Theodore's World: US ( OBAMA ) Relinquishes Control of the Internet

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October 03, 2009

US ( OBAMA ) Relinquishes Control of the Internet

US relinquishes control of the internet

• Icann ends agreement with the US government

• Move will give other countries a prominent internet role


After complaints about American dominance of the internet and growing disquiet in some parts of the world, Washington has said it will relinquish some control over the way the network is run and allow foreign governments more of a say in the future of the system.

Icann – the official body that ultimately controls the development of the internet thanks to its oversight of web addresses such as .com, .net and .org – said today that it was ending its agreement with the US government.

The deal, part of a contract negotiated with the US department of commerce, effectively pushes California-based Icann towards a new status as an international body with greater representation from companies and governments around the globe.

Icann had previously been operating under the auspices of the American government, which had control of the net thanks to its initial role in developing the underlying technologies used for connecting computers together.

But the fresh focus will give other countries a more prominent role in determining what takes place online, and even the way in which it happens – opening the door for a virtual United Nations, where many officials gather to discuss potential changes to the internet.

Icann chief Rod Beckstrom, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Washington insider who took over running the organisation in July, said there had been legitimate concerns that some countries were developing alternative internets as a way of routing around American control.
"It's rumoured that there are multiple experiments going on with countries forking the internet, various countries have discussed this," he said. "This is a very significant shift because it takes the wind out of our opponents."
He added that the changes would prove powerful when combined with upcoming plans to allow web users to use addresses with names in Chinese, Arabic or other alphabets other than Latin. Many countries have lobbied for the shift in recent years, as the expansion of the web reaches out deeper into society and business.

While the issue reached critical mass in emerging economies such as China, it is not the only country that has lobbied for a change. Earlier this year European officials said that they did not think it was proper for America to retain so much control over the global computer network.

Viviane Reding, the EU's commissioner for information society and media, said she was pleased that Washington chose to make the shift.
"I welcome the US administration's decision to adapt Icann's key role in internet governance to the reality of the 21st century," she said. "If effectively and transparently implemented, this reform can find broad acceptance among civil society, businesses and governments alike."

Meanwhile Nominet - the British organisation that handles the day-to-day running of .uk domain names - said that Icann had started a trend for companies with internet influence to appear more open and accountable.

"Putting public interest first will also be a focus for the UK internet community over the coming months as there is growing support for Nominet to develop more of a public interest role," said Nominet's chief executive, Lesley Cowley.

The new agreement comes into force immediately. It replaces the old version which had been in place since 1998 and was scheduled to expire today.

Beckstrom suggested that bringing more countries to the table was the best way of ensuring the long term future of the internet.

"We're more global, period. The chances of the internet holding together just went up, the cohesion just went up," he said. "We expect more active involvement from governments, a higher level of participation from many governments and we're already hearing about more governments joining the team… This was, ironically, a power move from the US."

Wild Thing's comment..........

There isn’t a nation on earth that has free speech and press the way we know it. I mean as we have known it in the past.

Washington has said it will relinqush some control over the way the network is run and allow foreign governments more of a say in the future of the system.

Oh I bet and this is all from Obama wanting more power and his love of the UN.

While the Internet should never be under the control of ANY loser government(s), free speech was probably LEAST threatened when it was under US control. Now, the political floodgates are OPENED! Like how the CHIComs run their internet is NOT a good thing, they do a lot of control over there, and block sites.

But the fresh focus will give other countries a more prominent role in determining what takes place online, and even the way in which it happens – opening the door for a virtual United Nations, where many officials gather to discuss potential changes to the internet.

Virtual UN dictating the Internet. Great. This is all about the UN getting control of the Internet.

It is ANOTHER surrender of American dominance all done by Obama.

Carter gave away the Panama Canal, now completely controlled by....China.

Hussein gives away control of the internet. Care to guess what open minded advocates of free speech will be running the show in 10 years?

I am amazed at the shortsightedness of the decision makers. Horrible. Giving control of the UN to all the nut cases and the Americai haters there was apparently not enough of a sign that it would be a really bad idea to relinquish control of a major asset/resource to these same people. The ability of the internet to spread the idea of freedom will be hampered by this decision.

The story is also here:

US to share Internet review amid worldwide growth By ANICK JESDANUN (AP)

NEW YORK — As Internet use expands worldwide, the United States said Wednesday it will give other governments and the private sector a greater oversight role in an organization whose decisions affect how computers relay traffic such as e-mail and Twitter posts.

The move comes after European regulators and other critics have said the U.S. government could wield too much

influence over a system used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Those critics have complained, among other things, about the slow rollout of Internet addresses in languages other than English.

However, the U.S. government stopped short Wednesday of cutting its ties completely with the Internet organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. The government agreed instead to establish advisory panels made up of government and private-sector representatives around the world.

Here are a few links for you:

Posted by Wild Thing at October 3, 2009 05:55 AM


Well Chrissie, this was a fun blog while it lasted. When the Chinese take over all political dissent will be stopped. Of course, all the radical muslim countries will complain about Internet porn while being the biggest visitors to those sites.

Really, there was absolutely no need for us to give up control of the Internet(or the Canal). This is just a feel good thing. Also another step toward the New World Order crap. obama likes that NWO. He calls it Hope and Change.

Posted by: TomR at October 3, 2009 12:39 PM


Posted by: Jack at October 3, 2009 01:14 PM

Tom, yes, obama wanted it this way.
Like you said there was no need to
give up control.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 3, 2009 04:29 PM

Jack, ditto that!

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 3, 2009 04:30 PM

This jerk-off is giving the country away. If he had his way we would be part of Saudi Arabia or some other second rate dirtbag country.

Posted by: Mark at October 3, 2009 04:58 PM

While control was within the USA, he'd have a helluva time trying to regulate us. Now, with it out of our hands, his fellow Muslims can just hit the Usless Notions with it and they will shut us down. I wonder how long I will be able to continue to voice my opinion.
Just one more act by this Member in Good Standing of that cult that is Islam.
"Learned all I need to know about Islam on 9/11!"

Posted by: Frankly Opinionated at October 3, 2009 07:54 PM