Back on July 11th, I alerted my readers to an alarming development in internet access and ultimately the blogosphere.:
An international political spat is brewing over whether the United Nations will seize control of the heart of the Internet. U.N. bureaucrats and telecommunications ministers from many less-developed nations claim the U.S. government has undue influence over how things run online.
Imagine that. Our most sinister adversaries want to control the one truly free, truly egalitarian forum the world has ever known.
At issue is who decides key questions like adding new top-level domains, assigning chunks of numeric Internet addresses, and operating the root servers that keep the Net humming. Other suggested responsibilities for this new organization include Internet surveillance, "consumer protection," and perhaps even the power to tax domain names to pay for "universal access."
This development represents a grave political challenge to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which was birthed by the U.S. government to handle some of those topics.
(“Hendon” is David Hendon, the UK Department for Trade and Industry’s director of business relations):
Breaking America’s Grip on the Net
(Hendon) had just announced a political coup over the running of the internet.
Old allies in world politics, representatives from the UK and US sat just feet away from each other, but all looked straight ahead as Hendon explained the EU had decided to end the US government’s unilateral control of the internet and put in place a new body that would now run this revolutionary communications medium.
In the early days, an enlightened Department of Commerce (DoC) pushed and funded expansion of the internet. And when it became global, it created a private company, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) to run it.
But the DoC retained overall control, and in June stated what many had always feared: that it would retain indefinite control of the internet’s foundation - its “root servers”, which act as the basic directory for the whole internet.
A number of countries represented in Geneva, including Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran and several African states, insisted the US give up control, but it refused. The meeting “was going nowhere,” Hendon says, and so the EU took a bold step and proposed two stark changes: a new forum that would decide public policy, and a “cooperation model” comprising governments that would be in overall charge.
Much to the distress of the US, the idea proved popular. Its representative hit back, stating that it “can’t in any way allow any changes” that went against the “historic role” of the US in controlling the top level of the internet.
But the refusal to budge only strengthened opposition, and now the world’s governments are expected to agree a deal to award themselves ultimate control. It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce.
Here’s a statement from the Institute for Policy Innovation, a free-market think tank):
Dr. Milton Mueller of the Syracuse University School of Information Studies described the recent goings-on in Geneva, where the UN’s World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) has been debating the future of Internet governance :
What seems to have been lost in the shuffle is the idea of distributed, cooperative control that involves individuals, technical and academic groups, Internet businesses and limited, lawful interactions with governments. The idea that nation-states should not have the ability to arbitrarily intervene in the Internet’s operation whenever they feel like it, but should be bound by clear, negotiated constitutional principles, has been crowded out of the debate.
With Commerce in control, other nations can’t intervene. Putting “governments in overall charge,” as the Guardian article indicated, guarantees intervention by tyrants who don’t like what their citizens are saying, and narrow-minded commerical actions by governments that will negatively affect the world economy.
This is something I would expect a still-in-power Clinton Administration to gleefully give into. It would be impossible to read a surrender on this by the Bush Administration as anything but a major betrayal.
From National Review: “World Wide (Web) Takeover–The United Nations wants the Internet”
If I may add my $.02, WTF? This is a distinctly American invention. It is ours. We chose to share it with the world. And frankly, it's the last vestige of free speech left. The Fifth Column doesn't like what we are doing? Clearly.
It seems to Tom that boycotting the conference would solve the problem. I disagree. I think we have tolerated and absorbed enough of the evil that the United Nations and the world community at large has perpetrated on America and free peoples everywhere.
It was one thing when we all believed their ineptitude and ill effects of their action(s) were a result of a naivety and "good will" - as in the road to hell is paved with good intentions (good case in point - the intent of Live8 but the damage it really does, Bono etc).
The UN on the other is evil, not "enlightened". We know this. We have empirical evidence. Oil for food (the largest corruption and embezzlement in world history, starving the people of Iraq in the process), UN peacekeepers raping children in the Congo and being moved to other "hotspots" in the world (not punished), U.N. Official Compares Israelis to Nazis...............crimes to numerous to recount here.
Point being? The UN must go. Seriously, it's one thing to be ineffectual, it is quite another to become the "diplomatic arm" for evil that men do. The dhimmi emissary for Radical Islam.
I am sure that Bush picked Miers because he knows exactly where she stands on the GWOT and national sovereignty. And for a leader with vision, focus and a sense of history...........that is the priority above all else. He (and I) will be damned before we let some bulllshit world body try us for "war crimes", steal our freedoms , or censure free thought.
I suspect the left lunatic liberal media elite are only too happy to see us reined in. Hence their silence on a matter of such great import. They despise being held to account and having to answer to a higher authority - the truth.
Meanwhile, over in China, land of the bound, home of the tortured....Big Brother in Beijing-WSJ
China's cyber police issued new rules Sunday limiting Internet postings to "healthy and civilized" news. In prose that the Chinese people could identify with George Orwell were his books not banned in China, the state news agency Xinhua said that only information "that is beneficial to the improvement of the quality of the nation, beneficial to its economic development and conducive to social progress will be allowed." Companies that refuse to comply will be shut down.
It remains to be seen whether Big Brother in Beijing is a match for the power of the Internet. With 100 million cybernauts, China has the world's second-largest Internet population, after the U.S. with 135 million. The ability of Chinese surfers to communicate with each other on a massive scale has already made a mockery of state censorship of information.
But China's communist leaders are in a bind. Keeping information flowing on the Web is key to economic growth. At the same time, they desperately want to stamp out threats to their grip on power -- such as information about democracy movements in the formerly communist nations of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Their worst fear is that the Internet will be instrumental in getting a coordinated anti-government campaign off the ground.
UPDATE: More reason to disband the UN;
From the Foundation of Defense Democracies
CLAUDIA ROSETT: U.N. Procurement Scandal: Secret Information Was Leaked to a Bidder
FDD's Claudia Rosett and FOX News's George Russell have a new piece:
On the morning of Nov. 6, 2003, an e-mail sped between two business executives at two private firms, bearing an important tip-off about an impending and highly confidential United Nations business deal.
Read the full article here.