The greatest threat to free speech online – The United Nations?

A great many nation states do not like the dear old Interweb. Well actually that isn’t strictly speaking true. They like the business opportunities of online trading, but what they don’t like is the open and unfettered criticism of various regimes. Russia and China are amongst the lead proponents of the latest wheeze under the auspices of the ITU. Legislation which might curtail said freedom to criticise, often peddled under the ‘paedophile’ and ‘Intellectual Property theft’ agenda is constantly being put before various national Parliaments and debating bodies. Most recently SOPA and PIPA in the USA (Now succeeded by OPEN, a misnomer if ever there was one), ACTA in Europe, Vincent Toews latest brainchild allowing warrantless surveillance in Canada.

Don’t ask me why they bother; these people can’t even get their economies right, and yet they want the right to censor voices not on some vacuous ‘approved’ list? Newsflash. Censorship always fails. Just as prohibition (and the ‘war on drugs’) always led and leads to more organised crime. There is a more enlightened approach to online piracy suggested by Trevor Timm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation over at Al-Jazeera. For a clue, think supermarket ‘loss leader’ to get more trade through the doors of online stores. Well, it’s working for these old fogeys.

Robert M McDowell writing over at the Wall Street Journal covers it more comprehensively in his piece; ‘The U.N. Threat to Internet Freedom ‘. He makes his points well.

In my usual closing aside; I’m reliably informed that Osama Bin Laden once tried to target the UN building in New York. Although I think Bin Laden and his followers are certifiably and frothingly batshit crazy, currently I’m thinking it might not have been such a bad thing had he succeeded.

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