The United Nations, a Bastion of Internet Freedom–NOT

Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin,
"Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"
With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded,
"A republic, if you can keep it."

~ as quoted on

The Wall Street Journal recently posted an article on “The U.N.’s Internet Sneak Attack” with the byline “Letting the Internet be rewired by bureaucrats would be like handing a Stradivarius to a gorilla.”

Who runs the Internet? For now, the answer remains no one, or at least no government, which explains the Web’s success as a new technology. But as of next week, unless the U.S. gets serious, the answer could be the United Nations.

Many of the U.N.’s 193 member states oppose the open, uncontrolled nature of the Internet. Its interconnected global networks ignore national boundaries, making it hard for governments to censor or tax. And so, to send the freewheeling digital world back to the state control of the analog era, China, Russia, Iran and Arab countries are trying to hijack a U.N. agency that has nothing to do with the Internet.

Welcome to a future where governments use technology like never before to track you, spy on you and punish you for whatever infringement de jour that the current government is against.

No, I am not a conspiracy theorist; I am a realist.  All cultures and governments tend toward totalitarianism as they lose sight of their founding principles.

As technology has grown by leaps and bounds pushing the envelope of restrictions put into place by totalitarian governments, I have also seen our own government roll over and play dead when it comes to freedoms at home.  Basically, you can now be detained for espousing a more conservative point of view, whether it be about gun ownership, abortion, “civil rights”, religion or just plain conservative politics.  The so-called “Patriot Act” has been expanded, ironically, under the most liberal President in US history.

The more totalitarian governments are paying attention, too.  They realize that special interest groups back legislation such as SOPA and PIPA, and it is only one more step to other forms of net control.

In essence, they all are playing out of the same playbook any more.  It is only a matter of degrees.  We can either remain silent and allow this to continue until one day no one can any longer express a dissenting opinion online, or we can speak up and remind our legislatures that freedom of speech and privacy are concerns written into The Constitution.

Because my bet is they will otherwise forget.