edward long

Association of Old Crows


This conversation is closed.

Should the U.N. control the Internet?

On the U.N. agenda is an item which could give oversight of the Internet to a U.N. entity. "Later this month in Geneva, Switzerland, governments will gather to begin negotiations on a potential treaty that could crush the free flow of information online, according to experts. The diplomatic process will help lay the foundation for the upcoming “World Conference on International Telecommunications” in Dubai at the end of the year."-- Alex Newman, The New American, 22 Feb. 2012 16:11
You can vote-by-numbers:
1= Absolutely NOT
2= Probably NOT
3= Doesn't matter
4= Probably YES
5= Absolutely YES

Closing Statement from edward long

Of the seven votes cast six were "Absolutely not", and one was "Probably not".
There seems to be a concern about a need for sufficient control of antisocial elements, particularly as they involve young people. Otherwise this poll shows overwhelming support for the status quo.

  • Mar 5 2012: (5) If this context. I think giving them to power to block censorship of nations might be beneficial. Currently China and Russia would probably veto any proposition giving the UN to block censorship, but I don't mind that direction of conversation being opened. Giving a someone the ability to open their world and let the wonders come out is often a good thing. It might help the US stop passing dumb laws that try to restrict the content of the internet. I am doubtful of this occurring, but one can dream.

    (2)The other case I can think of that needs a global body looking after what is on the internet is weapons, and this debate becomes tricky as the definitions of modern weapons is difficult. Many religious people consider the American way of life a weapon against their faith. I have a problem with giving this sort of censorship control to a body that still contains people pointing nuclear weapons at one another without very careful direction as to what defines a weapon. I worry also that such definitions would be semi-obsolete with regards to whom they would affect. Here I have trouble imagining the correct structure coming about.

    (2)Biological, technical, and nuclear warfare ideas might come from scientific papers intended to provide benefit and while the fear of the technologies may be justifiable I think more often they would be censored for other reasons under these guises.

    So my vote depends on the terms that can be negotiated.
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      Mar 5 2012: Do you want to make the necessary assumptions and go ahead with a specific vote Mr. Sutton? It sounds like you are leaning toward a 2, or even a 1 vote, but I can't be sure, Thanks for your thoughtful remarks.
      • Mar 5 2012: I would dramatically like the President of the United States to stand in front of a Chinese computer and be able with UN support say "Tear down this Wall." I just don't believe in giving away the rights to post my views online.
        I think America has in a lot of ways with Facebook and twitter helped break down barriers, and should be leading talks to get international backing to carrying on that freedom. Just because I do not believe I can get an idea passed giving the ability to say what America's line should be in the discussions. I believe very much in having the discussions and taking a very hard line. So i am for the UN having the control to open the internet in areas, but not restrict it.

        I think the UN should probably be voicing it's side of the story to Iran through the internet and having the ability to unblock the flow of information there could be useful. I also think United States should probably have Iranian broadcast available thru the internet, so we can better understand each other.

        So saying my views on the UN having a degree of control over the content of the internet are absolutely not I think is inaccurate. I just don't want them to have the power to block it.

        We need to make careful efforts to understand each others prospective, respect why they are there, and find solutions to change the harmful prospectives we both hold.

        Put me down as a 4 since with no writing certain about the terms I hate to be against dialogue. Many experts are often wrong about the effect, and I am hopeful that the internet participation can shred a bad law or agreement.
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          Mar 5 2012: All rightey then Mr. Sutton. I'll put you down as a non-voting contributor. Let me know if you decide to vote.
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    Mar 5 2012: Divide and conquer..

    Divide and conquer..

    Even when those who see the benefit of providing information freely to all humanity go about providing it, here comes those who have power trying to control the free-flow....


    What would be nice to see is the removal of images and sites that demean humanity, and expose our children to dangers. Perhaps that is what they intend to do..........BUT, you know where the road paved with good intentions lead to correct?? (This is a figure of speech, btw)

    I guess you can put me down for #1.......
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      Mar 5 2012: Thanks Mary. Your vote for self-control with an eye to propriety regarding harmful content is recorded. Thanks.
  • Mar 4 2012: I think 2 - Probably NOT.

    As long as we have countries like China, Pakistan and Iran regimes that are censoring or even replacing the Internet we cannot allow them to have influence over such an important communication network as the Internet.

    Unfortunately UN is not able to effectively promote freedom (look at the security councils vetoes from Russia and China) and therefore if UN controls the Internet it would cause vast censorship of it and even break it into fairly isolated areas.

    While the USA has shown troubling trends of controlling the Internet by corporations (SOPA/PIPA legislation) or government (wikileaks) they still allow for information to flow freely.

    Mankind needs free Internet so that everyone can communicate freely and fight for freedom in their countries. Free Internet will allow us to make our governments better and corporations responsible.
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      Mar 4 2012: Four paragraphs and four solid reasons why the U.N. should not control the internet. Thanks, Mr. Smith.
  • Mar 4 2012: I vote number 1.

    It seems scary to think of such power to limit knowledge. On the other hand, I would vote no for Wiki leaks to have power to release anything they want, no matter to what degree they vet the decisions within their organization.
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      Mar 4 2012: Thanks Mark. Good point that there are probably many organizations which should not have control of the internet, if, indeed, any should.
  • Mar 4 2012: 1

    No one should. (not a play on words)
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      Mar 4 2012: I agree totally, but that is not to say I understand how something so influential, such unprecedented power, can be free-running. Thanks for your thoughts.
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    Mar 4 2012: To prevent the people from control on the authorities, traders and industries they will control the internet and by this the people.
    Of course I vote for 1.
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      Mar 4 2012: To control the internet is to control the people. Amateur radio enjoys varying degrees of freedom from country to country. I remember in Spain, under Franco, they were strictly forbidden. Even here in the USA they require a license. Perhaps we are heading toward an FCC-type license, or a UN license. Thanks for your freely expressed thoughts.
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    Mar 4 2012: So we would have a information scarcity climate setup like oil?
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      Mar 4 2012: I added a scoring system to the question Mr. Brown. It seems clear your vote would be a 1 (Absolutely Not). Correct?
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        Mar 4 2012: Oh Absolutely not. bang on ed

        Yes i vote No.1

        Ted should have a poll system like some other forums i belong to, when it comes to issues that affect us all,when i saw you start this it clicked.