On Saturday, the United States ceded oversight of one of the Internet’s most basic and fundamental functions — the so-called “root zone,” which governs new domain names and addresses — handing it over to a small non-profit group by allowing a 47-year contract to expire.
For decades, the U.S. Commerce Department held a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) — whose executives and board of directors must now report to an Internet “stakeholder community,” loosely comprised of academics, activists, engineers, government officials, and corporate interests.
In theory, this advisory panel could revoke ICANN’s authority entirely should it not live up to expectations — but all actions “are supposed to be done by consensus.”
With the lapse of the contract, the U.S. fulfilled its objective to “privatize” the Internet — something proponents claim would help bolster its integrity around the world. As the Internet rapidly expanded around the planet, many felt U.S. oversight anachronistic.
“This transition was envisioned 18 years ago,” said Stephen Crocker, board chairman of ICANN and an engineer who helped develop early Internet protocols, in a statement cited by AFP, “yet it was the tireless work of the global Internet community, which drafted the final proposal, that made this a reality.
This community validated the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance. It has shown that a governance model defined by the inclusion of all voices, including business, academics, technical experts, civil society, governments and many others is the best way to assure that the Internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the Internet of today.
But the move didn’t come without vehement opposition, including from some U.S. lawmakers who felt giving up oversight could permit less scrupulous regimes to seize total or partial control of this vital Internet function — with potentially disastrous results.
Attorneys general from Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Nevada staged a last-minute effort to intervene, by requesting a temporary restraining order which was heard in federal court in Texas on Friday. Despite their understandable fears the contract lapse would put the U.S. and the Internet in uncharted territory — and could threaten the integrity of .gov addresses and more — the judge denied their request.
Opposition to handing oversight to ICANN has largely, but not entirely, come from the GOP. Sen. Ted Cruz asserted this week after a failed attempt to halt the move by adding legislation to a funding measure,
President Obama intends to give increased control of the Internet to authoritarian regimes like China, Russia, and Iran. Like Jimmy Carter gave away the Panama Canal, Obama is giving away the Internet.
Technical experts say it isn’t as simple as ‘giving away’ the Internet, since the U.S. didn’t ‘own’ it in the first place; but placing control of the root zone — officially, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) — in the hands of ICANN does present pertinent questions.
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As the Chicago Tribune reports:
While the Internet itself was designed to function without a central authority, ICANN has played a small but crucial role since its founding in 1998 at the urging of the Clinton administration, replacing a program run under the authority of the Defense Department. ICANN oversees the process of assigning domain names and the underlying Internet Protocol, or IP, addresses, allowing users and anyone on the Internet to navigate to sites such as Washingtonpost.com. Private companies called registrars and approved by ICANN – such as GoDaddy.com or Name.com – sell the domain names to companies or individuals.
ICANN’s decisions haven’t been without controversy, however, and the U.S. had the option of offering the contract to another entity.
“Somebody has to be responsible for this. This is a common space,” explained Garth Bruen, a cybersecurity expert who sits on an ICANN advisory board, as quoted by the Tribune. “There’s no checks and balances anymore. . . . Before, there was a threat of accountability.”
And as The Economist noted, whoever controls the Internet’s “address book” also holds the power to censor — any domain name can be revoked and the website no longer found.
Critics have also noted the eagerness of proponents of the transition, such as notorious globalist George Soros, as an indicator ceding control should be considered more carefully — or at least delayed significantly to give the American public some say in the matter.
Still, experts say such fears are wildly overblown.
“There is absolutely no way that this is going to imperil freedoms,” asserted Matthew Shears, director of Global Internet Policy for the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based advocacy group largely supported by the tech industry, per the Tribune. “There is absolutely no way that this is going to allow Russia or Iran or anybody to take control of the Internet. This has nothing to do with that.”
Whether the transition will ultimately prove beneficial or detrimental likely won’t be fully realized for some time.
Claire Bernish writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.
I left a comment and the Censors at Activist Post eliminated my entire comment. Censorship at an alternative media site no less! Shame on you! No wonder the Globalists are in control of the Internet, and the entire planet. Even alleged alternative media is totally dishonest.
theyve done it to me also.
Wow. Not ok! I know a lot about the history of the internet and this article is based on total ignorance and disinformation. My entire post exposing all of this has been censored by Activist Post, who are supposed to be a David Icke outfit fighting for free
expression, truth and transparency. Nope, just one more lousy group of censors.
I’ve had quite a few posts scrubbed, and they tend to be those with historical or socio-economic information.
