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Behold! Your Future UN Overlords of the Internet

December 2nd, 2009 - 10:17 pm

Yes, even the United Nations has its comic moments. We have the video …

But first a quick bit of background:

While the climate commissars of the UN have been sand-bagging science, the better to tax and regulate your life, another branch of the UN keeps looking for ways get its claws on the worldwide web.  Headquartered in the UN’s Palais des Nations in Geneva, this gang goes under the label of the Internet Governance Forum, or IGF, which takes its inspiration from a summit convened in 2005 in Tunis — just one of many IGF member states specializing in online censorship. Since then, this “forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue” has been meeting in various places around the globe.

Last month, these wannabe worldwide web commissars met in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt — a meeting attended by more than 1,800 participants from 112 countries. Out of this came a video-clip, now making the rounds, of Beijing’s man at the podium, UN Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang, head of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, trying to open a session after a bit of a security snafu.

The clip is 2 minutes, 46 seconds long — all of it illuminating. But if you want to skip to where Sha really swings into action, start about 1 minute 4o seconds in. Behold, oh bloggers: Your future UN lords of the internet, at work.

(Oh, and if you want to see a clip of UN security guards at the same summit confiscating a poster protesting censorship of the internet by Sha’s home country, China, here it is).

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