The UN International Telecommunications Union is Next Danger to Internet Freedom
by Susanne Posel, Contributor
June 1, 2012
In a few months, Dubai will be the stage for a potential firestorm with the Internet at the center.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is an extension of the UN that has the control over the Internet in mind. What the UN would like to do to the Internet makes SOPA and PIPA seem like harmless legislation.
Both parties of the UN Congress met and agreed to resist the attempt of the UN to usurp the Web “with everything [they] have”.
Member of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee (CMTS) released a resolution that admonished the US government to take a stance on global governance that “clearly articulates the consistent and unequivocal policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control and preserve and advance the successful multi-stakeholder model that governs the Internet today.”
Fred Upton, member of the CMTS said:
The Internet has become this economic and social juggernaut not because governmental actors willed it to be so, but because the government took a step back and let the private sector drive its evolution. International regulatory intrusion into the Internet would have disastrous results not just for the United States, but for people around the world.
Seems that when controlling the Internet is not coming from the Big Brother usurpers within the US government, Capitol Hill gets a bit concerned. For quite some time now, the House and the Senate have been promoting SOPA and PIPA that would give law makers untold power over Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and copyright protection that could shut down any website on an assertion (regardless of the evidence to prove it). Not to mention moving to abolish the 1st Amendment on the Web with over-reaching Orwellian restriction.
The UN’s ITU proclaims that because the Internet is a “global entity” that the UN should have jurisdiction over it, manage its abilities according to global UN standards, and engage restrictions that could be installed at the fundamental level of the Internet to prevent any infractions of international mandates.
The UN wants to include the domain-name system along with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is currently a privately owned US non-profit organization.
Hamadoun Toure, the ITU secretary-general, stated that:
When an invention becomes used by billions across the world, it no longer remains the sole property of one nation, however powerful that nation might be.
ICANN operates now as a multi-stakeholder that involves groups like the Internet Engineering Task Force and the World Wide Web Consortium. Despite critics and alleged conflicts of interest, the expansion of top-level domains, this action is a sort of “land grab” for domain names.
Vinton Cerf, TCP/IP developer and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, spoke before a congressional subcommittee where he stated that giving the UN power of control over the Internet would subject the Internet to the decisive ideals of an international body who has no intention of preserving the free flow of information. This action would end free speech on the Internet.
Such a move holds profound – and I believe potentially hazardous – implications for the future of the Internet and all of its users. If all of us do not pay attention to what is going on, users worldwide will be at risk of losing the open and free Internet that has brought so much to so many.
It is expected that the ITU would begin a sort of taxation that international telecommunications corporations would be expected to pay for the ITU’s handling of web traffic as it flows across the world. ITU members would be privy to the newfound cash flow that would be in the hands of international governance; which could begin to line the pockets of the UN in record time.
In the Wall Street Journal, Robert McDowell spoke about the egregious countries who belong to the ITU and the restraint of freedom that will surely follow if the UN is allowed to govern the Internet.
[L]et’s face it, strong-arm regimes are threatened by popular outcries for political freedom that are empowered by unfettered Internet connectivity. They have formed impressive coalitions, and their efforts have progressed significantly
Groups like the Internet Society and the Center for Democracy and Technology have submitted many petitions that bring attention to the UN’s agenda to seize control over the Web. AccessNow urges, “release your preparatory documents; recognize the role of the user, and reject any proposals that might centralize control of the Internet.”
The UN and the ITU are powerful international agencies whose interests over the Internet are far more controlling than SOPA and PIPA were ever meant to be.
Without action taken now, in December of this year, the Internet as we know it will disappear not long after the meeting in Dubai.
Susanne Posel is the Chief Editor of Occupy Corporatism. Our alternative news site is dedicated to reporting the news as it actually happens; not as it is spun by the corporately funded mainstream media. You can find us on our Facebook page.