The United Nations wants to hand power to dictatorial regimes like China to control the Internet, prompting fears of a massive new free speech purge.
The General Assembly has approved a resolution sponsored by China and Russia to set up a committee of “international experts” whose role would be to stop “the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes.”
However, many caution that the move is merely a back door for authoritarian regimes to further censor dissent.
“The United States, European powers and rights groups fear that the language is code for legitimizing crackdowns on expression, with numerous countries defining criticism of the government as “criminal,” reports AFP.
Human Rights Watch said the list of sponsors for the resolution is “a rogue’s gallery of some of the earth’s most repressive governments” and “gives countries legal cover for internet blackouts and censorship, while creating the potential for criminalizing free speech.”
Governments like China already censor and turn off the Internet during times of civil unrest while doling out ‘social credit score’ punishments for those who criticize the state.
The Communist country is also rolling out a plan to force its citizens to pass a facial recognition test to use the Internet. Criticized the authorities? No Internet for you.
We predicted that all this would come to fruition nearly 10 years ago in an article entitled ‘Cybersecurity Measures Will Mandate Government “ID Tokens” To Use The Internet’.
“Under the guise of “cybersecurity,” the government is moving to discredit and shut down the existing Internet infrastructure in the pursuit of a new, centralized, regulated world wide web,” I wrote in June 2010.
The fact that the United Nations is attempting to legitimize this framework by handing oppressive regimes more power to define certain types of speech as criminal is part of a long term agenda.
Under a second Trump administration the U.S. is almost certain to ignore any UN attempt to impose its hegemony over the Internet, but if the Democrats win in 2020 it could be a very different story.