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UN plan for Internet control tiptoes forward

By Cheryl K. Chumley
web posted April 19, 2004

The phantom of government-controlled Internet has raised its menacing head again; this time on the global level.

"Even the definition of what we mean by Internet governance is a subject of debate. But the world has a common interest in ensuring the security and dependability of this new medium," said Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the opening of a March 25-26 United Nations Global Forum on Internet Governance. "The medium must be made accessible and responsive to the needs of all the world's people."

In UN-speak, that means America better ready itself, once again, to relinquish a bit more of its Founding Father's free-market freedoms and accompanying hard-earned dollars to support the policies and expenses of a socialist system that demands equality for all at whatever cost.

The idea of government control of the Internet is not new, not even in this country where pending congressional bills reflect very different opinions on if and how this technology should be regulated.

Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA), for instance, wants a permanent moratorium on Internet taxation via H.R. 49, while Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) proposes to tax email and Internet access in S. 2084. The difference between these contrasting regulatory proposals being discussed at the US federal level versus global echelon, of course, is that congressional representatives are accountable to their constituents.

The members of the United Nations, primarily anti-American in ideology and deed, are not.

So when United Nations leader Kofi Annan announces publicly a "common interest" in providing Internet access to "all the world's people," suspicion should be the prevailing emotion among all those who claim reverence for the right of the individual and for free market dogma. This is not an idle pronouncement, an off-the-cuff expression of a personal dream or childlike desire for all in the world to have equal rights and access to this technology.

Rather, Annan's formal statements come on the tail end of a UN meeting on "telecommunications" regulation that was planned in December 2003, the same month the global body solidified its Declaration of Principles and its Plan of Action for actually achieving control of the Internet.

This UN push for control is not going to die. Already scheduled is a follow-up meeting in Tunis Nov. 16-18, 2005 to give updates on how successfully these principles and action plans have been implemented in the various member states, to include America. In terms of what the UN wants to accomplish, here's the gist of what we face.

"The Internet has evolved into a global facility available to the public and its governance should constitute a core issue of the Information Society agenda," the Declaration of Principles states. "The international management of the Internet should be multilateral, transparent and democratic …It should ensure an equitable distribution of resources."

So what does this mean to you, an American citizen with constitutionally guaranteed individual rights, freedoms, privacies and free-market abilities? Well, there's that niggling "equality for all" philosophy again, the socialist's dream of achieving absolute uniformity among those of dissimilar abilities and resources that runs completely contrary to our constitutional system of capitalism.

This is how the plot for global control will unfold. In its Plan of Action, the United Nations lists ten goals, most aimed at linking various Internet users and records to one, single, master global system. Planned connections include "villages, universities, colleges, secondary schools and primary schools, scientific and research centers, public libraries, cultural centers, museums, post offices and archives, health centers and hospitals (and) all local and central government departments."

Also planned is adapting "all primary and secondary school curricula to meet the challenges of the Information Society," ensuring world-wide access to television and radio and encouraging "conditions in order to facilitate the presence and use of all world languages on the Internet."

This is UN language; in simpler terms, the principles and actions outline the goals and means for taking charge of the Internet at the international level. By their own statements, UN members want access to medical records. They want to know what's being taught in the schools, from elementary grades through college. They want to keep abreast of all scientific advancements. They want to know what's being mailed, what's being exhibited in museums and what's being discussed in town hall meetings.

They plan to achieve these objectives by 2015.

Once realized, our free-market system will surely crumble. Not only does the United Nations call for sharing technology with disadvantaged and possibly even hostile states, but this body will also be in position to impose whatever access and usage fees deemed necessary for the good of all, regulate business, and oversee all content placed on the Internet for public access.

Cheryl K. Chumley is an associate editor for APC News Wire at the American Policy Center, a grassroots activist think tank that maintains a website at www.americanpolicy.org. Cheryl may be reached directly at cchumley@americanpolicy.org. © American Policy Center 2004

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