Friday, November 18, 2005

The last gasp of the UN "internet summit" in Tunisia, which was a dismal failure by any accounting. It's all over but for the incredibly predictable America-hating:

Cuba, Iran lash out at Internet freedom

TUNIS, Tunisia--Cuba, Iran and African governments lashed out at the U.S. government this week...

Translation: The Americans laughed us out of their office.

...charging that the Internet permits too much free speech and that the way it is managed must be reformed immediately.

Totalitarians usually aren't this open about their intentions to strangle free expression; being thwarted always unhinges them. I picture Orwell's Big Brother pounding the table and stamping his feet, screaming, "But I WANT it!"

The U.S. and other Western nations "insist on being world policemen on the management of the Internet," Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, who has been the country's leader since 1987, said at a United Nations information society summit here.

Unintentionally revealing. These people are, at heart, thugs and predators who hate the presence of any sort of rule of law.

"Those who have supported nihilistic and disorderly freedom of expression are beginning to see the fruits" of their efforts, Mugabe said...

No, I have no idea what he means, either.

...adding that Zimbabwe will be "challenging the bully-boy mentality that has driven the unipolar world."

Reading directly from the Michael Moore/Noam Chomsky catechism.

These criticisms demonstrate that a detente reached at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) on domain name management has hardly resolved long-running disputes about Internet management, the primacy of the English language online, and the so-called digital divide between nations with functioning economies and those with dysfunctional ones. The deal resulted in the creation of a U.N. Internet Governance Forum expected to meet in Greece in 2006.

In other words, they agreed to waste more money a year from now.

"Fidel Castro, the unflinching promoter of the use of new technologies," believes "it is necessary to create a multinational democratic (institution) which administers this network of networks," said the WSIS delegate from Cuba.

In Cuba, only people with government permission can access the Internet, owning computer equipment is prohibited, and online writers have been imprisoned, according to Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based free speech watchdog group.

Too often, the Internet is used for the "propagation of falsehoods," said Mohammad Soleymani, Iran's minister of communication and information technology.

Soleymani called for the elimination of the California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)--which approves new top-level domain names--in favor of United Nations control.

"Changing the current Internet governance to a participatory, legitimate and accountable system under an international authority is imperative," he said.

But changes proposed by Third World countries that would give them more influence are "being rejected because they are not facilities managed by the Breton Woods institution by the West's neo-colonial desires," charged Zimbabwe's Mugabe, referring to a post-World War II agreement that led to the creation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Mozambique Prime Minister Luisa Diogo predicted the struggles to replace ICANN were not over...,

You haven't heard the last of us! Curse you, American dogs!

Pathetic is not nearly strong enough a word.

...saying that "it is a matter of justice and legitimacy that all people must have a say in the way the Internet is governed." ICANN does have an international board of directors, including members from Senegal, Morocco, and Nairobi, but critics say that's not enough.

Those who hate democracy and freedom the most are the quickest to invoke "the people." This is an old Communist trick, where they used to title their countries "People's Democratic Republic," as if the sheer redundancy would belie the obvious fact of dictatorship.

"A recurring criticism of the WSIS summit was that wealthier nations had not done enough to help poorer ones take advantage of the Internet.

"The proceeds have not been equally shared by developing and developed countries," said Sudan President Omar Ahmad al-Bashir. "The digital divide is growing between the rich and the poor countries."

Another line lifted right out of an Ayn Rand novel. The Internet is an American invention that is already being shared free-of-charge with the world, and anyone in the world is free to benefit from it. What "proceeds" are we supposed to surrender to this slimy kleptocrat?

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