Strategist Blakeman: 'Internationalist' Obama Gave Internet Away

Monday, 17 Mar 2014 05:15 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Republican strategist Brad Blakeman is slamming plans by the U.S. government to open up the body that manages Internet names and addresses to the global Internet community.

Blakeman, who warned in a Newsmax column in 2010 that President Barack Obama was surrendering control of the Internet, told Newsmax TV's John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" Monday, that the administration's decision has been a long time coming.

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"I gave a factual account of what the president was going to do and sure enough now in 2014, safely re-elected, our internationalist president is seeking to give our most important precious asset, the Internet, to basically international control. The United States developed it with taxpayer dollars at DARPA, which is at the Pentagon, as an open architecture networking. We didn’t keep it for ourselves, we monetized it and were able to make countries a lot smarter, a lot freer and now the president seeks to be beholden. It does not make any sense. It's not in our interest," he said.

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Blakeman also cautioned that he is more concerned about the situation today than he was in 2010, saying "I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. [Robert] Kahn, one of the inventors of the Internet at the Pentagon, as well as Admiral McConnell, about the Internet and cyber-attacks. And our country is hit tens of thousands of times a day through the Internet in cyber-attacks both on our private sector and public sector.

"The information we are able to gather through the type of control we have on the internet is one of the reasons why America is safer than we would be if we were under international control. This is a matter of national security, as well as economic security."

Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04 and is currently a professor of politics and public policy at Georgetown University.

Asked whether he would agree with a foreign policy expert who over the weekend likened the move to the giveaway of the Panama Canal in the 1970s, Blakeman replied, "No, it is more dangerous than that. The Panama Canal is certainly important to us, but nowhere near important as the Internet, which touches every American household. Our military uses the Internet now, our other government agencies as well as our private sectors rely on it.

"We created it. Nobody has ever made a complaint about America not being free and open and giving access to those who wanted it either through the registration of domain names or the giving out of IP addresses."

Blakeman said it is just another example of Obama's strategy of appeasement. "The fact of the matter is the president has been on appeasement and apology towards the international community, so this is a natural pattern of his foreign policy behavior. It's destructive to America, there's no reason for it. There's never been a single complaint that I know of, of anybody complaining that the United States has restricted access."

He continued, "Quite the contrary, the very people who are now going to have a seat at the table are people like China and Russia and Cuba and Iran and countries that have done everything in their power to block open access to the internet within their own countries.

"Now they're going to have a say beyond their borders. This is one of the worst acts that a President of the United States could ever do because it's so destructive to our country."

As for whether this could lead to some type of UN-sponsored international Internet tax, Blakeman said, "Absolutely. They could set rates. You know, we give out the IP addresses as the domain names for relatively small amounts of money, which is then passed on to the consumer through programs they have through their Internet providers. The cost of it is so low and now we're going to be beholden to an international body who's going to start determining rates or worse yet, access to the Internet. Who gets a domain name? Who gets an IP number?"

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