U.N.-Doing the Internet

Article excerpt


Frank Gaffney's "The un-Internet" (Commentary, Wednesday) paints a fictional picture of a United Nations hellbent on taxing the globe and taking over the Internet. As we have explained before in this space, the United Nations does not have and never has had a plan for imposing any taxes, and the organization is not engaged in a sinister plot to control the Internet.

Mr. Gaffney says "presumably" new taxes would be involved. He shouldn't presume. No taxes are planned by the United Nations, on the Internet or anything else. Exploring innovative sources of aid is an idea advanced by the world's governments, including the United States, in the 2002 Monterrey Consensus. Some countries support a tax on air travel to fight AIDS and malaria - but these aren't "globotaxes." If it ever materializes, any such tax would apply only in the country that decided to levy it. Clearly, this would not be a case of taxation without representation.

As for the Internet, an agreement was made by governments, including the United States, to ask a group of experts drawn from governments, the private sector and civil society to come up with ideas to assess current governance arrangements. …