Under the guise of advancing “global governance” over the Internet by so-called stakeholders — including, of course, governments, autocrats, and international organizations such as the United Nations — the radical Brazilian government brought together key players for the “NETMundial” summit last week. Well aware that any obvious plot to advance UN control over the World Wide Web would be a non-starter among Americans and the West, however, participants sought to conceal the real agenda in the final agreement behind innocent-sounding language. They failed.
The regime of “former” communist-terrorist leader and current Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, which convened the gathering in São Paulo, is also the one that arrested Google Brazil chief Fabio Coelho in 2012 for refusing to take down a YouTube video attacking a political candidate. Indeed, as The New American reported as far back as 2010, the Brazilian government, then headed by Rousseff mentor and “former” Marxist revolutionary Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, was actually leading a coalition of communist and Islamist autocracies pushing for UN regulation and control over the Internet.
The current president of Brazil, seeking to position herself as the centerpiece of Internet talks, openly celebrates her alliance with domestic Marxist-Leninists. She also boasts of alliances with ruthless communist and socialist dictatorships worldwide — virtually all of which already censor the Internet and continue openly pushing to have the UN take their censorship regimes global. As such, critics said it seemed bizarre for Brazil to host a conference on the future of the Web, and for so many of the participants to claim publicly to support Internet “freedom.”
With much of the world already deeply suspicious of the would-be Internet overlords, the final agreement from the NETmundial summit was deliberately scripted to seem as non-threatening as possible. In its preamble, for instance, the document begins by pointing out that it is “non-binding” — as if a conference bringing together autocrats, governments, and anti-freedom astroturf groups somehow had any sort of authority to “bind” humanity in any way.
However, the true intentions of the summit, formally known as the “The Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance,” quickly become clear throughout the joint statement. “It hopefully contributes to the evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem,” the preamble notes, without explaining why “Internet governance” is supposedly needed or even legitimate in the first place. “The recommendations of NETmundial are also intended to constitute a potentially valuable contribution for use in other Internet governance related fora and entities.”
Among the most alarming “Internet Governance Principles” outlined in the final declaration is the notion of the World Wide Web as “a global resource which should be managed in the public interest.” Whenever dictators, governments, the UN, or George Soros operatives talk of a “global resource” that should be “managed” in what they claim to be the “public interest,” liberty-minded people ought to flee immediately, as history makes clear. The supposed “greater public good,” of course, has probably been cited by nearly every autocrat and tyrant in human history to justify their oppression.
Next, the document called for the UN’s bizarre version of “human rights” to underpin global Internet governance. “Human rights are universal as reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that should underpin Internet governance principles,” the agreement says. Of course, in Article 29, the UN Declaration of “Human Rights” specifically states that the government-granted privileges listed in that document may in “no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”
In the United States, by contrast, America’s Founding Fathers recognized as “self-evident” that rights are endowed by God — not governments — and therefore cannot be legitimately revoked or infringed upon. The Bill of Rights merely lists some of the pre-existing rights that all people inherently possess in an effort to protect them from government infringement. The UN’s vision for pseudo-human “rights” outlined in its declaration, on the other hand, openly claims that governments grant “rights,” which can be limited or abolished at will by “law.”
Incredibly, the Internet document also proposed the dictator-dominated UN “Human Rights Council” as a forum for dealing with “mass and arbitrary surveillance,” presumably a reference to the NSA’s largely unconstitutional espionage. Brazilian President Rousseff was reportedly outraged upon learning that the U.S. agency was snooping on her e-mails. However, as opposed to spying on law-abiding Americans without a warrant, experts say radical foreign leaders with potentially hostile intentions should certainly be among the legitimate targets of U.S. intelligence agencies.
Throughout the Internet document, meanwhile, are multiple references to “sustainable development.” As regular readers of The New American know full well, the UN’s vision of what it terms “sustainability” is completely at odds with traditional values, individual rights, the U.S. Constitution, biblical Christianity, national sovereignty, free markets, self-government, and many other principles that most Americans cherish deeply. Alabama has already banned the UN machinations.
