America’s Internet Surrender By unilaterally retreating from online oversight, the White House pleased regimes that want to control the Web.

By L. Gordon Crovitz

March 18, 2014 6:56 p.m. ET

The Internet is often described as a miracle of self-regulation, which is almost true. The exception is that the United States government has had ultimate control from the beginning. Washington has used this oversight only to ensure that the Internet runs efficiently and openly, without political pressure from any country.

This was the happy state of affairs until last Friday, when the


administration made the surprise announcement it will relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann, which assigns and maintains domain names and Web addresses for the Internet. Russia, China and other authoritarian governments have already been working to redesign the Internet more to their liking, and now they will no doubt leap to fill the power vacuum caused by America’s unilateral retreat.

Why would the U.S. put the open Internet at risk by ceding control over Icann? Administration officials deny that the move is a sop to critics of the National Security Agency’s global surveillance. But many foreign leaders have invoked the

Edward Snowden

leaks as reason to remove U.S. control—even though surveillance is an entirely separate topic from Internet governance.


Getty Images

According to the administration’s announcement, the Commerce Department will not renew its agreement with Icann, which dates to 1998. This means, effective next year, the U.S. will no longer oversee the “root zone file,” which contains all names and addresses for websites world-wide. If authoritarian regimes in Russia, China and elsewhere get their way, domains could be banned and new ones not approved for meddlesome groups such as Ukrainian-independence organizations or Tibetan human-rights activists.


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8 Responses to America’s Internet Surrender By unilaterally retreating from online oversight, the White House pleased regimes that want to control the Web.

  1. Gunny G says:

    Reblogged this on CLINGERS… BLOGGING BAD ~ DICK.G: AMERICAN ! and commented:
    Gunny G !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. upaces88 says:

    I have been seeing this little “Green” image pop up beside words on blogs lately. This time, it is right beside the word, “Verizon.” What is it for? What does it mean?


  3. upaces88 says:

    Maybe I am too tired; or on “overload.”
    Can someone explain this to me in 2-3 sentences, PLEASE?


    • a12iggymom says:

      the internet was “Made in America” in garages and universities. when Obama first took over, he gave half of the net business to overseas nations. Now he is completing the deal. the internet will be a foreign owned asset. just like he gave those 7 Alaskan Islands to Russia and redrew the maritime maps to show them as part of Russia. They’ve been American since 1881.


      • upaces88 says:

        This is Treason against our country to do this!
        Wonder what the heavy hitters like Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner, etc. think about all of this!


  4. a12iggymom says:

    Reblogged this on U.S. Constitutional Free Press.


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