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House to examine proposal for United Nations regulation of the Internet

By Doug Powers  •  May 26, 2012 02:43 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

The United Nations has a simple business plan when it comes to wresting control of as much of the world as possible: Pronounce yourself the global arbiter of human rights, then declare everything a human right.

The UN has already said Internet access is a human right, so naturally the best way to police that human right is to put the UN in charge of the Internet.

A House subcommittee will soon consider this possibility:

The proposal is backed by China, Russia, Brazil, India and other UN members, and would give the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) more control over the governance of the Internet.

It’s an unpopular idea with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Congress, and officials with the Obama administration have also criticized it.

“We’re quite concerned,” Larry Strickling, the head of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, said in an interview with The Hill earlier this year.

He said the measure would expose the Internet to “top-down regulation where’s it’s really the governments that are at the table but the rest of the stakeholders aren’t.”
The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold the hearing and hear testimony from Robert McDowell, a Republican commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); David Gross, a former State Department official; and Sally Shipman Wentworth, the senior manager of public policy for the nonprofit Internet Society.

Because when you think “Internet freedom” you think China and Russia. Don’t worry though, the UN wouldn’t have a Internet “kill switch” (they call theirs an “enemies of human rights emergency denial-of-service button” — definitely not the same thing).

What’s to consider? Nancy Reagan’s “just say ‘no'” rule applies to anything that would grant the United Nations more authority over anything.

A pair of Congressmen have already introduced legislation opposing any resolution allowing UN control of the Internet, but the above story is something to keep an eye on — as is this.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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