The ineffectual UN

Not much, really:

The Estonian president closed his 10 minute address by noting that the UN could “play a role in promoting dialogue among Member States on Internet freedom and security, and in defending Internet Freedom as part of its Human Rights agenda.”

Policy, schmolicy

However, as I pointed out during the course of the panel discussion, despite Estonia’s and the UN’s best efforts, it may be too late. After all, Russia, China, Iran, and many other nations have imposed strong Internet filtering and surveillance systems. To make matters worse, in recent months, the United States and the United Kingdom have been revealed to have used their spy services to spy on not only supposed enemies, but also ostensibly friendly nations as well.

Further, while the UN General Assembly and other international bodies like the International Telecommunications Union theoretically have some influence on global Internet policy, the reality is that countries are already blocking whatever they want and spying on whomever they want, with hardly any consequences.

Via How much influence can the UN have over online spying? @ Ars Technica.

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