The battle for control

Forceful piece in today’s International Herald Tribune by Carl Biltd, former Prime Minister of Sweden. Sample:

Beyond the headlines, a critically important battle for control of the Internet is being played out.

On the one side is the United States, which wants to retain supervision of the Internet and has managed to get the reluctant support of most of the global Internet community, which sees America as the least bad of the possible ultimate guardians of the system.

On the other side is a collection of states keen on getting as much as control as possible in order to curtail the Internet’s power to undermine their regimes. With the theocracy of Iran as the standard-bearer, this group brings together Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba and Venezuela. North Korea is probably keen to join in as well.

The European Union seems to be in the middle, wavering back and forth – and in its wavering it has recently come down with a position that has brought it enthusiastic applause from Tehran, Beijing and Havana.

Bildt thinks that the European Commission doesn’t know what it’s doing here, and I agree with him. In the end, the Americans will block this, and, for once, we may have reason to be grateful for their obduracy.

Thanks to Gerard for the link.