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Reds Under the Beds! Ted Cruz Afraid of Fadi Chehadé Going to China!

China is not a beacon of free speech and its World Internet Conference isn’t either. It is, according to Time Magazine “one of the world’s most restrictive — girded by a complex system of self-censorship, outright filtering and blocking of major Western tech companies.” But it is also very well attended with the December 2015 conference “expected to draw participants from 120 nations and regions.”So when Ted Cruz learned that ICANN’s CEO and President Fadi Chehadé, at least until 12 March 2016, had agreed to co-chair a high level advisory committee for the World Internet Conference he and two of his colleagues were “surprised and dismayed.”Cruz and senators James Lankford and Michael Lee wrote to ICANN [pdf] expressing their concerns while Chehadé is still serving as ICANN’s CEO that is under contract with the United States Government with the implication that it is a “personal conflict of interest”.Amazingly Cruz and his colleagues notes that the New York Times and Washington Post were refused reporters to cover the conference and that Reporters Without Borders (RSF) had demanded an international boycott of the conference. Surely the only time Cruz and his fellow senators had ever felt the need to quote RSF.So Cruz and his fellow “reds under the beds” colleagues have demanded a response by 19 February to a series of questions relating to Chehadé’s attendance and whether it “makes ICANN complicit in the Chinese censorship regime”.