Kofi Annan, Hezbollah and Your Internet

Kofi Annan and the UN have their hands full these days. The recent fighting in the Middle East continues to escalate with increasing civilian casualties on both sides. The tragic Sunday (7/30) attack on a Hezbollah missile battery that resulted in dozens of civilian deaths threatens to fuel the fires of war.

Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, has been begging both sides to declare a cease fire in the bloody conflict to make it possible to deliver humanitarian aid to the victims of this 20 day old skirmish. Once again the world’s attention, and media reporting, is monopolized by tensions in the Middle East.

The UN has had a presence in Lebanon since 1978 to “confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore the international peace and security, and help the Lebanese Government restore its effective authority in the area” according to the UN website.

Given this mandate, the UN has failed miserably in Lebanon, allowing Hezbollah free reign to invade a sovereign nation and conduct its terrorist offensive against Israel.

But “What does all this have to do with my internet?” you ask.

Last week the U.S. gave up control of the internet to none other than the hapless bureaucrats at the UN – the same UN that turned a blind eye to all those Hezbollah rockets being shipped across the Lebanese border over recent years.

During the last few years, the U.S. non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been pressured to become a more international body. The argument has been that the internet has grown in importance to the point that no one government should exert control over such an international resource. Today (7/31) Kofi Annan will be officially presented with a UN report on internet governance, outlining the greatly reduced role of ICANN in the future.

It’s expected that ICANN will only retain the role of custodian of the Root Zone File. This is essentially the internet database that lists the names and IP addresses of the DNS servers for all top level domains like .org and .com.

All other issues relating to the internet, such as spam, phishing and other sorts of cybercrime, will be left up to the world’s policemen (or should I say keystone cops) at the UN. When this happens expect any momentum to combat these problems to grind to a halt while the UN representatives meet, debate, study and deliberate.

I’m afraid, as history has shown, that the UN will sit idly by and allow the internet terrorists of the world to arm themselves and launch damaging attacks, while UN officials “study the issues”.

The internet is a global resource too valuable to be governed and regulated by a body whose only accomplishment has been to provide a false sense of security for residents of the world’s trouble spots.