February 28, 2012
It is hard to believe that twenty years ago, the Internet as we as we know it today did not exist. Yes, there was an Internet, but the World Wide Web did not exist. Imagine life today without the web? We do business over the Internet. We get our news from the Internet. The Internet has been the greatest innovation for free speech since the printing press.
Now this great innovation of free speech is under threat. What is the threat and where is it coming from?
It is coming from the United Nations.
All this year, through December, the World Conference on International Telecommunications is meeting with the purpose of negotiating a new treaty to govern international telecommunications.
Russia and China are using this as an excuse to demand a lesser role for the United States in governing the Internet. They would like the United Nations to control the Internet. Other states, such as Brazil and South Africa have demanded the creation of a new global body to control the Internet.
At the same time, China, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have called for a code of conduct for the Internet that would govern activities on the Internet. Some of them are no brainers. Some of them include no criminal activities and not using the Internet as a tool of war.
Section C of the “Code of Conduct” should set off all of the alarm bells. It reads:
(c) To cooperate in combating criminal and terrorist activities that use
information and communications technologies, including networks, and in curbing the dissemination of information that incites terrorism, secessionism or extremism or that undermines other countries’ political, economic and social stability, as well as their spiritual and cultural environment;
Let’s see, this is coming from four of the most repressive nations in the world and they think the Internet should be controlled so that it does not undermine “political” or “social” stability. Aren’t those the code words they use to persecute those who dissent from their regimes?
The Russians, Chinese and the third world object that the United States has so much control over the Internet.
Too damn bad. We created it.
The good news here is that this is a treaty. Under the Constitution, the Senate must ratify a treaty and that takes a 2/3 vote. That is unlikely to happen.
Unfortunately Obama has the same respect for free speech as does the leadership of Russia or China and that is alarming. If an agreement or treaty is bad for America, Obama is for it. If you doubt that, look at some of the other treaties he has signed, such as the START treaty.
The Internet is an invaluable tool for freedom. Without the Internet, we would have been hard pressed to get the Tea Party movement started. This is one instance where we cannot play catch up after the Obama regime has already signed a bad treaty.
We must stay in touch with our Senators and Congressmen to make certain they stay on the Obama regime and keep them from agreeing to a deal that would destroy the freedom we have on the Internet.