Thursday, April 18, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, November 29, 2012
The Danger of International Internet Regulation
By Heritage Foundation @ 2:11 PM :: 5567 Views :: World News, Family

The Danger of International Internet Regulation

Regulating the Internet is something Americans have resisted here at home. Now that fight is going global.

The United Nations—of course—has an agency that oversees international telecommunications. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) was founded in 1865, when the telegraph was its main concern. Now it’s trying to expand its influence over modern-day communications.

Starting on Monday, the 193 member states of the ITU will meet in Dubai to update the 1988 International Telecommunications Regulations.

The ITU is looking to transform itself into a “global Internet rule maker,” according to a new Issue Brief by Heritage’s James Gattuso and Brett Schaefer. “At a time when competition should be making it less relevant, it is expanding its turf.” They set the scene:

Some countries have proposed granting the ITU more authority over the Internet and making other changes purportedly for such goals as enhancing cybersecurity, reducing costs for developing-country consumers, and increasing investment by telecommunications providers. However, many of these seemingly benign proposals could undermine the Internet freedoms that are essential to spurring economic development and protecting human rights. The U.S. should oppose these efforts.

As with other United Nations bodies, the U.S. gets one vote that is considered equally with countries like Libya. Of course, in the case of the Internet, many countries’ governments consider it a threat—online communications have helped people organize protests and uprisings like the “Arab Spring.”

“Governments that will be in attendance at the closed-door…summit—including some that currently censor Internet traffic within their own borders—have proposed amendments to the treaty that could make it easier to monitor and control how everyone uses the Web,” warns Eric Johnson of

Former Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Irving said that “fear is a great driver, and people like to regulate what they fear.

The ITU’s process is anything but transparent, so most of the key details known so far have been leaked, appropriately, on the Internet. According to the leaked documents, several troubling proposals are on the table from different countries, many of which resent the current Internet framework because of a perceived dominance by the United States.

For example:

Russia would require networks to identify subscribers when delivering traffic. The sponsoring states argue that these powers would help them fight cybercrime, but they could also be used for censorship and political suppression.

Schaefer and Gattuso warn that regulating the Internet is, in short, a very bad idea. “At best, this is unnecessary, as the Internet is doing quite well under the current framework. At worst, the expansion will allow the U.N.—parent organization of the ITU—to stifle the Web.”

The House of Representatives has already spoken out against this international regulation. In August, it unanimously passed (414–0) a resolution urging the Obama Administration to “clearly articulate…the consistent and unequivocal policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control.” Senator Marco Rubio (R–FL) introduced a similar version of this resolution in the Senate, but it has not been voted on yet.

America cannot stand for any rules that justify or facilitate censorship or repression, or an expansion of the authority of the ITU over the Internet. The freedom of people around the world may depend on it.





TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii