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News that Ucore Rare Metals is proceeding to the next step in its process toward developing a mine at its Bokan Mountain/Dotson Ridge property on the southeast coast of Prince of Wales Island should be viewed positively — despite coming at a difficult time for the rare earth element mining sector.

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Creating a healthy and safe environment inside the Alaska National Guard is an endeavor that should be free from political games.

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Letty Eileen Cole, 93, died on Oct. 15, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Susan Marie Mallott Patrick, 58, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Ketchikan.
12/5/2012
All eyes on the net

The Internet is a local issue, given that many in Ketchikan are online.

That the United Nations wants to take control of the World Wide Web is an issue worth concern.

The UN's International Telecommunication Union wants to amend the International Telecommunications Regulations treaty to regulate the Internet.

The UN is meeting this week in Dubai. Russia and China are pushing the Internet-control issue.

If Russia and China were successful in this takeover, new regulations could be added to the Internet. Those countries, and others, could have greater control over their citizenry, eliminating domain names and IP addresses of those who oppose them and those who assist the opposition of their governments.

The ITU, which would replace the current Los Angeles-based nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names, also could impose charges internationally.

Opposition to this Russian and Chinese effort is rising. But, the effort is evidence of potential threats to freedom of expression and how they might affect large and small communities and economies throughout the world, including Ketchikan and Alaska, if those nations ever gain the power needed to take control of the international Internet.

While it's unlikely the effort will be successful, it's when such attempts aren't taken as seriously as they should that the corruption behind them prevails.

Watch out on the Internet.