I've been too busy with other things to check in on the Internet Governance Forum in Bali (where else). The IGF is essentially the ITU all over again in disguise (few every seem to realize that its a subsidiary body of the ITU, mandated by the UN Secretary General to "carry out" the agenda of the World Information Society Summit -- which was state controlled). As you might well imagine, the IGF is the usual cabal of Soros-funded NGOs, Big IT lobbyists, bad governments also in disguise in the form of GONGOs (government-organized NGOs) and other assorted international jet-setter cadres who aspire to rule the Internet just as much as the ITU. The ITU is a known bad quantity anyone can agree on as bad for the Internet because it has Russia, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia etc there with a vote as states.
The IGF purports to be "better" because it represents that other fuzzy bullshit thing called "the multi-stakeholders" which -- as I just indicated above -- is really just a cover for Soros-funded NGOs, Big IT corporate interests (Google is all over it), etc. etc. to do the same bad things that the bad countries do, which is take over.
In addition to opposing almost exclusively what the US government does, the IGF NGOs like the "progressive engineers" have a hard time conceding corporate and commercial interests in general as valid on the Internet -- and of course the Googles of the world at these things try to cover this up with reputational laundering, as they are doing right now by rolling out various do-gooder helper things like Uproxy
(More on that later, not surprisingly, Libtech is going wild over this because it's not Tor -- my quick take on this, even given my suspiciousness of all things Google, is that it's great if Tor now has a real competitor by real smart people who are in a corporation that likely won't tolerate crime the way Tor has -- but let's see. No circumvention/encryption tool is safe from hostile governments or even good governments, nor should it immune to legitimate law-enforcement. Hopefully Google will do better than Tor on this but neither is an honest broker).
I'm afraid to look at what's going on there now because if I do, days will go by while I fume -- I got into a Twit-fight with Jillian York, which dragged in even comments from her pal Jacob Appelbaum (!) and I assume she's there, in spirit if not in body. More on that later if I have time to Storify or just look in my timeline, it's hilarious.
But since I can't cover this now, I give you Nitin Pai. God bless Nitin Pai. I always like his tweets. I have no idea of his back story. Perhaps he's some technolibertarian or conservative or Hindu nationalist or who knows what but he seems fine. And here's what he says -- which indeed, is the right thing for Indians to be saying if they want to keep on coming to the US -- and have a US to come to! -- that can help their best and brightest thrive and eventually help their country (always a debate with brain-drain, but let's have it.)
As Pai says:
New Delhi, with its habit of going with the flow of international multilateralism, is willy-nilly throwing its lot with China, Russia, Brazil and others that are leading the charge against the US for their own reasons. This enthusiasm is fashionable and popular with activists, but misplaced in the context of our national interests.
Both principle and realpolitik suggest that India is better off with continued US preponderance in internet governance.
The US Constitution, political system, civil society and media are better guardians of online free speech and privacy than some UN outfit. Yes, the US is massively spying on us, but it also produces the Mannings, Snowdens and Greenwalds that rightly or wrongly, but fearlessly, tell us what is happening. In a way, the rest of the world vicariously benefits from the US' commitment to liberty.
I would add that it's not just that India "goes with the flow" -- they were recruited by the Soviet Union back in the day, and never really left the Kremlin ambit.
Now, I'm for leaving the Internet alone. It's actually pretty healthy, running with not the multi-stake holder approach, which is fake, but the free market and the free flow of ideas, goods, and services, such as they are. The Internet more or less is free in the US and actually much ohf the world, despite all the craziness you read about surveillance and chills on speech in the US -- they don't exist as you can tell by reading Glenn Greenwald leaking Snowden every day. Hello! And the Internet gets better every day even in places like Turkmenistan or Iran.
Yes, the Internet is in trouble in places like Russia or China or Iran. But some of these countries also produce capitalist corporations -- even if crony/oligarch capitalism -- that represent a challenge to Google and that's a good thing. On the Russian Internet, I can click on a button and tip a blogger (if I have a Russian electronic wallet attached to a Russian bank). I can easily do things like donate to political prisoners or Navalny with that wallet. Why can't I do that in America?! These countries' citizens would rather have their own services in their own languages and culture even if they still want access to Facebook or Twitter as a supplement given state controls, so it's all good. The Internet freedom gang should spend less time fussing about the US spying on Merkel and work on freeing up the Internet for the people behind the electronic Iron Curtain.
Does leaving the Internet free meaning it has US dominance? Yes and no, as I've just pointed out, and I'm also not persuaded, as Pai obviously isn't, that this is a bad thing.
I wonder how much the standards bodies like IEEE and IETF now fussing about US dominance really matter. These entities get packed with "progressives" and outright technocommunists including from the US Department of Defense who are happy to suppress commerce, intellectual property -- its bastion -- and insist on copyleftistism. But hey, they lost on the struggle over DRM and HTML5. Good! that is a little sung progress story that I wondered whether would be lost with the likes of Cory Doctorow beavering away against it constantly. But it prevailed. Because business requires it. Good!
Eventually I will go take a peek at the damage of the IGF meeting -- but ultimately, it doesn't matter, in the words of Loren Feldman. The Internet routes around...