ITU sneaks in middle-of-night resolution to hijack Internet governance

ITU sneaks in middle-of-night resolution to hijack Internet governance

Summary: We call on U.S. Ambassador Kramer and the diplomatic teams from all freedom-loving countries to continue to fight these other nations attempt to destroy one of mankind's greatest creations.


Here we go again. I told you the forces of darkness would be back, in their attempt to hijack the Internet and impose authoritarian controls. I just didn't expect it to be so quickly -- and actually in the dark of night.

Let's add to the list of rogue nations such paragons of freedom as Cuba, Algeria, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, in addition to China, Russia, and the UAE.

According to The Weekly Standard, the chairman of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) decided to try an end-run around the U.S., Europe, and most freedom-loving nations by conducting a survey of nations and putting forth a resolution that gives governments control over Internet policy, which includes everything you and I send across the pipes.

Apparently, this wasn't a binding policy, but it's a political gambit designed to get the UN to continue the process of trying to wrest control of the Internet from those interested in freedom to those interested in control of freedoms.

I'm a strong believer in a global Internet, but I'm starting to think countries like China and Russia and Cuba and the various regressive Middle Eastern states are more trouble than they're worth. Maybe it's just time we pulled the Internet plug on them*.

*No, I don't seriously think that. I'm just disgusted with these nations.

I firmly believe that the Internet must remain open across the planet, across all peoples, cultures, and political regimes. This kind of middle-of-the-night furtive move is not in any way, shape, or form the spirit of what the Internet has become and these countries must be stopped.

I call on U.S. Ambassador Kramer and the diplomatic teams from all freedom-loving countries to continue to fight these other nations attempt to destroy one of mankind's greatest creations -- and maybe keep one eye open while in bed at night.

Topics: Security, Government, Privacy


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • The League of Nations had it's day. Maybe it's time for the UN to fade away

    No - I don't believe in that statement but that conjecture certainly resonates with your "wish" to pull the internet plug on certain countries.

    Unfortunately for our Globe, mankind evolves at different rates. Let's pray the "good guys" evolve at a faster rate than the neanderthals still inhabiting certain governments of the world.
  • Since the U.S. government gave up control of the root domain servers...... is very easy to reassert control! Look at the alternate DNS server services failed attempts!
    It is like banking. Nobody wants to cross the U.S. banking interchange system.
    If China and company want to assert control within their borders, do it WITHOUT U.S. blessing!
    • Good point. Just don't follow the rules the UN and ITU sneak into place

      so we segragate the internet into those that continue to use it as we do today, and another smaller internet where they can controll eveything.

      If they want to play on our half, then they can agree to drop their silly ideas.
      William Farrel
  • Non-binding

    Isnt pretty much every law and rule from the U.N. non-binding? So many times nations just choose to defy U.N. law, what makes this any different? If the evil axis wants to use the U.N. to enforce these oppressive rules, then maybe it's time we ( once again) choose to defy the U.N.
    • Pretty much

      The current effort appears to be to modify the treaty under which the ITU is constituted, but unless I'm very much mistaken, that requires ratification by all member states, including the U.S.
      John L. Ries
  • The UN has too much time and too little to do

    I guess thed UN needed to find something to do in between condemnations of Israel. Hijacking the internet must have seemed to be a fashionable undertaking. Since none of the ITU hijackers is good enough to hack the net, passing resolutions was the remaining option. I hope our government condemns the action.
  • Wimp under!

    Wait, you expect an Administration that disavows any role in actually protecting the world's citizens or itself to put its prestige on the line for a stupid technical issue? Just because if it passes, it WILL be used as a weapon against not only a country's own people, but against everything American.

    We're as good at foreign and technical policy as we are at US economics. All the nations know we will not really stand up for anything -- other than making sure the right party is in office. Brutal? OK Prove me wrong!
  • What exactly...

