Russia, China want UN to run internetRichard Treadgold | May 30, 2012
From WUWT, the Washington Times says:
Imagine if everything you did online was subject to monitoring and control by the United Nations. Powerful authoritarian states, including China and Russia, are spearheading an effort to place the most potent information system in the world under centralized international control. They want the Internet to work with the same efficiency, speed and reliability as the U.N.
The UN can’t stop wars, can’t agree on fighting climate change, appoints despots to its Human Rights Committee and lacks the initiative to cut the mould off old cheese. They’d sit on the Internet and kill it. It’s no far-off proposal, either, it’s on the table:
This week, Congress will consider legislation to amend the 1988 International Telecommunication Regulations to give the U.N. extraordinary powers over the Internet. In September, the authoritarian bloc submitted a proposal titled “The International Code of Conduct for Information Security.” In theory, it seeks to systematize and standardize the Internet and establish rules for maintaining cybersecurity. In fact, it will give the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – a U.N. agency that oversees global telecommunications – vast new powers to regulate and control access to the Internet and information flow in cyberspace.
The WT well summarises the reasons to resist:
That Beijing and Moscow are backing the idea is enough to know it’s a bad one. The free flow of information has always been an enemy of thuggish regimes. To them, individual expression and the unlimited exchange of ideas – which the Internet has made possible for some oppressed people for the first time in history – must be stamped out. Such countries view the Internet as a vast intelligence operation, a means of collecting sensitive information on people and preventing freedom of expression through a sophisticated array of censorship tools.
I haven’t checked how the ITU makes major decisions; let us hope they need 100% or there’s a power of veto.