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America Gives Up Control of Internet

Cowgal wrote,

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Expat, I'm surpirsed that you want the US government to continue controlling the internet. I thought you were all about less government and more capitalism?

I agree in a way Cowgal but I'm not sure how placing the worlds largest and most historicaly oppressive communist regime in charge of the worlds largest clearing house of free information is an improvement over having the U.S. Government in charge of it. Or possibly I'm missing your sarcasm and humor? Big smile

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America Gives Up Control of Internet

Bunny, I don't want any country in charge of ICANN. It needs to be an independent panel of people. The internet has had people from many countries contribute to its structure, development and growth. People who serve on these boards are also the ones that have been instrumental in inventing some important element (software or hardware) used on the internet. What makes you say that a country like China would be in charge? They may have a seat on the panel, but they would not be in charge.

expatriate wrote:
Nice argument for globalization. But you're avoiding one point. The negatives you mentioned would affect everyone else, too. They wouldn't just apply to us. So if another country had wanted to form its own internet, it would fact the same connectivity problems whether we ran it or ICANN did.

ICANN only controls a portion of the internet, primarily the gTLDs (top level domains) for the WWW and decides when new naming structures are added. Having countries work together and cooperate will make the web safer. Many countries such as Russia and Nigeria are home to cyber-criminals that need to be ferreted out and stopped.

expatriate wrote:
The underlying assumption behind your argument is that everything we run is bad, and everything run by international bodies is wonderful. Three words: Oil for food.

Ok, so you never answered my question, why would you want the US DOC (dept of commerce) control ICANN? Isn't it better to have private individuals in control? You say "we" were running ICANN - "we" were not - the US government was. We - as in - we the people who use the internet should be making those decisions, not the US DOC. So tell me Expat what is your position? You have stated "hands off" to the US government when it comes to banking, vehicle or healthcare industries. But now its ok for the government to OWN and CONTROL the internet? You can't have it both ways. I also need to emphasize that removing the US DOC from ICANN does not remove Americans from ICANN. They will still be an important part of that organization. And interestingly enough, the US DOC has retained authority to "oversee" ICANN and audit the organization after 3 years. So yeah, it appears the US has relinquished some control, but not totally.

expatriate wrote:
It's the same old argument grounded in some sort of original sin belief from the left -- we're bad, so we'll make everything better if we collapse American power and globalize.

You don't understand the internet, its not like the military - its not about power. Its not meant to be controlled and dominated by any one country or individual. It has nothing to do with the left, or good or bad. Its simply a way to communicate.

expatriate wrote:
Safer and more accessible for who? You're assuming that none of the improvements are possible if we run it. And all of the negative issues are still there. Giving it up just puts it in the hands of people who are less democratically/capitalist minded.

As I stated above, cyber-criminals need to be stopped in many countries. They are more likely to help and work together in stopping the online crime if they have a voice in how the internet develops and grows. We are not giving anything up by working with other countries, on the contrary we have much to gain from the cooperation.

I have been involved with the internet long before it was popular with the masses. I don't simply use it for entertainment, its my livelihood. I'm not just a casual observer. I don't know if the decision to reduce the US DOC's involvement in ICANN will ultimately be good or bad, I'm of course hoping its for the good and that the internet will continue to grow and flourish.

Here is another article that might help explain a bit more about ICANN and exactly what role they play on the internet:
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/093009-icann-freed-from-us-govt.ht...

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America Gives Up Control of Internet

My position is to look at this as an instrument of national power. There are four elements of national power: Diplomatic, Infomation, Military, and Economic. Personally, I believe this administation has made it its mission to collapse all four.

Would I prefer private business over Dept of Commerce? Sure. But I'm not so naiive to think every other country operates the same way we do. Other nations (i.e. China) see the line between government and industry in very fuzzy terms.

If countries like Russia and Nigeria are frought with cyber criminals, why aren't those countries ferreting them out already? Why are we giving countries with such problems a bigger stake in how the entire enterprise operates?

Like it or not, the internet IS about power. It has become a strategic asset, through which all the other elements of national power flow -- not just for us, but for the rest of the world as well.

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America Gives Up Control of Internet

I do understand your concern, and I have the same concerns in allowing certain countries more of a voice in ICANN. I view this small step in relinquishing some power as a test to see how it will ultimately be handled. Remember the US DOC retained the right to oversee, and I wouldn't be surprised if other countries start demanding censorship or other restrictive measures, that the DOC would immediately step in and put a stop to it. ICANN currently is still required to abide by rules and guidelines set by the US. Giving "seats" at the table to more countries was a way to include them and appease the protesting.

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America Gives Up Control of Internet

There's no way the Obama administration would ever exercise that right, because it would mean taking a stand. This was a one-way trip.

Besides, when we started this discussion you said that there was no way this could turn badly. Now you're saying there's an escape clause for us to reassert control if it does. If it's such a great deal, why is there an escape clause in there?

You did use one term I see a lot in this administration's policy regarding foreign relations: appeasement.

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America Gives Up Control of Internet

Need to remember this is just one small aspect of the internet. The control that was partially relinquished is only in regards to the managment of gTLDs (domain names), so I'm not too concerned. The only reason they kept an "out" in there is to make sure American companies don't have too much competition. I'm serious, the main controversy was to NOT release too many new top level domain names (i.e. .com, .net, etc.) Countries want their own (like .ca for Canada) which is just fine with me and most of the internet community. However some people/countries would like to see the names expanded to include .food, .sports, or whatever. So the primary concern doesn't have anything to do with security or censorship, it has to do with controlling how many domain names are on the web.

The US DOC gave the bulk of the domain name business to their own hand picked American companies, basically turning them into monopolies. That I did not like and there have been protests in how this was handled all along. This has been an issue long before Obama came into office.

Most people are uninformed about this area of the internet. We've come full circle in this thread. Go back to my explanations at the beginning. We do not and cannot own this part of the internet. People need to understand what they're arguing about, before they make statements that have no bearing on ICANN. Lots of misinformation floating around in the media, even the WSJ published an opinion piece that has the facts all wrong.

So I used the word "appease" - it was my choice and had nothing to do with this admin. The internet is a global communication device, there is no getting around that fact. We need and want other countries included, if they aren't it defeats the purpose of the internet.

Expat we may need to agree to disagree on this issue.

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America Gives Up Control of Internet

Agreed. Let me express my opinion in generic terms:

The US should not surrender power over anything unless it yields a greater good in return that advances the interests of the nation. I don't see us receiving anything tangible in this exchange than we didn't already have. So we're giving up a tangible good and receiving an intangible (and fragile, to boot) in return.

I believe the world is a chaotic place kept in relative stasis through power balances. It's a Darwinian world where strength is rewarded and weakness is punished. Bargaining from a position of weakness has never been to a country's advantage in the world of international affairs. Some believe we should give things away to gain some sort of intangible "good will" that we can cash in for something tangible later. But history has repeatedly shown that such good will is illusory or, at best, has an extremely short shelf life.

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