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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Leaked Documents Show the U.N.'s Internet Power Grab...

With very low visibility, a small agency in the United Nations - the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) - might be about to quietly try and regulate the entire Internet.

The ITU has planned a meeting this upcoming December where each of the 193 member nations will vote on various proposed Internet regulations.  What's striking is that the details of the proposals have been kept secret, so it was impossible to know what authoritarian governments were plotting or how the U.S. was responding. 

Until now.  A pair of researchers from George Mason University created a website called WCITLeaks.org in the hopes that someone with access to the secretive proposals would leak them and make them available to the public.  Last Friday, that's exactly what happened.  Someone leaked the 212-page planning document being used by governments to prepare for the December conference.  You can read it yourself here.

What it shows is breathtaking.  First, China is proposing "to give countries authority over the information and communication infrastructure within their state" and require that online companies "operating in their territory" use the Internet "in a rational way"- in short, to legitimize full government control.

Second, several proposals would give the U.N. power to regulate online content for the first time, under the guise of protecting against computer malware or spam.

Third, Russia and some Arab countries are proposing to be able to inspect private communications such as email.

Fourth, Iran and Russia are proposing new rules to measure Internet traffic along national borders and bill the originator of the traffic, as with international phone calls - essentially creating national toll booths for data.

Fifth, there is a proposal that would give the U.N. control over the Internet's Domain Name System, replacing ICANN which operates under a contract from the U.S. Commerce Department.

Take all of this in its totality and what we see are proposals that would A) grant power and authority over the very functioning of the Internet to the United Nations, and B) grant authoritarian governments the ability to censor, monitor, and more strictly control both the content of the Web itself and people's behavior on it.  What's at stake is nothing less than a system based on open flows of information, as opposed to an "information world order" based on government controls.

L. Gordon Crovitz from the Wall Street Journal is right in his assessment:  "Authoritarian regimes are busy lobbying a majority of the U.N. members to vote their way. The leaked documents disclose a U.S. side that has hardly begun to fight back. That's no way to win this war."

Everyone better wake up.  Soon.


23 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:43 AM

    You really think the Obama administration is going to "step up to the plate"? They want this!

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous4:36 PM

      Yes, and the pro-firing Romney would be so much better. The only person that is actually a Republican by definition woud have been Ron, but nobody is going to allow him as the nominee because there's too many ignorant (mostly white) people who think "that could be me" while Romney fake-schmoozes them more.

      Romney will be even worse, allowing people to wallow in their sorrows that were caused by the wars that party's candidate got us into 10 years ago and the firings his own company performed to make millions for themselves. So, who do you vote for? The only right thing to do is not vote, it's the only way to be right. Not sure, but right.

      Delete
    2. Romney won't fold to the UN, whereas it wouldn't surprise me if Obama secretly thought a world run by the UN (with him at the head) would make everyone better off.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous10:54 AM

    Yikes. It reminds me of a very famous poem about the Nazi's in world war II: I kept silent when they came for the jews, burnt the books etc, and when they came for me, there was nobody to help me...

    C'mon, now is the time to speak up.

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  3. Anonymous10:55 AM

    Why only the Obama administration?

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  4. We need a new internet. One that is designed to be free of control.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:51 PM

      you're describing the current internet.

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    2. Except for the fact that the U.S. Government can do pretty much anything they want, they want a website taken down? It's down.

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    3. Anonymous5:02 AM

      We need a new internet based on the old internet, the network of nodes. Those who want to be governed can keep their subscription to Facebook, Google and every iSpyGadget they install. This freedom is also needed to guarantee economic growth and keep the money hording corporations and individuals restrained, giving people a chance to experiment and come up with innovative ways to be connected and exchange ideas.
      Here's a link to the transcript of Eben Moglen's recent speech: https://www.softwarefreedom.org/events/2012/freedom-to-connect_moglen-keynote-2012.html there's also video/audio on the net, but I try refrain from linking to youtube. It outlines very well why Freedom is more important than what the UN work-group proposes.

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  5. Anonymous11:02 AM

    Why because the US flips the majority of the bill for the UN and provides most of the ground forces for peace keeping actions for the UN. I'm not even from the US.

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  6. Anonymous12:02 PM

    Do you realize "intercepting an email" is about as difficult as reading a post card. The only problem is finding where it was sent from and where it is going to and then just keep on eavesdroppin'

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    Replies
    1. It's not about difficulty, it's about legality.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous1:25 PM

    Just another reason to adopt Namecoin as an alternate DNS provider.

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  8. Not American3:00 PM

    > Everyone better wake up. Soon.

    Yeah, the problem is that we have. What right have YOU to control the internet?

    In what realm does having part of the worlds internet infrastructure controlled by a single country sane?

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  9. Anonymous5:00 PM

    Let's hope some European country's fight back. The US is not going to...

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  10. Anonymous6:16 PM

    how many of the comments posted above came from people that read the leaked document.
    i am rather sick of under or non educated opinions based on 3 or 4 paragraphs of some one else's opinion...

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  11. Anonymous8:28 PM

    Government takes down the internet, we take down the government.

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  12. Anonymous11:16 PM

    So what do we do about this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous4:59 AM

      Join the nearest riot group!

      Delete
  13. Anonymous8:00 AM

    proleteriates must revolt, the power is in the proles! Lets mess stuff up! Attack the governments that work not to empower, provide or aid the people but who instead work vigorously to make sure we may never rise up as a single race and remain united to them and divided from each other. The plague of politicians must end!

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  14. Anonymous9:52 PM

    I mean, there are 5 countries in the UN that have veto power, so if the US decides against it, bam! its out. i believe the other countries are russia (no luck there :P) france, the UK and china. Lets hope france and the UK will step up to the plate if the US folds

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  15. The main function of computing platforms is the accepting of input from human operators and the output of results formatted for human consumption.A computer is a programmable machine designed to automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem. Discount EDI

    ReplyDelete