Friday, September 25, 2015

Quickies: Are You Comfortably Seated?

     On the representation of a "pandemic" level of harassment against women and girls, and on the ostensible grounds that "respect for the security of girls and women" trumps freedom of speech, the UN wants access to the Internet to be licensed and policed:

     On Thursday, the [United Nations’s] Broadband Commission for Digital Development released a damning “world-wide wake-up call” on what it calls “cyber VAWG,” or violence against women and girls. The report concludes that online harassment is “a problem of pandemic proportion” — which, nbd, we’ve all heard before.

     But the United Nations then goes on to propose radical, proactive policy changes for both governments and social networks, effectively projecting a whole new vision for how the Internet could work.

     Under U.S. law — the law that, not coincidentally, governs most of the world’s largest online platforms — intermediaries such as Twitter and Facebook generally can’t be held responsible for what people do on them. But the United Nations proposes both that social networks proactively police every profile and post, and that government agencies only “license” those who agree to do so.

     “The respect for and security of girls and women must at all times be front and center,” the report reads, not only for those “producing and providing the content,” but also everyone with any role in shaping the “technical backbone and enabling environment of our digital society.”...

     At one point toward the end of the paper, the U.N. panel concludes that “political and governmental bodies need to use their licensing prerogative” to better protect human and women’s rights, only granting licenses to “those Telecoms and search engines” that “supervise content and its dissemination.” In other words, the United Nations believes that online platforms should be (a) generally responsible for the actions of their users and (b) specifically responsible for making sure those people aren’t harassers.

     The Obama Administration will surely endorse this proposal, willingly and with enthusiasm. They have a Federal Communications Commission that, despite an adverse Supreme Court ruling, is resolved to treat Internet service providers as “telecoms,” subject to thoroughgoing federal regulation. Congress, despite the handwringing it does over Obamunist usurpations of powers never granted, will do nothing. As for the other powers, their governments have been slavering over the possibility of legitimized online censorship for more than a decade. The UN report has provided a clear pretext.

     The Internet, most especially the World Wide Web, is the voice of the common man in our era. Without it, we would be cut off from one another, unable to rally against attempts to abridge our rights. Governments would like that just fine.

     How do you think Cass Sunstein feels about this? For that matter, how do you think Hillary Clinton will view it? She was clamoring for a “gatekeeper function” in 2001.

     Catastrophe has breasted the horizon and is rushing toward us at high speed. What are we willing to do to head it off?


furball said...

The trouble is, the United Nations has done probably almost nothing to actually better "world Peace" or the human condition since it inception.

Like most human endeavors, that would be hard to prove. But if you look at dollars spent, missions attempted, and bulls**t approved, the U.N. seems to be right up there on the, "Let's go through the motions, but do nothing" meter.

The real trouble is, if you look at the comments on Salon or other "mainstream" sites, the comments are all the same. Conservatives are afraid of boogy-men, or hateful, or ignorant, or greedy.

The U.N. may have started as an attempt to bring all nations into a common dialogue. What it turned into was an enclave where many failures could use their vote to blackmail, harass and milk their betters.

Not France, nor China, nor Russia nor ANYONE on the security council or in the General Assembly has ever done more than America to vote for the "general welfare" in opposition to their own best interest.

Instead, we have 30 nations of this or that "bloc" publishing papers as to why people must give up freedoms or nations must pay others.

Meanwhile, NATO really did keep Europe free., . while U.N. troops ran and left the Balkans, when they weren't raping people, and their tribunals were castigating Israel, slamming the Untied States and doing anything they could to coerce $ from the 1st world while passing tyrannical one-world suggestions that would make the Frankfurt School have multiple fascist orgasms.

There is a divide. Salon and the U.N. are on one side. And the sad truth is, they think they are right and doing something that will help everyone. The current Pope is over there, too. And MSNBC.

It's REAL tempting to sit back and say, "Go ahead." After all, they have a lot of momentum. And they don't even think the last 6 years' of a downward-spiral is a result of their ideas.

I'm not sure they even see a downward-spiral. Maybe it's time for secession, or something. We really do seem that different.

Tim Turner

Drew said...

I am aghast at how they don't even acknowledge or address the institutionalized violence against women in muslim countries around the world.

No, they appoint Saudi Arab to the head of the Human Right's committee recently.

I really don't know if it's ignorance or hipocricy at this point. I mean I really hope it's one of those two, because otherwise it is Evil, plain and simple.