Controlling the last free voice in the world
By Tom DeWeese
The American people simply have no idea what it's like to live in a totalitarian society. We go where we want; watch movies and television shows or any kind; start new businesses on a whim; shop in huge supermarkets that carry any item imaginable; even sit in public places and say anything we want about political leaders.
Today in our modern society, many of us sit at our computer for hours on end sending e-mails, corresponding, web surfing, researching, subscribing to web sites, gaining information, booking hotels and airline reservations, buying gifts, even creating personal web sites – or blogs – where any average citizen can vent on the political issues of the day and send it to the world. Frankly, there is simply no end to what we Americans can do sitting in our own homes behind our trusty computer. The Internet is fast becoming the most valued root of our free society.
To better understand the vast scope of such American freedom, contrast it with a recent new story out of Beijing, China. The Associated Press (AP) report details how the Communist government has forced Microsoft Corporation to shut down the Internet journal of a Chinese blogger who discussed "politically sensitive" issues, including a recent strike at a Beijing newspaper.
The AP report says, "Although Beijing has supported Internet use for education and business, it fiercely polices content. Filters block objectionable foreign Web sites, and regulations ban perceived subversive or pornographic content and require service providers to enforce censorship rules." In its defense, poor Microsoft admits to being a pawn to whatever gang of thugs is in charge. "When we operate in markets around the world, we have to ensure that our service complies with global laws as well as local laws and norms," said Brooke Richardson, Microsoft spokeswoman."
Of course the "local norm" in Communist China is to ban anything that criticizes the brutal totalitarian government. The communists call literature like the Declaration of Independence "pornographic." The fact that Microsoft caved so quickly on this obvious censorship, for fear of losing the Chinese market speaks volumes about corporate globalism which pledges no allegiance to any country or idea other than profit for profit's sake.
Imagine what would have happened had the Bush Administration even remotely suggested any form of censorship of the Internet. Microsoft would have had their well-paid lawyers, lobbyists and public relations people on a full frontal assault against the very idea. They would have done it because they don't fear the U.S. government and so they can. Not so in Communist China.
But imagine what could have been accomplished in Communist China had Microsoft worried less about losing a market and more about gaining some freedom for an oppressed people. Imagine if Microsoft had reacted to the Communist order by refusing, instead shutting down its operation in China and using its formidable press operation to tell why. China would have blinked and quite possibly relented.
Why is the China story so important? To fully understand, switch to another recent news story. That story is the unrelenting control of the Internet by the United Nations. Things got serious in the UN's bid last November at an international confab held in Tunis.
Focus of the meeting was a desire by several UN member nations to wrestle control of the Internet from the U.S.- based International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a quasi-governmental non-profit organization that oversees the day-to-day operation of the Internet. ICANN doesn't control who uses the Internet and it doesn't censor content. It's a free market and ICANN's mission is to preserve it as such. To make it even better, though today ICANN operates under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, in November, it will actually become a fully private corporation, breaking all of its governmental ties.
The UN argues that the Internet is international in scope and needs much grander over site. Who better to handle the chore, of course than the body that fancies itself an international government? The Internet is fast becoming the biggest international prize as the greatest source of information and human involvement. It offers the UN huge opportunity for creating tax revenues and controlling commerce. It is also the place to control the flow of ideas. What totalitarian can resist a bid to control the Internet?
And what will happen to the free Internet once the UN takes control. Go back to the top of this story and simply replace the words "Communist China" with "the UN." What corporation will then oppose such censorship? And what censorship can we expect? Here's a good example: Hate talk. We've all heard discussions about it. Most shake our heads in agreement that it just shouldn't be allowed. Even pro-family groups argue that there should be some law, some control over it.
What is hate talk? Many have been led to think of some racist diatribe from the Ku Klux Klan, or perhaps some neo Nazi skinheads engaged in gay bashing. The latest examples of hate talk, we're told, have been aimed at those of Arab descent. But most readers may be surprised to learn that such "hate talks" aren't the most …er… hateful, according to most UN members. Real hate crimes, according to Red China, Red Cuba, Red Vietnam, and their ilk, are words spoken against the international proletariat. In other words, talk against communist oppression is hate talk.
In addition, attacks on unions; radical environmentalism; gun control; sustainable development and abortion are considered divisive and hateful. Support of Christian religion and the Ten Commandments are radical and divisive. Advocating limited government control over our lives is divisive and counter-productive – hateful. Anything uttered pro-Israel is hateful. Any criticism of Islamic fundamentalism is hateful.
Imagine a United Nation's committee assigned to oversee the Internet, which is made up of representatives of Communist China or an Islamic nation like Saudi Arabia. These oppressive nations are doing everything possible to ban uncontrolled Internet access in their countries. In fact, the only access permitted to the public in China is through Internet cafes where the computers are registered and inspected by the government.
This then is the real reason the United Nations seeks control of the Internet. It's particularly interested in gaining access to your personal records. China certainly isn't interested in protecting the Internet security of other nations, or of stopping viruses. China is now spending billions to build a new department for its military specifically for destroying computer systems of its enemies through the use of computer viruses. What they want is control of the last free voice in the world.
The Internet is the voice of freedom in the United States. It's the tool that has enabled the forces of freedom to circumvent the stranglehold of the elite media. It has become a way to issue alerts to stop or expose pending legislation. It is a way to search for documents. Parents have used the Internet effectively to expose globalist school curriculum and gain access to secret evaluation tests used on their children.
The Internet is also the voice of freedom around the world. Third world people, living under oppressive dictatorships, are able to gain access to information and truth. While many Americans now forget the revolutionary ideals of a freedom spoken by our founding fathers, to those living in the darkness of oppression, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights are the light of hope. Remember that the students who rallied for freedom in China's Tianamen Square a decade ago were clutching the Declaration of Independence in their hands as they were crushed under communist tanks. The forces of oppression fear the Internet. That's why they now seek to control it.
Keep in mind, too, that the title of the Tunis UN summit, which openly seeks Internet control, was the "World Summit on the Information Society." Its purpose, besides grabbing control of the Internet, was to set internationally "acceptable boundaries to freedom of expression." Acceptable to whom? Control of the Internet by any government force puts it up for grabs by whatever gang of thugs is in control. Why did the United States even participate in such a sham?
Regardless of whether or not the forces of darkness succeeded in taking control of the Internet at the Tunis Summit, the agenda is on the table. The IGF will float trial balloons to check the strength and vigilance of the forces of freedom. As soon as they detect a weakness they will strike.
Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center and Editor of the DeWeese Report.
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