New Year’s Resolution: Prevent the UN from Voting Itself Our Internet Overlord
The Barack Obama Administration has, since its inception, been moving the United States dramatically leftward, trying to (at the very least) make us a western European socialist entity. Ideologically, a full-on participant in - rather than a rational outlier of - the patently absurd United Nations (UN).
Perhaps the greatest - and worst - example of President Obama’s UN-ing of America was his Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s December 2010 illegal Network Neutrality Internet power grab.
The Administration going to these unlawful lengths to commandeer control of the ‘Net makes it a little more difficult to persuade international autocrats and dictators to leave alone their portions of the World Wide Web.
Which brings us to the United Nations.
Behold the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) - a wing of the UN. They will be in December convening to renegotiate the 24-year-old treaty that deals with international oversight of the Internet.
And it doesn’t look good (shocking, I know.)
A growing number of countries are pushing greater governmental control and management of the Web’s availability, financial model and infrastructure...
China and Russia support the effort, but so do non-Western U.S. allies such as Brazil, South Africa and India.
Lest we forget: Time and time and time again all over the world, when people's Internet access is blocked, it is governments - China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, members of the United Nations - doing the blocking.
These are governments that will now be voting to give themselves greater international Internet authority, including - especially - over us. Behold the (standard-issue) UN Anti-America card.
They believe the current (Internet) model is “dominated” by the U.S., and want to “take that control and power away.”
Here at home, this is a strange bedfellow issue. The pro-Net Neutrality likes of Google, Facebook and Netflix will be standing alongside the pro-freedom forces in opposition to this global power grab. Why?
(FCC Republican Commissioner Robert) McDowell said the treaty could open the door to allowing revenue-hungry national governments to charge Internet giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon for their data traffic on a “per click” basis. The more website visitors those companies get, the more they pay.
The whiplash-inducing hypocrisy of the pro-Net Neutrality folks is striking, but there is a sort of consistency here. In both instances, they are in favor of they themselves not paying any more to do business, which is perfectly understandable. If only they didn’t muddy the waters by lobbying government(s) to impose extra costs on others - like the incredibly expensive Net Neutrality on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) - to avoid paying their “fair share.”
The argument against increasing UN Internet control is nearly identical to the anti-Net Neutrality argument: If it ain’t broke, don’t let government(s) try to “fix” it.
In 1988, when the treaty was signed, fewer than 100,000 people used the Internet, Mr. McDowell said. Shortly after it was privatized in 1995, that number jumped to 16 million users. As of this year, it is up to 2 billion users, with another 500,000 joining every day.
“This phenomenal growth was the direct result of governments keeping their hands off the Internet sphere and relying instead on a private-sector, multi-stakeholder Internet governance model to keep it thriving,” he said.
Mr. McDowell attributed the massive growth of the Internet to freedom.
“So the whole point is, the more it migrated away from government control, the more it blossomed,” he said.
It obviously ain’t broke - so what’s to fix?
As the late, great Soviet Union sufferer and transcender Alexandr Solzhenitsyn rightly pointed out:
It is not a United Nations Organization but a United Governments Organization where all governments stand equal; those which are freely elected, those imposed forcibly, and those which have seized power with weapons.
So why should America's free speech, free market Xanadu Internet be subjected to United Governments control -- governments that time and again have shut down their own domestic Internets?
It, of course, should not be, which is why this UN vote must come up short.
We have about a year. Let us make it so.