This is much more serious than anything with the name Edward Snowden attached to it, but it will get a fraction of the attention until the consequences begin to kick in.
The Internet is the one domain where freedom of speech truly exists. It is this generation’s equivalent of the printing press.
The Obama administration has quietly announced plans to cede control of the Internet to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an international body and non-profit group based out of California, that seeks larger control, over the Internet.
Now the Obama administration proposes allowing the contract that exists between ICANN and the Department of Commerce to lapse. The assistant secretary for commerce for communications and information released a statement saying, “We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan.”
What is ICANN, who are the “stakeholders,” and what is the plan?
International groups have been pressuring the United States for years to cede control of the Internet to an “International” body. Everyone can understand why these groups want that. It erodes American power and it degrades liberty online.
The United States is one of the very few countries to have nearly unlimited freedom of speech for anything short of actual death threats. The “freedom” of the internet is largely defined by an American standard. Without that standard, you end up with the definitions of free speech that preclude controversial political commentary and blasphemy.
Just about everything you read at Front Page is potentially illegal even in many Western countries. Add on Third World countries and places like Russia and China and it just goes straight into the illegal box.
“While I certainly agree our nation must stridently review our procedures regarding surveillance in light of the NSA controversy, to put ourselves in a situation where censorship-laden governments like China or Russia could take a firm hold on the Internet itself is truly a scary thought,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Senate Commerce Committee and with the Commerce Department on this, because — to be blunt — the ‘global internet community’ this would empower has no First Amendment.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, minutes after the Friday announcement, tweeted: “Every American should worry about Obama giving up control of the Internet to an undefined group. This is very, very dangerous.”
“This is red meat for the base,” said former Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.), who sponsored a resolution in 2012 aimed at keeping the Internet free of governmental control. “We’re at a critical time where [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is proving he is capable of outmaneuvering the administration. … As they digest it, I think people are going to be very upset.”
U.S. lawmakers have long warned about the dangers of ceding ICANN’s authority to the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency. They see the U.N. as a vehicle for countries with tight constraints to allow even greater online censorship. Congress unanimously passed Bono’s resolution ahead of a 2012 ITU meeting to reinforce America’s commitment to an open Internet.
International Telecommunication Union control would be bad enough. It’s everything wrong with the UN in one package, corrupt Third World types, politically correct mandates and total incompetence.
And the OIC is already moving through the back door
On September 25, 2010, ICANN’s board of directors removed a reference to “terrorism” from the fourth version of its Draft Applicant Guidebook (DAG, or DAGv4), after complaints were received from several Arab individuals and organizations. Failing to retain the ability to investigate applicants for ties to terrorism would significantly hamper ICANN’s effectiveness, and could lead to a proliferation of pro-terrorist websites.