U.N. Approves New Internet Convention Backed By Russia And China

In 2016, I wrote Technocracy: The Real Reason Why The UN Wants Control Over The Internet and explained why President Obama purposely failed to renew the contract with ICANN to serve U.S. Interests. Now, you see the result. ⁃ TN Editor

The United Nations on Friday approved a Russian-led bid that aims to create a new convention on cybercrime, alarming rights groups and Western powers that fear a bid to restrict online freedom.

The General Assembly approved the resolution sponsored by Russia and backed by China, which would set up a committee of international experts in 2020.

The panel will work to set up “a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes,” the resolution said.

The United States, European powers and rights groups fear that the language is code for legitimizing crackdowns on expression, with numerous countries defining criticism of the government as “criminal.”

China heavily restricts internet searches to avoid topics sensitive to its communist leadership, as well as news sites with critical coverage.

A number of countries have increasingly tried to turn off the internet, with India cutting off access in Kashmir in August after it stripped autonomy to the Muslim-majority region and Iran taking much of the country offline as it cracked down on protests in November.

“It is precisely our fear that (a new convention) would allow the codification at an international and global level of these types of controls that’s driving our opposition and our concerns about this resolution,” a US official said.

Any new UN treaty that spells out internet controls would be “inimical to the United States’ interests because that doesn’t tally with the fundamental freedoms we see as necessary across the globe,” he said.

Human Rights Watch called the UN resolution’s list of sponsors “a rogue’s gallery of some of the earth’s most repressive governments.”

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Trump Agrees With Dems On $2 Trillion Infrastructure

Technocracy’s dream is to perfect the global supply chain by streamlining infrastructure. To that end, this deal is highly suspicious. Sec’y. of Transportation Elaine Chao’s father James sits on the board of directors of China State Shipbuilding Corporation and her sister Angela is a board member of Bank of China. The conflict of interest is beyond the pale, even as Trump makes this $2 trillion deal with his supposed arch-enemy and antagonist Charles Schumer who serves as Senate Majority Leader.

Don’t expect the pothole in front of your house to be fixed. The focus will be on cross-border trade and a tsunami of Public-Private Partnerships that give control of our infrastructure to global corporations.

It doesn’t matter if Trump is a Technocrat or simply being played by Technocrats. Either way, America continues down the road toward Chinese-style Technocracy. ⁃ TN Editor

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Tuesday after a meeting at the White House, that President Trump has agreed to invest $2 trillion to revitalize the nation’s infrastructure. Congressional leaders said they will return to the White House in three weeks to determine how to pay for it.

A public beset by potholes, failing bridges and troubled transit systems overwhelmingly has said in surveys that it supports the investment, but Congress has yet to come up with a funding solution.

Schumer (D-NY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a delegation of congressional leaders spent about 90 minutes at the White House on Tuesday, emerging to discuss the meeting with reporters.

“We agreed on a number, which was very, very good, $2 trillion for infrastructure,” Schumer said. “Originally we had started a little lower; even the president was willing to push it up to $2 trillion. And that is a very good thing.”

The White House meeting was described as cordial, in stark contrast to a January meeting that turned into a televised clash over Trump’s proposed boarder wall. That meeting ended when Trump walked out of the room.

“It was a good, positive meeting,” said Peter A. DeFazio, (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “The President spent a good time listening, and then he had things to say on his own. It was pretty balanced. He responded to points that were made and made points of his own. “

Those at the table included Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, Ivanka Trump, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, and Shahira Knight, Kudlow’s deputy.

“I would say that 80 percent of it focused on infrastructure writ large,” DeFazio said. “We agreed upon a broad figure of $2 trillion of investment. Probably the largest chunk would go to roads, bridges, transit, but we’re also going to do waste water, harbors, [and] probably include airports. There was consensus on the need for universal broad band and some discussion of a more efficient energy grid to transmit energy over longer distances. There was some discussion of renewable energy, but no specifics on those.”

It is the second go around on infrastructure by the White House. Late in the 2016 presidential campaign, Wilbur Ross, who went on to become secretary of commerce, and Peter Navarro, who Trump appointed director of the office of trade and manufacturing policy, issued a joint paper saying the Trump administration could leverage billions in private investment through “muscular and implementable transactions” to fund infrastructure needs.

“We believe that this tax credit-assisted program could help finance up to a trillion dollars’ worth of projects over a ten-year period,” Ross and Navarro wrote 12 days before the election.

DJ Gribbin embraced their thinking after the election, taking ownership of Trump’s $1.5 trillion plan as the country’s first special assistant to the president on infrastructure.

