News / Science & Technology

    Plan Approved to Shift Control of Internet From US

    FILE - Internet cables coil in a server room.
    FILE - Internet cables coil in a server room.

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    Members of ICANN, the U.S.-based nonprofit agency that has managed oversight of the international Internet since its creation, agreed upon a final framework agreement that would shift oversight to a global body.

    Meeting in Morocco this week, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, approved a plan to transfer technical oversight of the Web to an international team of stakeholders. The plan now goes before the U.S. Department of Commerce for final approval.

    The controversial plan has been a priority for the Obama administration, and has earned support from a number of high-tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Verizon. Critics worry that ceding control of the Internet to an international group – which could include nations such as China, Russia and Iran – could lead to less freedom and more surveillance online.

    FILE - Students at a summer reading academy at Buchanan elementary school work in the computer lab in Oklahoma City.
    FILE - Students at a summer reading academy at Buchanan elementary school work in the computer lab in Oklahoma City.

    Nonprofit

    Under the proposal, ICANN would remain a private, not-for-profit firm that would remain involved in Internet governance. Any proposed major changes would be voted on by an advisory group comprised of representatives from various nations, businesses and researchers.

    “The global Internet community has validated the multi-stakeholder model, by coming together to build a comprehensive transition package that we believe meets the requirements set out by the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration), and we are confident that the United States Government will agree,” said ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé.

    ICANN was founded in 1998 as an independent agency to maintain the technical foundations and structure of the then-rapidly expanding Internet. It was founded in the U.S. largely because the Web was first developed there, and still remains the global leader in Internet development.

    This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, June 9, 2013, in Hong Kong.
    This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, June 9, 2013, in Hong Kong.

    Snowden revelations

    However, the 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden of comprehensive U.S. surveillance of the Web created friction in the international community and spurred a more global approach to the Web’s governance.

    The Commerce Department has until later this fall to either agree to the proposal or submit another plan. 

     


    Doug Bernard

    dbjohnson+voanews.com

    Doug Bernard covers cyber-issues for VOA, focusing on Internet privacy, security and censorship circumvention. Previously he edited VOA’s “Digital Frontiers” blog, produced the “Daily Download” webcast and hosted “Talk to America”, for which he won the International Presenter of the Year award from the Association for International Broadcasting. He began his career at Michigan Public Radio, and has contributed to "The New York Times," the "Christian Science Monitor," SPIN and NPR, among others. You can follow him @dfrontiers.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    March 12, 2016 9:33 PM
    BTW, for those of you in the US who still hold dear old Snowden a hero, remember this: he didn't run to the arms of people that care about your lives!!!!!!

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    March 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    Of course we have privacy issues, all of us do. Why do you think before we new right from wrong, that we lived in caves. If you don't need privacy, then our basic instinct of hiding would have not been evident from the beginning. If someone offers you privacy, and guarantees it when you have paid for it, then it should be honored. Criminal activity is not honorable! Therefore, if you commit a crime, and you have used the business practice that offered privacy, then the privacy clause should not be honored! Kudos, Apple, now all terrorists and the evil ilk have an avenue to protect themselves. I bet if it were the children of the Apple exec that were executed in San Bernardino, this issue would have never been discussed.

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    March 11, 2016 10:02 PM
    If you don't see the danger inherent, then you will always be a slave to government. Now I see why many have resorted to living in the woods, forests, jungles, just to get away from people that wish to only control your lives! What happened to the hippies? They were against all of these type of activities, but now they have grown up, run the government, and have done a complete 180 when it comes to governments telling you how to live.
    In Response

    by: PermReader
    March 12, 2016 7:24 AM
    The majority of world population lives in the other world, and they can`t physically exist without their governments. Their authoritarian governments fear the online freedom,so any international governmental body will soon attempt to limit internet.

    by: williweb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
    March 11, 2016 9:29 PM
    Apple has done wrong yet. Those who are insisting on absolute privacy have something to hide. Shame on you. You know who I'm talking about.

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