Growing concerns of possible UN control over the Internet
How can US fight potential censorship?
- Duration 5:53
- Date Nov 26, 2012
How can US fight potential censorship?
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All right now no one country your governing body runs the Internet.
That freedom has helped the web -- to the worldwide force that it is today actually being used.
In some instances to -- some democratic movements.
But that could soon change in a big way.
A UN summit next week could put a little known United Nations agency in charge of the world wide web.
And some countries like China Russia and Iran that already have take controls on cyberspace are not actively lobbying.
For new global -- back and allow them to for example.
Eavesdrop at will or censor content.
Brooke Goldstein is the director of the -- fair project and she's with me now so Brooke.
I mean it's no big surprise that China and Iran and Russia for that matter would love to control the Internet.
But in this kind of a surprise that they're gonna have some conference with the UN in Dubai next week were attending and this is going to be the -- -- looking at the history of the United Nations and how it's tried over the past ten years to stifle free speech especially speech.
On the Internet that's deemed offensive to Islam.
I'm not surprised -- at all and -- we've -- a coordinated effort by the Arab League by the United Nations and with countries like China.
Iran and Russia try and wrestle control.
Of the Internet from the non profits from the engineering organizations that provide the regulations that provide the particle.
Into government hand.
And the United Nations is now going to legitimize -- what they already cracked down they censor the Internet already to some extent in their respective countries.
So how much more control do they want.
Well they want -- -- and they want coordinated control and what this is going to result in people are predicting at the very worst.
Is -- fractured Internet is an Internet that changes depending on.
Whose borders your -- what it's also gonna result in it are high levels of taxes.
For Internet providers -- US based companies like Google or Yahoo! who want to provide their services.
Too rested to China are going to be tax and that's going to be an incentive not to provided.
It's also going to -- a very highly coordinated.
Censorship something that we've never seen before or.
And again it's going to be legitimized by the United Nations and why do you think the Obama administration.
Would stand firm against this type of censorship what we're seeing are qualified condemnations of it we have for example Terry Kramer -- the United States.
State Department spokesperson who's going to be representing us at this Dubai conference he said quote we don't want to preach to others.
Well the contrary is true we have -- responsibility.
To preach to others what free speech regulations are not allowed on the Internet.
They eat it and Terry -- also said though that they're not gonna let this little UN body.
Expand its authority to the Internet so we we stand opposed to the push but the question is whether.
We need to be the leader in the opposition I mean that -- Because we came out we criticize this video very harshly even though the -- video -- -- was not behind it but that the Middle East protests.
Work to some extent about this video that criticize a Prophet -- And there was a real push back against our own government for not even though it was you know a horrible video and it was offense and -- Whether our government should have been saying that whether our government should have been out there saying.
Well we don't like the message but what we stand for in this country is free speech whether we love it or hate it and this raises similar issues.
Absolutely and our government gave this same type of qualified condemnations of the violence while they condemned the violence what they said is.
The United States -- support the defamation of religion all that's absolutely not true of the United States Supreme Court has ruled time and time again.
That even the most offensive speech critical of both government and religion is absolutely protected in his -- it.
How -- protections now the Internet is an extremely powerful tool.
And how we know that because there is this movement and to try and censor it now what can United States do.
In my opinion practically nothing because if you haven't countries getting together and making regulations and coordinating these regulations.
I don't see much that we can do to.
To change you know how they're going to tax US based companies so it's very scary but Jerry Kramer's.
As is gonna go to the -- meeting and and is gonna oppose this but our guy.
I think it's a guy on -- and then and but it is also they say well program.
We're gonna be careful -- we don't want to preach to others now I'd like to hear your point that we need to be in a position of forcefully advocating what we believe in in this country but.
Really to Iran is that really gonna work is is China really going to be moved by what Terry says.
And we have to look at exactly how the Internet has been regulated today we have groups like I can be an international corporation for assigned names and numbers it's a nonprofit based in the United States.
Because it's based in the United States.
The US law controls what domain names.
Our issues so yes we can preached in that sense if you look at for example.
The international engineering task force they listen to what Islamic censorship rules are.
They operate under the basis of of what is going to create a free and -- Internet but we need to do besides obviously issuing condemnations.
Is maintain control over the nonprofit organizations.
To date have been able to regulate or prevent extreme regulations on the Internet and then -- have a companies like Google coming on starting an online petition for free and open Internet so.
-- they're watching our Brooke thank you so much good to see again thanks for having --