Hello and warning! I’m about to come to the defense of the United States federal government.
Now that I’ve triggered, and lost, at least half of my audience, I ask you dear and brave remaining readers to please give me a chance.
Defending the Feds is not something I like doing just for the fun of it, and most of the time I don’t have to because they are usually in the wrong. So that makes my defense of them keeping control over the Internet naming service process, instead of transferring such capabilities to the non-profit ICANN, one that should rightly having you raise an eye brow and listen up.
For those of you who don’t know: as of October 1ST 2016 the transfer mentioned above shall have been completed. It has been a decision in the works since 2014 when the transition was first announced. Many libertarians and others who wish to keep the Internet thriving have hailed this decision as a great leap forward for online freedom. After all, how can the transition of such great power from a government to a private non-profit possibly be a bad thing? Especially, if you are of the classical liberal mindset, which philosophically holds the view of privatization as a net positive, what’s not to love? Plenty, if you dig a little deeper into ICANN’s structure.
Yet, before I do that, I want to say how I can understand many are misled to think it’s a good event. After all, when it comes to Internet freedom and privacy, the United States government has not been a guardian angel by any means. Just look at their treatment of Edward Snowden. They have lambasted a man who has done nothing more than attempt to protect our 4th Amendment rights guaranteed by our constitution. So do not think for a moment that my defense of the Feds today is a defense of these prior actions.
But I digress. I was saying the United States has been no guardian angle of the Internet, but by turning over control of it to the globalist non-profit ICANN, you are giving pure demons like China, Iran, Russia, and Turkey a seat at the table to influence it. All of those nations have committed Internet freedom violations massively more profound than the United States. Many who favor the transition of power to ICANN truly believe and will tell you that such worrisome situations like this were evaded, after a proposal to have the powers soon to be transferred to ICANN instead be transferred to the United Nations. The proposal was, of course, supported by China and Russia because it would give them a direct slice of the Internet’s governance. Then, ultimately the US denied it basically for that reason. I will concede that ICANN control of a crucial lynchpin of the internet is better than UN control, but not by much. Through the UN, hostile and repressive foreign nations would have had direct access to Internet decision making, and through ICANN that access is still there, but more indirect.
That indirect access comes via the little known ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee, which has members representing the aforementioned nations as well as over 100+ others. While thankfully it has no power to enforce decisions, it is still a highly regarded consulting body that has some horrendous members. Take, for example, Turkey’s representative, Ihsan Durdu. This man is a senior aide to Turkey’s Minister of Communication, Ahmet Arslan, who is a member of the Law and Justice Party. The political party that has abused its power as the governing party of the nation by temporarily blocking access to YouTube and Twitter on multiple past occasions! Are these really the people you want consulting those with such great power over the world’s access to a vital Internet service?
Of course it isn’t.
That is why, while the United States has its flaws, I’d much rather leave the Internet in its hands than in the hands of ICANN. After all, we have much better chances of fending off one great shark, that if we keep punching it right in the nose may back off. Giving ICANN control? Well, we just dipped ourselves in blood and jumped in a river of piranhas. Now I guess we can only hope for a miracle.
This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, Bric Butler, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC
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