There is a battle brewing in Congress over President Obama’s plan to surrender U.S. oversight of key Internet functions to unspecified members of the international community.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce begins their deliberations on this crucial matter Wednesday. Intense sentiment about this unilateral move by the Obama administration is already being expressed in both Chambers of Congress.
While it remains unclear as to who would make up an international oversight committee, one fact remains certain: There are world leaders who would turn such oversight into a massive exercise in censorship and intelligence gathering.
Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee warned:
“Giving up control of ICANN will allow countries like China and Russia that don’t place the same value on freedom of speech to better define how the Internet looks and operates.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin is maneuvering to seize control of the Internet for the purpose of political censorship. In secret meetings with the U.N., Putin reportedly told them he wanted to block those people and organizations who were ‘interfering in the internal affairs, or undermining the sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and public safety of other states, or (want) to divulge information of a sensitive nature.’”
China is also lobbying for more control over the Internet.
It is also being reported that this international committee could be given the power to censor nations, using Internet access as sanctions against them, such as are being considered by Europeans against Israel if they don’t keep negotiating with the Palestinians.
Sadly, this new “control group” may be comprised of enemies of our nation, enemies of liberty, and/or radicals who oppose our freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
This is a monumental mistake that endangers our national security and individual rights. It must be stopped.
Wednesday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce began its hearings on this important matter, pledging to conduct “aggressive oversight following the recent announcement by the Obama administration on the future of Internet governance.”
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) told Fox News that giving up oversight of the Internet may be a ploy by the Obama administration to win international diplomatic favor, which Scott called a “bad decision.”
Tragically, this surrender of authority over the Internet is yet another of President Barack H. Obama’s misguided actions that will further undermine the United States’ power and influence in the world.
Freedom-loving Americans must urge congressional action to ensure that America’s oversight of the Internet is NOT ceded to the international community.
Liberty Counsel Action has made available a petition to urge Congress to stop Obama’s potentially catastrophic surrender. Please, click here to sign the “Stop President Obama’s Surrender of the Internet” petition.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.