The US government announced Friday that it will relinquish the Internet control changes. This announcement has pleased many across the world who criticized the US government policy of Internet control after the revelations made by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden last year. This moves comes as Edward Snowden spoke out against the US Internet surveillance policies in the SXSW conference last week via an online video feed from Russia where he is now in exile. NTIA officials though brushed aside comments that this was a reaction to the Edward Snowden revelations.
Till now the US Commerce department had a contract with a non-profit firm based out of California called Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The US government announcement means that the remaining contract with the ICANN till next year would be the transition time for the current Internet policy changes to take effect. This Global Internet governance policy change from the government has received mixed reactions within the US.
US Senate Commerce Chair John Rockefeller has said that this move is consistent with the efforts the US and allies are aspiring to achieve for a free and open Internet policies. But, former House Speaker and Republican Newt Gingrich has expressed his dissent by twitter. He said, which global Internet communities President. Obama is planning to give the Internet over to? There is a real risk that the dictatorships would rule the Internet policies with this move.
US government said there would not be a set time frame for the transition of these Internet changes. As those policy changes are very complicated and a new oversight system needs to be set up by the federal government to get global approval moving forward. These changes have been called for a very long time by many critics of the US government control on Internet. Experts think this policy change announcement could give the United Nations and the International Telecommunications Union increased control over global Internet.
One of the major concerns the critics of this change have is that they fear the wide misuse of Internet domain names. They say any fraud player could create hundreds of inappropriate domain name to the Internet. A domain name is dot-com or dot gov or dot net etc. This Internet change policy could also create fake business domains that could be hard to differentiate. Some fraud player from a corner of the world could create a fake domain name similar to say a Nike or an apple and can lead people into the trap.
The international Internet meeting is scheduled to take place in Singapore this month. This new US Internet control relinquishment is expected to the main topic of discussion among the global political and technical communities.
One of the key members of Association of National Advertisers said that this Internet control relinquishment announcement by the US government is very concerning security issue and remains so till an alternative Internet overlooking process is firmly set up. Few world governments think that US government would get special privileges from the ICANN but, the US is firmly saying this Internet control change is the best way forward for the world.
By Vikas Vemuri