I am a political activist. I don’t often write about politics on this site. But, a few things make it into this blog every now and then. This is one item that should make it in as it affects everyone on the planet.
The nations of the world are negotiating the International Telecommunications Regulations treaty lead by Russia and China that will allow regulation of the Internet through the United Nations. We know about the talks through a WCITLeaks anonymous posting by a participant in the talks. The signing ceremony has been scheduled in Dubai in December of 2012.
It currently looks like Hamadoun Toure, From Mali and a graduate from the Russian Leningrad Institute and Moscow Technical University, is Vladimir Putin’s choice to run the Internet.
Jerry Brito and Eli Dourado, of George Mason University, set up a web site called WCITLeaks and encouraged anyone with knowledge of the negotiations to make an anonymous posting detailing their progress. Someone responded on June 12th of this year posting a 250 page synopsis of the proposed treaty and the talks surrounding it.
If the treaty is approved and it is highly likely the Obama Administration will approve it, the UN will:
- Distribute and assign all domain and other enames.
- Notify each country of the IP addresses of email users within their borders.
- Be authorized to regulate all Internet content.
- Grant each nation the right to censor web sites originating in their country.
- Authorize countries to charge a surcharge for access to any web sites that originate beyond their borders.
If the UN denies you a domain or revokes your right to use it, there is no one to appeal to.
Providing Russia, Brazil, India, China, Venezuela, Iran, and a load of dictatorships the IP address of email users will allow those governments to track down dissidents.
If you thought SOPA was bad, think again. Over 60% of the UN member countries are basically dictatorships without freedom of speech. Placing the Internet in the hands of the UN will place our free speech Internet rights in the hands of the most corrupt organization on the planet. One with a vested interest in obliterating free speech.
Currently in free countries free speech rights based their Constitution over rule any laws that infringe that right. But, in the USA a treaty becomes part of the Constitution. See Article 6 Clause 2. The laws made part of the Constitution cannot be overturned by the Supreme Court nor revoked by Congress. The states must call a Constitutional Convention to revoke a treaty. The treaty will essentially give the US Government a new power over free speech.
The current wording proposed for inclusion in the treaty states;
“…in cases where international telecommunication services are used for the purpose of interfering in the internal affairs or undermining the sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and public safety of other states, or to divulge information of a sensitive nature.”
That pretty much guarantees there will be no wikileaks rating out corrupt government officials in the future. Remember Oil for Food… with this treaty in place you would likely never have heard of it.
Don’t think that this will be easy to stop or that your country has a choice. Under the rules of the International Telecommunication Union Treaty, which most countries have already signed, (a UN board administers the treaty), countries don’t have a veto over regulations the UN imposes—resolutions and regulations are come to by consensus… of a group that is 60+% totalitarian.
The US Congress has taken the awesome (not) step of passing a resolution… A resolution is not a law. It is just a pretty piece of paper that says Congress has the intent to do something. Basically nothing and useless.
If your web site is used in another country, that country can impose a fee on it. It is unclear whether the site owner or the viewer has to pay the fee. The way taxes work it is likely both will be charged some fee.
Vinton Cerf, vice president of Google, warns, “…open Internet has never been at higher risk than it is now. If all of us don’t pay attention to what’s going on, users worldwide will be at risk of losing the open and free Internet that has brought so much to so many.” Heard much out of Google lately?
The Wall Street Journal published The U.N. Threat to Internet Freedom (Feb 2012) in which it warned that the proposal treaty could “use the International Telecommunications Regulations to take control of the Internet.”
Vanity Fair wrote World War 3.0, an excellent read.
This treaty has been slowly and quietly moving forward all year. If we don’t rally to protect the Internet, we may lose this freedom forever.
So What To Do?
Do you know which party in your country supports the treaty? Find out and oppose that party. I mean really find out. Just because a party says they are for free speech doesn’t mean they are. Look at their actions, recent laws, Executive Orders, and treaties they have signed. Look at who is providing transparency and who isn’t. This is a political chess game and advanced propaganda techniques are in use.
The governments are meeting in Dubai this December. Remind your representatives that you are paying attention and oppose giving control of the Internet to the UN.