By Dick Morris
Next week, the United Nations’ attempt to take over the Internet will kick into high gear when the International Telecommunications Union meets in Dubai with representatives from 193 countries to craft a new governing structure for the Internet. The meetings are expected to last two weeks.
If you haven’t heard about this issue, there’s a reason. The negotiators have kept the tightest possible lid on their discussions to prevent word of the regulatory proposals from leaking out. In my book, “Here Come the Black Helicopters,” I warn about this coming treaty and its terrible implications.
Indeed, the negotiations were secret until two George Mason University researchers, Jerry Brito and Eli Dourado, created a website called WCITLeaks.org and invited anyone with access to documents outlining the U.N. proposals to post them online. On June 12, 2012, an anonymous leaker posted a 212-page memo detailing the status of the negotiations and the proposed terms of the treaty.
This information has not been officially or authoritatively available despite the fact that the conference convenes next week.
But the first reports are horrific. Vinton Cerf, one of the founders of the Web and currently a vice-president of Google, warns, “The open Internet has never been at higher risk than it is now.” He adds, “If all of us do not pay attention to what’s going on, users worldwide will be at risk of losing the open and free Internet.”
The very concept of U.N. control of the Web is horrible. The U.N. is corrupt and biased in favor of authoritarian regimes. But this particular regulatory proposal is even worse. It takes the leading force for democracy in the world today — the Internet — and could transform it into an instrument for propaganda and oppression
Its most obnoxious feature would let countries censor websites that originate within their borders and to force its Internet users to pay a high fee for accessing foreign sites. If adopted, this provision would erect a wall of user fees, keep people from reading free-speech foreign sites and leave users from nations like China and Russia only a government-censored product.
The draft treaty states that the U.N. will assign e-names and provide host governments with the names along with I.P. addresses, which will let them to identify dissidents.
Congress needs to speak up! With a new Secretary of State coming up for Senate confirmation, the conservatives on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee need to ask the designee whether he or she approves of these secret negotiations and press her on the question of U.N. regulation of the Internet.
The proposed treaty stems from an initiative by Russia and China to restrict the Net. It appears to have been the brain child of Russian President Vladimir Putin. After a 2011 meeting with Secretary-General Hamadoun Tour‚ of the International Telecommunications Union — the UN agency to be vested with control of the Net — Putin turned vocabulary on its head saying “if we are going to talk about democratization of international relations, I think a critical sphere is information exchange and global control over such exchange.” How Internet regulation would “democratize” things, he did not explain.
Tour‚ a native of Mali, is the ideal person to suit Putin’s objectives. If ever Putin found the right man for the job of controlling the Internet, Tour‚ is it. He studied at the Technical Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications in Leningrad and got his Masters and Doctorate from the Moscow Technical University of Communications and Informatics.
Before we give him control over the Internet, we are entitled to ask why Soviet Russia would want to help a young man from Mali gain expertise in telecommunications, electronics and “informatics?” We can only speculate, but the thought is not comforting.
We need Congress to step up and fight against U.N. control of the Internet. Even without these terrible provisions, the very concept of U.N. regulation of this free medium is repugnant!