    What exactly are they seeking to control? As far as I know countries like Iran, China, Cuba etc. already filter and block what their citizens can and cannot access. What more are they looking to be able to do?
    • It might be... combat efforts to get around such controls, like the back door Google set up for Egypt last year.
      John L. Ries
    • Lots more

      They want lots more -- not only their internal messages to suppress their people, but the routing of any messages that come near their country -- and since routers are now set to find the best route, a message from Cleveland to Florida possibly could go through Moscow. And vice versa -- and that means that they have the right to snoop, control, change, etc. any message on the planet.

      And they want the right to control what and where any sites or information comes from -- which means that every country on the planet will just balance their budget by sending their bills to Google for the right to allow their citizens to search. If the EU just fined Google a billion Euros for some stupid privacy issue, what do you think a government official who has a buddy with a search engine or head of the Department of Giving Money Away do to Google and the literally millions of other firms?

      And now that they have discovered the US will do absolutely nothing to protect the US citizens or the country's interest, it will be a nail in our economic coffin. Do you really think all of those places with little or no corporate income taxes do that because they hate money? Naw, they figure we will keep shooting ourselves in the foot.
  • If this was a midnight resolution...

    ...then there still should have been a U.S. representative in his seat to oppose it. Hopefully, that was the case.
    John L. Ries
  • Pull the plug

    Stupidity deserves to be rewarded. Let Russia and China control their internet. Let the Middle East develop their own open internet protocols.
    • They don't have to develop new protocols

      TCP/IP is free for all to use.
      John L. Ries
  • Really boosts the arguments for isolationism

    My first gut reaction to these assaults by totalitarian nations on the freedom of the Internet is just to cut them off completely. Fortunately, that feeling is quickly tempered by the understanding that cutting those nations out of the worldwide Internet would only make life worse for the captive citizens of those nations. The understanding that individuals suffer when governments are a-holes is what sets us apart from those nations. It's why we are considered to be more evolved than those nations. They govern by animal instinct, seeking more power and dominance over their herd, usually through violence. We use higher thinking to overcome and ignore our animal instinct to boot those nations out of the herd. Un-evolved governments always try to prevent their citizens from evolving, because once they evolve, they have no use for that type of government. They either rebel, or escape. Either way, it undermines their government's control, reducing their power.

    In a way, the fact that the rest of the world has evolved is the only reason those countries still exist. If we followed our animal instincts like they do, we would have turned most of them into a barren, blasted, wasteland long ago. The fact that they haven't evolved is why nobody wants them to have that same sort of power. They still exist in a primitive tribal competition mentality, threatening everyone around them. They don't grasp the universality of humans being stronger together than they are apart.
    • I was kind of hoping that...

      I was kind of hoping that we could somehow censor what the governments that want censoring see, while still allowing the people to have full access to the internet. Let all non-free governments only see pages of their own propaganda no matter what they try to do on the internet, but down the street, the peasants can access the entire internet.

      I know it cannot be done, but... Wouldn't it be sweet?
  • The catch

    The problem with cultural evolution is that the US is no longer seen as a positive model for other to grow towards. Rather it has been painted as the bad guy. Go read many other news forums. The Chinas and the Middle Eastern Cultures are older and wiser and more egalitarian than the US in much of what is said by Americans and in much of American Media...never mind in the internet media of those other countries.

    Of course if we want a free internet we have to accept a certain level of anarchy. You want a democraticly controlled on instead? Well you have to accept that the sheer numbers indicate there are more people in places not America and Western Europe than in it and surrender control to them. If you do not like that option then you either have to understand regulation will be done by those countries whre the majority of the devices are and where the big players in internet related services and technologies reside.
  • Why does everone keep talking about evolution and evolving?

    It's not like there are different species of humans we are talking about...
    It's their ideas, not their genes, that are holding these people down.
    I'm for openness and freedom. "The truth will set you free."
    • Are you sure?

      Are you sure there isn't an undiscovered angry a-hole gene that makes these areas of the world the way they are? Sure, there are some of those gene-bearers here too, but in lesser amounts. It would explain a lot...
  • Away

    It time the UN was folded up and put away the group that controls this thing need to go!It is time for the people to control their governments and the world .We no long need father figures to tell us whats best for us we are all grown up now with all the knowledge of the world available at our finger tips.