In 2014 the Obama administration decided that it needed to give up all remaining federal control of the internet to “global governance“. Now, two years later, those chickens are coming home to roost. The internet will soon be under the control of a body made up of representatives from various countries and companies, which could make freedom on the internet a thing of the past.
What? Why? Surely you’re being dramatic, Daisy.
Nope, not at all. It’s important to note that many governments which may be included in this body are strongly in favor of censorship of the internet. Take China and Iran, for example. It’s highly likely that they will attempt to exert far more control of both content and access than we currently experience.
When is all of this going to happen?
At midnight on September 30th 2016…less than five weeks time.
For years the United States Department Of Commerce has been responsible for managing URLs and making sure that they lead to the right web pages. The task has been subcontracted the task to a private nonprofit, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann). That contract ends on September 30.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The Commerce Department official charged with ending U.S. oversight, Lawrence Strickling, originally claimed that the U.S. role was merely “clerical,” so could easily be replaced. Last week he bragged: “Stakeholders spent more than 26,000 working hours on the proposal, exchanged more than 33,000 messages on mailing lists, and held more than 600 meetings and calls.”
The plan was supposed to ensure that U.S. control could never be replaced “with a government-led or intergovernmental organization solution.” Yet it does precisely that, giving foreign governments new powers over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann, and a path to full control. They would get a say in removing or appointing Icann board members, in violation of Icann’s articles of incorporation. The Icann board would have to muster 60% of its members to reject advice from governments, up from the current 50%. The Icann board would also be able to launch “accountability” reviews of all stakeholder groups—except the government group.
Is the whole point of this to have a censored internet? That’s something Obama couldn’t do himself for fear of the massive worldwide backlash such a move would cause.
Foreign governments have complained for years that if the United States continues to hold veto power, the internet can never be totally international. Many countries are in favor of the United States losing veto power and allowing an international body, such as the United Nations International Telecommunications Union, to take over the stewardship of the internet.
The problem with this is that the UN visualizes a future where we all sit around the campfire in our Global Village and sing Kumbaya. This attitude is likely to lead to ALL countries having equal votes on policy matters concerning how the internet is run and the content that is allowed. Having authoritarian states such as China, Iran, and Myanmar having equal votes to democratic states could affect freedom of speech for all of us.
Now many people…not me of course (cough cough) will say that this is exactly what Obama and his cronies want. Censorship to stop so-called subversives…like those weird self-reliant people (wink)… from disseminating their thoughts and ideas about how to live with minimum interaction with the government.
According to the Law Information Institute at Cornell University Law School:
The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government. (my emphasis)
Yet this is likely to be the polar opposite of what will happen if the United Nations takes over where the United States and Icann left off.
For more information on the First Amendment and what it means for free speech online go HERE.
If there is information you have been intending to download or anything you want to know more about that may be considered a little anti-government or anti-establishment I suggest you get on it. Do so before midnight on September 30 , because depending on how this goes, you may not have the chance on October 1.