Written on Sunday, May 27, 2012 by Tad Cronn
You know all those stories that get classed as “conspiracy theories” by the mainstream media, and that the Left tell you couldn’t possibly be true? You know — the ones that will get you labeled a nut case should you talk about them in liberal company?
Well, one of them is being acted out in Congress right now. The United Nations, in a move proposed by India and backed by China and Russia, is making a play for control over your Internet.
The Internet is controlled by a volunteer, California-based group called ICANN. So far, this group has done a swell job of keeping the Internet free and mostly decentralized.
Whenever the Congress has tried to regulate speech or commerce on the Internet, it has raised alarm bells in many corners. The stakeholders in the web are legion. Thus, the Internet, at least in the United States, has remained relatively free from government interference.
Not completely free, however. And that’s how the dog got out of the yard.
Despite outcries over Congress’ public attempts to regulate the Internet, the federal government has moved forward with its plans to monitor and control web communications, bit by bit.
Internet service providers already cooperate with the National Security Agency to monitor Internet traffic. To better do its job of snooping on you, the NSA has been building a new communications center in Utah to watch, well, everything.
The center is equipped to tap into, record and store the content of emails, Google searches, cell phone calls, traffic tickets, store receipts, bookstore purchases, travel itineraries — anything with an electronic signature, which these days is everything.
As governments move forward with installing “smart meters” in homes, often against a homeowners’ will, the information collected by the NSA will include things like power and appliance usage. The center will also potentially be able to tap into things like networked traffic and security cameras. Cars equipped with OnStar and similar systems are also prime fruit for NSA plucking, not to mention the millions of GPS-equipped cell phones and other devices.
Heck, if you’ve got an Xbox Kinect or a webcam hooked up to the Internet, guess who could be recording literally your every move in your own home?
The concept of a “total information awareness program” was killed by Congress in 2003. It’s expected to go online in 2013.
The current administration has been no protector of Internet freedom. With an entire department in the White House devoted to trolling the Internet and deleting or neutralizing negative information about President Obama, the Executive Branch has displayed a distressing penchant for filtering what you are allowed to know. In recent months, the number of White House “requests” to kill stories in the media that have come to light has grown. The Obama administration’s meddling in the news process has become the whispered topic of conversation in media lunch rooms.
Since Obama came into office, there has been talk of giving him an Internet “kill switch” so that he could personally blackout undesirable news and communications should a “cyber emergency” ever happen here. There have been numerous attempts to give Obama that power, many of them originating from Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the JarJar Binks of the Senate. All have been blocked so far.
The most recent, dubbed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, would legalize the ISPs’ sharing of private information with authorities and give the president his long-sought power over communications. It was recently passed by the House and will soon be up for a vote in Harry Reid’s Senate.
This country’s cyber-censors have been hard at work installing the technical and legal framework for a complete Big Brother-style takeover of your privacy and, eventually, your rights to control your own life.
Smack in the middle of this environment is being dropped the United Nations proposal to replace ICANN with a multinational government commission that would push industry, ISPs, private users and anyone else with an interest in a free Internet to the fringe.
Congress for the first time is not considering just invading your privacy and infringing your rights via the Internet, but it is considering whether to let a foreign power — several foreign powers — do so.
Should Congress decide to go along, there is no doubt the United States would be expected to place the fearsome intelligence-gathering capabilities of the NSA on the table for access by other members of the international committee.
This would be an incredible coup for Russia and China, who despite their status as current trading partners would certainly love to see our government and way of life fall. Given their history, it’s also a certainty that neither Russia nor China would share any of their internal intelligence data.
The fool in charge at the White House, however, who has already indicated to Russia his “flexibility” on missile defense after his re-election, might go along with such a deal.
After his tour of duty at the White House, Obama may be looking at the international stage. He is just vain enough and reckless enough to hand over the keys to our country in exchange for a personal leg up on his ambitions.