Epic Nation

Friday, July 01, 2005

US denies the UN control over the Internet

Here’s some good news:

A unilateral decision by the United States to indefinitely retain oversight of the Internet's main traffic-directing computers prompted concerns Friday that the global telecommunications network could eventually splinter.

This issue has been getting little attention in the press, but in the last few years there has been an ongoing campaign on the part of internationalists to wrest control of the Internet’s domain name service – basically the master directory for the web – from the United States. And who, pray tell, would manage the Internet’s most essential of services?

The United Nations, of course.

A notable detail that should give people pause for thought is that China has been the most ardent proponents of this plan at the UN. Just imagine China, those champions of free speech who have implemented a country-wide firewall to keep Chinese citizens from gaining access to unfiltered news and information on the Web, having a hand in managing the Internet with the depots over at Turtle Bay.

Right now IP address allocation is managed by a non-profit organization based in the US; the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Opponents of ICANN claim that if the agency doesn’t surrender their control to some international body the Internet will fracture into several networks. But the prospect of a splintered Internet that they raise to create fear, I would raise as an argument to keep ICANN in place.

If there are countries/organizations that believe ICANN shouldn’t have sole control over the Internet’s management, then by all means, they should create a new network. If ICANN is so deficient, let Internet consumers and providers go flocking to a new Net. What’s there to fear but competition?

Personally, I trust the market is more than satisfied with ICANN’s stewardship of the Web.

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