The phantom of government-controlled Internet has raised its menacing head again, this time on the global level.

“Even the definition of what we mean by Internet governance is a subject of debate. But the world has a common interest in ensuring the security and dependability of this new medium,” said Secretary-General Kofi Annan, at the opening of a March 25-26 United Nations Global Forum on Internet Governance. “The medium must be made accessible and responsive to the needs of all the world’s people.”

In UN-speak, that means America better ready itself, once again, to relinquish a bit more of its Founding Father free-market freedoms and accompanying hard-earned dollars to support the policies and expenses of a socialist system that demands equality for all at whatever cost.

The idea of government control of the Internet is not new, not even in this country where pending congressional bills reflect very different opinions on if and how this technology should be regulated. Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.), for instance, wants a permanent moratorium on Internet taxation via H.R. 49 while Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) proposes to tax email and Internet access in S. 2084. The difference between these contrasting regulatory proposals being discussed at the U.S. federal level versus global echelon, of course, is congressional representatives are accountable to their constituents.

The members of the United Nations, primarily anti-American in ideology and deed, are not.

So when United Nations leader Kofi Annan announces publicly a “common interest” in providing Internet access to “all the world’s people,” suspicion should be the prevailing emotion among all those who claim reverence for the right of the individual and for free market. This is not an idle pronouncement, an off-the-cuff expression of a personal dream or childlike desire for all in the world to have equal rights and access to this technology. Rather, Annan’s formal statements come on the tail end of a U.N. meeting on “telecommunications” regulation that was planned in December 2003, the same month the global body solidified its Declaration of Principles and its Plan of Action for actually achieving government control of the Internet.

In other words, this U.N. push for control is not going to die. Already scheduled is a follow-up meeting in Tunis Nov. 16-18, 2005 to give updates on how successfully these principles and action plans have been implemented in the various member states, to include America. In terms of what the U.N. wants to accomplish, here’s the gist of what we face.

“The Internet has evolved into a global facility available to the public and its governance should constitute a core issue of the Information Society agenda,” the Declaration of Principles states. “The international management of the Internet should be multilateral, transparent and democratic

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Cheryl K. Chumley

Cheryl K. Chumley is a columnist who writes for <a href="http://www.abetterearth.org/">www.abetterearth.org</a>.

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