cats, cat signals, games, internet freedom

Monday, October 15, 2012

"A conference sponsored by the United Nations in Dubai this week bears careful watching"

The internet is NOT broken but you wouldn't know it watching the United Nations and others try to grab control and censor the internet--

Internet is not broken | Bangkok Post: news: "A conference sponsored by the United Nations in Dubai this week bears careful watching. The good news is that Thai representatives at the ITU Telecom World 2012 are well aware of the hidden agenda of the conference. The bad news is that some influential governments and self-interested groups want to use the meeting to undermine the freedom of the internet. Russia and China will try to ram through changes that will reduce the freedom of the internet to the censorship of the lowest common denominator of the most repressive United Nations members. We have been here before. In the 1980s, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) was hijacked by zealots who were determined to break the back of a free press. Their soothing, seductive line was that the pre-internet media was controlled by big western interests and must be reined in to provide an opportunity for "third world" media to get their message across. Journalists should be licensed by government, to ensure approved messages were heard. What they meant, of course, was that a free press threatened dictators and tyrants by making information freely available.The Unesco hijacking eventually ended, and the unit went back to its proper tasks. But the idea of government control of media on a global scale lives on. . . . This is what lies behind this week's attempt to control the internet by a small but sophisticated group of countries. The would-be controllers of the Dubai conference have worked in recent months in two ways. The first is to revive the reliable anti-Americanism of Unesco's 1980s propaganda. The US "controls" the internet, goes the second tack, by controlling the main machines that run the network of networks. The world deserves to share this control. The problem with this argument is obvious: No nation, group or individual ever has been banned from the US-run internet, which is run on a strict laissez-faire basis. But the goal of the "reformers" is precisely to start using sanctions on those they judge to be bad. . ."

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