President Barack Obama in his final address to the United Nations as President of the United States had quite a number of interesting things to say, especially considering the fact we are giving up most of our control of the internet to foreign governments in about five days. One of these statements included an expressed desire of “International norms and multilateral institutions.” International norms sound like a potentially ideal paradise if more international norms were closer to the US ideal of course, but in terms of the internet and “Giving up some freedom of action,” this hits upon some interesting situations.
China and Russia are well known for censoring internet use for its people if their people are speaking out in ways they do not like. Under a form of ‘internet world order,’ will China and Russia have to put a stop to this censorious behavior? Will other countries have to embrace this censorship? Or will this be considered a regional territory situation?
How about online video game distribution? In areas like Australia and Germany, censorship of video games is a near-daily activity. From removing excess violence and sexually related themes, to the outright banning of games. How exactly will online video game distribution be handled? Will we move to international norms and standards and have to universally adopt these acts of censorship for ourselves?
Or what about the EU planning to put a link tax on websites that link to other sources in their articles? Will this be considered yet another international norm and standard?
One of the reasons cited by Michael Chertoff in a CBSNews article as to why such changes were necessary was his following quote “If we don’t make a transition to a more global form of governance, many people will say, ‘Look, this is a U.S tool, and we’re going to make our own internet,’” although there is no particular reason given as to why this would somehow be a terrible thing. You can watch the aforementioned segment of Barack Obama’s speech below.