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Elaine Chao: Preparing For The Future Of Automated Transportation

In a major new policy document from the Department of Transportation, Automated Vehicles 3.0: Preparing for the Future of Transportation, Secretary Elaine Chao advances infrastructure plans to serve the global supply chain. This 65 page tome should be carefully read and examined for clues about the future of transportation in America. The phrase “private sector” appears 29 times, indicating the key role that private industry and public-private partnerships will play in our future. 

I am including three sections from the report to give you an idea of where Chao is headed. 

Automated Vehicles 3.0

Letter from the Secretary

America has always been a leader in transportation innovation. From the mass production of automobiles to global positioning system navigation, American ingenuity has transformed how we travel and connect with one another. With the development of automated vehicles, American creativity and innovation hold the potential to once again transform mobility.

Automation has the potential to improve our quality of life and enhance the mobility and independence of millions of Americans, especially older Americans and people with disabilities.

Moreover, the integration of automation across our transportation system has the potential to increase productivity and facilitate freight movement. But most importantly, automation has the potential to impact safety significantly— by reducing crashes caused by human error, including crashes involving impaired or distracted drivers, and saving lives.

Along with potential benefits, however, automation brings new challenges that need to be addressed. The public has legitimate concerns about the safety, security, and privacy of automated technology. So I have challenged Silicon Valley and other innovators to step up and help address these concerns and help inform the public about the benefits of automation. In addition, incorporating these technologies into our transportation systems may impact industries, creating new kinds of jobs. This technology evolution may also require workers in transportation fields to gain new skills and take on new roles. As a society, we must help prepare workers for this transition.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is taking active steps to prepare for the future by engaging with new technologies to ensure safety without hampering innovation. With the release of Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety in September 2017, the Department provided voluntary guidance to industry, as well as technical assistance and best practices to States, offering a path forward for the safe testing and integration of automated driving systems. The Department also bolstered its engagement with the automotive industry, technology companies, and other key transportation stakeholders and innovators to continue to develop a policy framework that facilitates the safe integration of this technology into our transportation systems.

Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0 (AV 3.0) is another milestone in the Department’s development of a flexible, responsible approach to a framework for multimodal automation. It introduces guiding principles and describes the Department’s strategy to address existing barriers to safety innovation and progress. It also communicates the Department’s agenda to the public and stakeholders on important policy issues, and identifies opportunities for cross-modal collaboration.

The Department is committed to engaging stakeholders to identify and solve policy issues. Since the publication of Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety, the Department has sought input on automation issues from stakeholders and the general public through a wide range of forums including formal Requests for Information and Comments. In March 2018, I hosted the Automated Vehicle Summit to present the Department’s six Automation Principles and discuss automation issues with public and private sector transportation stakeholders across every mode. The ideas and issues raised by stakeholders through these forums are reflected in this document. The goal of the Department is to keep pace with these rapidly evolving technologies so America remains a global leader in safe automation technology.

AV 3.0 is the beginning of a national discussion about the future of our surface transportation system. Your voice is essential to shaping this future.

Signed: Elaine Chao

p. 17 – Automation to Support Intermodal Port Facility Operations

Automation has the potential to transform the Nation’s freight transportation system, a vital asset that supports every sector of the economy. Intermodal port facilities could benefit from applications of automation, enabling more seamless transfers of goods and a less strenuous experience for operators. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) and FMCSA are jointly exploring how SAE Level 4 truck automation might improve operations at intermodal port facilities. Currently at many of the Nation’s busiest ports, commercial vehicle drivers must wait in slow-moving queues for hours to pick up or deliver a load. MARAD and FMCSA are evaluating how automation might relieve the burden on a driver under these circumstances, and, in particular, the regulatory and economic feasibility of using automated truck queueing as a technology solution to truck staging, access, and parking issues at ports. The study will investigate whether full or partial automation of queuing within ports could lead to increased productivity by altering the responsibilities and physical presence of drivers, potentially allowing them to be off-duty during the loading and unloading process.

p. 31 – Work Zone Data Exchanges

The Work Zone Data Exchange project responds to priorities identified by public and private sector stakeholders. The goal is to develop a harmonized specification for work zone data that infrastructure owners and operators can make available as open feeds that automated vehicles and others can use.

Accurate and up-to-date information about dynamic conditions occurring on the roads—such as work zones—can help automated vehicles navigate safely and efficiently. Many infrastructure owners and operators maintain data on work zone activity, but a common specification for this type of data does not currently exist. This makes it difficult and costly for third parties—including vehicle manufacturers and makers of navigation applications—to access and use work zone data across various jurisdictions.

Several State DOT agencies and private companies are voluntarily participating in the project, with U.S. DOT acting as a technical facilitator. U.S. DOT has been working with these partners to help define the core data elements that should be included in an initial work zone specification and to determine what types of technical assistance the data producers will need to implement it, expand it over time, and address broader work zone data management challenges. 

Read full document here…