Among the many things on our plate to worry about, we have to add the UN’s attempt to assert control over the Internet. Claudia Rosett explains: “‘Divide’ and conquer.” Rosett writes:
For anyone who cares about the vast freedoms and opportunities afforded by the Internet–for pajama-clad bloggers, for journalists, for businessmen and especially for people in the poorest countries–it is time for a call to arms. Sen. Norm Coleman, whose investigations into U.N. corruption have provided him with more insight than most into the cracks and chasms of that aging institution, has already warned in The Wall Street Journal against the possibility of Tunis becoming a “digital Munich.” Whether America retains control over the root directory or some other setup ultimately evolves, the clear bottom line right now is that allowing the U.N. to involve itself in these questions is the wrong answer. A U.N. unable even to audit its own accounts or police its own peacekeepers has no business making even a twitch toward control of the Internet.
Worse, the corruption and incompetence at U.N. headquarters, however disturbing, are the least of the problems linked to the U.N.’s bid to control interconnectivity. The deeper trouble is that the U.N. has embraced the same tyrants who in the name of helping the downtrodden are now seeking via Internet control to tread them down some more.
Rosett resorts to the metaphor of Paul Revere sounding the alarm that the UN is coming. I think we need some prominent figure like Charlton Heston to wave his laptop in the air and warn that they’ll have to pry the ‘net from his cold, dead hands.