Call for Uncensorable Internet
Open Letter to His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations
New York, New York
Cc: U.S. Congress
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
It is now more than a quarter century that Internet has been growing worldwide and still the United Nations has not established provisions to ensure global uncensorable Internet connections for all member states to abide by, whereas UNEP similar to US EPA, is a voice for environment in the United Nations system.
The result of this situation is the predicament of people in Iran, China, and even in Europe following initiatives like LInX, all suffering because of government filtering of the Internet, and where more and more the proxy services that are offered thru private initiatives or by the help of some US gracious organizations such as VOA are increasingly being blocked by the dictatorial states, and the people of those countries are left with less and less choices to reach the Internet without being hampered by censorship, while those same repressive states are able to easily use the Internet for their own economic needs.
If all the member countries to be required to enforce a ruling that all backbone switches to offer free proxy services, the dictatorial governments can no longer block the free flow of the Internet, because if they block the Internet addresses of those backbone switches, they will be blocking the access of Internet for their own use as well.
Of course, the bill for this new service should be paid by the governments themselves, as a service to support the universal human rights, and the cost should not be passed on to ISP's that are just the service providers, although ISP's would end up executing such new provisions. This is a cost for human rights just like the cost of environmental protection that the democracies pay for, as a service for humanity as a whole.
Let me emphasize that taking such a step to make the Internet uncensorable by no means would help child pornography as some in UK may argue. Child pornography and death threat on the Internet are not issues of free *speech* and are rather *actions*, i.e. criminal actions that need to be handled by Interpol and are no justification for prescribing Internet censorship.
At the same time, this proposal not does not mean endorsing initiatives such as LInX in the U.K. that are curtailing citizen privacy rights from a different direction, rather it is in juxtaposition to such invasions of the privacy of Internet users. Any home user as always has all the rights to filter their own *private* network as they wish without any government allowing itself to treat its citizens as minors to decide for them and to control their free access to information on the Internet.
Please consider establishing such provisions and take the necessary steps to execute them to make the Internet uncensorable before it is too late. The democracies that are already helping the countries behind the Iron Curtain of Internet censorship by building proxy services would find such a global solution offered by UN to be like the many useful ITU standards that they are currently supporting.
Hoping for an Internet free from all censorship,
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher/Editor
Text in Persian
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