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Can the UN Put the Internet Genie Back into the Bottle? June 3, 2012

Posted by Peter Varhol in Software platforms, Technology and Culture.

I’ve never been a proponent of any sort of bureaucratic control of the Internet.  And while I like the idea of a United Nations in concept, it has a decades-long track record of emphatically not delivering on the ideal of a global supra-national governance body.

This is only one of the reasons I look upon the upcoming attempt by the UN International Telecommunication Union to tax and regulate Internet traffic in askance.  The second is that the UN is made up of all (more or less) 193 recognized nations, many of whose governments view the Internet as a revenue opportunity, or more ominously as a means of controlling its population.  The freedoms that we as Americans take for granted are only a dream under many national governments.

From a practical standpoint, whether or not the UN regulates and taxes international communications using the Internet may mean little to many Americans.  There may be a few annoyances, like obscure charges and restrictions on Skype or Twitter, but we would probably tolerate them.

But it will make a difference to the world at large.  Ordinary people around the world can exchange ideas, learn, and work using the freely-available Internet.  That threatens some people, but enables far more.

The article I link to includes several other links that are highly relevant and interesting to the topic, and I encourage you to read them.  Anyone who has interest in the Internet as a tool of human enablement should take an interest in the outcome of the meeting and vote scheduled for the end of the year.



1. eddodds - June 3, 2012

There was at least a discussion begun at D K Matai’s Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance yammer list yammer.com/atca , fwiw

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