Aaron Swartz, a software prodigy and an Internet freedom fighter, was found dead in his New York City apartment on Friday of an apparent suicide. Internet freedom fighters around the world mourned.
Activists worldwide were celebrating after a United Nations conference, which was seeking to hand control over the Internet to an obscure UN agency known as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and its mostly dictatorial member regimes, ended in failure when a coalition of Western governments refused to back the schemes. However, analysts are warning that serious threats to the free and open Internet by the UN and a broad alliance of its authoritarian members are far from over.
The United Nations, its International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and a motley assortment of tyrants are frantically working to calm growing worldwide fears over the planetary body’s controversial bid to regulate the Internet and potentially even smash free speech online at an ongoing treaty-writing conference in Dubai. With global opposition to the schemes exploding, however, documents show the UN is using a “public relations” strategy to disseminate taxpayer-funded propaganda attacking critics of its secretive summit aimed at seizing control of the World Wide Web.
A “little piece of paper” is all that prevents the printing of firearms at home using 3D printers.
That was the comment made by Cody Wilson, cofounder of a Texas-based company that will soon offer customers plans for printing the plastic guns in the privacy of their own homes.
As Americans focused on the U.S. presidential election, the United Nations and a wide swath of its autocratic member regimes were drafting a plan to give a little-known UN agency control over the online world. Among the most contentious schemes: a plot to hand the International Telecommunication Union a so-called “kill switch” for the Internet that critics say would be used to smash free speech.
The ITU’s proposals to “reform” the Internet, drafted in secret and quietly published online last week, revealed a broad plan to rein in what, up until now, has been a largely unregulated tool allowing people all over the world to freely express their views at little to no financial cost.