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The FCC, Congress. and Other US Entities Oppose Control of the Internet... Unless it is by Them of Course...

by on31 May 2012 2879 times

Electric-Kettle-with-Tea-Pot-WX-8971-In what can only be described as a “the pot calling the kettle” style move corporations, the US Congress and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) have all gotten together to keep the Internet Free. When we first read the headlines about the UN having a conference in Dubai to discuss the possibility of moving governance of some aspects of the Internet to them (actually the ITU) we chuckled a little bit. When we heard the garbage spewing from members of congress and the FCC we began to outright laugh.

Now we want to say this first before we dive into the rest of the details and the hypocrisy around it. We do not believe that ANYONE has the right to “control” the Internet. It is tool for global communications and as such should remain free. It does not matter if you (or I) do not like some of the content visible; it is there for those that do. If you do not like it, do not watch it and parents CAN work to educate their kids and also block content they find objectionable. Now that this is out of the way, let’s get to some of the fun.

So as we said the UN is going to have a meeting to see if a set of laws enacted back in 1988 (when the internet was still mostly run through phone lines) can and should be extended to cover the internet and if certain content should be taxed on a per-click basis to help develop a global broad band network. So far I am not sure this is a bad idea yet…

Now the interesting part of this is the way they are spinning it. Many of the articles we read dropped comments like “if proposals from China, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are adopted” when you see China, Russia and Iran used like this it is like bringing up the boogey man.

In fact FCC member Robert McDowell said that this would end up using “international mandates to charge certain Web destinations on a 'per-click' basis to fund the build-out of broadband infrastructure across the globe." While Representative Anna Eshoo (D - California) said that many countries “don't share our view of the Internet and how it operates."

There was more like this Ambassador Phillip Verveer was heard speaking out against the possibility that governments would be allowed to monitor and restrict content while imposing tariffs on data…

Um… Am I missing something? Did some of these same people not just propose the exact same thing with SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TPP, CISPA, and more? What is going on here? So it is ok to control the internet as long as it serves the copyright lobby, but not ok if a body outside the US has that authority. Maybe that is the "view of the Internet" that Anna Eshoo was talking about...

What we see here, by reading between the lines, is that many countries (China, Russia, Iran, and others) are fed up with US pushed trade agreements and restrictions on the Internet. We are seeing this as the US backs ACTA agreement was rejected by three separate committees in the European Parliament. We can see if in the way and countries are already opposing TPP and other bills. The US software and entertainment industry cannot maintain their strangle hold. Other nations are tired of the US (and US Corporations) bullying them into enforcing or adopting laws that have no place in their borders.

Do I think that control should be transferred to the UN? Not really, but I also do not think that the US or its corporate sponsors should have control either. It is funny to see the same people that are behind SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TPP, and CISPA making comments claiming that allowing the UN to governance “just might break the Internet”.

So while we can agree that the UN should not be in control here, we also want these same politicians to remember their feelings and comments the next time the MPAA, RIAA or the Software Industry comes by with this new bill they want introduced. NO government or industry should have “control” over the internet it is just that simple.

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Last modified on 31 May 2012
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