In December, United Nations members will meet to discuss a topic that could lead to the end of freedom as we know it: regulation of the Internet. There have been talks of the United Nations expanding their authority to include a regulatory arm for the Internet before but the talks were not necessarily serious. Now, certain nations are again pushing their repressive agenda by trying to gain support for their plans to regulate the Internet. This time, the threat is so serious, that the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications is holding a hearing later this week about the topic.
The nations that are leading the push for such a policy are the same nations who have went as far to shut down the Internet before in order to protect their image or to prevent the spread of rebellion. Russia, China, and India are three of the main United Nations member states that have tried to push European countries and the United States to enter more serious talks about the United Nations assuming the role of Internet-regulator.
We must ask ourselves: what is the purpose of such regulation? Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB Russian political leader who has rewritten the framework of Russian government to ensure his own power, had an interesting opinion on why such regulation is necessary at the hands of the UN. Putin commented on the increasing need to “democratize” the globe (which is interesting coming after massive protests against the Russian government for corruption and refusing to listen to the people). He has said that such democratization can only come when the exchange of information internationally is controlled and regulated.
I have to say, Putin’s statement makes no sense whatsoever. Extend democracy by regulating free speech? Does democracy not come from the freedom of the people to comment on their government and to influence their government through their political opinion? How can a person do this knowing that the United Nations is playing watchdog over the Internet and has the right to regulate whatever it wishes. Putin, who is arguably the leader of one of the least democratic “democracies” in the world, is a complete moron if he beliefs a splinter of his statement.
It is very important to note that America will be powerless to ether veto or resist any majority decision by the United Nations when it comes to such a decision. What happens if the UN does indeed decide to extend its authority and begin to regulate the Internet? How many basics of American Constitutional belief will be violated? Well, the short answer is: the complete first amendment. The Internet is an extension of a person’s ability to communicate opinions, gather into like-minded groups, discuss grievances with government and politicians, and publish press chronicling what is happening in the world. As you see, every First Amendment right is involved when we talk about the Internet. If the Internet comes under regulation, the First Amendment will be completely violated, and in this case, by a international alliance which the United States of America has no power to resist.
Will America leave the United Nations if such a policy is implemented? I can only hope so, but probably not due to the influence that America exercises in the group. I am not sure what will happen if such a policy is ever implemented. The Supreme Court would undoubtedly rule that regulation of the Internet is a violation of free speech,press, assembly, and petition, but it is not like either the President or Congress will be able to enact legislation or an executive order to cease the regulation. The only answer will be to leave the United Nations.
If the United States even threatens to do such a thing in these December talks, then I feel that this threat will be enough to derail any attempts to enact an international regulatory arm. However, will our leaders be strong enough to do so? Mitt Romney? No doubt. Barack Obama, on the other hand, has shown how weak he is when it comes to foreign policy. He will let anyone push him around when it comes to negotiations.
George Washington warned against international alliances in his Farewell Address. We did not listen to him very well. International organizations fail. They are useless. NATO has existed merely due to the lack of a need for its action. The European Union is failing and will soon collapse. It is unwise for a nation to involve itself and make itself subservient to an international body. Hopefully, this proposed policy adjustment will cause the United States to leave the UN and never look back.
Remember how upset that everyone was, individuals and corporations, when the SOPA bill was discussed in Congress? Imagine the uproar when the majority of American people realize that a foreign body is attempting to regulate the Internet on a greater level that Congress’ own version of Internet overwatch.
Put simply, any attempt to regulate any form of speech is ridiculous. The Constitution guarantees every American the freedoms listed in the First Amendment. Americans will never let our government take those freedoms away from us, and we sure as hell won’t let a group of overseas Communists try to take them away either.
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