In 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president, if you asked the average American, “What is the Internet? What is the World Wide Web? And, what is Email?” most Americans would not have known.
It is hard to believe in less than a quarter century, the internet has transformed the world. It has created wealth for many. It has changed the way America does business. It has given birth to political movement and killed political careers. The Internet is without a doubt the greatest tool for advancing freedom since the invention of the printing press.
It is no great shock that President Obama does not like American control of the internet. The internet was an American invention and America shared it with the world. American values of freedom and liberty created the Internet and allowed it to flourish. Now, in one of his last acts, Obama wants to destroy the Internet.
No, this is not one of those crazy internet conspiracy theories.
Despite the explicit wishes of Congress, Mr. Obama wants to allow an international body to take control of the Internet.
The United States still controls something called the International Assigned Numbers Authority. IANA is responsible for the allocation of unique names and numbers that are used around the world in Internet protocols.
In short, it controls the allocation of domain names from Facebook.com to your church’s website. And Mr. Obama wants to give control of this to an International Organization.
What could possibly go wrong?
Since the internet became a worldwide phenomenon, repressive regimes have looked for ways to censor the internet. China has what is known as the “Great Firewall of China” to keep out materials the government does not like. When there is unrest in countries, one of the first things dictators do is to shut down the Internet.
Without America and American values controlling the internet, who will control it and what will they do?
Imagine the internet controlled by regimes like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, China and North Korea. Imagine these nations telling Americans what they can and cannot put on the Internet. This is the ultimate end game. This will be the destruction of the Internet as a tool of liberty and commerce, instead making it nothing more than a massive propaganda tool.
The mechanism Mr. Obama will use to allow International control of the Internet is to simply allow the existing contract between IANA and the United States Department of Commerce to expire.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin have introduced legislation that will prohibit the Commerce Department from allowing those contracts to expire.
In 1976, Ronald Reagan ran for president and he opposed the planned give away of the Panama Canal. He said then, “We bought it, we paid for it, we built it, and we intend to keep it.” President Jimmy Carter, a man who hates America almost as much as Mr. Obama does, gave the Panama Canal away.
What result did we see?
Today, China controls the most strategic water passage in the Western Hemisphere. President Reagan and other Republicans warned us then what would happen if the Democrats gave away a national asset like the Panama Canal. Today, the national asset the Democrats want to give away is the internet.
The Internet is and will be the engine of both commerce and liberty in the 21st Century. That is, if the Party of Treason does not give it away to international control.
Every American should be calling and emailing their senators and members of Congress to tell them no. If Congress does not act by Sept. 30, it will be too late.
And if we allow the internet to be given away to foreign powers that view it as a threat, then to paraphrase President Reagan, we will one day tell our children and grandchildren what it was like when there was a free internet.