So, this was news to me. The U.N. can control and tax the Internet?
ETNO (European Telecommunications Network Operators Association) is asking the U.N. to change international telecommunications regulations to:
“…introduce a new Internet tax that appears to target Web giants like Google and Facebook.” - http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405560,00.asp
Others could be targeted as well, according to a c|net story this past week (add Apple and Netflix to the list).
Our government has not been silent (thank G-d). Seems to generate the bi-partisanship sorely lacking, usually. From the c|net article:
“Democratic and Republican government officials warned this morning that a United Nations summit in December will lead to a virtual takeover of the Internet if proposals from China, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are adopted.
It was a rare point of bipartisan agreement during an election year: a proposal that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin described last year as handing the U.N. "international control of the Internet" must be stopped.
"These are terrible ideas," Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, said during a U.S. House of Representatives hearing. They could allow "governments to monitor and restrict content or impose economic costs upon international data flows," added Ambassador Philip Verveer, a deputy assistant secretary of state.
Robert McDowell, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, elaborated by saying proposals foreign governments have pitched to him personally would "use international mandates to charge certain Web destinations on a 'per-click' basis to fund the build-out of broadband infrastructure across the globe."
"Google, iTunes, Facebook, and Netflix are mentioned most often as prime sources of funding," McDowell said. Added Rep. Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat whose district includes Facebook's headquarters, many countries "don't share our view of the Internet and how it operates." - http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57444629-83/u.n-takeover-of-the-internet-must-be-stopped-u.s-warns/
The U.N. has a history of trying to exert control over the Internet (Kofi Annan in 2004 and Yoshio Utsumi in 2008).
The U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union (chartered originally in 1865 to oversee international telegraph regulations) was in 2008 quietly drafting technical standards, proposed by the Chinese (mainland) government, to define methods of tracing the original source of Internet communications and potentially curbing the ability of users to remain anonymous. I wonder why? This showed the tracing mechanism to be used by a government that "tries to identify the source of the negative articles" by an anonymous author.
The latest effort to control the Internet, according to ISOC’s Sally Wentworth (Senior Manager of Public Policy) are not “compatible” with the current open internet policy and Vint Cerf (Google's Chief Internet evangelist, co-creator of the TCP/IP protocol and former chairman if ICANN) said The ITU meeting could lead to ""top-down control dictated by governments" that might impact free expression, security and other important issues.
And that’s what this is all about as well as making a grab for American money and power for people unsuited for it (such as dictators, etc.). The only difference is that it isn’t being done with tanks, but rather taxes and new “rules”.
Mr. Cerf went on to say, "The open Internet has never been at a higher risk than it is now."
My own suggestion about what to do with the U.N. is unprintable. I can tell you that this sort of tax is insane. It will hurt the very countries it’s supposedly trying to help.
This is the old mantra about “the trucks carrying the heaviest loads and using the road the most cause the most wear and should pay for it.”
Answer one: The Internet isn’t a “road”. It doesn’t wear out by information passing over it. But say it were. Get off your lazy butts and build more infrastructure. That will create jobs and lessen the load on the “old road”, won’t it?
Answer two: That tax money won’t be used for any construction of the Internet or widening of it. It’ll be taken by do nothing international diplomats, telecommunications executives and politicians. Oh yes: It’ll probably also find its way to terrorists whose representatives do what they please at that “august” body.
Answer three: The U.N. gets a membership fee from its member states. That’s it. It is not a government which is entitled by legislation and the consent of the governed (namely and mainly us) to tax its citizens (and this will effectively be taxing us, as consumers – the price will be passed on to us, indirectly). I will not be taxed by that useless, parasitic, puppet organization. This tax will further burden our ailing economy.
I suggest you write your Senators and Representatives and let them know how you feel on this issue.