The US Gives Up Control Over the Internet

The US Gives Up Control Over the Internet
The US Gives Up Control Over the Internet

Republican congressmen tried to delay it as part of a short-term spending bill, but failed. Ted Cruz, along with a number of GOP lawmakers, tried to stop it by seeking an injunction, but were denied. So, with nothing stopping it, on Saturday, Oct. 1, the Obama administration gave away its last bit of oversight over the internet to an international non-profit. For a number of years, the U.S. has been overseeing ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), making sure that it remained open, free, and secure. ICANN manages the internet domain names database, which is kind of like a global phone book for the internet. Now that the U.S. government has transferred power to it, ICANN alone will be solely responsible for policing itself. So, what kind of power does ICANN have? Well, for example, it has the power to do things like make entire countries “go dark” on the internet by removing them from the central naming system. Of course, that’s never happened, but then, the U.S. has always been watching over them. Cruz and other GOP lawmakers fear the intrusion of foreign governments and authoritarian regimes if ICANN is no longer accountable to the U.S. government. But it looks like it’s a done-deal. So, let the global governance experiment begin!

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