Amendments to U.N. treaty could censor the Internet

“A year after the Internet helped fuel the Arab Spring uprisings, the role cyberspace plays in launching revolutions is being threatened by proposed changes to a United Nations telecommunications treaty that could allow countries to clamp down on the free flow of information,” Richard Lardner reports for The Associated Press.

“For months, dozens of countries have been meeting behind closed doors to debate changes to the 24-year-old treaty,” Lardner reports. “Russia, for example, has proposed language that requires member states to ensure the public has unrestricted access and use of international telecommunication services, ‘except in cases where international telecommunication services are used for the purpose of interfering in the internal affairs or undermining the sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and public safety of other states, or to divulge information of a sensitive nature,’ according to a May 3 U.N. document that details the various proposals for amending the treaty.”

Lardner reports, “The wording of this provision could allow a country to cite a U.N. treaty as the basis for repressing political opposition. The provision also appears to contradict Article 19 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says people shall have the right to access information “through any media and regardless of frontiers… A senior U.N. official said Friday the amended treaty will not create any barriers to information online, but acknowledged that the Russian proposal has not yet been rejected.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. – John Gilmore


  1. The Arab Spring. So we end up with radical extremists in charge of Egypt. Just what the world needs another country ready to take on the free world. Yeah the Internet really shines on that one doesn’t it?

    1. Today I find it cynically hilarious that sharing information via the Internet within Egypt is what broadly inspired the so-called “Arab Spring”. You can bet that at this time next year, the worldwide Internet will NOT be so freely available to Egyptian citizens. That’s called an ‘irony illness’.

      I find this corrosion of the Arab countries back into totalitarian rule entirely predictable as well as a waste.

      In the end it will be the Muslim empire vs the Asian empire. BOOM! Bye-bye.

      Another irony illness: We in the West will have enabled it all the way… 😳

  2. Or the US government backing the Sunnis in Iraq after the first gulf war and then letting them die in a bloodbath from our former pal
    Saddam Hussein (so damn insane).

    1. Swap Shiites for Sunnis and you’re closer to what happened. And you can blame the U.N. for setting the rules for GF1: “Get the Iraqi army out of Kuwait, then stop, do not pass Go, do not collect $200, etc etc etc”

      You Russian or French by the way? Given that they were by far Saddam’s BFFs…

      1. No, you can not blame UN since USA have veto right. They did not use it, they agreed to UN’s resolution on Iraq.

        You American by the way? Given that they were Saddam’s BFFs all the way until Kuwait…

  3. Ok, so the largest country club (no pun intended), for crooks, despots, dictators, thieves, terrorist sponsoring, scumbag, human trafficking, drug smuggling, HYPER RACIST, wildly antisemitic, misogynistic, rapacious bastards on the planet not only wants to dictate what sort of firearms Americans can own, but now they want to control the Internet?

    Please send a note to the Prodigal President along with me concerning the matter with the wors, “OH HE’LLLLL NO” somewhere in your description of his absolutely expected response.

  4. First things first. We dump the Kenyan Kommune Organizer (KKO) and then we arrest Pelosi wiper, kick Holder out by the ring on the end of his nose, then fix the internet.

    1. Wow. You’ve bought into the distraction. Censorship and attacks on our freedoms are things that have huge bi-partisan support from both Democrats and Republicans. They are working together to destroy our freedoms. By blindly choosing one of the two false “sides,” you are ensuring they will continue to succeed. Both parties happily passed the NDAA, which allows the military to arrest U.S. citizens in the U.S. and indefinitely detain them “until the end of hostilities” in the war on terror. You tell me – when do you think “terror” will no longer exist?
      The party you seem to love so much is working with the Democrats to lock up people either side views as trouble-makers. You think the word “terrorist” won’t expand to include whoever both parties have agreed to dislike? Pay attention – many laws that were supposed to be used only against “terrorists” have been expanded to cover almost any criminal behavior. Now, go look up some of the crazy things that count as crimes (look it up yourself, if you care to). One thing recently made illegal is protesting in any way that even slightly can be viewed as disruptive to a Special Security Event. In other words, that law could be viewed as making you a terrorist if you yell a disruptive question at some politician’s speech or “townhall” meeting. Guess what, both parties voted for that law in overwhelming numbers.

  5. You get what you pay for. Or in this case, you get what you vote for. As I’ve been saying… Don’t blame the politicians. The blame lies with the american people who put these imbeciles in office because of some misguided loyalty to a political party that in reality, couldn’t give 2 sh!ts about them.

  6. Internet is not racist… but UN is! UN is one of the worse organizations that has happened to political world. It has given a false positive impression about anything it handles and addresses.
    Screw UN…. Internet will not stop spreading even if UN wants it.

    1. And which organization is better?

      NATO, which oppresses the world, starts illegal wars on manipulated, brainwashed, Orwellian’s Ministry of Truth propaganda-driven “public opinion”?

      UN is really questionable organization, but there is nothing better than this. It is the same as with democracy, which is said to be an atrocious system, yet the best comparing to others.

    2. I used to think that the UN was a huge problem. Unfortunately, I’ve come to see the huge problems we have here in the U.S. Sadly, the two major parties here have signed away many of our freedoms and seem intent on making it even worse. The time is coming (and maybe we’re already there) where UN policies and agreements provide more freedom than our threatened and nibbled-to-death Constitution.
      Or, our politicians could just bully the UN into passing freedom-stealing treaties on behalf of the corporations that bought those politicians. Treaties can often accomplish things that are harder to pass directly as laws in the U.S. Guess that’s what is happening here.

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