The United Nations will soon be convening the ninth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a gathering that is bound to have a profound impact on freedom throughout the world. A profoundly negative impact, that is, unless the U.S. Congress is activated to stop the Obama administration’s moves to support the UN’s designs for “global governance” over cyberspace.
Despite proclamations of commitment to transparency, openness, inclusivity, privacy, human rights, and freedom of expression, the IGF is stacked from top to bottom with communists, socialists, and globalists who represent the antithesis of those commitments. That is hardly surprising, since that is standard procedure for events sponsored by the UN, which is itself stacked from top to bottom with communists, socialists, and globalists who represent the antithesis of those commitments.
The Internet Governance Forum will take place September 2-5 in Istanbul, hosted by the government of Turkey, which, according to the liberal-left Freedom House, is “the world’s leading jailer of journalists” and is infamous for censoring the Internet. Apropos of this setting, the person overseeing the Istanbul meeting is Wu Hongbo, under-secretary-general of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Comrade Hongbo, besides representing the UN, ultimately answers to his real bosses in Beijing, the leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The communist Beijing regime, of course, is notorious for brutal repression of all human rights, including rigid censorship and aggressive policing of the Internet. Under-Secretary-General Hongbo issued the UN’s official invitation for the Istanbul confab “on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” Ban Ki-moon.
Hongbo will be joined in Istanbul by fellow CPC comrades, who will be attending as “official participants” as well as members of the Internet Government Forum’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG). China’s representation includes: Professor Liang Guo of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Lee Xiaodong, CEO of CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center, an agency of China’s Ministry of Information); Chen Hongbing, China’s permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva, Switzerland. These are the folks who have helped build and maintain China’s shameful “Great Firewall” that the Communist regime uses to spy on, censor, restrict, and police Internet usage.
Then there is the High-Level Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms, which has had a huge hand in forming the agenda for the IGF. Among its members is Liu Qingfeng, director of the National Speech & Language Engineering Laboratory of China.
Among those representing Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin at the IGF/Istanbul is Robert Aleksandrovich Schlegel, a member of Russia’s State Duma, where he is deputy chairperson of the Committee on Physical Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs. He is also a spokesman for the Russian Internet Governance Forum, where his official bio unabashedly admits (or perhaps boasts) that Schlegel was press director of the “Nashi” movement, Putin’s version of the Hitler Youth. A recent article in the International Business Times, entitled "Censorship, Social Media Crackdown Make It Easy For Putin To Stay Popular,” provides disquieting reports (as if more were needed) concerning the sorry plight of Internet freedom under Putin’s regime. Schlegel is a leader among the Kremlin’s agents who will be pushing for imposing Putin’s model of cyberspace control on the entire Internet.
Socialist International: Elephant Under the Doily
The danger of the Internet becoming an Orwellian tool of oppression does not, however, emanate only from the schemes of Moscow, Beijing, and the other more obvious centers of totalitarian thought and practice. One of the most ominous signals that the Internet Governance Forum is tilted heavily against freedom is the dominance of the process by leaders of the Socialist International, which traces its lineage to the First International founded by Karl Marx. The Socialist International is a massive, globe-straddling organization of 168 political parties and organizations from all continents, including 60 member parties that currently are running national governments. Its members are completely at home inside the United Nations and are comfortable collaborating with representatives of communist regimes. Speakers at Socialist International confabs address each other as “comrade,” and the Socialist International I still maintains the old Soviet organizational structure, governed at the top by a “Presidium.”
Prominent Socialist International members have dominated many of the UN’s agencies, departments, commissions, and conferences for decades. Yet, there is virtually no coverage in the mainstream media of this organization and the tremendous power it wields. Currently, former Swedish Foreign Minister Jan Eliasson serves as deputy secretary-general at the UN, second only to Ban Ki-moon in the organization’s hierarchy. Eliasson is a member of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, which is a member party of the Party of European Socialists and the Socialist International.
Estonian President Toomas Ilves is chairman of the aforementioned High-Level Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms. His Estonian Social Democratic Party is a member party of the Socialist International, and when Ilves served as a Member of the European Parliament, he sat with the Party of European Socialists group. Also on the Panel is Thorbjorn Jagland, former Norwegian prime minister and leader of the Norwegian Labour Party, a Socialist International member party.
Perhaps the most significant person in the Socialist International orbit regarding “global governance” of the Internet is High-Level Panel member Nitin Desai. A former UN under-secretary-general and former secretary-general of the UN’s World Summit for Sustainable Development, he has been in the forefront of the globalist effort to place the Internet under “international” control. Desai, who was appointed in 2004 by the UN secretary-general to chair the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG), has been an active participant in many Socialist International activities. During the 2012 Rio+20 Earth Summit on sustainable development, Desai penned an op-ed attacking the United States for failing to jump on board the UN’s global warming bandwagon. “The American way of life — and, for that matter, the way of life everywhere — has to be up for negotiation,” opined Desai. “This is because climate change is the mother of all externalities — global, long-term and potentially catastrophic in its impact.”
The dangers posed by the likes of Nitin Desai, Wu Hongbo, Toomas Ilves, and the rest of the Communist/Socialist UN claque at the Istanbul conference are multiplied several fold by the organized globalists of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), who are also pushing for similar “global governance” goals, as we have reported in a recent article entitled, "UN Grabs for the Internet: CFR, Chatham House Lead Toward “Global Governance."