Sept 10, 2016 by Alex Newman
With Obama illegally plotting to hand over a crucial piece of the Internet’s architecture to a United Nations-style outfit before he leaves office — and potentially crush Internet freedom as we know it in the process — Republicans in Congress are fighting back. Among other serious concerns, lawmakers have been warning that giving up control of ICANN, which manages the assignment of website domains, could open the door to Internet censorship by the UN and its oftentimes totalitarian member governments. Other critics have warned of potential international taxes levied by UN agencies. But with the White House aiming to complete the surrender by September 31, a growing coalition of liberty-minded GOP lawmakers are working to derail the controversial administration effort.
The uprising against Obama’s scheme is being led by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “Today our country faces a threat to the Internet as we know it,” he said in a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, September 9. “In 22 short days, if Congress fails to act, the Obama administration intends to give away the Internet to an international body akin to the United Nations. I rise today to discuss the significant, irreparable damage this proposed Internet giveaway could wreak not only on our nation but on free speech across the world.” Cruz recently launched a website with a count-down clock to highlight the deeply controversial plot by Obama. A Senate hearing next week will delve deeper.
Another U.S. lawmaker mounting at least a semblance of opposition is Senator John Thune (R-S.D), who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee that oversees the U.S. Commerce Department managing the ICANN surrender. In an interview with Politico, Thune sounded skeptical about the Obama plot and suggested he may work to block it. “I don’t think the foundation has been appropriately laid for this,” he said. “Some members are adamantly opposed to transition, period, and a lot of them just think now is not the time, and it really just hasn’t been vetted, and it’s not ready yet.” Working with others, he is reportedly planning to block the surrender — at least temporarily — using the upcoming government funding bill.
Thune also expressed concerns in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Commerce Department Secretary Penny Pritzker. “As you know, many in Congress have expressed concerns that this irreversible decision could result in a less transparent and accountable Internet governance regime or provide an opportunity for an enhanced role for authoritarian nation-states in Internet governance,” reads the letter, asking the Obama officials to address those concerns. It was also signed by other relevant congressional committee chiefs: Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) of the Judiciary Committee, Congressman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) of the Commerce Committee, and Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) of the House Judiciary Committee.
If lawmakers fail to restrain Obama’s giveaway, outside groups may act, including by filing lawsuits against the White House’s illegal plot. “In the event that Representatives prove unable to provide the requisite authority required to defend these interests, then we will explore all remaining options, including legal action brought by the people that Congress represents,” said the liberty-oriented organization TechFreedom, which has challenged the purported legal basis for Obama’s latest radical decrees to handover control of key Internet components to foreign entities.
Officially, the crucial Internet architecture, currently overseen by the U.S. Commerce Department, will be surrendered to what Obama is touting as a “global multi-stakeholder community.” However, as The New American reported in 2014 after a summit convened by totalitarian-minded Latin American rulers, the misleading terminology about a “global multi-stakeholder community”appears to be an elaborate ruse to conceal the true nature of what is happening here. The implications of the scam are enormous and, if not stopped, will almost certainly pose a mortal threat to the continued existence of a free and open Internet, as well as thefree speech it has enabled worldwide.
While Obama and his increasingly discredited allies in the establishment media have pooh-poohed concerns about UN and autocrat control over ICANN, analysts have pointed out that there is a very real risk of precisely such an outcome. Indeed, as The New American has been reporting for years, the UN and its largely dictatorial member regimes have been clamoring for global Internet regulation by the UN and its members for many years. The original plan, dropped only in the face of massive global opposition, was to have the UN International Telecommunications Union (ITU) take the lead.
That UN agency, of course, as this magazine has already reported, is under the control of communist Chinese agent Houlin Zhao. He claimed in media interviews that censorship is in the eye of the beholder. Offering a chilling warning of what UN Internet regulation might look like, Beijing operates an Orwellian censorship regime known as the “Great Firewall of China” — and the overt censorship is backed by brute force against dissenters, and constant propaganda from the mass-murdering communist autocracy.
