The UN Unveils Plan Pushing For Worldwide Internet Censorship

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

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The United Nations has disgraced itself immeasurably over the past month or so.

In case you missed the following stories, I suggest catching up now:

The UN’s “Sustainable Development Agenda” is Basically a Giant Corporatist Fraud

Not a Joke – Saudi Arabia Chosen to Head UN Human Rights Panel

Fresh off the scene from those two epic embarrassments, the UN now wants to tell governments of the world how to censor the internet. I wish I was kidding.

From the Washington Post:

On Thursday, the organization’s Broadband Commission for Digital Development released a damning “world-wide wake-up call” on what it calls “cyber VAWG,” or violence against women and girls. The report concludes that online harassment is “a problem of pandemic proportion” — which, nbd, we’ve all heard before.

But the United Nations then goes on to propose radical, proactive policy changes for both governments and social networks, effectively projecting a whole new vision for how the Internet could work.

Under U.S. law — the law that, not coincidentally, governs most of the world’s largest online platforms — intermediaries such as Twitter and Facebook generally can’t be held responsible for what people do on them. But the United Nations proposes both that social networks proactively police every profile and post, and that government agencies only “license” those who agree to do so.

People are being harassed online, and the solution is to censor everything and license speech? Remarkable.

How that would actually work, we don’t know; the report is light on concrete, actionable policy. But it repeatedly suggests both that social networks need to opt-in to stronger anti-harassment regimes and that governments need to enforce them proactively.

At one point toward the end of the paper, the U.N. panel concludes that “political and governmental bodies need to use their licensing prerogative” to better protect human and women’s rights, only granting licenses to “those Telecoms and search engines” that “supervise content and its dissemination.”

So we’re supposed to be lectured about human rights from an organization that named Saudi Arabia head of its human rights panel? Got it.

Regardless of whether you think those are worthwhile ends, the implications are huge: It’s an attempt to transform the Web from a libertarian free-for-all to some kind of enforced social commons.

This U.N. report gets us no closer, alas: all but its most modest proposals are unfeasible. We can educate people about gender violence or teach “digital citizenship” in schools, but persuading social networks to police everything their users post is next to impossible. And even if it weren’t, there are serious implications for innovation and speech: According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, CDA 230 — the law that exempts online intermediaries from this kind of policing — is basically what allowed modern social networks (and blogs, and comments, and forums, etc.) to come into being.

If we’re lucky, perhaps the Saudi religious police chief (yes, they have one) who went on a rampage against Twitter a couple of years ago, will be available to head up the project.

What a joke.


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  • colinjames71

    I can’t get past Saudi Arabia heading the Human Rights Commission. Just when I thought the world couldn’t get any stranger..

    • In the past year they have beheaded 100 people for things like being found guilty of atheism.

      • colinjames71

        And witchcraft, can’t leave that out. I wonder which is considered worse to the Saudis, disregarding the fact that the punishment is the same. Apparently they’ve actually become worse w/ the beheadings lately, something like double the yearly average at this point. And just yesterday I believe, the Dutch submitted a request to the UN to investigate war crimes in Yemen, so we don’t have to wait long to see what farcical fruit this appointment will bear.

        • Where is John Kerry with his brutal regime bellicose statements? The double standards are glaring. There is this image that Obama has that he is weak and ineffectual on foreign policy, I think he uses that to fly all this under the radar. People think oh he’s cool, calm and in control. He would never lead us into WWIII.
          Yeah right!!

  • kimo

    This doesn’t surprise me one bit. They have been planing this for quite sometime, see Agenda 2030

  • Goes to show how useless and corrupt the UN really is.

  • So we’re supposed to be lectured about human rights from an organization that named Saudi Arabia head of its human rights panel? Got it.


    Add to that the lack of woman’s rights in Saudi Arabia and the US.

  • Rinda Harris

    For the last 8 weeks or so, I cannot find anything like I used to be able to. Google changed it’s logo and
    it seems that it slapped a filter on so thick that you cannot find anything but commercials. I added other search engines but can put in my usual few keywords and don’t get anything worth a crap. What ib the word is going on? It’s so frustrating!

  • Rinda Harris

    I usually search through the comments on posts and articles because people usually add way more information and details but i’ve noticed a lot of the comments are gone or disabled too.