Since the Internet now permeates our lives in every possible way, it is disturbing that Obama has relinquished U.S. control over its underlying structure. Control will be turned over to a global panel, which will include totalitarian countries that do not value our First Amendment protection of free speech.
Since 1998, through a contract with the U.S. government, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit corporation, has administered the IP numbering network and domain name system (DNS) worldwide, controlling .com, .gov, etc. ICANN has done a fairly respectable job administering the rules and standards. Its board is composed of an incredibly diverse selection of foreign citizens. The vice chair is Australian. The current makeup of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee includes 109 nations, plus the European Union and the Vatican.
To claim that ICANN is under U.S. control is really in name only, since the U.S. members of the organization have worked together successfully to forge consensus with foreign members. In spite of this,international interests have been pressuring the U.S. since 1998 to relinquish all control from ICANN to an “international organization.” The Department of Commerce under President Clinton indicated it intended to eventually cede control.