Lawmakers on Thursday said they are united when it comes to keeping the Internet free from centralized control and preventing the United Nations from gaining power over Web content and infrastructure.
The U.S. government wants to bring as much ammunition as possible to a December meeting in the Middle East, where delegations from 193 countries will discuss whether to hand governance of the Internet over to the United Nations.
The United States fears December’s treaty-writing conference could turn the Internet into a political bargaining chip and could empower efforts by countries like China, Russia and Iran to erode Internet freedoms and isolate their populations.
Imagine for a second if an organization – any organization – had power over the internet. Now imagine that organization is affiliated with governments – and therefore can police our actions online. Our religious views, our opinions on social issues, our political affiliations would all be fair game for nation-states to assert their power and control.
This type of top-down control would also slow Internet innovation and growth. Exclusion, hidden agendas, privacy issues and centralized management all would lead to a path of possible catastrophe. Free speech would become obsolete, and the internet would become a barren wasteland.
The internet should be open and free from government intervention, remaining the last resource for innovation, dialogue, and truth. No government should be able to control that.