Take action before the UN, Russia, and China hijack the Internet

Summary:The UN likes to make deals. It exists to create agreements between nations. It does not, necessarily, exist to create good agreements. But it exists, it grooves on making international policy. Sometimes, like now, that policy threatens to destroy the Internet as we know it.

Never let it be said that I'd pass up an opportunity to be justifiably nationalistic.

Now, I know the right wing has regularly bashed on the United Nations, but this time We The Internet are doing the bashing, and for good reason. The UN is a very important body, but let's be clear. It's made of up many different nations, not all of which share the same agenda.

Just remember, stay legal. We don't want to give anyone an excuse for further meddling, so be vocal, but behave.

In fact, many of the member countries in the UN -- even those "special" countries that make up the UN Security Council -- wish to control their citizenry, not guarantee their freedom. Let's also be clear that the primary goal of the UN, their raison d'etre, is consensus.

The UN likes to make deals. It exists to create agreements between nations. It does not, necessarily, exist to create good agreements. But it grooves on making international policy.

Sometimes, that policy is good. Sometimes, like now, that policy threatens to destroy the Internet as we know it.

Violet Blue explained the details in quite excellent depth, so I'd recommend you read her article as background. But here's the bottom line: this weekend, a bunch of shadowy operatives are meeting in secret in Dubai, and their goal is to seize control of the Internet from the (relatively) benign non-governmental organizations that have overseen Internet policies.

Instead, authoritarian nations like China and Russia want to control the Internet, they want to be able to cut citizens off, they want to be able to tax, tariff, and charge for traffic, and they want to control what travels over the pipes and even what you can read or view.

In short, they're trying to kill all the Internet freedoms we hold dear.

This is a time for action. Read Violet's article and visit Google's Take Action site. And then, take action. Pick up the phone, Tweet, post, Facebook, yell, protest, email your Congresscritter, donate, and otherwise make a fuss. Remember, We The Internet can make one heck of a fuss when we're angry.

I'd like to take this moment to remind the UN and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that you won't like us when we're angry.

See also: Don't let the UN steal the Internet

Just remember, stay legal. We don't want to give anyone an excuse for further intervention, so be vocal, but behave.

Topics: Government, Networking, Privacy, Security, Telcos

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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