The US has refused to turn control of the Internet over to the UN. Thank Goodness. (via Instapundit)
A senior U.S. official rejected calls on Thursday for a
U.N. body to take over control of the main computers that direct
traffic on the Internet, reiterating U.S. intentions to keep its
historical role as the medium's principal overseer.
"We will not agree to the U.N. taking over the management of the
Internet," said Ambassador David Gross, the U.S. coordinator for
international communications and information policy at the State
Department. "Some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable."
Beyond the potential fortunes UN officials could make in bribes and kickbacks with such control,
Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly
concerned about the U.S. control, which stems from the country's role
in creating the Internet as a Pentagon project and funding much of its
Too bad. If you don't like it, band together and create your own. This is classic socialist thinking - don't bother to invest or try to compete, just confiscate the assets of whoever is already successful.
Meryl Yourish, by the way, brings us this delicious irony: Tunisia, whose government actively censors the web and restricts its people's access to the web, will be hosting the next UN Internet summit:
Facing heated protest, the United Nations on Wednesday defended
Tunisia's hosting of a U.N. summit about Internet access in the
developing world, even though the north African nation has been
repeatedly accused of rights abuses that include blocking Web sites it
the government has blocked access to Web sites belonging
to Reporters Without Borders, other human rights watchdogs, and the
independent press, while police monitor e-mails and Internet cafes.
does question to some extent the U.N.'s credibility that a world summit
on the information society is taking place in a society where access to
some Web sites is restricted," said Alexis Krikorian, of the
International Publishers' Association. "It's amazing that such a summit
would take place in a country like this."
No kidding. When you think of turning tasks over to the UN, remember that over half the membership and the bureaucracy is dominated by officials from dictatorships. Turning the Internet over to the UN means turning it over to Robert Mugabe and Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro and Kim Il Sung. And to Syria and Saudi Arabia and Iran. And don't forget China, currently in the middle of the largest and most aggressive government Internet censorship project in the world.
New Chinese regulations governing Internet
news content tighten the noose on freewheeling bloggers and aim to rein
in the medium that is a growing source of information for the
mainland's more than 100 million users.
The day we hand the Internet over to the UN is the day we should start building a new one.