“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned;

if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;

but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

Ezekiel 33:6


"A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."

Proverbs 25:26

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CTV Toronto - Internet groups fear UN could threaten cyberspace




Officials from 18 countries held an impromptu, late-night meeting earlier this month at the United Nations office in Geneva, and made a decision that rattled Internet technocrats around the world.
Autocratic governments like China and Iran attended the meeting, as did several democratic ones. Despite protests by Portugal and the United States, they voted to staff a working group on the future of the Internet Governance Forum -- an important theatre of discussion on matters of cyberspace -- by governments alone.
The seemingly arcane move reverberated through a community of technical experts, academics and civil society groups who felt they had been unfairly excluded.
Fourteen technical organizations that help oversee how cyberspace runs wrote an open letter asking the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) to reverse its decision. Meanwhile the Internet Society, an umbrella group that helps manage technical standards online, posted a petition to its website in protest.
"A significant fuss has been kicked up about it," said Byron Holland, president and CEO of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, which manages the .ca domain.
Even Google waded into the fray. Vint Cerf, a vice-president at the online behemoth and one of the pioneers of the Internet, added his name to the petition, alongside 2,600 others. He also attacked the UN decision in a Dec. 17 blog post on Google's website.
"We don't believe governments should be allowed to grant themselves a monopoly on Internet governance," Cerf wrote. "The current bottoms-up, open approach works -- protecting users from vested interests and enabling rapid innovation. Let's fight to keep it that way."
Eleven days later the UNCSTD buckled under the pressure, according to the Internet Society, and agreed to include up to 20 non-governmental groups.
The episode underscored what has become an uneasy relationship between organizations that have helped gently steer the Internet since its infancy, and UN bodies that came to focus on Internet governance during the 2000s as cyberspace continued to unfurl across the brick-and-mortar world.
"The root of the debate here is a philosophical difference between how you approach the future governance of the Internet," Holland told CTV.ca by phone. "Everything that goes forward from that will have a very different tone or direction."
Technocrats like Holland have also been hinting at a specific threat: that the UN could become a forum where authoritarian governments who are riled by the free flow of information work to put the breaks on its superhighway.
Cyber peace treaty
A second UN body -- the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which manages the world's radio frequencies and orbiting satellites -- has been debating who should govern the Internet for years.
Its secretary general, Hamadoun Toure, would like to spearhead the creation of a "cyber peace treaty" to prevent the Internet from becoming another domain in which countries wage war against one another, as they do by air or at sea.
"Cyber threats can reach critical infrastructure of any country, the nerve centre of any nation," Toure said by phone from Geneva. "A sophisticated attack can bring even the most powerful nation to its knees."
There have been several recent examples of such events. During a dispute with Russia in 2007, Estonia was hit by widespread cyber attacks that knocked out bank, newspaper and government websites. Similar denial-of-service attacks struck Georgian media and government websites a year later as Russian tanks rolled into South Ossetia.
Then last July, the discovery of the Stuxnet worm led to speculation that a foreign government was trying use malicious software to cripple Iran's nuclear program.
But there are a number of hurdles to creating an international agreement that would discourage such attacks. One is who would forge it.
"If we were to have a roundtable on this, you would see not only governments around it. Are we mentally prepared for that, to have around the same table private sector, civil society, consumer groups and governments?" Toure said. "That is what it will take for meeting the challenges of a cyber peace treaty."
Risky business
Critics of Toure's proposal worry that non-governmental groups would not be given an equal seat at the table, and point to the ITU's plenipotentiary conference in October.
There, delegates discussed a Russian proposal to take over managing Internet domain names. Currently that task falls to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a private organization whose president and CEO was barred from attending the meeting.
Others say the ITU's government-to-government approach is too slow and clunky to manage something as fast-moving as the Internet, or that it could pave the way for less open regimes to introduce new online controls.
"We have to be careful about what institutions take the lead," said Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab and the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies at the University of Toronto. "The Chinas, the Irans, the Saudi Arabias of the world want to impose a territorial vision of control over cyberspace -- and if the ITU got its wishes, that's essentially what would happen."
In future, the debate over who should govern the Internet would do well to bare in mind its success stories like Google and Facebook, said Olaf Kolkman, director of NLnet Labs and chair of the Internet Architecture Board.
If the ease of accessing an unfettered online world helped those billion-dollar corporations evolve from tiny start-ups in garages or university dorm rooms, he suggested, then closing off the Web could lead to stagnation. It might also wall off opportunities for everyone who has yet to set foot in cyberspace.
"If we can preserve the spirit of openness moving forward," Kolkman wrote in an email, "we will see much of the innovation coming from developing countries, and the billions of people who have yet to come online but who will change the shape of the Internet when they do."

