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.
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.
Obama handing the internet to globalists… prepare for censorship of alt media
Source: News Target | by D. Samuelson
Every time you type in an address on the internet, you can thank the International Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (ICANN.) Since 1998, as explained on Icann.org, this U.S. non-profit, for public benefit corporation has been the responsible party for coordinating the millions of numbers and names used as "unique identifiers" on the global internet system.
ICANN is not involved in creating or controlling internet content, nor do they have any say in gaining internet access. But as the manager of the backbone behind the names and numerical addresses for every person, business, corporation and nation in the world, ICANN is a critical component in how the internet operates. And that's about to change, but it's not for the better. According to Breibart.com, President Barak Obama has been pushing to give the transparent ICANN's governance away to a global body, which could be "one of the worst blunders in the history of national security economic policy and the fight for liberty."
This global hand off is described as the "Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Transfer," as reported by Protectinternetfreedom.com. What will be "surrendered" is the management of the "domain name system" (DNS) as well as the "root zone files," which effectively ends "America's special role in protecting the greatest tool in human history. . ." One can only imagine what a world would be like without the truth and the freedom of expression found on the internet.
Gary Franchi of Next News Network reports that Congress has concerns about fixing a system that isn't broken. Franchi also warns about the very real potential of censorship on a global scale.
According to Projectinternetfreedom.com, without the protections of the U.S. government, these new changes mean that the body for controlling naming rights to the internet could dissolve into "zero transparency" that could "threaten freedom everywhere." And although President Obama is being fingered as the one pushing for this transfer of authority, a closer look at the documents reveals that the plan to yield control of the internet naming rights to a global authority has been in effect since the beginning. You can discover the evidence of this fact on page three of an August 12, 2016 document titled in part "The IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal." Turns out that 2014 was the year that the "final steps" were being taken concerning transferring authority for the internet's domain naming system (DNS) to the private sector. But this process had already "been in motion for more than eighteen years." That takes us to 1998, when ICANN was first created.
This document clearly states that the control of the internet by a global body, outside the jurisdiction of ICANN's transparent and democratic efforts, has always been the plan and intent. President Barak Hussein Obama is just the White Housecorporate puppet to actually bring it to fruition. Once this transfer takes place, intrepid researchers and truth seekers may soon experience disturbing new disinformation and propaganda sites trolled by the global thought police. Which internet sites might no longer be available? Only the globalists know. Better be stocking up on emergency supplies, food and water while you still can.