America Surrenders the Internet
In yet another move to hasten the decline of the United States, along with ideas of individual liberty and sovereign governments, the United States has decided to relinquish control of the internet. This decision announced last week removed the last stumbling block in the way of global governance of the internet, and possibly a worldwide internet tax.
Like so many progressive causes, the idea of a world government, with all of humanity working together, sounds really great at first. It’s only when the idea is followed to its logical conclusion that problems become evident. So, let’s examine what global governance of the internet might look like.
Global government means that countries like China (Tiananmen Square), Russia (with the newly acquired Crimea), and Iran, which arrests Christians and members of the Baha’i faith just for preaching, will assist in regulating speech on the internet. Saudi Arabia, which until recently threatened to behead women for driving, India, where eating cow is prohibited in some states, Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea — all with a history of blocking the internet along with a dozen other countries — will now have a say in what you can read, write, and view on the internet.
How is this a good idea?
The United Nations, presumably the recipient of any future internet tax, did nothing to stop the killing fields of Cambodia, the events in Tiananmen Square, or the Russian invasions of Yugoslavia and the Ukraine. It could not stop the US invasion of Iraq, the Falklands War, or the current unrest in Venezuela.
How is this global bureaucracy going to be more efficient at managing the internet than the United States? Will they act more favorably toward controversial speech, such as people who criticize Islam for the terror done in its name? What about the money raised from this potential internet tax?
Will the United Nation’s long history of mismanagement and corruption somehow come to a swift end when it gains access to billions of dollars more in funds? Will US Americans be taxed more than residents of Africa or Central Asia? Will we be arrested for choosing not to pay the tax, or will hardcoded software be put in place that forces us to pay no matter what we do?
What about security? The internet was originally designed as a post-nuclear war communications system. Its aim was to provide military and government leaders with a way to communicate in the event of a nuclear strike, when nearly all traditional communication systems would be knocked out.
I assume the government has replaced this with an even better system, but what about mass cyber attacks launched by other countries against the United States and its infrastructure? If the net is out of our direct control, how responsive will the global governing body be to our concerns about cyber security? Will anyone on the planet with an internet connection ever hope to be anonymous if the United Nations, or a similar global body, holds the gateway key to the internet?
In a recent article with the PanAm Post, I argued for the creation of a new, independent, and government-free internet system. This decision by the United States to relinquish its final controls over the internet reinforces that argument tenfold.