Don't Let the UN Take Over the Internet
The US must act: L. Gordon Crovitz
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2012 2:00 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A number of countries are trying to place the Internet under the UN's control—and the US needs to push back, and soon, writes L. Gordon Crovitz in the Wall Street Journal. The Web is so successful exactly because it's not run by any government. But that's also why many nations oppose its open nature, which makes it difficult to censor or tax. So China, Russia, Iran, and Arab countries have been lobbying for the International Telecommunications Union—"a UN agency that has nothing to do with the Internet"—to take over its rules and workings.

The ITU's negotiating conference is next week, and ideas for its proposed new treaty on communications include things like assessing a "sender-party-pays" fee to websites for each foreign visitor (in the hopes of encouraging them to cut off service to international users altogether), and rules allowing countries to monitor or block Internet traffic routed through them. "Having the Internet rewired by bureaucrats would be like handing a Stradivarius to a gorilla," Crovitz writes, and the State Department's top delegate to the conference has said that the US doesn't want to "come across like we're preaching to others." But that's exactly what he, and the US, must do, Crovitz concludes. "Preach the virtues of the open Internet as forcefully as possible." Click for his full column.

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Showing 3 of 26 comments
$28919642
Nov 27, 2012 11:16 AM CST
"Here's freedom to them that would read. Here's freedom to them that would write! There's none ever fear'd that the truth should be heard But they whom the truth would indite!"~~Robert Burns . AND THE SAME GOES FOR MY INTERNET, DAMMIT!
right2dave
Nov 27, 2012 7:53 AM CST
The UN has aways been around to seperate countries with money and put it in their pockets. Close the UN down before it does anymore damage.
jagerhans
Nov 27, 2012 4:57 AM CST
what the UN is good for ? i cannot recall one single case when their intervention was bold, righteous and problem-solving. more often that bunch is only good for sending around too late too few smurf soldiers with no dicks, often corrupted and elbow-deep in foul side jobs - goddamnit, im no USA lover but old Bush acted better in the first gulf war than the UN during all its history.