On the assigning of Internet domains and ensure

On October 1, 2016, the federal government
surrendered control of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN). Many have felt that releasing this control of the internet would be giving
away the internet to other countries. There are some people who assume that the
U.S. has a larger influence on the group, but this is incorrect. In fact, most
ICANN board members are non-American; the CEO is Egyptian. There are concerns
from other countries that the United States basically controls the Web and uses
its position to help spy on the rest of the world. Politically, the move could ease
rising global concerns that the U.S. is abusing their position and spying on
them. In the wake of revelations that the National Security Agency has been
gathering information on people’s internet activities, several countries have a
plan to host meetings on the future of internet governance and will push for
non-U.S. control. Some believe that the U.S. announcement’s purpose was to
reassure other nations that it would not retain control of ICANN. A meeting to
discuss Internet’s future began on March 23 in Singapore. Critics of the
movement called the decision rushed and politically tinged. They lacked
confidence in ICANN’s ability to operate without U.S. control.

Business groups have complained
that ICANN’s decision-making was dominated by the interests of the industry
that sells domain names and whose fees provide the majority of ICANN’s revenue.
Although ICANN is based in the USA, governments across the globe have a say in
the group’s decisions through an oversight body. The President of ICANN, Fadi
Chehade, disputed many of the criticisms about the transition plan and promised
an inclusive process to find a new international oversight structure for the
group. The relationship between the United States and ICANN has garnered more
international criticism in recent years because big, American companies such as
Google, Facebook and Microsoft play such a large role in the Internet’s operations.
ICANN’s most important function is to oversee the assigning of Internet domains
and ensure that the companies and universities involved in directing digital
traffic do it safely. The original creators of the internet in the 1970s-1980s greatly
underestimated the amount of web addresses would be needed. They built a system
that only allowed for about 4.3 billion addresses. In recent years, the world
has been scrambling to expand the system. It is called Internet Protocol
version 6 (IPv6), that allows many, many more addresses.

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Some critics of the movement
believe that the security of the Net will be compromised one the contract
expires. There are plenty of important things on the internet that ICANN does
not regulate, despite what some people may think. ICANN is not a policing enterprise.
It does not investigate or punish hackers or spammers or those accused of
trademark infringement. ICANN is not in the business of monitoring and
regulating child pornography, hate speech, or other illegal material. Law
enforcement personnel are responsible for those policing functions. Internet
Service Providers regulate access to the internet and are not under the control
of ICANN.

There are some critics who believe
a Non-U.S. control of ICANN will encourage a censorship of the Internet. There
are several ways censorship can be put into action. It can restrict certain
content from being uploaded or viewed. It could limit access to harmful
activities. Currently, someone can gain access, relatively easy, to drugs, sex
trafficking, human trafficking, and child pornography. A restriction on this
content could make it more difficult for criminals to get access to another
possible victim.  It could also lessen
the impact of identity theft which is one of the fastest growing crimes in the
world. The belief is that the restriction would not allow identity information
to be easily shared and could lessen the impact that identity theft causes. By
creating censorship regulations with strict penalties for violations, it could
reduce the number of hacking incidents that happen. Although fake information
can be restricted through internet censorship, so can real information. If the
government is dictating what individuals can see online, then people are no
longer as responsible for the decisions they make. That control is now given
over to the Government. 

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