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Freedom of speech on the internet in question

Will we have a global internet police force to regulate the web

Dec 21, 2010

The internet truly is the last bastion of free speech that has yet to be taken over by corporate or political forces and censored, at least in the U.S. But the United Nations (UN) is now considering working towards establishing an international governing body to regulate internet content, which would eventually eliminate online freedom of speech.

Brazilian representatives recently called on UN officials to create “global standards” for internet content, citing controversial web content like WikiLeaks that some consider a threat to national and global security. Backed by several other supporting nations including China and Saudi Arabia, the proposal would not constitute aninternettakeover, says its authors. But this appears untrue as it would clearly hand over powers to international governing bodies to arbitrarily regulate internet content.

WikiLeaks sparks push for tighter controls.

The United Nations is considering whether to set up an inter-governmental working group to harmonise global efforts by policy makers to regulate the internet.

Establishment of such a group has the backing of several countries, spearheaded by Brazil.

At a meeting in New York on Wednesday, representatives from Brazil called for an international body made up of Government representatives that would attempt to create global standards for policing the internet - specifically in reaction to challenges such as WikiLeaks.

The Brazilian delegate stressed, however, that this should not be seen as a call for a "takeover" of the internet.

Today the U.S. initiative was voted in favor.
The so-called "net neutrality" rules, proposed by the Obama administration, is the federal government's most high-profile move yet in connection with a debate nearly as old as the modern-day Internet itself. The proposed rules would require high-speed providers to treat all types of Web content equally, instead of allowing providers to favor some types of websites or apps at the expense of others.

While some Democrats say the proposal doesn't go far enough in leveling the Internet playing field, Republican critics – including the two on the five-panel FCC commission - say it is the latest example of government overreach into a place it has no business to be.

"Analysts and broadband companies of all sizes have told the FCC that new rules are likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices. Others maintain that the new rules will kill jobs," wrote Robert McDowell, a Republican member of the FCC, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Will we have a global internet police force to regulate the web

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