E.g., following a trend of anarcho-capitalist articles presenting themselves as THE single definition of Anarchy, I pointed out that anarchy doesn’t necessarily refer to economic systems- but to decentralization of power, whether socialist (anarcho-syndicalism) or free market- and they all got scrubbed.
Seems like AP doesn’t want people sharing information that doesn’t suit their agendas.
There aren’t really any alternative media sites.
they want each person to now have username and pw to further censor and place blame.
Welcome to the club, Janus. It’s happening to all of us now. It’s disgusting
” founding in 1998 ” Guess again…I was using the Internet back in 1983 via my Western Michigan University account.
Yep, and I was writing contracts for CompuServe and Prodigy before then.
On a Timex Sinclair computer?
I was the proud owner of a Commodore 64 with a 300 Baud Modem.
I remember reading that a Sinclair computer ran the Sinclair manufacturing operation.
I can’t speak to that but as I remember a Timex Sinclair was a pretty cool looking little machine and it was cheap.
$99, as I recall. In circa 1990 money. About $180 in late 2016 money.
Going to IPv6 from IPv4 took down my catholic live feed with no apology. And Oct. 1st saw all the real info site’s taken out of commission. One anti-Kazar site even puts visitors on a security watch list just by trying to view. Activist Post has always come as buggy as can be. They have been planning this for a very long time. And now they are to far ahead of their capabilities. We need our geeks to buggy them up for the violation of our laws!
They are ahead of their own capabilities?
Yes, what is so hard to understand there? Their pride or lack of time pushed the changes threw before it could be implemented with out flaw. Flaw causes exposure. Their arrogance in programming missed some of us.
Anyone want to take a bet that people like Matthew Shears are clueless that 9/11 was a false flag? “Experts” rarely see the forest for the trees (to put it mildly).
Ester Dyson, founding chairwoman of ICANN, is about as much a quisling for the satanic cabals CFR & TC as you can find.
Freedom? It used to exist in this country.
Never! It was always “just another word for nothing left to do”.
When you’re told you’re free you can assume it’s a big, fat lie.
But what have the Globalists won?
They just formalized what they were already doing.
Yes, starting 3 years ago.
UN motto: One world one people, starts with teaching the kids that they now are global citizens
ICANN motto which is now under the control of the UN: One internet one people!
The Beast with the Lamb’s horn (see ICANN logo with the
Lamb’s Horns) comes under the power of the UN (7 headed beast with the
10 horns) then a major Bible prophecy has been fulfilled.
is the backbone of the Internet which is used for all electronic
payments and transactions. You can not buy or sell without going through
the internet. The internet can send fire from heaven (missiles are
controlled via computers and is how people transact with the government
services. The Beast with the Lamb’s horn’s comes from the ground,
technology that will enslave all humanity to the UN.
The 7 headed beast with the 10 horns is pointing to the UN security council that
runs the UN one world government. The 7 heads are 4 of the 5 permanent
members Russia, China, UK and France with 4 heads as France is part of
the EU which is run by 4 heads/presidents. The 5th permanent member is
the US, the woman that rides the Beast, The woman is the Statue of
Liberty located in New York city where the UN Beast Headquarters are
The 10 horns are the 10 non permanent member nations
that are rotated out every 2 years. Revelation tells us that the 10
kings are waiting to receive their kingdoms.
“The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a
kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with
Hahahahaha, the Statue of Liberty is really a woman riding a satanic beast? I have only wondered if she was wearing panties under that dress but I guess there is something else entirely.
Activist Post has always been a CIA construct. Welcome to the real world.
Absolutely correct !!!
There are still many who comment here with pride of knowing the broken playbook as if there is still justice and freedom out there, and they will brag about being awake. Yeah, right.
As long as they have phones, tv, electricity and Facebook they won’t notice anything else.
The freewheeling internet we all know and love is being incrementally disabled and dismantled, and won’t be good for anything but commerce. The ability of people to communicate and unify world-wide without time or distance limitations was more freedom than the controllers bargained for; it’s a pesky fly in their soup. Alt media is so corrupted it ain’t even alt no more. At least we can still get good recipes and free crossword puzzles.
Jesus Christ is Lord of Lords and King of Kings!!!
No many of us noticed but as usual our petitions, e-mails, calls and letters to our useless and spineless congress went unanswered! I will be damned if i vote for any of these bastards anymore! Trump is the only one getting my vote!
If We started democracy (for the first time on Earth), We’d enable our best minds to solve our common problems in the twinkling of an eye