The Obama administration on Friday announced plans to relinquish U.S. control over management of the Internet to the “global Internet community.” While the announcement of the plan was sure to please international critics (and some Democrats), it created concern among business leaders and others who depend on a smoothly functioning web.
Oh, and it may lead to a global web tax, as well.
Former Bush administration State Department senior advisor Christian Whiton told The Daily Caller:
“U.S. management of the Internet has been exemplary and there is no reason to give this away — especially in return for nothing. This is the Obama equivalent of Carter’s decision to give away the Panama Canal — only with possibly much worse consequences.”
The Department of Commerce announced the decision to give up control of the Internet’s core infrastructure, in part, as a result of international pressure following revelations by Edward Snowden about the NSA’s global surveillance program.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has overseen domain names, assigned Internet protocol addresses, and executed other crucial Internet functions since 2000 under the supervision of the Commerce Department. That contract will be cancelled once final plans to relinquish U.S. control have been completed.
In additions to concerns about a weakening of Internet security, Whiton also warned of the potential of a global web tax:
“If the U.N. gains control what amounts to the directory and traffic signals of the Internet, it can impose whatever taxes it likes. It likely would start with a tax on registering domains and expand from there.”
So, should Americans be concerned? Of course they should. While the UN may not be outwardly anti-American, more often than not, it sides with those who oppose the best interests of the U.S.
One need look no farther than the UN proposal to create a “global warming tax,” by which it would redistribute billions of dollars from “developed” “polluting” countries to (supposedly “non-polluting”) “developing” countries (it excludes China and Russia from the “developed” list, by the way).
Yet the administration once again demonstrates its “world view” of the way things ought to be. This time, a potential threat to the Internet as we know it.
Another one of those Friday afternoon under the radar stories hoping no one notices. He may as well just turn over the keys to the White House.
According to the WaPo, US officials said this has been part of the plan since ICANN’s inception in 1998.
Newt Gingrich tweeted: “What is the global internet community that Obama wants to turn the internet over to? This risks foreign dictatorships defining the internet.”
What could possibly go wrong? ~snark