Friday, November 16, 2007

Fred Thompson: Don’t Hand Over the Internet to the U.N.

Republican Presidential Candidate Fred Thompson on the Prospect of U.N. Management of the Internet:

From The Fred File:

Don’t Hand Over the Internet to the U.N.

Posted on November 16th, 2007
By Fred Thompson

I’m no tech head, but I think I know a thing or three about the Internet and how it works. And as far as I can tell, it works pretty well.

More than 1.4 billion people around the world seem to be emailing each other a lot, and those emails get delivered a lot faster and more reliably than “snail mail.” Lots of people are innovating around the Internet – voice calling over the Internet, e-commerce, blogs, education, employment, and healthcare services, music and video streaming and downloads, and such – and lots and lots of people are profiting from those innovations and the websites and companies that operate online.

So if things are going so well, why is it that some folks are seriously thinking about taking management of the Internet away from the United States and handing control to the United Nations?

Foreign government officials from around the world meeting at a U.N.-sponsored conference in Brazil actually discussed this notion last week. It didn’t get much attention, but as we all know, that’s how bad ideas get traction.

Despite what Al Gore may think, the Internet was an invention of the U.S. government and a number of universities and other entities a couple decades ago. As the Internet became what it is today, the government created a nonprofit organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to manage what was then a growing network of networks. Today ICANN does things like manage the assignment of Web sites domain names – the .coms, .orgs, .edus – for example.

But countries like China aren’t happy about U.S. control of “the tubes.” They’d rather have the U.N. run it. I wonder how the U.N. would’ve handled the situation in Burma recently when the government cut off all Internet access to all anti-government protesters, or how it would’ve handled the imprisonment in China of dissidents and reporters who emailed news out of the country.

My hunch is that we’d see the same level of management of the Internet from the U.N. that we’ve seen when it came to peacekeeping operations in Africa. Or its management of Saddam Hussein’s “Oil for Food” program. Or its monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if when you look up “fool’s errand” in the dictionary, you find: “Role for United Nations’” as the definition.

The notion of surrendering management of the Internet – a global, strategic infrastructure for communications and commerce – to the UN is just a plain dumb idea. We shouldn’t be handing over something that works right to an institution that has difficulty doing anything right.

I, for one, am in complete agreement with Fred. Though I believe that handing control of the Internet over to the United Nations is even more dangerous than he seems to think. The Internet is clearly the most powerful communication tool the world has today. To turn this powerful tool over to an organization of nations that cannot seem to come to agreement easily, cannot seem to abide by their agreements when they do come to terms, and cannot seem to enforce other nations who refuse to abide by such agreements, is the first ingredient in a recipe for disaster.

Second, I personally am not too certain that the United Nations doesn't have an evil agenda. I'm not even sure that it's apparent yet, but I strongly believe that the United Nations will be instrumental to ushering in the type of world government that we will certainly see at some point in the future; the kind of world government that will come about because it has been literally foretold; the type of world government that will only be opposed by a very small number of nations that, unfortunately, will be unable to prevent such a sinister government from rising to power.

No, I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I'm a realist. I believe that the consolidation of the nations of Europe into the European Union, and the adoption of the Euro as a unified currency, is nothing but a small preview of what the world has to look forward to. I applaud the United Kingdom for their resistance to comply with the rest of the European community. Taking what might seem like such a small step as giving control of the Internet to the United Nations would put us just one step closer to the type of Despotic rule that can only lead to a greater evil.

Kudos, Fred Thompson, for having the vision to see this and the courage to speak it aloud!


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