Investors Business Daily has the details:
Error 404: U.S. officials plan to relinquish federal control over the administration of the Internet to something called the “global Internet community,” which is full of tyrants to whom the free flow of information is a threat.
In the wake of the NSA surveillance scandal, some might not be inclined to defend federal involvement in anything related to the flow of information between individuals.
But the decision announced Friday by the Commerce Department to give up next year its oversight of Icann, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to the “global Internet community” is a bad idea.
Under a Commerce Department contract, Icann has issued domain names since 2000. But the Los Angeles-based nonprofit has worked, encouraged by states and groups not necessarily dedicated to free expression, to transform itself into a global organization free of U.S. ties.
Since at least 2004, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has tried repeatedly to wrest power from Icann. During a meeting in Dubai last year, the ITU, the telecom branch of the United Nations, demanded rules governing the Internet be rewritten. It proposed inspection authority that would allow it to monitor and censor otherwise encrypted content on the Internet.
In 2008, the Internet trade journal Cnet reported the ITU was quietly drafting technical standards, proposed by the Chinese government, to define methods of tracing the original source of Internet communications and potentially curbing the ability of users to remain anonymous. Regimes in places such as Russia and Iran also want an ITU rule letting them monitor traffic routed through or to their countries, allowing them to eavesdrop or block access.
Most cyber-crime these days appears to originate from within the borders of Russia and China. Giving these countries more power in administering The Internet? *THAAAAT’S Comforting.*
The Obama administration calls the move to relinquish Internet oversight the “multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance,” as announced by Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information. “We look forward to Icann convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan.”
Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the ITU, released a report in May 2013 outlining groundwork for Internet governance and regulatory topics. The report calls for the creation of “global principles for the governance and use of the Internet” and proposes the resolution of issues pertaining to “use of Internet resources for purposes that are inconsistent with international peace, stability and security.”
Just what does using the Internet in ways “inconsistent with international peace, stability and security” mean?
Would it mean a Ukrainian sending tweets telling Moscow to get out of Crimea or creating a blog documenting the assault on Ukrainian sovereignty?
Canada has some pretty fascistic “hate speech” laws. For years, they harassed conservative author and Islam critic Mark Steyn for “insensitivity to Muslims.” Canadian authorities weren’t just trying to slap Steyn’s hand. They were talking huge fines and possibly jail time. And Barry thinks it’s great to let people like that gain control over the management of The Internet?
Google went round and round with Chinese authorities on the censorship of searches on its engine. Subjects the government thought were too touchy for the people to have access to were to be blocked. And Google went along with it — all for the sake of keeping a business deal in China afloat. And we want China to have greater influence in the management of The Internet?
Former Reagan administration official Frank Gaffney clarifies the threat posed by greater international influence on management of The Internet:
[…] The administration says this step will lead to a new management arrangement for the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) that will, effective in September 2015, repose that responsibility with some other entity than NTIA. According to remarks at a March 14th press conference by the agency’s administrator, Lawrence Strickling, this transition “must have broad community support” from both Internet users, governments, and companies. He also asserted that the forthcoming governance model has to “maintain the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet Domain Name System.”
It is not clear precisely how the U.S government will be able to assure such outcomes having already announced that it is terminating the present arrangement. Businesses and non-governmental organizations that have endorsed this initiative with the caveat that they expect these conditions to eventuate are either kidding themselves or deceiving the rest of us.
That is especially so given that it is a safe bet ICANN will fall under the effective, if not de jure, control of the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Should that happen, neither the security, stability, nor resiliency of the Internet’s Domain Name System can be assured. Indeed, this sort of arrangement has long been demanded by such enemies of freedom and free expression as the governments of Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran; multi-national groups like the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; and the UN bureaucracy.[..]
The United States has managed the Internet for the benefit of the whole world since it created first the DARPANet and then the World Wide Web. There is no good reason for abandoning what remains of that role–especially in favor of what is virtually certain to be a vastly inferior management arrangement. […]