The U.N.’s Internet Power Grab
It’s easy to understand why countries like Russia, China and Iran would want to rewire the Internet, cutting off access to their citizens and undermining the idea of a World Wide Web. What’s more surprising is that U.S. diplomats are letting authoritarian regimes hijack an obscure U.N. agency to undermine how the Internet works, including for Americans.
The failure by U.S. negotiators to stop attacks on the Internet became known only through documents leaked last week. They concern a U.N. agency known as the International Telecommunications Union. Founded in 1865 to regulate the telegraph, the body (now part of the U.N.) is planning a World Conference on International Telecommunications in December, when the 193 U.N. member countries, each of which has a single vote, could use the International Telecommunications Regulations to take control of the Internet.
The broadest proposal in the draft materials is an initiative by China 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. The Internet Society, which represents the engineers around the world who keep the Internet functioning, says this proposal « would require member states to take on a very active and inappropriate role in patrolling » the Internet. 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.
Notre gauche applaudie à tout rompre quand le machin onusien compare le Québec à l’Algérie, mais quand l’ONU s’apprête a piétiner nos libertés avec une loi mille fois pire que la loi 78, c’est le silence radio…