A heavily redacted memo from then-President Bill Clinton’s White House, released last week as part of a vast cache of papers from the Clinton Library, revealed that the disgraced administration was frantic about the rise of the free Internet and its implications. The radical document expresses paranoia about the fact that Americans — especially those on what it calls the “right wing” — could now bypass the establishment media to spread the truth and ideas, all of it “unregulated.” Gasp!
Following the Obama administration’s deeply controversial decision to cede U.S. control over key elements of the Internet’s architecture, experts and former officials are warning that the United Nations and its largely autocratic member regimes are already plotting to tax and censor the World Wide Web. According to analysts, the UN would almost certainly start small — perhaps levying tiny “fees” on certain Web-based activities, or regulating content that virtually everybody would find objectionable — before quickly expanding the global Internet regime to raise vast sums of taxpayer cash while censoring free speech. The battle, however, is likely to be fierce.
Frank Swain, a British freelance writer, recently wrote an essay published online by the BBC Future Science website entitled: “Why I want a microchip implant.” Like upwards of 10 million Londoners, Swain uses his Oyster card — a credit card-sized smartcard that contains an embedded RFID chip — to pay his fare on public transit such as the Underground and buses within Greater London.