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WP Archive: ‘Obama administration joins critics of U.S. nonprofit group that oversees Internet’

A Washington Post article from exactly three years ago, titled “Obama administration joins critics of U.S. nonprofit group that oversees Internet” delivers some important insight about the US government’s concerns related to the ICANN’s pressure to surrender oversight of key Internet functions.

“The California nonprofit organization that operates the Internet’s levers has always been a target for such global heavies as Russia and China that prefer the United Nations to be in charge of the Web. But these days, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is fending off attacks from a seemingly unlikely source: the Obama administration.

Concerned about the growing movement to cede oversight to the U.N., the U.S. government, which helped create ICANN in 1998, has been reprimanding the nonprofit group to give foreign nations more say over the Web’s operations.”

The March 2011 article then references the practice of governments shutting down or filtering Internet access to suppress freedom of speech:

“With some Middle East countries shutting down the Internet within their borders to curb uprisings, the question of who runs the Web is increasingly figuring into global foreign policy debates. Some fear that governments such as those of Libya or Iran could more easily crush rebellions if they gained more control over the Internet’s inner workings.”

Just three years ago, countries such as China, that monitors dissident activity on the Internet, has been leading a campaign among dozens of developing nations to lobby the U.N. for oversight over ICANN.

The article clearly outlines the process of how changes in the root servers are handled, emphasizing that ICANN’s role is that of an overseer, not of an enforcer:

“The chances of the United States tinkering with the master Web database are “nil.” ICANN can only request changes in the master database; the U.S. government reviews those decisions, then the Dulles-based company VeriSign executes the change.”

Back in 2011, the Obama administration saw things in a very specific, pro-US light; a stance that has apparently changed after a lot of pressure exerted by pro-globalism lobbyists:

“Commerce Department officials worry that if foreign governments feel they have no role in the process, they will start ignoring ICANN, blocking Web sites and splitting up the Internet so that only certain domains can be accessed, depending on the country.”

For this eye-opening window to the past, click here.


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