American and UK diplomats are trying to settle a huge row that is forming over the sale of 85% of the 95% of the shares the UK holds in the Internet to Iran. The sale which consists of about one trillion barrels of oil and some cash was signed secretly in London yesterday and the American Government only found out from reading a UK government officials blog.
Fuming President Obama was immediately on the hot line to PM Gordon Brown to ask what was going on. Apparently the conversation focused on the fact that in 1994 Thatcher and Regan had shook hands on a deal where the UK would give the US first dibs if the any of the shares in the Internet were to come up for sale. America currently holds only 4% shares the remaining 1% split equally between China and India.
The UK bought the Internet shares in 1991, when there were only 148 online users, at what now seems a knock down price of just $1000. One has to remember though that at that time, PC's with 4k modems were being sold for around the same price of a car and each page took around three hours to load. There were only two soft porn sites which were not even in color and spam was simply a foodstuff!
The controversial decision to sell the shares to Iran was influenced by the fact the Britain's North Sea oil reserves will run out very soon, probably around January and the UK needed to guarantee oil supply. As the sale of the Internet is outside of any Iranian trade embargos the UK has not broken any international laws.
A spokesman for the legal firm, Google, Google and Google that brokered the deal was confident this wouldn't have any major user implications. "The transfer of the Internet to Iran will not cause any disruption to the use of it. It will, in fact, probably be easier for people to search for, say, 'middle east porn' and find more naked, fornicating, masturbating and lesbian Arab women sites than search provides now, which of course, can only be seen as a bonus and a better search experience."
This story looks like it could continue for hours.