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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

These People Have Got to Be Kidding! UN Looks at "Regulating" the Internet

I couldn't believe it when I first saw Instapundit's note about it, and I still can't believe it after reading CNET's interview with China's former Internet censor, Houlin Zhao. Incredibly, Zhao is the head of the UN's International Telecommunications Union. Having learned the ropes of Internet censorship back home, Zhao is now looking for ways of doing the same thing on a worldwide basis under UN auspices.

Here's CNET's summary of what Zhao is up to:
In a series of speeches over the last year, Zhao has suggested that the ITU could become involved in everything from security and spam to managing how Internet Protocol addresses are assigned. The ITU also is looking into some aspects of voice over Internet Protocol--VoIP--communications, another potential area for expansion.

Hey, the UN has done such a tremendous job of managing the Oil for Food Program, why shouldn't we all shout hallelujah at the prospect of Kofi Anan and his censorious buddy from China telling us who gets IP addresses?

Click on the headline above this post to go to the full CNET interview.

Oh and here's a scary thought: You think Zhao and the FEC's Ellen Weintraub have ever met?

UPDATE: As usual, Captain's Quarters gets right to the point:
"The UN mostly consists of dictatorships and autocracies, which have little use for the free speech and open information that the Internet provides people all over the world. A free Internet threatens their power and their oppressive regimes.
"Nothing would please them more than to get their hands on the engines of the Internet in order to suppress the information that would inspire their subjects to throw off their shackles and claim freedom for themselves."

You can read the Captain's entire post here.