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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

All Your Blogs Belong to Us

(Cross Posted from Common Folks Using Common Sense)
Tuesday, at something called the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, Tunisia, delegates at the United Nation meeting agreed to establish a new forum to discuss Internet issues, but it would have no policy-making powers, at least not for now.

Or to remove all the legal-ese, the UN is not taking over the Internet, at least not yet. But just imagine how disastrous it would be for the UN to control the Internet.

For example, would they censor content? Would you be allowed to criticize Muslims on the new UN-controlled Internet? Remember, the United Nations' own Human Rights Declaration only permits free speech and freedom of the press so long as what is being said or written does not "interfere with the goals and purposes of the United Nations."

This is the same UN that in 2003 brought us Libya chairing the Human Rights Commission. This is the same UN that is holding this conference in a dictatorship such as Tunisia, a country highlighted by Human Rights Watch this week as a place that "continues to jail individuals for expressing their opinions on the Internet and suppress Web sites critical of the government." Huh? Does anyone else see the irony here?

Their own website of this event shows funding contributions from various quarters, including the governments of Syria, Libya and Saudi Arabia, all distinguished as perennial icons of the world most repressive regimes. Except the UN site doesn't make mention of the censorship and brutal internal repression of these regimes - only of their participation, and their money. Duh.

Oh, and just imagine if the UN got a penny/nickle/dime/quarter/doller EVERY TIME you logged in. How about that?

For an anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-Democratic institution like the UN to be put in charge of really what is the last bastion of pure free speech on Earth would ruin the Internet.

For anyone who cares about the vast freedoms and opportunities afforded by the Internet - for pajama-clad bloggers, for journalists, for businessmen and especially for people in the poorest countries - it is time for a call to arms. Where is Paul Revere when you need him? And remember that this is NOT the first time the UN has tried to wrestle control over the Internet away from the United States, practically the last place on Earth that values freedom of speech.

In free societies, all sorts of good things flourish, including technology and highly productive uses of the Internet. In despotic systems, human potential withers and dies, strangled by censorship, starved by central controls, and rotted by the corruption that inevitably accompanies such arrangements. That poisonous mix is what prevents the spread of prosperity in Africa, and blocks peace in the Middle East, and access to computers, or for that matter, food, in North Korea (which is of course sending a delegate to Tunis).

One if by land. Two if by sea. Three if by a fiber optic line.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Four if by jello, five if by noodle, six if by masterbation.

Get the U.S.A. out of the U.N.!

Didn't we kick all the collective asses of every county *in* the U.N.?

5:08 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

I hope we don't count to 10.

And yes, we have pretty well kicked all of their asses, and now as a reward, we pay 25% of the UN budget.

5:32 PM  

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