The problem now will be the influence all other countries have on a "Free" Internet that most of the world has access to now. Because the U.S. is "giving away" the free access address book for the Internet it is likely the Internet isn't long for the world (at least in it's present form. On one level this makes sense as it costs the U.S. government billions or trillions of dollars to police the Internet now and this will only get worse with Cyber wars getting worse and worse with Super computers. So, this U.S. government action likely will lead to the end of the Internet (at least as we know it now) forever.
To the U.S. government the Internet is not a good thing because the whole situation can only get worse and worse, especially after Snowden revealed just how bad it was already a few years ago.
So, don't expect the Internet to be there (at least in the form you are used to).Images) SAN FRANCISCO — The United States doesn’t own the Internet, but it’s held the oversight contract for the organization that runs its address book for many years.
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U.S. set to hand over Internet address bookA contract between the U.S. and a non-profit in charge of all Internet domain names expires September 30th and has lawmakers saying America is "giving away the Internet." USA TODAY NETWORK
The U.S. contract with the non-profit organization in charge of all Internet domain names expires then, and the non-profit running the database will become autonomous and be accountable to international stakeholders in the Internet community. These include a governmental advisory committee, a technical committee, industry committee, internet users and telecommunications experts.
The move has been opposed by some officials and lawmakers like Sen. Ted Cruz who say America is “giving away the Internet.”
On Thursday the attorneys general of Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas and Nevada filed a lawsuit asking a Federal district court to block the transition, alleging that it amounts to giving up U.S. government property, among other complaints.
At issue is oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. Created in 1998, the non-profit is based in Los Angeles. One of its main jobs, done by ICANN's Internet Assigned Numbers Authority department, is to coordinate the Domain Name System that matches address such as usatoday.com with their actual computer addresses, in this case 184.108.40.206.
To do that and other work, ICANN has a budget of more than $126 million a year.
Started with a clipboard
It began as a simple list of what names were assigned to what numbers, known as Internet Protocol addresses and was originally kept on a clipboard by Jon Postel, a famed computer scientist at the University of Southern California.
At that point ICANN will become an autonomous non-profit.
Very little will change with the handover. The staff and protocols will remain the same. The only thing that changes is that the Department of Commerce will no longer be approving every change to the domain name root file, the master list of Internet addresses that allows the Internet to function.
ICANN was always meant to become independent. However, under President George W. Bush, the Department of Commerce backed away from that, saying in 2005 that it would “maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file.”
Efforts to make it truly neutral and global came back into the fore in 2013, after National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations about the depth of U.S. Internet surveillance. That pushed ICANN to begin working on a new transition proposal.
Some in the United States argue that the Internet has always belonged to the United States and that the handover is illegal and dangerous.
Cruz, a Republican from Texas and a former candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, has been very vocal in his belief that the move will harm the freedom of the Internet.
“The likes of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Chinese President Xi Jinping should not dictate what can be read, written, distributed, bought and sold on the Internet,” he wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post when the plan was first discussed.
A last-ditch effort by Cruz to stop it from taking effect failed this week when it was not included in a stop-gap spending bill to keep the government open.
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), ranking member of the Senate subcommittee on communications, technology, innovation, called the suits by the four attorneys general lawsuit baseless.
“Congress has repeatedly rejected attempts to delay the transition. Technology and foreign policy experts from across the political spectrum agree that any delay of this transition would only empower our enemies and undermine America’s commitment to keeping the internet open and free," he said in a statement.
Who owns the Internet?
A U.S. Government Accountability Office report issued Sept. 12 found that the Internet "address book" was not U.S. government property.
Others dispute that such censorship would even be possible. The new entity that is scheduled to take over control on Oct. 1 is run through consensus and includes multiple stakeholders from many countries, said Milton Mueller, a professor in the school of public policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a longtime participant in ICANN’s volunteer advisory groups.
“It’s not like Russia and China suddenly have more power than anyone else. All the governments in the room have to agree to give advice to ICANN, but it’s non-binding. ICANN can not take the advice, particularly if all the other stakeholder groups strongly object to it,” said Mueller.
“Their argument has been that ‘We are the bulwark of freedom in the world and if we let go of this, the Internet will go to hell.’ How much of them really believe that and how many are just exploiting this to make the Obama administration look bad isn’t clear to me,” said Mueller.
While the Department of Commerce had been very hands off in its oversight of the contract, at least it provided a sort of safety valve, said Mark Grabowski, a professor of Internet law at Adelphi University, in Garden City, N.Y.
“You knew if anything really went wrong you’d have the U.S. government to step in,” he said.
He expects any chances to be very gradual. “We really won’t know for three to five years whether this was something to worry about or not, whether the proponents can truthfully say, ‘We told you so,’ or the people who were critical had a point,” Grabowski said.
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