Please Add Comments
| 26 Comment(s)
Howard In Brampton 
Hey, JustAGuy, Julian Assange, and like minded people aren't to blame for this. The blame lies squarely in the nature of human affairs. The free and open exchange of information works against the interests of those in power, whether by election or coercion. Just look at the effect that cell phone journalism via social media networks has had. No one anywhere can have an expectation of privacy in public now as numerous examples of viral videos have shown, not even the police as they go about their business. Those in power, particularly in non democratic countries, have nothing to gain, and everything to lose without some form of censorship to conceal their bad acts or intolerable greed from an ever increasingly educated public. It's inevitable that there will be some form of censorship for all of us, as the worst parts of human nature are not confined by geography or ideology.

KJ in Kingston Ontario 
The UN is proving over and over and over that it largely incapable of doing anything good any longer for the world and is now mainly under the control of oppressive, manipulative authoritarian regimes which wish to use it foremost to control their own people and not to advance open democratic government or the great human interest. When the "human rights" branch is the mouthpiece of nations such as Iran, we have a real serious problem. Perhaps the democratic nations of the world should stop supporting the UN out of habit and walk away for a decade while things are sorted out -- rather than pouring more funds and credibility into this morass.

JustAGuy 
Why the rush? Why now? What has changed to cause such a fuss at the UN? Here's your answer: WIKILEAKS!

You can thank Julian Assange!
Thomas Becket 
It should be: "...bear in mind...."

Prof. Pye Chartt 
Government "regulation" of the internet, for the purpose of security of information, is one thing; however, the control of cyberspace by a democratically unaccountable organization, the U.N., that openly embraces and happily respects countries absent of freedom and human rights is quite another. The notion that dictators, corruptors, oppressors, suppressors, religious zealots, economic rapists, and tyrannical thugs of every stripe, from countries that abuse their own people, get to sit around a lovely table and make critical decisions governing the online activities of the West is nothing short of a joke. Clearly, as evidenced already, this is an issue destined to shake some desperately needed sense into the mindless Left that continually whines about Canada's government not marching to the beat of the U.N.'s wacky drum. The U.N. always sports its own agenda, and its interests align with ours less frequently, as we necessarily assert our "intelligent independence."

Donny in Edmonton 
Is this what it takes to get people to use the Internet responsibly? If this results in fewer malicious hackers and internet predators, then I'm all for a big crackdown. But ONLY if it results in that, otherwise I already have little faith in what the UN does in the real world these days.

David J 
Perhaps the UN isn't as efficient and effective as it could be, but we have to ask WHY? Could it be that member countries keep insisting on trying to manage their own affairs and relations themselves, even though they end up enacting protectionist legislation? How, then, can we count on individual countries to co-ordinate efforts to strengthen the security of the internet, and put measures in place to track and prosecute cyber criminals?

Mike 
It's not just the UN. The US government, among many others, has been trying to regulate the internet for years. Net neutrality? Controlling the internet. Controlling content. Bringing back the so called "fairness doctrine." And that's just the beginning.

Norm in Ontario 
Just what we need is more gov't intervention in our lives.This is nothing more than a "make-work" program for an already useless organization that should not exist.

Lawrence 
The USA should have ceased funding the United Nations decades ago. We should stop funding it now.

