US government cedes control of the Internet to global community

Internet-server-007
Photo credit: www.theguardian.com

The good news is the federal government will give up all control over much of what makes the Internet properly function. The bad news is that control is being transferred to the “global Internet community” that could weaken security and even open users up to an Internet tax.

The U.S. Commerce Department announced Friday that control will be transferred when current contracts expire in the fall of 2015, according to The Daily Caller, which reported:

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has overseen domain names, assigned Internet protocol addresses, and executed other crucial Internet functions since 2000 under the supervision of the Commerce Department. Basically, it’s the map that points computers to the servers and websites their users are looking for.

The decision was made in response to mounting pressure from the international community, which escalated after the disclosure of spying was made public by former National Security Agency contract worker Edward Snowden.

“The timing is right to start the transition process,” assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information Lawrence E Strickling said, according to Forbes. “We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan.”

Nothing good can come of this according to a former Bush administration State Department senior advisor.

“U.S. management of the internet has been exemplary and there is no reason to give this away — especially in return for nothing,” Christian Whiton told The Daily Caller. “This is the Obama equivalent of Carter’s decision to give away the Panama Canal — only with possibly much worse consequences.”

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, is the Internet’s core element that allows it to function. And it has done so pretty much seamlessly for well over a decade.

“While the Obama administration says it is merely removing federal oversight of a non-profit, we should assume ICANN would end up as part of the United Nations,” Whiton said. “If the U.N. gains control what amounts to the directory and traffic signals of the Internet, it can impose whatever taxes it likes.  It likely would start with a tax on registering domains and expand from there.”

Elizabeth Prann reported on this issue Saturday to America’s News Headquarters’ Uma Pemmaraju. Watch the report via Fox News, then check out “Watch: Democrats scolded for juvenile iPad stunt on House floor.”

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