American Elephants

Now Obama’s Giving the Internet Away to the International Community by The Elephant's Child

“U.S. Officials plan to relinquish federal control over the administration of the internet to something called the “global internet community,” which is full of tyrants to whom the free flow of information is a threat.” (Investors)

“The Commerce Department said Friday it plans to relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, which manages a number of technical functions that serve as signposts to help computers locate the correct servers and websites. …

Alan Marcus, senior director of the World Economic Forum, said “the NSA tarnished the U.S. stewardship” of the Web. Mr Marcus said the U.S. needs to relinquish control over the Web before new leadership can emerge. “There are real issues that get clouded” by US. leadership, he said.” (Wall Street Journal)

“The Internet is often described as a miracle of self-regulation, which is almost true. The exception is that the United States government has had ultimate control from the beginning. Washington has used this oversight only to ensure that the Internet runs efficiently and openly, without political pressure from any country.

This was the happy state of affairs until last Friday, when the Obama administration made the surprise announcement it will relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann, which assigns and maintains domain names and Web addresses for the Internet. Russia, China and other authoritarian governments have already been working to redesign the Internet more to their liking, and now they will no doubt leap to fill the power vacuum caused by America’s unilateral retreat.” (L. Gordon Crovitz: The Wall Street Journal)

Our president has always been a communitarian, a globalist; he has proclaimed himself a “proud citizen of the world.”The administration was caught flat-footed at an International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a UN agency, conference in 2012 stage-managed by authoritarian governments. Google organized an online campaign with a petition that”a free and open world depends on a free and open web.” A former Obama aide called it “the chosen vehicle for regimes for whom the free and open Internet is seen as an existential threat.”

Regimes in Russia, China, and Iran are notable for denying their citizens access to the Internet, controlling speech, and using propaganda as a force to control their people. The United Nations was a ‘we are the world’ fantasy that quickly became one of the earth’s most corrupt organizations. Consider the IPCC, Oil for Food, and the Blue Helmet reputation for child rape. We are still in massive denial of the obvious, and keep insisting that it is worthy.

Obama’s view of Freedom is truly Orwellian. He wants the Democrats to reclaim the word “freedom” as their own; but what he means by it is deeper dependence on government. So we have to be cautious when he suggests that some action will give us more freedom.

The National Journal cautions that the Obama administration is opening the door to an internet takeover by Russia, China, or other countries that are eager to censor speech and limit the flow of ideas.

Investors again: “In 2008, the Internet trade journal Cnet reported the ITU was quietly drafting technical standards, proposed by the Chinese government, to define methods of tracing the original source of Internet communications and potentially curbing the ability of users to remain anonymous. Regimes in places such as Russia and Iran also want an ITU rule letting them monitor traffic routed through or to their countries, allowing them to eavesdrop or block access. …

Before Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, Moscow launched attacks against its Internet infrastructure with coordinated barrages of millions of requests, known as distributed denial-of-service attacks, which overloaded and effectively shut down Georgian servers.

Today, the largely self-regulating Internet means no one has to ask for permission to launch a site and no government can tell network operators how to do their jobs. The Internet freely crosses international boundaries, making it difficult for governments to censor. To many governments, the Internet is a threat to statist goals.”

Charles CW Cooke at National Review: We might worry about who is reading our e-mails, but we don’t fret about the Internet being restricted at its core. We may be concerned about the lack of free communication in other countries, but we don’t have to sweat about those countries’ governments shutting off our access here. And yet, having grown cocky in its maturity, the U.S. government is now considering inviting those countries’ censors to the table and giving them a vote on how to fix a problem that never was. Why?

From National Journal:”Coming Soon: Free Internet From Space. Outernet wants to use tiny satellites to take the whole world online — even in countries where dictators wish they wouldn’t.” Is this the solution?

We’d probably better re-read Orwell’s 1984 too, to remind ourselves of the potential when free communication and free speech are not allowed.


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