The NETmundial statement makes quite clear that the end goal is a global regulatory regime over the Web, too, even touting “the development of international Internet-related public policies and Internet governance arrangements.” While the document gives a nod to “Internet governance” at the “national level,” it immediately afterwards claims that “national multistakeholder mechanisms” should serve as a “link” to “regional and global” schemes.
Just in case the real agenda was not yet clear, the document goes on to make it explicit. “There is a need for a strengthened Internet Governance Forum (IGF),” the statement says, referring to a UN-established outfit created in 2006 to explore global regulation of the Web. “Important recommendations to that end were made by the UN CSTD [Commission on Science and Technology for Development] working group on IGF improvements.” It called for the UN outfit’s recommendations to be implemented by the end of 2015.
“Improvements” sought by NETmundial participants included “extending the IGF mandate beyond five-year terms”; implementing improvements including “creative ways of providing outcomes/recommendations and the analysis of policy options”; and ensuring that the would-be UN-led Internet regulatory regime “forum” has “guaranteed stable and predictable funding.” Numerous experts have warned that the UN seeks to tax and regulate the Internet; and the statement seems to support that assertion, calling for a “strengthened IGF” that would help identify and “address” supposed “issues.”
“It is expected that the process of globalization of ICANN [Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers] speeds up leading to a truly international and global organization serving the public interest,” the document also states, referring to the key organization in the Internet’s architecture that the Obama administration decided to “globalize” last month for reasons that remains unclear. “The active representation from all stakeholders [including governments and dictators] in the ICANN structure from all regions is a key issue in the process of a successful globalization.” It is also “necessary,” the statement claims, “to strengthen international cooperation on topics such as jurisdiction and law enforcement.”
Among the registered participants at the summit were multiple operatives for billionaire financier George Soros and his “Open Society” outfits, agents for the controversial Ford Foundation, NGO front groups for the Communist Chinese regime, self-styled “progressive” organizations, and more. Ironically, perhaps, a flaw in the official NETmundial website’s coding made it impossible to determine the affiliations of the academics who attended the summit. The list of government representatives, however, should be even more alarming to those who value Internet freedom.
The communist autocracies ruling Vietnam, China, Nicaragua, and more, for example, were all in attendance — with the Chinese dictatorship being infamous for, among other totalitarianism, its ruthless suppression of speech, its persecution of Christians, and its Orwellian “Great Firewall” Internet censorship regime. Also participating were officials representing numerous socialist and Islamist autocrats, more than a few of which are also notorious for censorship and hostility to free speech. Even genocidal regimes officially designated by the U.S. government as state-sponsors of terror — namely, Sudan's — sent high-level representatives.
More than a few of the socialist and Islamist governments represented at the summit have for years been at the forefront of openly calling for global censorship and UN regulation of the Internet. So far, their machinations, led by the Brazilian government prior to the summit, have failed. Analysts and experts, however, say the threat is far from dead. The UN, UNESCO, and various emerging regional super-states hostile to freedom were also well represented at the Brazilian summit.
Among the figures representing the U.S. government, meanwhile, was Manu Bhardwaj, an Obama appointee at the State Department. Bhardwaj also served in the same Clinton White House office that produced a recently released a paranoid 1995 memo denouncing the “unregulated” Internet and the manner in which Americans were using it to share information with congressional staffers and each other. Also representing the Obama administration at the summit was Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration boss Larry Strickling, who recently announced that the U.S. government would be relinquishing its oversight of ICANN to “global stakeholders.”
Of course, the U.S. Constitution does not grant the federal government any power to oversee the Internet or its architecture — much less the UN, widely criticized as the “dictators club.” Criminal law is already more than adequate to prosecute and deal with any crimes that might incidentally involve the Web and cyberspace. “Internet governance” by so-called “global stakeholders” should be recognized for what it is: counterproductive at best, extremely dangerous at worst.
If Americans believe some new measures might be needed to deal with unforeseen issues involving the Internet, state legislatures are the appropriate venue to work on it. The Internet does not require “governance” any more than free speech or other freedoms protected by the First Amendment require “governance.” Even if it did, though, the UN, its “forums,” and its oftentimes brutal member regimes would be the very last entities on the planet that ought to be considered for the job.
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached at
UN, Islamists & Communists Push Global Internet Regime