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Internet target of new treaty

By Henry Lamb
web posted November 19, 2001

As promised, the Council of Europe has now authorized a Protocol to its Convention on Cybercrime, designed to eliminate "hate speech" on the Internet.

A report prepared for the Council by the Estonia Socialist Group, claims "The 11 September has shown that hate speech can become an action of horrendous magnitude..., therefore, modern technology has to have safeguards, and one of those is to ban hate speech on the Internet."

The report identifies 4,000 web sites that promote "hate speech," of which, 2,500 are in the U.S. where they can "hide behind the protection of the First Amendment."

Both Canada and the United States participated in the development of this treaty.

Controlling speech is essential to effective socialist control. Public Order Act 1986 already forbids the publication of material in England, that is "likely to incite racial hatred." The United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, proclaims in Article 19(2), that "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression," but Article 19)(3) says that under certain circumstances, this freedom may be "subject to certain restrictions."

This U.N. Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has been around since 1966. No one has been particularly concerned, because the U.N. has never had the power to enforce it. This is no longer the case. The International Criminal Court has the authority to prosecute "crimes against humanity," a term that is as ambiguous as "hate speech."

The question is: who will determine what is a "crime against humanity," or "hate speech"?

The U.N. is moving systematically, and rapidly toward the consolidation of its control over the flow of commerce. With the adoption of the recommendations of the High Level Panel on Financing for Development, the U.N. can be in a position to not only levy global taxes, but to exert considerable economic pressure on countries that fail to adopt and enforce U.N. policies.

The Convention on Cybercrime was developed during the Clinton era; and we have not yet heard the Bush administration's view. We have heard administration support in general for the twelve U.N. treaties dealing with terrorism, one of which is the Convention on Cybercrime. It is not yet clear whether Bush will withdraw from the Cybercrime treaty, as he did with the Kyoto Protocol, or whether he will let his determination to end terrorism blind him to the danger of giving the U.N. the authority to control free speech on the Internet.

Should the U.N. gain this power, look out, it's just the beginning.

Article 20 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights outlaws "war propaganda." The U.N. could well consider recruiting ads by the U.S. military to be "hate speech," or "war propaganda." If the U.N. gains control over Internet content, what is to prevent it from moving next to control content of television or radio programs?

These concerns are not new among U.N. watchers; however, they have been rejected out of hand by most members of Congress, and by the American public. The U.N. Association, and a host of U.N. supporters, ridicule such concerns, and counter with the notion that the United Nations is the world's only hope for a peaceful future.

The United Nations is building a global system of socialist rule, which is 180-degrees away from the system of governance envisioned by the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law "...abridging the freedom of speech." Period. This fundamental principle of freedom has been redefined by the U.N. to mean: "you are free to speak, so long as what you say is acceptable to our central governing authority."

The principles of freedom, as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, are the only hope for a peaceful future. The followers of Osama bin Laden are victims of controlled speech. They know only what their "central governing authority" allows them to know. Their attitudes and behavior are shaped and controlled by a "central governing authority." They know nothing of freedom.

Only when all people are free to speak their own minds, make their own choices, pursue their own dreams, achieve and accomplish their own goals - will there be any hope of a peaceful world.

The United States has an enormous responsibility to defend and protect the freedom our forefathers fashioned for us, and to never let any military force take our freedom, or any political force coerce or persuade us to surrender our freedom to an international body of well-meaning, but misguided, globalists.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization, and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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