The Internet has been hailed as a technology that empowers average citizens to make their voices heard. Its dispersed nature, most assume, makes it difficult to control. Yet countries generally route Internet traffic through a small number of checkpoints, allowing governments to efficiently monitor and control what happens on the Web. Many have placed responsibility for promoting Internet freedom squarely on the companies that provide Internet services….A first step would be to sponsor a United Nations Declaration of Internet and Electronic Freedom. To be sure, the U.N.’s enforcement mechanisms are hopelessly weak, but the declaration can serve as a standard against which countries can be judged. Using universal standards set forth in the new U.N. Declaration, the State Department should include a status report on Internet freedom in its annual report on human rights around the world.
Read more from the Wall Street Journal (subscription required). Previously from WNM: Defining “Internet Rights” and Governing the Internet: An Internet Bill of Rights, the language of the ‘Net and more