Who Will Rule the Web?
Vol: 111 Issue: 30 Thursday, December 30, 2010
A headline in this morning’s Drudge Report linked me to a report from CTV News detailing a late night meeting at a UN office in Geneva where officials from 18 countries voted to staff a working group on the future of something called the Internet Governance Forum.
First off, because it’s the UN, there is already reason to worry. Secondly, the report says the plan was supported by China and Iran and protested by the United States and Portugal. (Portugal?)
That made it doubly interesting and worth following up.
Fourteen technical organizations that help oversee how cyberspace runs wrote an open letter asking the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) to reverse its decision.
Meanwhile the Internet Society, an umbrella group that helps manage technical standards online, posted a petition to its website in protest.
“A significant fuss has been kicked up about it,” said Byron Holland, president and CEO of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, which manages the .ca domain. Even Google waded into the fray. . .”
The UN’s argument favoring an international Internet Governance Forum is a powerful one. Like land warfare or naval warfare, cyberspace has become simply one more dimension.
In 2007 Russia crippled Estonia via cyber attacks aimed at banks, transportation centers, infrastructure and newspaper websites.
The first wave of Russia’s invasion of South Ossetia in 2008 was from cyberspace, blinding Georgia and knocking out its information infrastructure while Russian tanks rolled across the border.
And the Stuxnet worm was reportedly more effective in setting back Iran’s nuclear program than would a bombing campaign, according to experts that estimated Stuxnet set them back at least two years without firing a shot.
Those are all great arguments favoring the creation of a supra-national governing body to regulate cyberspace. The Russians want to take the lead, proposing that it be given control of domain name assignments, a task currently handled by ICANN, a private corporation whose CEO wasn’t invited to the meeting.
The Chinese have a different vision that they would like to bring to the table. So do the Iranians, the Saudis, the Europeans, the Japanese and the Americans.
So the UN says that as the world’s only impartial, supranational body, it is uniquely qualified to regulate the internet. They even have their own website. It’s pretty interesting – it provides a bit of background about who they are what they do and where they do it from.
“This is the official Web site of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), run by the IGF Secretariat. Its purpose is to support the United Nations Secretary-General in carrying out the mandate from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) with regard to convening a new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue – the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The site provides an interactive, collaborative space where all stakeholders can air their views and exchange ideas.”
Paragraph 72 of something called the Tunis Agenda outlines the “mandate” of the Forum outlines all the things that the Tunis participants think should be included.
The website lists previous IGF meetings; Sharm El Sheik, Hyderabad, Rio de Janeiro, Athens, and Vilnius.
In the menu bar under the title “Tools For Interaction” are links to the IGF’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr pages.
Is that creepy? Or is it just me?
The IGF has been around for more than five years, but somehow has managed to stay just below the average person’s radar while it continues to develop its reach.
I once opened a Facebook account and without my doing very much at all, suddenly much of my life showed up on the web.
All my brothers and sisters and cousins and our baby pictures and our offspring and their cousins and all their friends, and what everybody is doing and where they are living all appeared by magic on my Facebook page, together with links to everybody else’s, plus their friends plus their friends plus friends of theirs and even some cows from someplace called ‘Farmville’.
Without my making a single entry of my own, my Facebook page filled was soon inundated with personal information useful to everyone from telemarketers to secret agents to jihadi assassins.
Not that I am particularly worried about telemarketers or secret agents – although jihadi assassins give me pause for reflection.
Ultimately, I took down my Facebook page. Not for any particular reason other than it scared me. I wasn’t sure why. It was just too much information out there and too far outside of my control.
It made me more than a bit uncomfortable.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s inventor, or founder, or whatever, is TIME’s Person of the Year as the person who had the most profound effect on the world in 2010. Facebook is estimated to have more than a half billion members worldwide.
Who will control all that information? Currently, it belongs to the client, but it is controlled by Facebook. Who controls Facebook? Again, currently, it belongs to Mark Zuckerberg.
Mark Zuckerberg, and his billions, and his corporation, is in the United States but Facebook is in every country in the world. Then there is the matter of Twitter and Youtube and Flickr and all that personal user information in all those databases.
According to the Bible, within three years of coming to power, the antichrist will introduce a new economic system based on some kind of mark obtainable only by swearing allegiance to his government and offering him personal worship.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
To accomplish this, the antichrist will have to control a developed, global infrastructure capable of enforcing the measures outlined.
The entire Tribulation is but 7 years, it will take time to develop the physical infrastructure and even more time to overcome popular resistance to the idea of putting your whole life online and under government control.
That infrastructure is already well developed through all the various social networking systems that the IGF so astutely linked to as “Tools For Interaction.”
I’m not saying that they are bad or that participation in them sets you up for the antichrist. If you are saved, you will be gone before that becomes an issue. What I am saying is look at the infrastructure that is developing.
“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelation 13:18)
This is the prophecy that gets all the attention – the 666 prophecy and what does it mean? So much so that nobody really notices how Jesus says we get there. First, the antichrist “causeth all” to get it.
That implies a method.
It hints at being machine-readable (ie, hand or forehead). Without it, persons will be denied social and financial intercourse (all internet/computer dependent).
Then we get the part that says, “Here is wisdom” before revealing the number to be 666, driving twenty centuries of Christians crazy trying to decipher the wisdom behind the number.
So, here is wisdom. The UN wants to control the World Wide Web. Every website address begins with “www” including this one — www.omegaletter.com
The Hebrew letter vov is the equivalent to our English “w”. In Hebrew, as in Greek and Latin, each letter has a corresponding numeric value.
In Hebrew, the number “6” is the letter vov.