Slipping quietly under the radars of many people is the decision by the U.S. government to release its effective control of the internet and to hand over the “keys” to international bodies such as the United Nations and its front group, the ICU (International Telecommunications Union).
This decision was more or less finalized when the Obama administration Department of Commerce decided not to renew the contract whereby ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a non-profit corporation created to basically administer the internet, controls the assignment of domain names for websites and the like. As such, ICANN’s control will effectively end in September 2015, and the “world community” will become responsible for governing the internet through “world institutions” via the UN.
Anyone who cannot see what an incredibly dangerous assault on free speech this is, not just in the United States but also worldwide, is simply not paying attention.
As noted in the article,
“The responsibilities to be farmed out will include the administration of changes to the DNS’s authoritative root zone file—the database containing the lists of names and addresses of all top-level domains—as well as managing the unique identifiers registries for domain names, IP addresses, and protocol parameters.”
This, essentially, is the nuts and bolts of the internet. These international bodies will have control over who gets (and gets to keep) their domain names and IP addresses among other things, which are essential to having and maintaining a presence on the world wide web. Newt Gingrich’s comment about this will surely end up being sure to be correct,
“Every American should worry about Obama giving up control of the internet to an undefined group. This is very, very dangerous…What is the global internet community that Obama wants to turn the internet over to? This risks foreign dictatorships defining the internet.”
He does have a point, after all. Remember, this is the same “world community” that routinely puts incorrigible human rights abusers like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, China, and Venezuela onto the UN Human Rights Council. Yet, there are some in the “academic community” who are blinkered enough to think that potentially handing control of internet access over to a body in which China, Russia, and even Zimbabwe will have the same say as the United States is a good thing,
“But this is just scare-mongering, says the Internet Governance Project (IGP), an alliance of academics that has been campaigning for changes to internet governance since 2005, in a statement.
“‘Far from “giving up” something or “losing control”, the US is sure to find that its policy has gained strength. We have just made it a lot harder for opponents of a free and open internet to pretend that what they are really against is an internet dominated by one hegemonic state,’ it says.
“‘We have also made it harder for anyone to complain that multistakeholder governance is just a fig leaf for US pre-eminence.’”
Uh huh. This argument is, in essence, yet another display of the same ridiculous “soft power” mindset that drives so much of Obama’s foreign policy (and we can see how well that’s worked). By seeing our example, the “world community” will surely “evolve” to maintain American-style interests in free and open speech on the internet, and therefore would never even think of using their input to, say, ban speech that offends Islam or to prohibit “Free Tibet” or pro-Ukrainian websites from being able to get access.
It’s all hogwash.
Once the “wild, wild West” of internet freedom of speech becomes subject to the input of unelected UN bureaucrats…
Once the “wild, wild West” of internet freedom of speech becomes subject to the input of unelected UN bureaucrats from that large, large part of the world that doesn’t hold freedom of speech to be a basic civilizational ideal, we can expect to find the internet becoming significantly less open. And let’s face it, most of the countries in the world do not believe in freedom of speech. Indeed, a large functional majority of them do not. The Islamic world alone comprises 57 of the 193 members states of the United Nations. What do you do when they get together with China and its vassals, Russia and its lackeys, and the dictatorships of Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa to agree to ban criticism of Islam, the advocacy of decentralization and liberty, criticism of their regimes, and anything else that authoritarian regimes find disagreeable? Simply refuse to grant domains to “objectionable” groups and ideas, and you can strangle their expression in the cradle.
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Contributed by Tim Dunkin of Canada Free Press.