WHITE HOUSE EMPOWERING HOSTILE REGIMES WITH INTERNET CONTROL
By Bobby Jindal || It was an act generations from now will regret: The country that invented the Internet unilaterally decided to give it away — jeopardizing the freedoms of billions of citizens the world over in the process.
Last month, the Obama Administration’s Commerce Department announced it would transfer control of the Internet’s essential functions from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a Los Angeles-based non-profit, to the “global Internet community.” It is unclear exactly who or what will replace ICANN, but one thing is certain: the successor organization won’t increase online freedom, openness, and transparency.
If anything, ICANN’s replacement could empower hostile regimes with a greater voice in the Internet’s governance, allowing censorship and repression to expand and flourish. And you don’t just have to take my word for it: Bill Clinton opposes the ICANN transfer too, saying that “a lot of these so-called multi-stakeholders are really governments that want to gag people and restrict access to the Internet.”
A list of members of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council shows the dangers of the Obama Administration’s internationalist approach. Among the Council’s current members is Venezuela — currently engaging in a violent campaign of repression under President Nicolas Maduro. In response to negative media coverage of the unrest, government forces attacked CNN cameras, and ordered Internet service providers to “block websites with content contrary to the interests of the Government.” If these thuggish actions qualify Venezuela for membership in the UN Human Rights Council, what role will Maduro’s government get to play in governing — and censoring—the Internet?
(To continue reading this piece, press the “Read More …” icon below).
Bobby Jindal is governor of Louisiana.