“Consequences are unpitying.” —George Eliot
Obama Plans a Giveaway
Previously, I wrote an article on Obama’s plan to give away the back-end of the Internet, in September of 2015, to an international body of decision-makers—probably the UN. (You can find this article here:https://eaglerising.com/9309/great-betrayal-obamas-plan-forfeit-americas-control-internet/.) This article is a necessary companion to that one, since Obama’s plan could be a disaster for US sovereignty and American freedom.
America built the Internet without contribution from outsiders. And America has maintained the net in accordance with exceptional values of free speech, free press, technological innovation, and low-cost operation. There is no taxation on the Internet, except in states requiring that a tax be collected. Thus, most fees associated with registering domain names and other attendant costs have remained low.
Could the UN Ruin Countries?
Once the UN controls the power to issue or cancel Internet addresses, it will also have power to decide what countries have access. If any country were somehow to fall out of favor with the UN, it could lose Internet privileges altogether. This would be a constant popularity contest, unwinnable for some countries—such as Israel, for example, which faces many challenges as anti-Semitic Islam becomes a more prominent religion in many countries.
Currently, the internet is available to all. America has run the net according to rules of neutrality, allowing all countries, regardless of political ideology, access to it. In September of 2015, these values will be replaced by the values of a UN that is controlled by dictatorial regimes. Without American stewardship, a free and open Internet would likely go extinct.
A Brief Digression: The UN Human Rights Council
The UN Human Rights Council, founded in 2006, has criticized Israel at least 27 times, in resolutions that grant impunity to Hamas, Hezbollah, and state sponsors of terrorism. In its first year of existence, the council failed to condemn human rights violations occurring in other countries. Question: Based on what we know about the Human Rights Council, could Israel ever find itself targeted by a disapproving UN for an Internet shut-down?
And President Obama, in a recent speech to the UN, on September 23, 2014, seemed to incriminate the US as a wholesale human rights violator by extrapolating out from a problem that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, over the summer: “I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri, where a young man was killed and a community was divided.” Could America itself end up one day on the list of human rights violators?
Many would pooh-pooh such a notion. After all, America holds veto power on the UN Security Council. But, alas, power structures can always change. And it is always possible that a partisan President of the United States could instruct the US representative to withhold a veto for political reasons at home. Is such a brave-new-world political reality actually all that hard to imagine? And, anyway, Obama’s plan to turn over the internet has not yet stipulated which UN organ will take charge of it or how dependent-versus-independent it is meant to be from Security Council intervention, since the internet could pose an international security issue.
Given UN control of the Internet back-end, the UN will possess the means to tax domain-name registrations and, ultimately, every financial transaction that takes place online—worldwide! They will also get to write policy about what types of web sites are allowed to exist, without any First Amendment protections in place!
The power to tax every country would make the UN, suddenly, a powerhouse to be reckoned with. Imagine that the UN decided to use its new financial windfall to expand its big-government activities across the globe. Its peacekeeping forces could expand into a military force capable of becoming an intrusive police-state presence across the globe. And it could get into stock-market investing to promote the success or ruin of certain companies.
America has veto power to rein in such activities, but who knows what changes might be made to the UN Charter in the future, out of “fairness” concerns—just like the “fairness” Obama seeks by turning over American intellectual property to the UN?
It is not hard to imagine a liberal, citizen-of-the-world president who would gladly instruct the American representative at the UN to vote for an Internet tax on Americans. After all, does America not need to pay its “fair share” to redistribute American wealth to poorer countries? Such a president might even negotiate a kickback to his own political party from the UN in exchange for such a vote. Possibilities for corruption abound.
Political Dangers to American Freedom
And what if the UN decided, in concert with a liberal US president, to tax liberal news outlets at zero percent, but to tax conservative media, such as FOX, at a very high rate? The UN could choose to designate liberal news groups “mainstream” and conservative ones “political”—targeting conservatives, much as the IRS has been doing ever since Obama took office.
What if the UN instituted a tax of 5% on every economic transaction or purchase online? Or what if the UN taxed America at a higher rate and other countries at a lower rate, in order to make it easier for foreign businesses to compete against American businesses? How many companies might relocate to low-tax countries, if that occurred? America already has the highest business tax in the world! American efforts to grow business here, even by lowering tax rates, could be thwarted by a UN that taxes America more heavily than other countries—sending the rates here back up—to make Americans pay their “fair share” to help other countries—even countries whose policies we abhor, such as Islamic ones that subject women to “honor-killings” for “getting themselves raped” and execute gay people by hanging them from construction cranes! American sovereignty would be impacted dramatically.
Losing American Freedom
What if the UN decided that America must repeal its Second Amendment, or else have its internet shut off? President Obama has already signed the UN Small Arms Treaty that would cancel American gun rights. Obama could demand that the American people instruct their Senators to ratify the UN treaty and similarly instruct Americans to repeal their Second Amendment. The consequence of refusing the president would be his instructing our UN representative not to veto an Internet shut-off.
Of course, Obama does not have to be the president who does these things; another statist might be elected in the future who is just as extreme, a prospect that would be made much easier if the internet were compromised by UN filtering. Such filtering would act to restrain conservative news reporting that might operate as a reality check against liberal, statist propaganda.
Might the UN Destroy Businesses?
Imagine that you own a gun shop or sell X-rated movies online. These are legal businesses in America, protected by American law. But the UN could decide that web sites selling guns or X-rated movies will no longer be issued domain names. Existing domain names could be cancelled. And Muslim countries might object to online sales of alcohol. Perhaps certain religious items are objectionable in totalitarian and Muslim states, so they might cease being sold online, as well. How much devastation might be wrought upon American freedom and American business? And what of other countries who value freedom?
Management of the Back-End
It is unimaginable that the daily running of the Internet back-end is going to be something the Security Council would manage. The attendant duties are certain to be delegated to a multi-national body of decision-makers with the potential—inherent in any such body—to go rogue, causing great harm before being reined in. And modern technology increases the amount of damage, which can be quickly accomplished before it is halted.
Also, once a multicultural group takes over, no decision will ever be made without compromise. And compromise is not always a good thing. Right now, the Internet is based on rules of neutrality. Of course, countries can filter it on their own, but once the Internet is taken over by the UN—a body mostly made up of countries that are not free—the filtering could begin to take place right at the back-end. Why not?
And some countries might object to certain technological innovations that make it easier to disseminate information or easier to maintain privacy while using the net. Some countries, such as Russia and China, would certainly not favor such advances.
No one can be certain of what will happen, once Obama lets the genie out of the bottle with regard to giving up a freedom-promoting Internet to regulation by a freedom-compromising UN. The only certainty is that, eventually, with regard to this brave new Internet, there will come an unanticipated train of events that will be largely beyond America’s control. And many of those events are likely to prove unpleasant.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com