Monday, March 2, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Bill Clinton does freedom a favor

By
From page A7 | March 27, 2014 |

Bill Clinton to the rescue?

You bet. The former president recently spoke forcefully about an Obama administration plan that could aid authoritarian regimes in their efforts to muffle the liberating voice of the Internet and transform it instead into a tool bolstering their own life-diminishing agendas.

It’s something these regimes are already up to, but not with total success. Vast numbers in many of these lands still have more unvarnished information and communication avenues available than ever before, and that’s both humanly uplifting and politically valuable, if not enough in itself to tear down autocratic walls.

The administration plan is to relinquish unilateral U.S. oversight of allocating names and addresses to people and entities wanting Internet websites. The regulatory power would be passed next year to an international group not yet figured out, but one that would consist of major Internet stakeholders.

Some of these almost certainly would be countries anxious for an added means of ridding themselves of the menace of free speech. Or, as Clinton put it in a Tempe, Ariz., panel discussion sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative, they would be those wanting “this authority from the U.S. for the sole purpose of cracking down on Internet freedom and limiting it and having governments protect their backsides instead of empowering their people.”

It’s not like such a charade would be something previously unseen in world affairs. Consider, for instance, how some of the United Nations’ human rights violators have served on the agency charged with protecting those rights. There are, of course, arguments saying don’t worry about what might happen. The arguments make me worry.

Some countries are already squashing Internet communications, it’s said. So we should make it easier for them?

Ceding this regulatory authority won’t give anyone the ability to control all the Internet, it’s said. No, but doesn’t some added ability to do increased harm still add up to the possibility of increased harm?

Going from U.S. supervision to supervision by international entities just won’t limit freedom, it’s said. But how can anyone know that? The answer is that, as of now, no one can.

The U.S. supervision of domain names and addresses — carried out by a Commerce Department agency overseeing a non-profit California corporation — is hardly an arbitrary assumption of power. The Internet, now worldwide, was invented here and most of its masterful intricacies developed and polished here. We’ve managed it well, especially considering how it is ever evolving, although lately there’s been increased international pressure on us to let go of our overseeing duties.

One prompting factor has been the Edward Snowden revelations about widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency. That’s made people here and abroad nervous about U.S. abuses of power, and the fear is that we might put our Internet prowess to intrusive purpose.

The trust-building answer, it seems to me, is for the president to get more serious about the rule of law generally, not just assuring against overreaching by the NSA, but about all kinds of laxity on constitutional issues, including press freedom. A New York Times reporter, James Risen, was just recently quoted as saying this administration is “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation.”

The president should also listen to Clinton.

“Whatever you think our country has done wrong, the United States has been by far the country most committed to keeping the Internet free and open and uninterrupted,” he said.

I think that’s true, and I think it is important that a popular, Democratic ex-president said it. Administration officials may grin and bear it when Republicans bark at them, but here’s a growl that just might make them consider far more carefully how they proceed.

Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for McClatchy-Tribune. Readers may send him email at [email protected].

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Whiteside ready to take Travis school board seat

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
World War II spy shares tales of work behind enemy lines

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

I love to ‘read’ audiobooks

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
PublicStuff, an online app, set for Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Beginning gardening series starts in March

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Literacy celebration returns this month

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Council to hear budget scenarios

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield High School celebrates black history

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Warm winter afternoon at Lagoon Valley Park

By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A3, 4 Comments | Gallery

Free medical series targets senior health issues

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Pena Adobe hosts natural dye-making presentation

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

IHOP takes part in National Pancake Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
Local governments schedule meetings this week

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Vacaville 4-alarm house fIre

By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A4, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Weather for Monday, March 2, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

Corner Store Gallery schedules open house

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
.

US / World

Kerry tries to dampen fuss over Israeli PM’s speech

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Hundreds of bills introduced by California lawmakers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Storm brings rain, thunder, hail to Southern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California GOP recognizes gay faction of party

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
New plane tracking to be tested after Malaysia jet mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Activists say Islamic State releases 19 Syrian Christians

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Sierra Leone’s vice president in quarantine for Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

30,000 marchers in Moscow mourn slain Putin foe

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Spacewalking astronauts finish extensive, tricky cable job

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Newspaper: Nurse who survived Ebola says hospital failed her

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Myanmar captures rare white elephant in western jungles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Crowd kills girl suspected to be suicide bomber in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: March 2, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
A night with a King

By Delon Jackson | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Your right to work for less

By Mike Kirchubel | From Page: A8, 49 Comments

Right fight in DC, but wrong reason

By Colbert I. King | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: March 2, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: March 2, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Why timeouts only prolong the problem

By The Washington Post | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
Horoscopes: March 3, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

Horoscopes: March 2, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
It’s never a good idea to point out how big a pregnant woman is

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

Lady Gaga, Vince Vaughn take charity polar plunge in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Will Smith’s ‘Focus’ tops box office with $19.1 million

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

TVGrid March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Sports

 
Curry scores 37, leads Warriors from 26 down to beat Celtics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Jimmie Johnson pulls away for another Atlanta Sprint Cup win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants reliever Strickland insists he’s tranquil on mound

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Lillard, Aldridge lead Blazers past Kings for 3rd in a row

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Broadcasters propose FIFA election debate to Blatter, rivals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Major league baseball’s 1st black Latino star Minoso dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Seller’s market for NHL teams as trade deadline nears

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Andy Sullivan wins Joburg Open for 2nd title this year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
South Korea’s Amy Yang wins Honda LPGA Thailand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hannah hurls Bulldogs to 2-0 win over Campolindo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Oregon women upset No. 19 Stanford 62-55

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Indians open season with 12-4 win over Falcons

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
Oregon beats Stanford 73-70, clinches bye in Pac-12 tourney

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Process gets underway to carve up $60 million Sandusky fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cal’s big run lifts Bears past Oregon State 73-56

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Former Washington basketball star Christian Welp dies at 51

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sharks trade Sheppard to Rangers for draft pick

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

4,000 attend Jerry Tarkanian tribute in Las Vegas arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for fans for next T-wolves game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Poulter, Casey share lead at rain-delayed Honda Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Blatter concerned by Russian soccer racism before World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for March 2, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez nearing 1st spring game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Fast and furious: Rousey looks to future after 14-second win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

.

Business

Mimi’s adds breakfast items to menu

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Samsung ditches plastic design, adds mobile pay in new phone

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

In Apple’s latest update, emojis get diverse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

Jacqueline Mendes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge March 3

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Word Sleuth March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Crossword March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge March 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7