this was another item ignored before the election, but what will Americans do if the UN starts to control more? will there be less freedom to post on Topix? more importantly, will the UN eventually ban future episodes of Honey Boo Boo? that would really upset many Americans:
Will thugs rule the web?
Few Americans realize it, but the UN is driving to take control over the Internet. You remember, the folks who want a worldwide income tax & who put Syria & Iran on their Human Rights Committee.
& if delegates have their way at next week’s World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai, the man in charge of the Web will be a Soviet-trained apparatchik from Cold War days.
Don’t count on the Obama-appointed US delegate to stop the threatened changes in how the Internet works, & how much power governments have to decide what their citizens see on the World Wide Web. Pushing the agenda at Dubai are Russia & China.
“The Internet stands at a crossroads,” is how Vint Cerf, one of the ’Net’s founders, put it in a NY Times piece back in May. Events in Dubai, he wrote, could “take away the Internet as you & I have known it.”
Indeed, the meeting could well decide whether freedom or totalitarianism prevails in the 21st century.
The core threat is to change the rules by which the LA-headquartered nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers & Names administers the Web. Since its birth in 1998, ICANN has worked hard to make the Internet as free & widely accessible as possible — raising the ire of dictators around the world.
The thugocrats want key decisions about how the Web works handed over to a UN body, the International Telecommunications Union, where individual countries will have an equal vote on any new rules, regardless of whether their delegates know anything about the ’Net.(Most of the calls made by ICANN are done by engineers who have background in cyber issues.)
What kind of new rules? One is “sender party pays,” which would make US-based sites like Google, Facebook & Yahoo pay local networks for the right to send material to overseas visitors. That could easily make it too expensive for those firms to send data or documents to users in remote Third World countries — again, something their ruling elites won’t mind.
Another would let governments force ICANN to erase domains or IP addresses they don’t like, dumping dissident sites permanently off the Internet.
Still another would compel ICANN & other international custodians like the Internet Engineering Task Force to help governments censor what flows into their country from the Web.
The big backers of this rule change are — no surprise — China & Russia. Their proposed “International Code of Conduct for Information Security” would wreck the ’Net as a source of free & accessible information for people around the world & turn it into one more means by which governments can snoop on their citizens & dictate what they read or see, & when.
But China & Russia have still bigger plans. They see the battle over Internet governance as a way to extend their geo-political reach at the expense of the United States, the chief guardian of the Internet’s libertarian ethos.
So what is Uncle Sam doing about it? The State Department’s delegate to the conference, Terry Kramer, says the United States won’t agree to handing over control of the Internet to the ITU. BUT he also says America won’t try to control the agenda:“We don’t want to come across like we’re preaching to others.”
Americans need to tell him: Preach away, dude. If this battle decides whether freedom or totalitarianism rules the 21st century, we need to make sure freedom wins.
Read more: UN bid to run Internet—Arthur Herman - NYPOST.com http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolu...