Note: Crovitz: “Would be Internet

Crovitz: “Would be Internet regulators (the UN’s ITU) need deleting” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324001104578167242735088684.html …”

In a referendum among the world’s two billion Internet users, how many would vote to transfer control of the Internet to the United Nations? Perhaps 100,000, an estimate based on the number of top officials ruling the most authoritarian countries, whose power is threatened by the open Web. Under the one country, one vote rule of the U.N., these 100,000 people trump the rest of the two billion. It only takes a majority of the 193 countries in the U.N. to hijack the Internet. The International Telecommunications Union is hosting a conference in Dubai, where many countries are eager to extend the agency’s role beyond telecommunications to regulate the Internet. The two -week conference is half over, with meddlesome proposals from China, Russia and other authoritarian regimes dominating the discussion. A U.S. -Canadian proposal would have limited topics to telecommunications, excluding the Internet. Top U.S. negotiator Terry Kramer said in a call with the media last week that the State Department believes that “fundamentally, the conference should not be dealing with the Internet” and that the U.S. team was working “day and night” to find allies. But State didn’t respond to my follow-up question asking for an estimate of how many countries have pledged to keep hands off the Internet. This is likely a low percentage of the 193. Instead, authoritarian governments want to legitimize government censorship, tax Internet traffic that crosses national boundaries and mandate that ITU bureaucrats replace the nongovernmental engineering groups now smoothly running the Internet.

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