When the plan to directly put the UN ITU in charge flopped, the UN, globalists, and dictators had to come up with a new plan. So, they got together in Brazil at a summit convened by the now-impeached ex-President and “former” communist terrorist Dilma Rousseff, changed the language a bit, and kept the agenda going. However, despite some superficial changes, the agenda remains the same — remove control over crucial Internet functions from the United States, where the First Amendment protects the God-given right to free speech, and transfer those to foreign entities not so constrained.
Indeed, writing in the Wall Street Journal, L. Gordon Crovitz recently explained how the UN ITU could still end up directly in charge. “It’s shocking the administration admits it has no plan for how Icann retains its antitrust exemption,” he wrote. “The reason Icann can operate the entire World Wide Web root zone is that it has the status of a legal monopolist, stemming from its contract with the Commerce Department that makes Icann an ‘instrumentality’ of government.”
Once it is no longer under the control of U.S. authorities, the trap springs shut. “Without the U.S. contract, Icann would seek to be overseen by another governmental group so as to keep its antitrust exemption,” Crovitz continued. “Authoritarian regimes have already proposed Icann become part of the U.N. to make it easier for them to censor the internet globally. So much for the Obama pledge that the U.S. would never be replaced by a ‘government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution.’”
Senator Cruz, though, is among those who appear to be wise to the dangerous scheme. “If the Obama administration hands control of the Internet over to this international organization, it’s not like the next president can magically snap his or her fingers and bring it back,” he said on the Senate floor. “Unscrambling those eggs may well not be possible. I suspect that’s why the Obama administration is trying to jam it through on September 30, to get it done in a way that the next president can’t undo it, that the Internet is lost for generations to come.”
But there is a way to stop Obama’s lawless and unconstitutional scheming. “To stop the giveaway of our Internet freedom, Congress should act by continuing and by strengthening the appropriations rider in the continuing resolution that we will be considering this month, by preventing the Obama administration from giving away control of the Internet,” Cruz said. “I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together, to stand together and ensure that we protect freedom of the Internet for generations to come.”
According to international attorney Lawrence Kogan, who leads the Institute for Trade, Standards, and Sustainable Development, also said the goal was clear, that it was part of a broader agenda — and that it needs to be stopped. “President Obama’s decision to hand over control of the ICANN — of the Internet — to the United Nations is indicative of Obama’s world view that U.S. national sovereignty must yield to UN European sustainable development-based global governance,” explained Kogan.
The international attorney has attended numerous UN and UN World Intellectual Property Organization meetings in Geneva. And he has seen “firsthand how the global governance movement worked to weaken U.S. private property (intellectual property) rights and the influence of U.S. capitalism around the world,” Kogan said, warning of grave consequences stemming from the Obama-backed agenda.
Obama’s policy of surrendering U.S. national sovereignty has not been limited to the UN and foreign socialist governments, either, Kogan said. Rather, it also includes surrendering U.S. national and state sovereignty to federally funded tribal governments, too, another issue that is right now facing U.S. lawmakers as Obama seeks to ram through his agenda.
“Through multiple executive orders, tribal land and water right settlements, regulatory policies and now, Tribal Forestry Management provisions within massive Senate energy legislation (S.2012), the Obama administration continues to implement the otherwise non-legally binding UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) domestically,” he said. “In doing so, President Obama has granted recognition to federally recognized Indian tribes’ aboriginal (pre-European Settlement era) land and water rights that extend beyond Indian reservations to curtail non-tribal private property rights around the United States!”
All of it needs to be stopped by lawmakers. So far, Congress has blocked Obama’s scheme to transfer control of the Internet to globalist organizations, but the prohibition expires at the end of the month. To ensure continued Internet freedom for Americans and humanity as a whole, Americans should work with their elected representatives to ensure that the White House’s illegal and dangerous agenda is forever blocked. The alternative — a world without a free Internet — would quickly become more totalitarian as the free flow of information was brought under the control of the UN and its largely autocratic members. America cannot let that happen without a fight.