by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The International Telecommunications Union, a U.N. organization, is secretly debating proposals to claim jurisdiction over the Web and take it out of America’s hands. The major forces behind this push: authoritarian regimes eager to censor their domestic Internet and monitor their citizens. Russia and some Arab countries, reports the Wall Street Journal’s Gordon Crovitz, want the power to read private e-mail. Others want to tax cross-border Web traffic. And countries like China are working hard to bribe, bully, or barter votes in favor of the U.N. takeover.
You see, that’s what dictatorships do at the U.N.: work to make the world safe for dictatorships. The most brutal regimes on the planet are constantly trying to get on or game the Human Rights Council so they can spend all of their time condemning Israel and blocking any attempts to censure their own regimes.
Not everything the U.N. does is evil. Some of it is just incompetent. The whole of what passes for the “international community” has been trying to enforce sanctions on Iran and North Korea. But nobody told the U.N.’s intellectual-property agency, it was revealed earlier this month, so they went ahead and gave North Korea and Iran computers and IT equipment.
A few days later, the invaluable human-rights group U.N. Watch reported that Iran was elected to the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, despite having just been declared guilty — in a U.N. Security Council report! — of illegally shipping guns and bombs to Syria.