Obama Admin Takes Major Step To Handing Off Control of Internet Domain System

Obama Admin Takes Major Step To Handing Off Control of Internet Domain System

The United States has been a world leader in technical areas for many years, albeit not the only leader. But because we proclaim a belief in free enterprise and trade we have been able to see our country grow and prosper and be an example to other nations who would perhaps take a less open tack. The phrase often attributed to President John F. Kennedy is that a rising tide lifts all boats, meaning that free, fair and open trade benefits all who participate, and so is better than special inside deals, controls, and crony capitalism.

The technical revolution has truly been a goldmine for the United States, and the perception that our economy supports openness and fairness means that we have often been the standard bearer for some of the developments that we managed for the world at large, none more important than the internet. There have already been many examples of countries trying to limit access and information exchanges to control their populations, but the U.S. has played a key role in keeping the internet open and free.

President Obama was elected in part to provide change, and it seems that he is anxious to change anything where the U.S. provides leadership and stature in the international arena. One area where the U.S. has provided leadership and open access has been our management of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that manages back-stage workings of the internet and how numerical IP addresses pair up with their familiar web addresses. While it is essentially invisible to internet users, it is critical to how the internet works and how users connect with their desired information sources. The U.S. has done an admirable and unimpeachable job in handling the task, and in this case it seems that the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” should apply, but it won’t. For some reason the decision has been made to hand off control of ICANN to an outside group, with that effort close to completion.

ICANN transition to non-U.S. management, page 2:

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