You think so? And what exactly is the EU or the UN or any of these other nations going to do to "award themselves ultimate control?" Will there be a war? Who leads the attack? France? Maybe a UN resolution will be passed and then forgotten about, and then Germany will attack.
The thought that this so-called "political coup" will accomplish anything more than hurt feelings is ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is the thought that some sort of world government will wrest control of a critical part of US infrastructure the US paid for and built, and ultimately runs very well.
Good luck with that. Ain't gonna happen.
If you do decide to invade and claim these root servers, make sure to come in through the Southern route where you'll be met by bullet-toothed Dixie patriots who can show you the meaning of true Southern hospitality.
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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.
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