In case you missed this on Saturday, the day when the US government throws all the news stories you don’t want to know or hear, and that they don’t want you to know or hear (“garbage day”, as the working pols like to say), the US government has relinquished control of the singular seat of power in deciding how the internet is controlled.
If that sounds big to you, you are correct. How sites are named: .com, .gov, .org, etc. are now all up to an “international” group of mostly corporate folk with some international government representatives as well. For instance, the US federal government has one seat on the board. Keep in mind that the internet was invented by the US Department of Defense many decades ago. Now we have one government official on the committee.
Most of the other people who now (as of Saturday, October 1, 2016) are corporate folk. Think FaceBook, Google, Pied Piper, and Hooli. We also, thankfully, have expert independent advocates on the board as well.
The rest is an international group of minority government officials (just like we have, count it, one) and the rest is made up international corporations. China, Russia, etc. all now have a hand in the shaping of not just the future of the internet and how domain sites are created, but how they are controlled.
I don’t feel alarmist about this at all, but it certainly is a step in a different direction. I’m not saying the wrong direction. But I am willing to editorialize that it is a step in a direction where everyone will for the next several steps plod their feet into dog and then horse shit. Continuously. Eventually we will stop stepping out of sneaker foot after sneaker foot of fresh large animal manure, but we will be distracted by the smell and trying to scrape all that thick smelly crap off out feet; and once we traverse those fields, what in the hell exactly will the internet look like? And far more importantly: who will be controlling it?
I was content with the USA’s position as the inventors of the 40-50 year old original system invented by ARPA and DARPANET as the original overseers and how it was passed down within the US government over the many years since then.
Yes: yes, in the last 15+ years, they did overtake and overstep the boundaries and violated the 4th Amendment in ways that we still do not know as US citizens. However, that has been happening globally. Just think of China and how “millennial” over there don’t know what happened in Tiananmen Square. They truly don’t know about it because of how throttled China has strangled any evidence, news, or history that should be available on the internet (and on many other paths of knowledge).
But can anyone honestly say, or give an argument, that control of the internet in other hands, be it collections of foreign governments, billion dollar corporations that make their cash off of collecting and selling our private information, and many other ruling powers, be they international governmental, capitalistic, or communist/socialist/name-your-own-polite-name-for-non-democratic-regimes-here, etc. groups, to entrust the way that the global internet is run?
I’m not going to put links here. Either you’ve been reading the papers or you can do your own research now. It occurred on Saturday, and the media barely covered it in the US, but I know that everyone here is smart enough to know how to research the news.
I’m curious about your thoughts. Not partisan kind of thoughts. I’m curious about having a discussion as to what this really means. I think the President dropped the ball here.
All I know for sure is that after October 1, 2016, the internet will be forever changed, and that it will be controlled in a way that stifles (eventually) the most important things when it comes to free speech and laissez-faire capitalism.
EDIT: This is a jumping-off point to discuss what could happen, with comments open to people with constructive and thoughtful points of view. ODeckers by nature (and by reading and research) know the news story and know the background of how the internet works, its early history, and what ICANN is. The point of this is to bring the intelligent people here to discuss what consequences may be and how this could change things in the decades to come. We’re science, science-fiction, and fantasy minded people on here. That’s what I’m interested in, and it’s also what most people are interested in when they come here: lively discussion from unique points of view. None of us are interested in condescending comments insulting the intelligence or knowledge of fellow ODeckers. From some reason, I had to make this explicit; I thought I did that in the body of the article itself, but apparently I was not 100% clear. Thanks.