Bob Barr

In his freedom-charting essay Common Sense, one of the most famous works of the revolutionary era, Thomas Paine describes government as a necessary evil in society. "For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver," wrote Paine; who concluded, "but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest." In other words, we all sacrifice a small amount of individual liberty in order to establish a governing body designed to protect liberty overall.

As we know all too well, it has not worked out exactly as Paine foresaw. The equation, in fact, has been turned on its head. We now have sacrificed a great deal of personal liberty to the government in the hope government will protect what tiny bit has been retained by us. The speed at which that transfer has progressed has accelerated greatly during the presidency of Barack Obama.

The most recent evidence of this is the move by Obama to surrender control of the Internet – the communications vehicle through which innovation travels in this 21st century – to bureaucrats abroad over which we have no control.

On March 14th, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a component of the U.S. Commerce Department, announced a plan to begin transitioning "key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder [sic] community." In doing this, the United States would surrender ultimate control of what keeps the Internet free and accessible to virtually anyone, anyplace, anytime, to an unelected, uncontrollable "global community." That "community" of wolves includes, among others, the likes of Russia, with its military already occupying a large portion of a neighboring country; Turkey, which is currently blocking its citizens from communicating on Twitter; and China, with its government-control of social media as tight as anywhere on the planet.


Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.