Friday, October 07, 2005

EU Threatens US Over Internet Control

Many readers know how I feel about the recent moves of the UN and other Western and developing nations to wrest control of the Internet from the United States. This morning I came across this article on the very anti-American Guardian website:

The issue of who should control the net has proved an extremely divisive issue, and for 11 days the world's governments traded blows. For the vast majority of people who use the internet, the only real concern is getting on it. But with the internet now essential to countries' basic infrastructure...the question of who has control has become critical.

And the unwelcome answer for many is that it is the US government.

So what is their answer to control of the Information Superhighway?

A number of countries represented in Geneva, including Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran and several African states insisted the US give up control, but it refused. The meeting "was going nowhere," [UK Department of Trade and Industry Head David] Hendon says, and so the EU took a bold step and proposed two stark changes: a new forum that would decide public policy, and a "cooperation model" comprising governments that would be in overall charge.

Much to the distress of the US, the idea proved popular. Its representative hit back, stating that it "can't in any way allow any changes" that went against the "historic role" of the US in controlling the top level of the internet.

I love it when articles talk about how the US shouldn't be in control of the Internet but in the same breath say that involvement of the likes of China, Cuba and Iran will be a good thing. Why do some people seem to despise American democracy so much while also wanting to create "cooperation models" with countries that subjugate and oppress their own people and any form of political dissent?

But wait, there's more! Here's the best part!

But the refusal to budge only strengthened opposition, and now the world's governments are expected to agree to [sic] a deal to award themselves ultimate control. It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce.

So there you have it. It's not fair that the US controls the internet when enlightened nations like China, Cuba and Iran have so much to offer the world in terms of human rights leadership and political freedoms of expression. No credibility shouldn't stop them from having a say in what is and isn't allowed on the Internet.

1 comment:

Pat O'Sullivan said...

I'm glad there are people out there like you and me.

This is unbelievable and a threat to the sovereignty of the United States of America, and I for one will not stand for it.

I've also written an article about it on my blog and submitted the ideas to Digg.com in hopes that it may convince those who are reasonable and logical that this is something that will change the internet, and the world for that matter, as we know it.

If I lose my right to freedom of speech on the Internet, I will be more than a little upset, and I am sure you will too.