90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Future Of Internet Freedom

Big powers want to chop up the global internet and put nations in charge.  Russia.  China.  We’re looking at the push to rein in the web.

Internet map. (Steve Jurvetson, Flickr)

Internet map. (Steve Jurvetson, Flickr)

The Internet was born free.  A novel network that spanned the globe before governments entirely understood what was going on.  But they know now.  More than forty nations now filter and censor the web.  Some have just plain shut it down – think Syria last week.

At a big UN meeting this week in Dubai, there is a fresh push to give national governments more control over the global web.  Maybe through the U.N.  China, Russia, Iran appear to like the idea.  The control.  The U.S. and big American companies – Google, Facebook – do not.

This hour, On Point:  alarm bells over global Internet freedom.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Brian Murphy, Dubai bureau chief for the Associated Press.

Tom Gjelten, covers a wide variety of global security and economic issues for National Public Radio.

Ronald Deibert, Director of Citizen Lab and a professor at the University of Toronto.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wcitleaks, a site maintained by George Mason University researchers, highlights the degree to which some governments would like to change the status quo. A Russian proposal, submitted on November 17, calls for ITU member states to enjoy “equal rights to manage the internet, including in regard to the allotment, assignment, and reclamation of internet numbering, naming addressing and identification of resources and to support for [sic] the operation and development of basic internet infrastructure.” Reportedly, this proposal enjoys support both China and India.

The Wall Street Journal “The question of who rules the Internet and how is being debated at a 12-day conference in Dubai. The World Conference on International Telecommunications, which started Monday, aims to draft a new treaty to underpin international telecommunications regulations. The current rules were put in place in 1988. The conference is sponsored by the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations agency for information and communication technologies.”

The Huffington Post “Letting an obscure “one vote per country” UN technical agency decide who does what next in the Internet’s development is the antithesis of what the Internet has achieved. Much of the documentation to date is secret, and it’s hard to figure out the agendas of many players. The blogosphere is buzzing about proposals by repressive governments and money-grabbing telecommunications companies.”

BBC News “Sir Tim Berners-Lee – inventor of the world wide web – is the latest voice to raise concerns about a meeting of communication tech regulators in Dubai. He spoke of concerns that some attendees would push for a UN agency to “run the internet” rather than leaving it to groups already “doing a good job”.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 26, 2015
A child walks through a forest landscape. (Rudolf Vlček / Flickr)

American kids today spend only four to seven minutes a day playing outdoors. We hear a new call to raise the “wild child.”

 
Mar 26, 2015
In this file photo, protesters sit at the intersection of Wall St. and Broad St. in New York, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. The protesters, many who were affiliated with Occupy Wall Street, were trying to draw attention to the connection between capitalism and environmental destruction. (AP)

In our age of hyper-inequality, historian Steve Fraser asks when the little guy stands up and says “enough.” He’s with us.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 27, 2015
Friday, Mar 27, 2015

More on the incessant email debate, plus some goats living their best lives and the sad allure of Manhattan’s shuttered Pommes Frites.

More »
Comment
 
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
1 Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment