The US position on WSIS is stated, quite forcefullly, in EU and U.S. clash over control of Net.
The European decision to back the rest of the world in demanding the creation of a new international body to govern the Internet clearly caught the Americans off balance and left them largely isolated at talks designed to come up with a new way of regulating the digital traffic of the 21st century.
“It’s a very shocking and profound change of the EU’s position,” said David Gross, the State Department official in charge of America’s international communications policy. “The EU’s proposal seems to represent an historic shift in the regulatory approach to the Internet from one that is based on private sector leadership to a government, top-down control of the Internet.”
Political unease with the U.S. approach, symbolized by opposition to the war in Iraq, has spilled over into these technical discussions, delegates said.
The United States has sharply criticized demands, like one made last week by Iran, for a UN body to govern the Internet, Gross said. “No intergovernmental body should control the Internet,” he said, “whether it’s the UN or any other.” U.S. officials argue that a system like the one proposed by the EU would lead to unwanted bureaucratization of the Internet.
“I think the U.S. is overreacting,” said David Hendon, a spokesman for the EU delegation.
100% lifted from Stirling Newberry at The Blogging of the President just because it’s such a fun idea:
Paul Krugman for Senate: I’m going to believe that Jon Corzine will win the governor’s race in New Jersey. But who should be the Senator? There is one outstanding resident of New Jersey who has both demonstrated intellectual saavy, and now partisan political chops in getting the word out to the public: Paul Krugman.
If progressives want to take the mantle of “the party of ideas.” This would be a sure fire way to do it: appoint Krugman to the seat that Corzine, knock on wood, will be vacating when he becomes governor.
Something truly odd and potentially important is happening at WSIS.
The Register says, EU deal threatens end to US dominance of internet, while The Inquirer says, America needs to give up Internet control, but neither one really explains what is going on.
I guess we’ll know by tomorrow.
Writing about the first foreign tour by US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen P. Hughes (dubbed US Minister for Propaganda by no less an authority than the Financial Times), New York Times reporter Steven R. Weisman breaks from the party line about the wonderful free press in the US, and the benighted press in the third world:
On Mideast ‘Listening Tour,’ the Question Is Who’s Hearing: She [Hughes] addressed several policies, but in concise sound bites rather than sustained arguments. In American campaigns, such messages repeated over and over can have an effect because a presidential candidate dominates the news with every statement he makes, and if that fails to work, money can be poured into saturation advertising.
By contrast, in the lively and percussive environment of this region, Ms. Hughes came nowhere near the commanding heights of the media.
Got that? In the US, during elections — the time it matters most — government propaganda is parroted reflexively by the media, and if for some reason they don’t toe the line, say a young white woman is missing, people with enough money can nonetheless drum it into the public by endless repetition on TV.
Strangely, that doesn’t work in Egypt, in Turkey, in Qatar, or even in … Saudi Arabia.
Update: Could be because they don’t have real elections there?
The other day Eugene Volokh posted a short note referencing a reminiscence about then-Associate Justice Rehnquist:
An Arizona Lawyer’s Reminiscence About Chief Justice Rehnquist: I left the justice at the hotel about 8 that night and picked him up the next morning. He told me how much he enjoyed his walk and that he had three or four beers at one of the “joints.” He said he sat at the bar, talked and told jokes late into the night with a number of the bar’s regulars. Just before he left to return to the hotel, he asked one of his bar mates, Pete, what he did for a living.
Pete told him that he drove a big-rig truck for Pacific International Express. In turn, Pete asked his new buddy “Bill” what he did for a living. Bill said to Pete and his bar gang, “Well, I work in Washington, D.C. I am a member of the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Pete and the gang laughed heartily at Bill’s joke or apparent fantasy, slapped him on the back and offered to buy him one more beer “for the road back to Washington and the Supreme Court.”
There is something cute about this annecdote (and in fact the entire article from which it is from paints an attractive portrait of an unpretentious Associate Justice, one well at odds with the image of the Chief who put those golden Gilbert and Sullivan stripes on his robe).
But there’s also something sad about that story. To me it shows how stratified the US has become or, if you prefer, remains: regular folks just ‘know’ that elites will never mix with them, so they don’t believe it when it happens. And the fact that it happens is so worthy of commentary that it is mentioned in the elite’s obituaries.
There’s more than one bubble in Washington.
Just in case you are trying to e-mail a member of the UM Law faculty, all UM faculty (and most staff but not student) email accounts have been down all day, and intermittently down yesterday. If someone knows when it will be fixed, they are not telling. We are told it is a hardware issue, but no more than that.
You can still reach me via my law.tm address, but mail to me at law.miami.edu is in cyber-purgatory somewhere.
Maybe we should outsource?
Update (8:30pm) It is showing signs of life now. Grrrr.