Skip to comments.US Agreement With ICANN Leaves Much Undone
Posted on 10/01/2009 5:31:33 PM PDT by khnyny
The US government appears to be loosening its grip on the governance of the Internet, a move welcomed by many. But critics see the government shirking its obligations to support free expression and free trade. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the private corporation that coordinates the technical oversight of the Internet's Domain Name System through a longstanding agreement with the U.S. government, on Wednesday announced a new agreement with US Department of Commerce designed to make Internet governance less unilateral and more open to international input.
Questioning NTIA's statutory authority, Auerbach suggests that if NTIA can direct private companies in the same way it has directed ICANN, there's nothing to stop it from, say, requiring that broadcasters allow a committee of US and foreign government representatives review newscasts as a condition for broadcast frequency access.
And beyond the issues with NTIA's "abandonment of its commitment that the Internet should be run by democratically grounded institutions serving the public interest," Auerbach notes that ICANN still operates under the IANA contract with the Department of Commerce.
(Excerpt) Read more at informationweek.com ...
Stupid. This will go down in history as one of the dumbest abdications of US power since Jimmy Carter gave up the Panama Canal.
It doesn’t look good. Some more comments from the article:
[Mueller also takes issue with the absence of any protection for free expression, a constitutionally guaranteed right that he argues the US government should support.
“The problem with ICANN is it has always been exempted from the First Amendment and that remains a problem with ICANN,” he said.
ICANN, he said, can interfere with freedom of expression by censoring the domain name space and regulating the use of the space indirectly. In his blog on the subject, he criticized the Commerce Department for “its longstanding indifference to basic civil liberties concerns.”]
“Another criticism of the new agreement is that it was negotiated between ICANN and DOC in secret, even as the agreement calls on ICANN to be accountable and transparent to the public and to use a bottom-up decision-making process.
“Whatever deliberation occurred prior to the approval of this ‘affirmation of commitments’ was entirely secret — except for those favorite friends ICANN chose to invite into the smoke-filled room, or to whom the deliberations or decisions were leaked,” Edward Hasbrouck, a travel blogger and ICANN critic wrote on ICANNwatch.org, an ICANN watchdog site.
“In fact, the completely secret, nontransparent and unaccountable way in which these ‘commitments’ were adopted is clear and compelling evidence of ICANN’s continuing ‘lack’ of any actual commitment to these principles, or indeed to any transparency or accountability; its continuing commitment to lie — as loudly and as prominently as it can — about its lack of accountability and transparency; and the continuing need for ‘real’ transparency and accountability,” the blog post continued.”
excerpt from another article at PC World:
Yes, it's strange, was there anything in the media leading up to this decision? If not, it lends credence to Hasbrouck’s claims.
One possible problem with this (imho) are trademark problems for US businesses. Large corporations won't have any problem, as most are international conglomerates anyway, but middle and small US businesses could have big problems. Am I interpreting this correctly?
I haven’t read enough about it yet, so I don’t know.
As to your other point about the Drive-By Media, I am in a constant state of pissed-off-ness about the socialist-corporate media suppressing important news.
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