Recently, I read several articles including one written by Abby Johnson, entitled “The U.N.’s War on the Internet: Could the Web Lose?” and a blog post on Toolbox.com entitled “UN To Be Internet Watchdog?” by George Alexander” and more, warning us of what could be the end of our growing global community.
The Internet is, for this moment, the last free expanse left in the world. Those who travel the web are free to share, learn, communicate, and generally express themselves when and where they would be unable to otherwise.
In the last couple of years alone, I have seen the progression of free online public schooling. Enabling homebound children to attend free public school, right from their own home. A single working mom can take online classes at night, in order to provide a better life for her children. There are millions of free resources for writers and artists of all kinds to learn, grow and expand their reach around the world. Medical websites where anyone can lookup symptoms, drug interactions or find a specialist. We can research religion, politics, book airline tickets and much more, at any time of the day or night.
In my understanding of the worldwide web, having government control would destroy it. All of these wonderful free sharing and learning opportunities would disappear, once there are pay-per-click taxes. All of those who depend on the freeways of the Internet would be devastated by such an action. This would change the very foundation of the Internet, as we know it. Social networking sites, shopping websites, learning sites, email websites and gaming sites, as well as medical websites all over the world; they will All be affected if we allow this change to happen.
The online world has grown at an incredible rate, and the technological advances have helped millions of people all over the world. This has all happened without government control or taxation. It is not our own government, but other world orders outside of our own system that are instigating this takeover.
As George Alexander quoted in his blog post:
“A meeting of the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in December could lead to broad new regulations of the Internet, including per-click taxes, if U.S. and other delegations don’t work hard to oppose proposals, U.S. officials and Internet governance experts told lawmakers Thursday.
Russia, China and other countries will likely continue to push for expanded U.N. control of the Internet that could lead to censorship and a balkanization of the Web, Robert McDowell, a Republican member of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, told the subcommittee.
“The threats are real and not imagined, although they admittedly sound like works of fiction sometimes,” McDowell said.“”
George Alexander: “I hope the USA remains that last bastion of freedom – sticking to its principles. There have been many attempts to nibble at this bit by bit. Yes, I know many people will be quick to point out it’s mistakes and abuses of power but which country hasn’t? yet this is a country that was built on some of the most basic and fundamental principles of human rights and every time there was a violation of those human rights, you would see people rise up based on those principles and fight tooth and nail to correct the violation of those principles.”
In recent weeks, Representative Mary Bono Mack introduced a bipartisan resolution, which was particularly critical of the United Nations scheme to govern the Internet. On the very first page it states:
“ Expressing the sense of Congress regarding actions to preserve
and advance the multistakeholder governance model
under which the Internet has thrived.
Whereas given the importance of the Internet to the global
economy, it is essential that the Internet remain stable,
secure, and free from government control;
Whereas the world deserves the access to knowledge, services,
commerce, and communication, the accompanying benefits
to economic development, education, and health care,
and the informed discussion that is the bedrock of democratic
self-government that the Internet provides; “
The UN will be voting on this proposal in December 2012, this is important to all who enjoy the freedoms that the Internet provides. It is imperative that we encourage our governments to vote against this proposal, as its damaging trickle-down effects will be many and far reaching. As also stated in Representative Mary Bono Mack’s Resolution:
“Whereas the proposals would diminish the freedom of expression
on the Internet in favor of government control over
content, contrary to international law;
Whereas the position of the United States Government has
been and is to advocate for the flow of information free
from government control; and
Whereas this and past Administrations have made a strong
commitment to the multistakeholder model of Internet
governance and the promotion of the global benefits of the
There are many U.S. Internet companies such as Google and others, that are helping third world counties with web access and support. The educational possibilities and other resources can enhance their daily lives in the long term, thus helping them to build a brighter future.
In a CNET News article entitled “U.N. could tax U.S.-based Websites, leaked docs show” stated:
“The United Nations is considering a new Internet tax targeting the largest Web content providers, including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Netflix, that could cripple their ability to reach users in developing nations.”
This could be severely damaging to third world countries that could be cut off entirely, as predicted by Robert Pepper, Cisco’s vice president for global technology policy stated:
“Such sender-pays frameworks, including the one from ETNO, could prompt U.S.-based Internet services to reject connections from users in developing countries, who would become unaffordably expensive to communicate with, predicts Robert Pepper, Cisco’s vice president for global technology policy.
Developing countries “could effectively be cut off from the Internet,” says Pepper, a former policy chief at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. It “could have a host of very negative unintended consequences.”
The Worldwide Web has become an incredible human resource, for the betterment of all people who can gain access to it; it must be protected.