Obama's Internet Surrender Threatens Freedom, Says... Bill Clinton
To date, nearly all of the politicians criticizing the Obama Administration's plan to hand over supervision of Internet domains to some sort of international organization next year have been Republicans. Now there's a very notable exception: former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton's not a mild critic, either. Appearing with Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, he told an audience at Arizona State University, "I understand in theory why we should have a multi-stakeholder process. I just know that a lot of these so-called stakeholders are really governments that want to gag people, and restrict access to the Internet."
For the record, Wales also pronounced himself "very worried" about the possibility of reduced Internet freedom. Like virtually everyone on the planet outside of the Obama Administration, they seemed to think this was all happening, to some significant degree, because of the Edward Snowden scandal, which supposedly demonstrates America is no longer a trustworthy guardian of Internet freedom, even though Snowden's revelations had nothing whatsoever to do with U.S. government oversight of ICANN, the corporation that handles Web domain registration.
If I might take this opportunity to expand on something I said on "Breitbart News Saturday" this weekend: when Clinton says "a lot of these so-called stakeholders are really governments that want to gag people," I think he might be alluding to the fact that many of the corporate entities that would be part of the new "multi-stakeholder" oversight regime are actually organs of repressive government. It would be hard to imagine a multi-stakeholder system that excluded all of the huge, pseudo-"private" companies that are actually controlled by authoritarian governments such as China and Russia. And if you let those big Internet interests into the system, you're also admitting the oppressive regimes that stand behind them... in some cases, not very far behind them.
The point I keep returning to is that, contrary to the comforting illusions of globalists, nobody else in the world is as committed to free expression as the United States; and, taken as a combined entity, the rest of The World is considerably more comfortable with the idea of restricting Internet access for ideological reasons. I always qualify that statement by sadly noting that America is growing more comfortable with the ideological restriction of free expression, too.
Let me augment that point by making a similar one about free enterprise: the rest of The World is a lot more comfortable with the idea of "private" corporations that are actually organs of the State or its ruling Party... and that's another perversion the American people are learning to accept, to their great cost.