The United States has run the Internet since the late 1960s when it first emerged as a communications network among U.S. defense agencies and research labs, and considering the Internet’s ubiquitous presence worldwide, the United States has done a remarkable job.
If ever there were a case for the maxim, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the U.S. management of the Internet would seem to be it. But there are few issues that a United Nations commission, in solemn conclave assembled, can’t make worse.
In September, four authoritarian nations, Russia, China, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, none of them noted as beacons of human rights and unfettered expression, proposed that individual states be allowed to regulate the Internet on their own, or, failing that, to let the U.N. do it. Brushing aside the rhetorical smoke screen of “information security,” they are seeking the right to control their people’s communication with the outside world even more than they do now.
Cold War veterans must have felt a twinge of nostalgia reading the language of the Russia, China, et al resolution. It called for “the earliest possible consensus on international norms and rules guiding the behavior of states in the information space.”
In the bad old days, the Soviet bloc was regularly coming up with “international norms and rules” that it had no intention of following but would have shackled those nations that believed in the rule of law.
The resolution recalled the infamous 2005 U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization conference on a “new world information order” that proposed a supranational agency to control “global media” and censor the world’s press, especially its reporting on the Third World.
— Online: http://www.mdjonline.com