Leave the Internet free and unfettered from government.
Sure the government can monitor it for criminal activity, just like it can monitor radio waves, but it needs probable cause for searches and arrests.
The so-called threat of cyber attacks is not a reason for governments to take-over the Internet. Computers can be protected from cyber attacks, unlike conventional weapons like bombs and guns.
P.S.
The US FCC proposed (so-called) net neutrality is wrong. The Internet costs money to operate and companies should be paid for what they deliver.
The US federal government infringment on our right to keep and bear arms is another problem. Support the 2nd Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms.
Goldens 
The UN could help cyperspace. India should be sanctioned for the strangle hold it is trying to put on RIM. The UN should sanction countries that violate Human rights. All countries that spy on their citizens with out a warrant showing just cause should be sanctioned.

JustAGuy 
To all you WikiLeaks fans, you have Julian Assange to thank for this.

hudson bridges 
Once again the UN seeks to find jobs for its ever burgeoning work force.
The internet works fine without government, and that galls some people.

DANIEL H 
I am a highly qualified in individual in my field, which is very technical as in the Internet. This typical of what happens when people have power and very little knowledge of technical details. Anyone remember what happened when someone decided to launch a space shuttle in freezing weather? They just had to show the world how to send a teacher into orbit. I run into these kinds of asinine decisions every day.

Unmitigated-Truth 
If there ever was a need for the UN, it has outlived it's usefullness. The UN (and all its permutations) are now the tools of Second World dictators and tyrants, and are puppets of Islam. Their sole purpose now is to have a platform for railing against the West in general, and Israel specifically.

All the countries around the world where genocide is practiced and millions are murdered, are ignored by these "noble" statesmen, but they will find time to condemn Israel regularly for having the gall to want to survive.
It is time to either squash the UN out of existence, or at the least, kick them out of America and let's stop shoveling taxpayer money to them.
If you want to read more of my thoughts on the UN, just Google "unmitigated-truth UN".
The time is NOW. Let's Act.
magnusson_r 
If the creation of the Internet had been subject to a vote at the UN, it is very likely there would be no Internet today as we know it.

lc 
CTV poll on how fearful people are about cyber attacks sounds like a "One World Order" probe to see if more brainwashing is needed to get the sheep to conform. Judging how most think it is perfectly reasonable to give up your freedoms in search of the illusive security blanket internet openness is not likely to survive.After getting folks to line up for nude photos and radiation doses at airports putting the globalists restrictions on the web will be child's play.

tmana 
He who controls the means of communications controls the world. Should the UN, or governments, wrest control and management of the Internet away from private interests, all communication will appear to follow "the party line", all dissent will be quashed, and eventually all communication (except between the privileged governmental-elite) will be outlawed.

That said, it does not take a government to bring down large portions of the Internet -- just one (or a small group of) dedicated black-hatter(s). Most of which are NOT members of the groups invited to, or begging for, a seat at the table.
Glen 
This is a travesty in the making. The UN has already proved itself to be dysfunctional and to allow the UN to have a say in the evolution and control of the Internet would be tantamount to disaster. Think about it. UN members from third world countries who are still grappling with households having running water and electricity will be voting on what we can do with the Internet. If Russia, China and Saudi Arabia are so concerned with Internet access - get off the Internet. Heck, while we at it, lets operate the Internet under Sharia Law where women must be covered but it is OK to host a terrorist website.

steve 
And this is the world body leading the charge on global warming? When will people wake up to this disastrous self interest group we call the UN?

dareisay 
The UN is a corrupt organization. They are included in the group of world elites, that want to control everything!

It's not just the internet, it's everything now! All should be on top of what they are planning, and all should be on top of their own governments, because they too are siding in with plans the U.N. has for us!
These global elites, who plan trade deals, engineering societies and economies, really messed up the world's economy.
Read the UN's "Agenda 21" and you will see how they want to control people's lives.
Be vigilant!
Daniel of Saint John 
Sshhhh big brother is watching .Only thing broken is the lack of the worlds governments ability to keep politics and cyberspace separate.No one controls the internet it is a free global information highway.

Sober, Newmarket 
The UN hates freedom. Big brother is sticking up its ugly head.

Jon in London ON 
Officials from 18 countries held an impromptu, late-night meeting earlier this month at the United Nations office in Geneva. That pretty much sums up how the UN handles everything.

mike luddy 
Here I didn't know the internet was broken...
yet world governments want to fix it???

JPC in Sask 
Anything the UN touches is a screw up...keep it well away...




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