Internet set to cut cord with US government this year

January 14, 2016

The US government, announcing its intention to end its role in March 2014, said it would seek to maintain a "multi-stakehol
The US government, announcing its intention to end its role in March 2014, said it would seek to maintain a "multi-stakeholder" model for Internet governance
A plan to end a key US government oversight role on the Internet is on track for completion this year, the head of the online address gatekeeper said, in a symbolic move towards asserting the independence of the web.

While the transition will not change how the Internet works, it would help reassure users, businesses and governments about its integrity, according to Fadi Chehade, of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Chehade told AFP the transition plan being prepared since early 2014 will be delivered to the US government in February, and that it could take place on September 30—a year later than originally planned.

If the US government approves the plan, "then the contract between ICANN and the US government which is set to naturally expire on September 30 will just expire," Chehade said in an interview Wednesday in Washington.

Chehade said the private non-profit ICANN is effectively a "traffic cop" that ensures the Internet address system functions, and that the US government's role has been merely to ensure that it follows correct procedures.

"In all the years we've done that (the US government) has never said we did not follow the process," he said.

"People have aggrandized the role of the US government in what we do. But the change is actually minimal. It's important symbolically because the US was really a steward for the Internet, but for day-to-day accountability, it is minimal."

Who runs the Internet?

The US government, announcing its intention to end its role in March 2014, said it would seek to maintain a "multi-stakeholder" model for Internet governance—which allows virtually all users from business to academia to government to participate—instead of a "multilateral" system controlled by governments.

Chehade said that without US oversight, ICANN would be managing the technical functions of the Internet under the supervision of a 16-member board which is designed to maintain diverse representation.

"We have a very solid process that ensures this is not a capturable board," which can be hijacked by governments or other institutions, he said.

He added that the transition plan seeks "to strengthen the assurances that ICANN will remain multi-stakeholder," by giving Internet users more authority to appeal to overturn decisions or even to remove board members.

Chehade noted that even though the ICANN process can be "unwieldy," most decisions are made by consensus, with very few disputed votes in the organization.

He added that he expects a fresh round of hearings in Congress, following complaints by some US lawmakers that Washington is "giving away" the Internet and suggestions that it could be controlled by other governments.

"I think the concerns Congress has raised are very justified and genuine and therefore being prepared to address them is crucial," he said.

But Chehade noted that ICANN has effectively been handling its functions for a long time.

"The independence of ICANN has been proven to be working for many years," he said.

"It's been working and we are now simply admitting that. We are ending the symbolic role of the US which should have been let go in 2000."

Explore further: ICANN posts proposal to end US oversight of Internet

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Display comments: newest first

1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 14, 2016
The threat here is the same as with all privatization. Namely, an entitled few making rules for everyone else, based solely on issues of their own personal profiteering. It can be said politicians do much the same, but, at least for appearance sake, which can still have value, they control it. Government will say you have a right to an internet presence as a citizen, privatization will say you have "permission" only if you pay enough and do as you are Fascistically instructed. Someone who places too many revealing ugly facts about New World Order agendas could find the owners of the internet denying them contact anywhere on the internet. Price fixing, "discovered" after it's been in place for decades. Conspiracies between the owners to prevent any bad news "to prevent loss of profits", and since profits will define all rights, that will be accepted. Notice how "freedom of speech" suffered on the blogs.
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 14, 2016
Of course, the guvmunt will still have its taps on all we do, as in Room 641A of the ATT building in San Francisco. Having been in Electronic Reconnaissance, I can tell you it is not only illegal, it is a direct threat to Democracy.

Look it up.
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 14, 2016
I got a "one" for my revelation of the illegal tap on our communications from someone who must think it is a good idea for Big Brother to own and control us. Did he look up Room 641A, or is he just a chronic malcontent?
1 / 5 (2) Jan 14, 2016
Another "one" without any discussion. It's a chronic malcontent.
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 14, 2016
The fastest way to get banned from posting on most of the supposed hard news sites is to say anything negative about Zionist control over America.
1 / 5 (3) Jan 14, 2016
Try discussing religion at Al Jazeera.
1 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2016
It will be given over to the highest bidders, private corporations who will sit on the board implementing the will of the UN.
1 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2016
Try discussing religion at Al Jazeera.
Try discussing reality with brainwashed yank codgers
5 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2016
Really, kochevnik and re-finder?

JOOZ control the internet, too, now?

I am just curious, if you can help me, as a Jew I need to know, where is the Rothchild Bank where I can go and make a withdrawal, based on my zionist credentials?
5 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2016
EnsignFlandry The thing is, no progress is going to be made as long as we are pointing the finger at the guy we DIDN'T vote for.

America has ONE party only.
1 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2016
Now nations such as Russia, China, Iran, even North Korea will be able to influence the Internet, not just sensor it in their own countries. Obama made a bad decision.
Coming from a yank, that is very funny! Your MSM is nothing but a lobotomized zombie freak show

America has ONE party only.
The Jacob Rothschild party. We kicked many of his string puppets back to the West or fate consumed them
1 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2016
@eric_in_chicago Really, kochevnik and re-finder? JOOZ control the internet, too, now?
What the fuck are you whining and babbling about?

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